A few months ago, digital events began to flourish, poised to take their place as a whole new playing field. As virtual events were a mostly unknown approach until recently, a fundamental irritant quickly reared its head for anyone attempting to participate in one: technical issues. For the first few weeks, these were mostly amusing :
“Can you hear me ?” ;
“The image keeps freezing.” ;
“I don’t seem to be able to share my screen.”
Over time, however, virtual events started to multiply and adapt to broadcast platforms while keeping pace with the accelerated development of new professional platforms, much to the benefit of those who appreciate teleworking.
WHAT MANY FORGET IS THAT THE DAY IS NOT WON BY SIMPLY MASTERING THE TECHNOLOGY.
We know that it is easy for those who take part in multiple digital meetings or after hours encounters on Teams to tire of the formula, even when the technology performs flawlessly. Once the technical aspects have been mastered, it then becomes important and essential to accompany the user throughout their experience. Guests are at the heart of in-person events, and should remain so for virtual events as well. Lulu Événements has developed several measures that allow it to maintain its guests’ involvement and interest for the entire duration of a virtual event :
It is essential to ensure that guests are accompanied from start to finish, that their experience goes off without a hitch, and that all their questions get answered within the briefest delay. To accomplish this, we must see things from the users’ viewpoint and take all the various steps that allow users to participate in virtual events: from the invitation to the networking period. We have a few questions to recommend, which we should ask ourselves in order to ensure that events run smoothly from the user’s perspective :
→ Is everything clear and user friendly ?
→ Have users who are not technologically fluent been provided with all the information required to successfully participate in the event (links, connections, account generation…) ?
→ Is the event’s planned time appropriate for employees’ scheduling realities ?
→ Have clear and exhaustive directives been sent ?
- Specify that no applications need to be downloaded ;
- Submit detailed event plans ;
- Inform participants of scheduled breaks ;
- Specify all technical support information relevant to the event ;
- Provide network operating instructions ;
- Reassure participants that their personal data is secure.
For those who spend multiple hours on digital platforms each day, and who have been doing so for months, it is essential to ensure that digital events are distinct from classic after-hours Zoom get-togethers. In addition to the use of a professional platform (such as the ones used by Lulu Événements that provide the feel of a television program !), it is important to ensure that events generate a major impact. To achieve this end, we suggest a few possible paths :
→ It is fundamental to plan for an element that will surprise guests: ice-breaking activities, expert guests, special activities, interactive games… Be creative !
→ Take care to avoid emulating in-person event organising. Unique tools are now at your disposal, most notably technological ones. Do not hesitate to apply their potential !
→ Rethink both style and substance. Create unique content in explosive form: be mindful of rhythm, dynamism, and graphical presentation.
→ Plan your script with a goal in mind: television program, networking, kiosks, live, pre-recording, … Call upon your creativity in any manner that might be relevant to your objectives !
Users must remain the focal point of our preoccupations. This is the golden rule. We must therefore enable moments of entertainment and enjoyment for our users, accompanying and pampering them through the entirety of their virtual event experience.
→ Don’t hesitate to think “outside the computer” ! Whether in the form of gift boxes, home meal deliveries, QR codes to scan, or even personalized messages, tangible gestures are always appreciated !
→ Do not forget to maintain contact with users: as we do not directly interact with the public, this tends to slip our minds! From the outset, ensure that your guests are all doing well. Take the pulse of the evening just as you would for a real event !
→ Use surveys. They are a good method for learning about the opinions of your guests while also getting them to participate more actively.
Ultimately, while the virtual event is still a somewhat nascent discipline, one thing already seems clear: it is essential to take advantage of the tools provided by digital environments if we wish to continue placing guests at the heart of all events, and to ensure the correct implementation of everything that this fully-fledged communications channel can provide. We must not simply emulate in-person events : we must breathe new life into events by fully embracing all the opportunities provided by digital environments !