Online Events: The Ultimate Guide
Online events are a great marketing option for businesses. At a fraction of the cost of in-person events, you can use an online events to:
- Demo new products and conduct product research
- Prospect for new clients
- Build brand awareness
- Keep existing clients engaged
And when you host an online event, you can expand your audience reach since your attendees don't have to worry about the costs and logistics of getting to your venue. All they need is a laptop or a smartphone to attend. You can also get real-time feedback by sending out surveys and using videoconference polls. All told, depending on your business and your specific marketing need, you may find that hosting an online event is a better choice for you than holding a live one.
Planning Your Online Event
Whether you're planning a live or online event, every successful event begins with a plan. You'll need to start with a clear purpose for the event. What are you hoping to accomplish, and how are you hoping to achieve it? For example, if you're looking to demo new products and do product research, you may want to hold an online conference and trade show, which can help you get feedback from businesses and consumers alike.
You'll need to develop a realistic budget, pick a date and time, draft a program for the event, and develop event branding, including a name, logo, graphic identity, and theme. And because you'll need to do all of this while confirming speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors, you'll have to pull together a team of colleagues who can help you pull this off.
Even with a reliable team around you, you'll have a lot to do. You'll have many last-minute decisions and adjustments to make, as well as hiccups during the event itself you'll have to work hard to keep from spilling into view. The last thing you want to be worried about is technical glitches. So you'll want to pick a reliable online event service provider to keep the show moving smoothly.
Managing Your Event
BlueJeans makes event hosting easy for the organizers and provides guests with a seamless and professional experience. You can easily schedule events using your Google or Outlook Calendar and get access credentials to your organizing team, presenters, moderators, and event attendees.
With BlueJeans, event attendees will enjoy one of three levels of access. Moderators can control who speaks, poll guests, start or pause the stream, chat, and remove attendees from the event. Presenters can share their screen with everyone, while attendees can watch and listen unless a moderator unmutes their microphone.
For your event, try to designate two moderators — one responsible for the program’s flow, including muting and unmuting presenters, and a second responsible for interacting with guests. This moderator may monitor the chat for questions, which they then share with the audience. Or they may push polls or help troubleshoot technical issues.
Once you've got your run of show ready, your time and date selected, and your brand identity crafted, it's time to get the word out. You'll want to make sure your brand is prominently displayed on everything your attendees see, so customization is critical. With BlueJeans, you can create customized email invitations and incorporate your logo in your live stream to keep your brand top of mind with your audience.
Security is also essential. There's been plenty of coverage of hackers targeting online meetings, events, and conferences in recent times. If your event is interrupted by a hacker, you could be liable if your guests' sensitive information is lost and loose current and potential customers’ trust.
BlueJeans employs best-in-class data security measures to keep your online event broadcasting without interruption and gives you the option to set up branded registration forms. You can vet your registrant lists and only send approved attendees the access credentials. By doing so, you can keep out unwanted guests, minimize your security risks, and ensure the integrity of your invite-only event.
Keep these tips in mind when planning your online event:
- Set realistic timelines for planning
- Incorporate games and incentives into your program to increase attendees engagement
- Create opportunities for attendees to interact with each other before, during, and after the event
- Make ample use of polls and surveys for real-time feedback, and make real-time adjustments if you can
- Pick a reliable videoconference provider, familiarize yourself with their capabilities and do multiple dry-runs to make sure things run smoothly.
Are you planning an online event soon? Sign up for your free trial today!