How to Run Amazing Virtual Online Zoom Events
Virtual events might sound a little futuristic right now, but they’ve actually been happening since the year 1993. This is when the very first live stream happened. It showed footage of a coffee maker mid-drip, creating nail-biting footage that drew in millions of viewers. In this day and age, more and more people are choosing to go online purely because it gives them more options. Events can be moved online to reduce carbon footprints and they can also be opened up to even more people. When you look at Beyonce’s Homecoming at Coachella, you will soon see that 41 million people tuned in from a total of 232 countries. Normally, this event might have only been available to a few thousand people, but instead, it reached millions across the world.
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to find new and inventive ways to conduct business and communicate. Even though digital meetings, televised events and online video calls have been gaining traction for quite some time, it would now seem that digitalisation is accelerating things faster than ever before. Companies who had no interest in hosting online video meetings are now doing so because they don’t have any more options, and this is really helping to spur on a more evolved and efficient digital age. Companies are now realising the value that digital content has to offer, and are adopting it across their entire organisation.
Of course, the potential of hosting your own virtual event cannot be measured, so if you’re ready to take that next step and conduct your own digital zoom session, take a look below.
Are you ready to go digital? If so, here’s your all-access pass.
What Types of Virtual Events can You Host?
Some of the virtual events that you can host include:
Tutorials and Classes
Do you have a product or even a service that could do with some explaining? Then a how-to video is a fantastic way for you to provide your audience with all of the instructions, tricks and tips they need. You can use your virtual event to launch a brand-new product or to even answer some frequently asked questions. This is very popular with yoga instructors or chefs. In the world of B2B, marketing firms and even keynote speakers are now adopting platforms such as Zoom, as it gives them the chance to reach a much bigger audience in a smaller space of time.
If you are dealing with a more complex topic, then a workshop or webinar may be a much better option. This format is ideal because it really does dive deep about a specific theme or the tools you need.
Behind the Scenes
Thanks to virtual video, you can give your viewers a sneak-peak of what happens behind the scenes. This is ideal if you have access to a museum, a gallery, airport or theatre. You can also tour your office or factory. If you own a butchery, you can even show your customers how you make your sausage. This may not sound interesting to you, but to your audience, it’s a really neat experience. If you run a B2B business, you can easily conduct interviews with the senior members of your team while they are in action or you can show a behind-the-scenes video of a new service you’re planning on launching. Little things like this can really help you to connect with your audience and it is a fantastic way for you to boost your brand awareness.
You can also have a Q&A if you wanted. You can give your in-house experts the chance to take part in a live question-and-answer session. Interactive trivia is also ideal if you want to make your event super engaging.
Other virtual event ideas include:
· Virtual conferences
· Teambuilding Activities
· Virtual Parties
· And more
Is Zoom the Best Platform for you to be Using?
Zoom is an utterly fantastic platform that has limitless potential. The great thing about Zoom is that you can have a single host, a group chat, breakout rooms or anything else of the sort. You can also have large meetings with 1000 live and interactive participants. In meetings like this, people can share their video, audio and screen. Webinars are a listen-only audience and you can broadcast to up to 10,000 people. Live streaming gives you the chance to connect with up to 50,000 people, so everything can be customised and there’s always the option to expand or scale back your streams according to the amount of users who are tuning in, or the level of interactivity you require. In all fairness, unless you’re Beyonce, you won’t need to worry about surpassing the 50,000 people limit.
Tips for Creating the Ultimate Zoom Event
All events will come with some degree of logistical challenge. If you want to avoid some embarrassing hiccups during your event then you can find out everything you need to know, right here.
Devise a Game Plan
It doesn’t matter whether you’re offline, online, big or small. Every single event needs to have a strategy. You need to start out with a key goal and then take it from there. The sooner you begin to plan, the better. If you’ve no idea how to devise a game plan, then here are a few questions you should ask yourself.
What Questions Should You Ask Yourself when Hosting an Event
– What experience do you plan on delivering?
– Is your event going to be live or on-demand?
– Is your event going to be free?
– What’s the best time for you to host your event?
– Do you want people to register for the event?
– Are you working with an advertiser?
– Do you intend on recording your Zoom meeting?
– Where is the recording going to be posted?
Choosing the Date and Time
Picking the right time for your event is super important. It doesn’t matter how big or how small you are, because if you don’t choose a time that is convenient then you risk your virtual event being a flop. Take time zones into account here too, if you plan on reaching a worldwide audience. Checking your analytics is also a good idea as it helps you to know when your community is normally online.
Promote your Event
Determine the major selling points that you believe your event has to offer. It could be a good idea for you to share a skill or even an opportunity for people to network. Whatever you choose, you have to make sure that your value proposition is very clear for your marketing campaign. If you plan on running any ads, then make sure that you choose the right format. Registrations spike two or three weeks before the event so it’s a very good idea for you to start ramping up around this time. Take advantage of the tools that are available to you as well. Remember, just because you are using Zoom doesn’t mean that you can’t capitalise on social media. Create an event countdown in your Instagram stories or even create a Facebook event that has all of the information your guests will need.
