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Personalizing the event experience has always been a big challenge for planners. In fact, research from Eventsforce shows 73% of organisers see personalization as a big deal for their events. And it’s not surprisingly really. Personalization helps engagement and improves both experience and satisfaction measures, which means better ROI.
But with virtual events, personalization takes even more importance – especially as screen fatigue kicks and organisers try to find more creative ways of engaging people online. And this is exactly where technology can help.
The challenge is, however, that with all sorts of tech available, it can be hard to understand how it can be used in a way where personalization can successfully add value to the attendee experience. To address this, we have taken four key areas where tech can make the impact you want.
1) Get Noticed
You need your event to stand out. That has always been the case – but when the only events on offer are virtual, you face even stronger competition. This is where tech that enables you to personalize invites and web landing pages should be top of your list of requirements.
Personalizing invitations can be simple and effective. By tailoring them as much as possible to the invitee, you can significantly increase their chances of attending. Virtual event platforms like Eventsforce VCD have integrated tools that can help you target people based on their behavioural personas and demographics.
For example, if you know that your attendee list is made up of corporates and academics, then you can create two separate versions of the same invitation with each one outlining the sessions that would be of interest to them. Both audiences have an interest in attending your event, but they have quite different goals and different ideas on why your event matters to them.
You should also aim to tailor your event web pages for different audiences. For example, a landing page with information on peer reviews, abstracts and referenced publications may be more interesting for your academics. Whereas your corporate audience will be much more interested in seeing commercial ideas that the event aims to address.
Using tech in such a way as outlined will help to get your event noticed.
2) Drive Attendance
When attendees decide they want to come to your event, make it simple for them to sign up. Registration is such a critical element of the user journey. Get this wrong and attendees will not come.
Again, many event management solutions can help you personalize the registration journey by creating different registration paths for each type of attendee. Before starting the registration process, segment your audiences, whether that be a delegate, sponsor, exhibitor, speaker, industry sector etc. You can then set up your registration pages so that each attendee is led through a set of registration questions that are specific to their selected category. For example, exhibitors may get asked about web-banner sizes, whereas journalists may be asked to upload accreditation documents.
Using the tech, make sure that your attendee can get to the place that they need to be, in the simplest way possible, without added distractions. Make sure event registration is as streamlined as possible.
On-Demand Webinar: Virtual Events – How to get the registration experience right!
3) Connect People
With many people unable to go out and meet, it’s imperative that your virtual event offers as much as connection as possible. Attendees want to connect with each other and share ideas, insights and experiences. Suppliers want and need to meet buyers.
The good news is that event technology helps you connect the right people and all you need to do is decide what you want to offer. Let’s take a couple of examples to illustrate this.
By integrating networking tools as part of your registration process or virtual event platform, attendees will be able to see who is attending that may be of interest to them and set up meetings with people they want to meet. These tools are quite good in that they don’t allow attendees to schedule meetings that clash with other meetings or sessions that they will be attending at the event.
You can use smart matchmaking tools to help exhibitors, sponsors and attendees make the right connections. For example, with Eventsforce VCD, virtual exhibitors can find attendees that have shown a specific interest in their offering. They can then set up meetings and deliver more targeted messages and campaigns. And if you are concerned about analytics, don’t be. There is much data that you can dig into and learn from.
4) Maximise Your Content
Attendees are often attracted to virtual events because of the content on offer. And because there is much competition as we mentioned earlier, it’s critical that you maximise the content you deliver.
Again, technology can help with this. Even before you decide which sessions to hold you could be mining the data to establish which subjects and hot topics people are really interested in. And in what format? Do they want short presentations, do they want lots of break-out sessions, do they want panel sessions? Find out what they want and you will be well on your way to a great event.
But, once you have established what the event content will be, don’t forget to promote it especially during your event.
Push notifications or in-platform broadcast messages are a great way of doing just that. By identifying your attendees’ interests and needs around speakers and sessions, your system can make it easier for you to personalize the notifications you send through your virtual event platform. For example, when an attendee registers for a session, the system can send them a reminder 30 minutes before starting.
Using tech to make it easy for attendees to personalize their schedules at events is also a good idea. The Eventsforce VCD platform, for example, gives automatic recommendations – it also has advanced filtering options that allow people to view and choose sessions that focus on their chosen themes and interests.
Conclusion – Pay Close Attention to Feedback
Personalizing the virtual event experience is an effective way of engaging attendees. Having done that with the multitude of tech tools at your disposal you should then listen to the feedback. What does it tell you that you can improve for the next edition of your event?
There is so much value in feedback. Review it from all sides. Does the tech add or detract from the user experience? Is there something obvious to you, that is not seen by attendees which could produce better ROI? How are the personalization journeys of the different stakeholders?
Pay close attention to feedback to improve. All attendees expect more from your virtual event production and using tech for personalization is one of the quickest ways of addressing this.
Looking for practical ideas on how to use personalization around your events? Get your copy of the ‘Event Planner’s Guide to Personalization’ for advice and tips!