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How to Virtually Rock Events & Networking

Since March 2020, many people have been ditching their travel itineraries and opting for virtual opportunities. What does this mean for business owners, marketers, and the like? With the right approach, you can engage and tell your story, sell your product, and generate leads if you simply think outside of the screen (wink).

If you’re planning to host an online event, here are a few tips.

First, assess what your goal is for this event. Is it lead gen? To showcase your innovations? Network in the industry? Dial-in your focus, and have it resonate throughout your marketing efforts and planning.

Choose the right platform for you to host the event. Depending on your goal, Facebook Live might work over Zoom or you might decide Periscope is the way to go. Take the time to weigh the pros and cons, do some research, and consider your audience.

Some ideas to keep things fresh.

Consider whether you want to feature pre-recorded videos or if you want to be strictly live. Pre-recorded videos offer an opportunity to captivate your audience by introducing creative elements like animation or additional editing. Live video creates a feeling of exclusivity and a sense of being in the moment. If it aligns with your goals and brand, do both!

Host a panel with live Q&A! Invite your fellow industry leaders to participate and start a dialogue. Depending on what platform you’re using, there are several ways to receive Qs for you to A. A trending way to do Q&A right now is through Twitter. Simply have the audience submit their questions as a Tweet (or response to something you’ve Tweeted, perhaps an announcement about the event) and make sure each question is tagged with your account and has a hashtag (the hashtag should be unique, something specific to your panel). This is win-win because you’re increasing your reach on Twitter, while also getting business done.

Are you speaking? Be prepared!

Speaking at a virtual event is not unlike speaking at a live event. Just like you would normally, make sure you’ve dressed appropriately, that your voice is warmed up and that you’ve rehearsed your speech or talking points.

Some key things to remember include practicing before going live and preparing your tech. Unless you’ve got a family member who’s tech-savvy and is willing to help – all of the lighting, staging, microphone setup and camera work is on you.

When you do a practice run, pay attention to the lighting and sound. Do you look good, are you blurry? Is the volume reasonable or is it picking up on all the street noise outside your living room window?

Use a microphone, trust us. You may think the built-in mic is all you need, but you would be wrong. Relying on built-in mics will cause inconsistencies with the volume of your voice and potentially pick up on too much background noise. Give us a call if you want more details or suggestions on where to buy.

One last reminder on this subject – please remember to speak with energy and passion. It’s very easy to slump into a speech when you’re at home and can’t see the audience in front of you. Keep this top of mind when you’re giving your speech or else all your efforts will have been a waste because your audience has fallen asleep.

Not hosting but want to mingle?

It goes without saying that a fantastic profile and photo go a long way in this digital era. We recently published a blog, geared specifically towards LinkedIn, but the same foundational tips apply to most platforms. Set up an optimized, cohesive profile, toss up a professional photo and you’re set. Remember, make sure to use all the tools that the platform provides. Having empty spaces or blank sections in your profile is not a good look.

Join groups on Facebook and LinkedIn to network. We recommend casting a wide net. Join some local, specific groups, as well as larger national networks, to give yourself tons of variety and opportunity both near and far. Use hashtags on Twitter and Instagram to find your people. Don’t be shy, comment on and “like” the content you connect with. Who knows, you may find a genuine online ally in your industry.

Get more information!

LinkedIn has put out a stellar resource for hosting your next event. In addition to answers to those commonly asked questions, they have actionable tips and awesome examples there to reference.

Love them or hate them – virtual events are here to stay for the foreseeable future. We hope this broad-stroke guide serves you as a good place to start. If you’ve got a vision in place and a goal to reach but don’t know where to start – please don’t hesitate to reach out. We can help you get your virtual event off its feet from the logistics to the backend, from marketing to the follow-up.

Say Hey Mr. and we’re there… virtually of course 😉

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