Last Updated on August 24, 2023
Running events online is a great alternative to a physical event, with plenty of advantages. Here are tips on how to do it right.
So, you want to run an event over the Internet, do you?
A few years ago, the very idea would have been laughable. Now, however, it’s actually a completely viable way to get your message out. Truth be told, online events actually have a whole host of significant advantages over physical events, including increased attendance (no geographical barriers), lower overhead costs, and access to guests and guest speakers you might otherwise have overlooked or been unable to afford.
Of course, there are disadvantages, too. People might not engage with a digital event as strongly as they would if they were actually in attendance, and your options are likely to be pretty sparse where vendors are concerned. You’ll have fewer opportunities to meet other industry personalities, as well, to say nothing of the bandwidth costs if you’re hosting the event on your own server. Tickets could potentially be rather difficult to sell, as well.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of reasons to host an event online – and plenty of events that would greatly benefit from such a medium.
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Option One: Just Stream It
This is by far the simplest option. Just select a streaming platform such as YouTube, LiveStream, uStream, or Twitch.tv. Set yourself up with an account (you’ll probably need it, if you’re expecting anything over a hundred or so attendees), figure out how you’re going to deal with attendance, set a date, and start streaming. It’s really that easy.
Option Two: Set Up A Digital Conference Platform
If a Livestream isn’t really your cup of tea (or you want to do something a bit more complicated than just hurling out a stream), you could always modify your event website so that it functions as a sort of digital event hub. Basically, how it would work is that after registering, attendees would see an entire event schedule, at which point they could bookmark which keynotes they want to ‘attend’ (watch). This method allows you to have multiple streams running at the same time, and also provides you with a great way to direct attendees to any vendors that might be participating.
Option Three: Create A Virtual Conference Floor
Some time ago, I attended a virtual convention on the behalf of one of my clients. At the time, I wasn’t quite sure what that entailed, but I quickly discovered that the term ‘virtual convention’ was a literal one. The day before the event, I downloaded and installed a graphical client. After creating my avatar, I found myself staring at a conference hall on my computer screen. My avatar could wander around and check out vendor booths, he could sit in on keynote presentations, he could hang out and talk to other attendees…you get the idea.
This concept can work well for you if you play your cards right. Just make sure your audience is savvy enough that they can actually control their avatars.
Choosing the right type of online event to run just depends on the needs of your clients as well as their budget. No matter the budget or time restrictions, running an event online is a great way to give your clients what they want without as many barriers (and usually for less cost).
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