The travel trade show ITB Asia has never been cancelled in the 12 years since its inception – until now. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Messe Berlin (Singapore) is shifting the Asia-Pacific B2B event online. To make sure your company can run events according to plan, we must adopt digitalisation. Here is how.
1. Set up functions for networking
One aspect of in-person conferences that attendees value is the opportunity to network. It is important that this does not get lost in the digital world.
One way to foster online networking is by having breakout sessions and getting group members to know each other. By facilitating such discussions, we can ensure that our attendees still get to make connections with industry professionals whilst being online. Live-chat lobbies and individual chat options for attendees to talk to suppliers or booths can also be enacted for networking purposes.
2. Implementing human touch
Events seem impersonal when we attend them from the comfort of our own homes. When we only get to see people on our screens, it is easy to feel disconnected – simple things like the way we dress affect the mood of the event, and we don’t get the same feeling when attending in pyjamas!
That is where virtual event functions come in. At Convergence Concepts, we can implement functions such as gamification, virtual exhibition stands, virtual photo booths, mobile augmented reality experiences and networking sessions to engage your audience. By giving them an opportunity to interact with other attendees, the intimacy of your event will not be lost.
3. Pre-record videos and presentations
Internet stability should never be taken for granted, especially during events with hundreds of people. Pre-recording speeches and presentations would be a great way to make sure that in the event something goes wrong, you have a backup recording that is ready to go.
Pre-recording can also be done for speakers who cannot make it to the event due to the time difference or other commitments. This way, they will still be able to share their expertise with the audience.
4. Implementing branding while online
Branding is important – it sets the mood for the event and shows how much preparation your team has done to make sure the event is as polished as possible. For online events, it is vital to have is a standardised virtual background for your participants, speakers and panelists. This is also a great photo opportunity at the start or end of the event for publicity.
Other things you could do would be having an event logo, standardised Powerpoint presentation templates for all speakers and playing background music before and after the event.
5. Have designated event moderators
Online moderators can come in handy – they can solve technical issues and control what goes on in the chat rooms by vetting through inappropriate questions and chats. They can also help your speakers and panelists with the controls should they require assistance. With someone taking care of the details, you can rest assured knowing that the event will be able to run smoothly.
Everything is hard when you do it for the first time, especially with the steep learning curve of transitioning to online events. By working with an agency that specialises in virtual events, you could sit back while they handle the details for you. It is critical to adapt to the new normal, and who knows – this might even become industry-standard after the pandemic blows over, making online events the preferred solution!