If you’re having a speaker then remember, they’ll probably double-up as influencers. Give them the details they need to become an ambassador for your event during your promotion.
Prepare for Problems
Before you kick things off, make sure that you test out your internet connection and that you also ask your speakers to do the same. It’s also important that you make the effort to prepare a backup of any visuals or presentations. This will help you to bring things back if anything happens to go AWOL. The sooner you can identify potential problems, the sooner you will be able to find solutions to everything. Not all of your participants will be savvy with tech either, so do your best to anticipate any issues that they may have. If you are able to provide support, then this is even better.
How to Encourage Engagement
So let’s start from the beginning. You may need to wait a few minutes while you wait for everyone to join the group. You need to try and avoid any awkward moments here, so it helps to open up the chat function. Ask something off-topic to break the ice, so ask everyone what show they are watching on Netflix or ask if they’re doing good.
When you carry out your event, you’ll notice that there are two options that will help you to encourage participation. You have the:
· Chat function
· Raise hand function
Participants can send in their questions or they can comment on what you are saying in the chat. You can then decide to react to them right away or to interact with them after the event. The raise hand function is super handy because it gives a participant the chance to speak without interrupting. You as the host, will see an icon next to their name, so you can choose to give them the time to speak. You can also ask a question and look out for the raised hands to see who has the answer.
One great way for you to get a lot of engagement would be for you to use breakout rooms. The great thing about breakout rooms is that you can assign sessions so they can only interact with members of their group. After a discussion, the groups can then share what they have discussed with everyone else.
If you’re worried about your event being a flop, then remember that Jonny Ross is an event specialist here at Fleek Marketing. He’s a speaker, host, emcee, master of ceremonies, zoom event producer and panel chair, so he can easily help you with your event without any problems at all.
Tools You Can use on Zoom
Some of the tools you can use on Zoom include:
· Shared screens
· Attention Score
The great thing about the annotation feature is that it gives you the chance to insert text, doodle or shine a spotlight on the scared screen. It’s useful if you want to comment on a slide or if you want to touch on a particular concept. Another similar feature is the whiteboard. The difference is that annotation lets you draw on a screen that is shared.
Lastly, you have the attention feature. After the session, you will get an attention score. If people browse the internet during your meeting, then the attention score will lower. This will give you a good foundation to know how to make your events more engaging in the future.
Examples of Successful Virtual Events- That Can be Recreated through Zoom
If you want to make sure that your event is a true success, then it may help you to draw some inspiration from others. Take a look below to find out the practices that other people have adopted to make their event more interesting.
Bill Gates hosted an Ask Me Anything event. The event was actually hosted on Reddit but events like this are more than possible for you to host on Zoom. Things like this are ideal if you work in the industry of marketing, or if you are an influencer.
Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy More used Facebook Live to take their fans on a tour of their set.
Oliver Gee who is the host of Earful Tower is known for hosting Parisian-themed events. He hosts them on his YouTube channel and he also gives out a number of prizes for his winners. All of this can be done over Zoom.
It’s also possible for you to host live baking sessions on Zoom. The Executive Pastry Chef over at Linkedin has done it through the social media platform, but it’s more than possible for you to conduct this over other platforms too.
The VanGogh Museum which is in Amsterdam also gives viewers the chance to take a tour of the gallery without leaving the couch. This is quite often done through Zoom.
If you feel like there’s just no way you can pull this off personally or if you want a charismatic host to help guide you through your virtual event then Jonny Ross at Fleek Marketing offers online event hosting. He’s a speaker, panel chair and host, so you can easily count on him to simplify the entire process.
The Rise of the Zoom mitzvah
Did you know that Zoom isn’t just for businesses and corporate companies? It’s actually more than suited to personal use too even zoom mitzvahs! If you want to host an event but you can’t because you can’t get everyone together, or if you just don’t want to worry about the logistics of everything, then it’s more than possible for you to host it on Zoom. Here are some actionable tips that will help you to reap all the benefits that this amazing platform has to offer.
Do a Run Through Early-on
If you want to keep your Mitzvah running as smooth as possible then it’s helpful for you to gather your family, so that you can do a pre-run. This is ideal if you want to avoid some technical difficulties. It also helps you to make sure that your older relatives are not going to have the camera too close to their face or that they are not going to be speaking too closely into the microphone.
Welcome your Guests as Soon as they Join
Another thing that you need to do is ensure that you actively welcome your guests as soon as they join the chat. Act the same as you would if they had just entered your home.
All in all, if you’re worried about hosting your very first Zoom event then you have nothing to be concerned about. Everyone goes through these feelings, but it’s possible for you to get out of the situation entirely by simply hiring a Zoom host to tackle the awkward silences and general progression of the event for you.
If you run a business, hiring a Zoom host can give you the chance to focus more on your event and the people who you are trying to market to. On top of this, it can also help you to gain the confidence you need to navigate through the process with the help of a professional. If you want to find out more, then contact Jonny Ross at Fleek Marketing. He can host your event and help you to learn the ropes so you can ensure that it’s a success from the get-go.