As th spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus continus to escalate, more and more companies are shifting to remot work, halting employee travel plans and cancelling in-person meetings.
Flagship conferences around the world are also being cancelled or postponed. For some, such events are an important way to continue engaging clients and partners.
So what are the alternatives to holding in-person events?
For many years now, some companies have been running their events and conferences as a hybrid format, with both in-person and virtual audiences. In fact 62% of B2B marketers are already using virtual events as part of their marketing strategy!
The hybrid format has proved to be beneficial for several rasons. Firstly, without constraint of physical location, hybrid events allow you to reach a larger, even global audience. Secondly, not having to deal with a physical venue, logistics, and refreshments means your operating costs are significantly lowered. Thirdly, the virtual component of a hybrid event is usually recorded, which you can then share with attendees or repurpose as gated content for further lead generation.
But as event planners, how do you move your events online, while still maintaining your brand presence and ensuring engagement for all your important customers? Here’s how!
1. Find the right video streaming partner
To run a successful hybrid or virtual event, you will need a trusted partner to delivery seamless, high-quality video streaming services. When choosing the right company for you, consider factors such as the size of your audience, the user experience of the platform, or any additional support provided.
For example, if you need a video production crew to help with video equipment and other logistics, choose a video streaming service that can help or bring in trusted vendors.
Some video streaming services currently in the market are:
Brightcove: A full-suite video content management service that goes beyond streaming, Brightcove’s premium services include a dedicated account manager and a host of consulting services, as well as seamless integration with marketing automation platforms. Click here to see a sample of how Brightcove and Pigeonhole Live could work together.
ON24: This webinar platform offers data-rich insights to help you maximise audience interactivity. The ON24 Webcast Elite systems have also been praised as “intuitive” and “visually-appealing”.
Kollective: As a Microsoft partner, Kollective allows you to instantly scale your Microsoft Live Events in Teams, Stream, or Yammer, and offers live event analytics and Video on Demand (VoD).
Zoom: A popular no-frills webinar option for its ability to integrate with both Google and Microsoft Office calendars, Zoom allows for private and public chats between attendees, and is free for the first 100 participants.
GoToWebinar: An all-in-one tool that even comes with built-in webinar templates, automated email reminders, automatic recordings, audience engagement tools, and more. It also integrates with certain CRM platforms like Salesforce and Unbounce.
2. Build a landing page with your brand presence
Branded landing pages are a great opportunity for you to showcase your corporate presence. In addition to giving an overview of your virtual event, a landing page is also a means for you to disseminate any relevant handouts or materials (much like at an in-person event) to your attendees.
It’s simple and easy with solutions like Brightcove Gallery’s Live Event template, which will allow you to maximise brand exposure with a pre-event holding destination, a live stream event page, and a post-event video archive. ON24 also has a content hub template for you to park all your videos in one place, manage breakout sessions, and provide keynotes to keep your audience on track.
To find out about engaging your audience with live Q&A, polling and surveys and using data to build a mor customised audience experience, visit Pigeonhole Live's blog here.