When it comes to executing events, most PR professionals understand that they shouldn’t be mixing the press with analysts, customers with the press, or analysts with customers. However, when it comes to virtual events, that rule has changed.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, customers, analysts, and the press have been able to come together at virtual events.
Those types of events have given a great opportunity to businesses for press coverage, but the events themselves aren’t without any challenges.
Since people are stuck at home together, the world has managed to document hundreds of calls and meetings that feature people’s pets, kids, and other activities in their home, simply because of unmuted mics.
However, when it comes to virtual events, there are still a lot of benefits for companies, which have resulted in extensive growth of virtual conferences, product launches, industry webinars, and roundtables. All of that is due to the ease of communicating and networking that virtual events provide companies.
Nevertheless, companies still have to improve their virtual event strategies so that they can ensure all attendees have a positive experience.
Nearly 60% of all marketers have stated that they had to change their events strategies to align them with virtual events if they wanted to reach goals and achieve success.
One of the essential elements of virtual events is preparation, similar to in-person events. Those events tend to require months of planning before they can happen, but when it comes to virtual events, the preparation time is slightly different.
Although there’s no need for planning out the location, companies still have to ensure there’s enough response time from the media so that the event generates enough coverage.
A good rule of thumb is to give reporters about two months to RSVP to a virtual event so that there’s a good reception from the press and so they can produce insightful content for the business.
Most journalists already have busy schedules and have to stick to tight deadlines, which means they don’t always get to attend in-person events despite companies providing invitations months in advance. However, one thing that can help journalists who are busy is by making the event’s session available on-demand.
When they’re able to watch a recording of the event at a time of their choosing, journalists will be able to take notes, digest important information, and even become familiar with the topic whenever they want.
Additionally, companies have the option of creating additional content or even pitching to outlets after the event by using content from the event itself. For example, a discussion can be rewritten into a blog post or an article, and then pitched to outlets to generate additional coverage and exposure for the event itself and the company.
Finally, another benefit to virtual events is that companies can incorporate a virtual dashboard for the event, where attendees can submit questions or comments before the event, and where speakers can read those questions and prepare ahead of time.
Even journalists can ask questions inside a virtual dashboard, which means when the speaker asks their question, the journalist will get a more detailed and informed response during the event. Virtual dashboards also help companies control their messaging because they’re able to adapt the messaging to specific media outlets or publications.