With the world-wide pandemic, AR teams across the globe were required to shift already planned conferences and meetings to virtual-hosted engagement. To help our clients, Spotlight worked to gather feedback from 45 analysts across Gartner, Forrester and IDC to hear straight from the source their recommended best practices when it comes to hosting virtual events. We’ve included their insights as well as what we’ve learned working alongside our clients to help ensure both an engaging and successful virtual affair.
Best practices prior to your event kick off
Before your virtual event kicks off, there are things you can do to ensure everyone is well prepared for a successful event.
- Identify Audience & Main Objective: Knowing who you’re engaging and their main objective is key for a successful event. With everyone’s calendars filling up, having clear points for your analysts attendance helps them feel that their time is valued.
- Make It Fun: Engage your guests prior to the event by sending a gift. This could be a company branded t-shirt and swag or potentially a cocktail kit depending on the type of event.
- Conscious and Quality Content: Analysts are busy. It’s key to have content that is not only relevant to their work, but also brief and to the point.
How to keep your audience engaged during the event
There are great opportunities during your engagement to ensure that your audience is getting what they need.
- Make It Interactive: To ensure focus from your audience, engage half way through your session via a poll, survey or quick quiz.
- Professional and Prepared Speakers: Make sure that all speakers look professional, have a great background and strong internet bandwidth to ensure a clear and successful presentation.
- Incorporate Customers: Analysts love to hear straight from the source – your customers! Highlight a few client stories by letting them speak to their own experience throughout sessions.
- Flexible Schedules: Allow analysts to not only build their own content, but have an available recording of sessions in case their schedule doesn’t permit attendance during the live viewing.
Tying a bow on your virtual event
The event doesn’t stop once the meeting ends. To finalize your event, follow these key steps:
- Final Q+A: To help streamline your Q+A, we recommend letting people submit questions and then having the presenter or panel answer one by one. If there are questions you didn’t get to, provide a document post-event that includes all questions and answers from the session.
- Closing the Loop: Again, we know analysts’ time is valuable. Sending a thank you note that includes the slides, direct link to the recordings, the final Q+A document and any ancillary information is key to wrapping your event.
- Gather and Review Feedback: It’s important to hear from both internal and external audiences after the event closes. Perhaps this is sending an external-facing survey to your attendees to capture any commentary, but we also recommend scheduling a quick debrief to hear from your internal team’s feedback.
COVID has brought on tough changes, but also an opportunity to adapt and streamline processes around meetings. While we look forward to more face to face opportunities in 2021, we know organizations will continue to leverage virtual events because of their convenience, low cost and ability to reach broader audiences from the comfort of their home office.
To learn more about how Spotlight can support you and your next analyst engagement check out our services.