In today’s world, communication can be considered both a solution and a problem, depending on the audience and delivery method (especially in virtual event planning). A sound crisis management plan always includes extensive communication efforts to keep people well-informed. But, an overload of digital communication can cause mental and physical harm (avoid being too connected with an “always-on” mentality). How do you find a delicate balance to effectively connect with a remote audience in a big way?
We know the importance of keeping participants connected before, during, and after an event. This concept holds for virtual or hybrid events, except you have to consider each audience type: the face-to-face group (if hybrid), remote audience, and those participating only via the recordings post-event. Then, break up the groups by audience type (c-level, customer, employee titles, sponsors, etc.) as you consider how each of them prefers to receive information.
People are used to attending a face-to-face event and following signs or using an app to get to where they need to go. But in a virtual world, it’s not always clear where to click to get to the right place at the right time. It can be more confusing because you’re competing with so many other notifications happening at a person’s computer. Too many detailed emails before an event can confuse your remote audience. We recommend building in a strategic set of emails that lead up to the finer details later on. Find a balance between emails meant to excite and those meant to inform.
Communication is about informing with a single, on-point thematic for your event that will:
- Incorporate both digital and physical elements. Your audience will be more likely to be positively impacted if they have something tangible to remember the event.
- Include your participants’ family and friends. Speaking of remembering, people close to your attendees should be able to participate, since they are close by and are likely exposed to the content in some fashion anyway.
- Contain at least one touchpoint in each aspect of the full participant journey. Think about every aspect of the experience, and include a message in each.
- Leverage your internal corporate communication vehicles. Your own company’s internal communications should complement, not contradict, the overall messages sent from the event organizers.
- Surprise and delight by dropping unexpected elements throughout the experience. Who wouldn’t like to enjoy an entertaining concert in the middle of their day to stop for a mental health break?
Finally, take advantage of the mobile devices your audience is looking at anyway. Give them reasons to check their phone by using our interactive EventAPP™ so participants can connect with each other during breaks and off-hours. Or, give them a scavenger hunt challenge within the app that rewards them with a surprise gift as the event concludes. This will make their cell phone an enhancement to the event, rather than a distraction.
As you begin to formulate a plan, consider giving your virtual participants a part to play to keep them engaged – ignoring all other distractions. Use an intentional communication strategy to maximize your event investment.
For more pointers, check out these effective communication tips that will boost engagement in each method of communication.