Creating a buzz around your virtual event!
As the outbreak of COVID-19 pushes more events towards a virtual format, clients are searching for new ways to engage with attendees before an event takes place. As many event planners know, it can be tricky to keep an audience engaged during a face-to-face live event. Now, shift the experience to online and attendees face a new set distractions – social media, family members sharing the room their working in, pets demanding attention, busy inboxes right in front of them, the list goes on.
Over the last five months we have all attended a virtual event – either as a delegate, a speaker or as the organiser. What we all experienced would be quite mixed, depending on the platform that used. The speakers, the content and what was done to engage delegates with the information can also affect the overall experience. This is why, as we continue to help clients convert their face-to-face events into virtual experiences, we want to share some tips of what we use to build engagement and excitement in the lead up, during and post a virtual event.
Engaging with fun activities
One way to keep your audience engaged and excited is to incorporate a session into your virtual event where attendees get involved in something light and fun. The following are a selection of quirky activities to get delegates interacting after an informative session:
Try an experimental food installation from the team at Lick Me I’m Delicious. They have designed The Flavour Explorer Sessions. These are virtual activities where delegates receive a box of edible magic ahead of the event and then run a virtual Flavour Explorer session live from the ‘Lick Me Lab’. From taste changing powders to eye boggling experiments, attendees will discover their personal flavour profile and learn what makes the perfect taste experience.
Talking about F&B to enhance your delegates experience, event caterers The Food Initiative have developed a high-end bespoke dinner party concept that can be delivered to attendees’ homes providing a one or two course meal for the attendees to make at home as part of the event. Bespoke menus can even be created relating back to the content of the event.
When it comes keeping delegates socialising after an event, consider hosting a happy hour at the end of the day. This can be done by delivering an engaging cocktail masterclass, featuring a live mixologist. Or send a bespoke cocktail box, such as those from Cocktail Porter, which includes everything required to make your chosen cocktail. You can even add company branding to the outer box or items inside.
Building anticipation – creative swag
As we have been creating virtual experiences for a number of clients, we’ve learnt that building anticipation for an event is more important than ever before. One way to do this is by sending your attendees a ‘swag bag or boxes’ prior to the event, which gives them a greater sense of occasion and strengthens the relationship between the company and attendees. They can be branded items related to the topics and activities of the event, which in turn are perfect for creating opportunities for marketing your corporate message, sponsor giveaways or they can be gift boxes, showing attendees a token of appreciation for attending your event. Just because you’re not seeing anyone in person doesn’t mean you have to miss out on giving away swag and the connection that goes along with it.
Khyva offers a wide range of beautifully curated gift boxes with an extensive selection of luxury brands and corporate gifts at different price points. Organisers can choose from pre-prepared boxes or they can select their own items through their bespoke service.
The Attendee Box: Show gratitude to attendees and make the event more enjoyable by giving them the ‘Humble Abode’ box, featuring a Sara Miller candle & diffuser and a Ritual hand balm and hand wash, creating a relaxing and soothing home-office environment for the event. Or why not send them the ‘Afternoon Tea ’ box, perfect for your attendees to use during the virtual event’s tea break, it includes a variety of Cartwright & Butler biscuits and a selection of teas from the East India Tea Company.
The Award Box: This box should contain a few extra special items to celebrate winners’ achievements, like the ‘Celebrations’ box, including a bottle of Moet Champagne and 2 LSA Champagne flutes.
Saying thank you – always a nice touch!
The Speaker Box
Say thanks to all the speakers at your event by sending them a special box that will make speaking easier, like a custom Bluetooth speaker, earbuds with a built-in microphone or light lamp to ensure you can be seen clearly.
The Tech Box
Technology and gadgets have become essential. Create a bespoke swag bag with useful WFH gadgets, that will not only be useful during the event but after too. Tech organisers – to organise all the gadgets we have accumulated; Mouse pad with wireless charging & USB port – the convenience of wireless charging right at your desk.
Just because events are virtual does not mean you have to leave out the swag/gifts. Your attendees and speakers will enjoy a personalised digital gift or a gift box that gets them engaged from the offset and sets the scene for what they can expect from the event you have invited them to participate in.
The point we are making is get creative and send your attendees something that counts!