Good event content has always been valuable for attendees but it seems even more so with virtual events. A new poll by Eventsforce shows 70 per cent of organizers are spending extra time and money producing high-quality sessions and presentations in order to engage more effectively with people online. And this makes sense. The serendipity of networking at in-person events can’t be replicated in a virtual environment, so attendees will naturally focus on the learning aspect. But the benefits don’t stop there. Virtual event content can bring enormous opportunities for organizers to drive post-event engagement, expand audience reach and build much stronger relationships with attendees, exhibitors and sponsors.
The Value of On-Demand Content
Capturing content and making it available after an event is useful for attendees, non-attendees and your bottom line.
Attendees often cannot go to all sessions and must choose just a select few. Even when registered, they sometimes miss a session, for instance, when it’s the only time to connect with a client. Then there are those who can’t make the event altogether or didn’t know about it in the first place. In each of these instances, on-demand content makes a huge difference as it can be viewed anywhere, anytime.
Further, you can charge for access to on-demand content, though you may want to consider pricing it differently for people who registered for the event than those who did not.
Attendee Feedback Leads the Way
Deciding what to do with event content can lead you in several directions. What’s most important is to deliver what your audience wants. This will be mainly based on collected analytics data and attendee surveys, which will guide how to further develop the content. Delegates might want to know more about a topic briefly addressed by a speaker or perhaps the talk triggered an interest in a niche area that was only a small part of the overall presentation.
Repurpose and Reproduce
There are many different ways to use event content. Perhaps the simplest is to repurpose a thought-provoking presentation as a series of blog posts, guest speaker vlog, podcast or case study. More contentious issues could be published as white papers.
If there’s enough content on a certain subject, you could create an e-book. In doing so, you might want to ask people for quotes and comments. This outreach activity will help keep you and the event top of mind with contributors. You can also create invaluable checklists/top tips for readers. This type of content is always well-received, especially the ‘how-tos.’
Going the visual route is indelibly a good move as it’s easily consumable. While infographics are a great way to share statistics and poll results, video performs best. Create a short video of event highlights, a set of entertaining educational videos or pull from recorded sessions and interviews with speakers and sponsors to produce a more comprehensive one. For greater inclusivity and to reach a larger audience, consider adding subtitles and captions or even translating videos.
A great way to boost post-event engagement with content is to utilize it on social media. For example, start a discussion around a topical issue on Twitter through a live Q&A. Just make sure you have a relevant hashtag that everyone can use and, in doing so, will capture all comments. Schedule an hour for the chat, invite a host and answer questions as you go. Twitter chats are a terrific way to stay in touch with and reach new people.
In addition to being a great forum for discussion, social media is an ideal place to host spin-off events. You could give a monthly quiz (with prize) on all the on-demand content that’s been posted or run a contest.
Create a Resource Library
While you can never have too much content, how do you keep track of it?
Creating a resource centre on your website is a great way to organize and publish content. It also demonstrates you’re the go-to source for content, encouraging more people to attend your next event, and makes it easy for your audience to find and share.
Ian Webb is head of business development at Eventsforce. The company’s customizable web-based software provides a complete end-to-end management solution for virtual, hybrid and in-person events, from event planning, marketing and registration to on-site check-in, virtual content delivery, mobile apps, abstracts and awards management, reporting and data management.