It seems crazy that it’s been an entire year since the pandemic started. Just think, a year ago we were all either binge-watching Tiger King in quarantine, learning a TikTok dance, baking bread, or becoming first-time plant parents. ????
Does anyone else miss in-person networking or big conferences? ✋????
Over the past year, virtual events have increased significantly, for obvious reasons. According to a survey by wirke.com, only 42% of organizations were holding virtual events before the pandemic, but now that number has doubled to 84%.
Those statistics are pretty hard to ignore. So what’s the big deal about virtual events and will they stick around post-pandemic? We happen to think they will, so we’re going to share a few insider tips & tricks to help you host a great one…
What Is A Virtual Event?
A virtual event is simply an event that’s hosted online through either pre-recorded videos or live streaming. Social media platforms have all upped their live streaming abilities in recent years, projecting the importance of virtual connection well before the pandemic. (Wait….. No let’s not go there.) TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook are all great places to go LIVE for a virtual event, and each platform has its own pros & cons as well as its own target audience.
Why Host A Virtual Event?
Even though the pandemic has put virtual events in the spotlight (mostly because no other type of events were allowed ???? ), virtual events have always had benefits independent of social distancing, and they will continue to in the future. Hosting a virtual event can benefit your business because it can reach an audience that normally wouldn’t be able to attend an in-person event due to busy schedules, financial restraints, or physical disabilities.
As a small business, virtual events are a great way to talk to your audience without breaking the bank. They’re much more cost effective than in-person events because there’s not a physical space to rent out and well, wine and charcuterie are expensive… ????????♀️
Virtual events are often used for:
- Training courses or classes
- Behind-the-scenes tours
- Raising Awareness
- & More
So, Now That You Know What A Virtual Event Is, How Do You Plan One?
Step 1: Create A Detailed Game Plan
Even if your event is in-person, it still takes planning! Having a schedule for the event will keep your team organized and ready to perform. (Pro-tip: If segments become too long, audience members may hop off the Live Event. Keep the event interesting by having a list of commonly asked questions to answer during a demo.)
It’s important to give your team specific roles for the event. The amount of people working an event will vary, but here are some examples:
1. A Camera Person – They should understand what angles are best for the event and to make sure the Live is running smoothly.
2. A Comment Monitor – It’s important to have eyes on the comment section so the audience can ask the questions and feel like they are participating.
3. A Director – This is one of the most critical positions during a Live because they make sure everything stays on schedule, they can give (silent) direction to keep things moving, and they can signal to the MC or host to give more energy.
4. An MC – This is your star! Whoever is the most comfortable giving energy, but also knowledgeable enough to answer questions about your business should be your go-to MC. (Pro Tip: Virtual Events require even more energy than in-person events. If you feel ridiculous, you’re probably giving enough energy for a virtual event.)
Step 2: Pick The Right Day And Time For The Event
Analytics and insights are your best friend. If most of your audience is working during the day and time you choose, the event won’t do as well! So checking your social media analytics will help you choose the best time for your specific target audience.
Step 3: Promote, Promote, PROMOTE!
Alright, this is the fun part. Promoting the event at least 2-3 weeks before is generally the best practice for a virtual event. If you promote too early, your audience may forget, but if you promote it last minute, they may not be able to make time to attend.
There are a lot of great ways to promote virtual events— Social media posts, email marketing campaigns, posting in local groups, and using interactive Stories are all great ways to promote for free! We happen to think promotion of virtual events should be done holistically, meaning use every channel you have to reach the most people.
Step 4: Make It Fun, Engaging, And Inclusive!
Since your audience isn’t in-person, it’s even more important to remember to include viewers in the conversation! Encouraging your audience to ask questions and holding small giveaways throughout the event will keep your them interested and most importantly, will keep them from X-ing out of the event to get back to scrolling their feed. Who doesn’t love free stuff? ????
One of the most critical pieces of advice we can give you is: have a practice run-through. During the run-through, you can get an idea of what needs to be changed before the event. Remember tripods for the cameras, make sure all batteries are charged, print out the schedules, secure a laptop & a phone to monitor how the event is going, and grab lots of coffee to excite your speakers. (Caffeine is a good idea, always. ☕️)
Problems are bound to happen, but you’ve got this!
We encourage you to consider adding virtual events to your marketing strategy to increase your brand awareness on a lower budget, reach new target markets, and overall to freshen up your marketing game.
Does this help? Let us know!
It’s our favorite time of year! That’s right, the 2021 Web Design Trends round-up is here. We’re breaking down our very favorite web trends, but this year we especially want to share trends that our small business clients can actually utilize.
Chances are, small business owners aren’t going to have the budget to overhaul their website with every new passing web design trend. So, let’s look at the trends that have either had staying power in the last few years, or we project will stick around in the coming years.
1. Retro Elements & Fonts
We’ve seen things come back in style that we never… I mean never thought we’d see. (Lookin’ at you, mom jeans.)
Right now, throwback typography and design are having a moment. Remember when retro meant the 70’s? Well get ready to feel old. Retro now means the 90’s. Yep. We’re starting to see a fun trend of reimagining of classic 90’s fonts, designs, and logos… And it’s being called “retro.” We’ll just go sit and think about that while we reconsider our skinny jeans and side parts. ????
2. Horizontal Scrolling
Previously thought of as a faux-pas, horizontal scrolling is a fun surprise to make your website stand out.
We’re seeing more web designers experimenting with horizontal scroll. Those who do it best don’t do it just for the sake of being different, but also as a practical way to share information in a good user flow, such as Goodfight’s current website. Their use of horizontal scroll causes visitors to see more of their products in the order they want them to before they leave the page. Horizontal scroll is also a good way to make yourself stand out if you’re in the creative field, like zerocodegirl.
With faster internet speeds becoming more accessible (???? ), multimedia web experiences are becoming a more popular choice in web design. Putting together a mix of text, imagery, video, and audio creates a captivating and highly engaging user experience for any website homepage. And let’s face it, nothing can sell a business online like a well-done video.
4. Gaussian Blur
We love a good design evolution. Bright & bold gradients have been on trend in recent years, but this year we’re seeing gradients evolve into a soft Gaussian blur. These soft swirl and soft focus gradients provide a calm and cool aesthetic that doesn’t try too hard.
5. Surrealism Illustration
Illustration, and specifically Surrealism, isn’t going anywhere this year. Surrealism often uses dream-like scenes, symbolic images, as well as unexpected, and illogical juxtapositions. We have loved seeing all of the super fun turns in illustration styles over the past few years, and we see illustrations continuing to replace photography-only design, at least in the near future. Here are some we like, and check out the Gaussian Blur on the Analytica Alimentaria website. Bonus points for using 2 trends!
6. Dark Mode Design
Dark mode is becoming even more prevalent in 2021, so more designers & brands are embracing the dark mode aesthetic. It’s just the reality, and we’re thinking if brands don’t adapt design to work with dark mode, they may fall behind. But hey, have fun with it! Black is the perfect dark backdrop to create designs with colors that pop.
Plus your eyes and your frown lines will definitely be thankful for this trend. ????
We hope this list helped! Did you have any favorite website design trends? Are there any you see matching your brand aesthetic? As a small business with a small budget, you can still have a modern, of-the-moment, but classic site… one that will give you the most bang for your buck! We’d love to help.