Posted by: Dennis Shiao | March 4, 2009

7 Habits Of Highly Effective Virtual Event Organizers

If you’re the organizer of a virtual event – or, if you’re a key member of the team responsible for one – you know that your planning (and wisdom) can have a direct impact on the success of your virtual event.  And, the success of your virtual event can have a direct impact on your company’s bottom line.  From my involvement as a virtual event organizer and attendee, I submit the following seven recommendations for your event:

  1. Recruit a sizeable audience to attend – More attendees mean more leads for your company (or, more leads for the sponsors who are paying your company to exhibit). It also results in more buzz within the show.  As an attendee, I liked to venture into the Lounge or a booth and see many other attendees in the same location.  This gave me more potential peers to connect with – and, learn from.
  2. Recuit the right audience to attend – I want to hear from peers who have similar challenges to my own.  If a virtual event is on the topic of Storage Virtualization, I don’t want to participate in a Group Chat were attendees are asking, “So, what is storage virtualization all about?”  Instead, I want to network with peers who understand the challenges of storage virtualization and are in the same stage of the buying cycle as I am.
  3. Recruit the right experts and speakers – Content is always a draw for me and nothing beats a prominent industry expert (or experts) to provide the “lay of the land” on the topic at hand.  Whether that’s an industry analyst, a prominent blogger or a hands-on practitioner, the key is that the presenters have expert knowledge of their market – and are prominent names in the industry.  Having the prominent names will assist you with “recruiting a sizeable audience” (point #1 above).
  4. Communicate effectively within the event – Clearly outline the day’s agenda and provide reminders about important upcoming in-show events. Make sure attendees are visiting the areas of the event that provide them with the most value.  If you don’t know what attendees are looking to get out of the show, solicit their opinion in group chat or private chat.
  5. Provide adequate event staff –  Be sure to leverage a Help Booth to assist attendees with technical issues – and recuit staff to roam the “floor” of the event to assist with questions or issues.  Be sure the staff is knowledgeable about the environment and can address any issues that arise.
  6. Provide prizes – We all love the free giveaway, don’t we?  I know I do.  Virtual event attendees are no different.  They’ll go through leaps and bounds to qualify for a prize.  And, those who win leave the show with even more satisfaction (beyond the great event that you’ve already provided).
  7. Intuitive layout and naming – Work with your virtual event provider on an intuitive layout – attendeeds should be able to quickly determine which locations to visit – and which links to click on to reach those locations.  If you’re hosting live Webcasts and Videocasts, don’t label the area as the “Premiere IMAX Theater Experience”, unless that terminology means something in your market.

I’m sure there are more effective habits that I haven’t yet addressed – if so, leave a comment below to tell us about the effective tactics you’ve used!

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