Going online: How to ensure a successful virtual brand event

20 Jan 2021
Vivian Tsang

Events have always been an important aspect of integrated communications strategy, however with social distancing in place we need to revisit how we deliver brand experiences and messagingAs we get more comfortable with online event formats, it’s now time to get more confident in our creativity for these events 

There are now many virtual event formats that engage our audiences without bringing people together physically, the questions is, which one is best to meet your communications objectives. At Sinclair, we’ve had a lot of experience over the last year delivery branded virtual events to ensure our clients are connecting with their audiences effectively. These events have included Johnnie Walker’s Instagram live virtual tasting, Tricor Hong Kong’s virtual press conference, Crafts on Peel’s virtual exhibition tour for media, and ART Power HK’s online talks programme, to name a fewWe’ve also supported clients with hybrid festivals and conferences, including The Hong Kong International Literary Festival’s hybrid festival of live and online author eventsand TravelRevive, the hybrid MICE event powered by Singapore Tourism Board. As you can see, virtual events can cover a wide range of activities and formatsfrom video conferencing to broadcasting, live streaming to social media. 

Tips for ensuring successful virtual brand event 

Every client, subject, audience and objective is different, so each event requires a strategic approach – there’s no ‘one size fits all’There are, however, some key best practice tips no matter your event format. Here are the top five tips to consider when organising a virtual brand event. 

  1. Excite from the start– It is so much easier to leave a virtual meeting or event than it is to physically walk out the door of an in-person event. Kick off the event with as much excitement and engagement as possible. Motivate the audience and make it clear what they are going to gain from the event. 
  2. Add curated content – It’s not necessary for a spokesperson to present live all the way through. Appropriate use of digital tools can add value to the event. Use a pre-recorded guided tour to create a clear, stable and immersive experience from a first-person point of view; visual effects added on screen create excitement to ‘unveiling momentsinteractive designs in the presentation deck highlight key features to catch audience’s attention.  
  3. Be interactive – Utilise the functions of your chosen event platform such as pollschat and Q&A to create interactive moments that engage audiences – both with the speakers and with each other another. Providing opportunity for people to be involved and express their opinions keeps them engaged. 
  4. Get to the point – People have a significantly shorter attention span when engaging online; audience switch off quickly if their needs are not sufficiently met. Understand your audience and keep your content simple, concise and entertaining, Limit the event length to only what is really necessary.
  5. Be prepared – Technical glitches are the bane of all events – both online and physicalAlways have a Plan B in case there is an issue with the platform or host computer. Ensure your moderator is prepared to keen audiences engaged and calm when this happens.  

A recent Condé Nest survey reviled that 90% of respondents would be interested in virtual events even event when live events are possible again, meaning that skills developed during this time are likely to be relevant for the long term. This is only the beginning of virtual and hybrid events, and we look forward to seeing how they evolve in 2021 and beyond. If you’d like to speak to us about managing your virtual event, get in touch with us here. 

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