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In a virtual world, your audience has a front-row seat no matter where they sit, which means they’re closer to your brand than ever. But what does it take to keep them entertained, engaged, and connected before, during, and after your virtual event? 

Last week, Brightcove invited some of the event industry’s brightest minds to join our very first, fully-virtual, Video Strategy Summit delivered on our Virtual Event Experience portal. We brought together top business leaders from Cvent, TalkDesk, and PTC; technology and production experts from MassAV, MediaLoft, and Hartmann Studios; and engagement gurus from Socialive, Drift, and Livelike.

Together, we took this opportunity to learn each other’s best-kept secrets on developing successful virtual event strategies. Here are three key takeaways from our three-day summit:

The role of the event planner is evolving.

It’s “the rise of the event technologist,” says Cvent CMO, Patrick Smith. The latest trend for event planners is learning how to get down and technical as events have become entirely reliant on video to reach their audiences. Event planners now responsible for how their events look, sound, AND stream will also need to learn how their virtual experience brings in new business through both demand generation and marketing technology integration.  

Content is still and always will be king — but bite-sized content keeps viewers’ attention. 

Media Loft’s Dan Peeples said that there’s no shame anymore when attendees want to walk away from a presentation. If you’re going to “keep them in their screens, watching what’s going on, and paying attention,” you’ll need to focus on creating content that’s quick and relevant. 

Here are three tips for developing content that will keep your audience engaged:

  • Make it quick and to the point, yet visually appealing. 

  • Give your speakers enough time to prepare. Are you planning to pre-record your sessions? You’ll need to add a bit more time to the plan (Drift recommends 12 weeks).

  • If your speakers plan to be live, make sure they’re able to pivot quickly if something changes – live is live after all.  

In addition to relevant content, you’ll also want to consider keeping your events shorter and more frequent. Virtual audiences may not have the same amount of time they used to, so it’s important to keep their valuable time in mind. 

Yes, you can still have a deep, meaningful conversation in a virtual environment. 

It’s about time we threw away the notion that you can’t have the same sort of connection with your virtual audiences that you have with your in-person ones. 

When it comes to building a virtual experience that connects your audience with your speakers, each other, and your brand, try to create a community feeling through: 

  • Polling

  • Live Q&A

  • Shared experiences

  • One-on-one conversations

Another key way to keep the conversation going, before, during, and after your event, is to “activate your entire company,” says Drift’s Mark Kilens. Get your sales team to bring up the event to customers and prospects or have marketing live Tweet key sessions. 

If you’re looking to create a stand-out virtual experience for your audiences, you need to hear what the experts are saying on what you should and shouldn’t do when putting together a successful virtual event strategy.

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