4 Common Virtual Event Mistakes to Avoid

4 Common Virtual Event Mistakes to Avoid

We’re going to lay out the most common virtual event mistakes. Even though virtual events are set to become the new normal, not many planners have experience with this paradigm. And that will, invariably, lead to a few mishaps. There are still plenty of misconceptions flying around in regards to virtual events. Because planners and companies aren’t sure which way is North right now, it's easy to disregard the things that could make or break the virtual experience for everyone involved.

But that’s exactly why we decided to put this list together! We want to help planners and businesses everywhere plan and strategize the best virtual events. This will help define how you can be mindful of these virtual event mistakes and avoid making them from the get-go. So join us in this quest to learn more about what not to do!

#1 Overcomplicating

Failing to take into consideration the technical aptitude of your audience is up there with the most common virtual event mistakes. Just because we live in the 21st century and technology is pretty much ubiquitous, that doesn’t mean every attendee is tech-savvy. Owning a phone and a computer doesn’t equate being a master at all things technology-related!

So depending on your audience, don’t overcomplicate. And the best way to go about this is by making sure that you know your attendees. Who are your personas? How well do they deal with technology? Will they be comfortable with all of the crazy, over the top things you want to include in your virtual event? Or are they not so well versed in the ways of technology? Ask yourself all of these questions before deciding to put together an overcomplicated event that will drive attendees away.

#2 Neglecting Attendees Post-Event

Attendee engagement doesn’t end once the event is over! Curiously enough, one of the most common virtual event mistakes lies in the fact that planners and businesses seem to forget about their audience once they logout. But if you want to know the extent of the success of your event, and wish for people to come back for more once you put together another one, engagement efforts have to be extended to after the finish line.

Get content from your particpants! Share pictures, training journeys and achievements across your feesd and emails, give out awards if you did a Strava Challenge or do a digital shout out. Administer surveys and ask them for their opinions. What did they enjoy most? Ask questions that will give you important and actionable feedback. Upload the leaderboard promptly and share it with everyone. There are a lot of things you can do in the name of engagements even after the event is finished!

#3 Choosing The Wrong Presenters

**This applies to participants using treadmills or turbo trainers who are looking for a virtual race experience **

Let’s assume you took the right steps and managed to avoid mistake #1 and are putting things in palce to avoid #2, and you not only put together a great themed virtual race, but you also went out of your way to plan a live session on facebook or instagram during race day. Well, don't elt that effort go to waste by failing to choose the right presenters. As a matter of fact, speakers are such an important part of virtual events, we strongly recommend you choose people with previous remote experience. And although it isn't as important for a virtual race as it would be for a conference, it is still something to bear in mind! 

Here’s why its important: if you want participants to enjoy the experience if they're tuned in, you have to keep the ball rolling. A good presenter will be a digital native that can juggle the chatrooms, the Q&A sessions, and the camera. Plus, you want a charismatic and magnetic figure that makes it nearly impossible for people to get bored! 

#4 Wrong Sponsors

Sponsorships will stay alive and well in virtual events. Just because the industry is going remote, that doesn’t mean the end of one of the most trustworthy sources of revenue. On the contrary; the digital world offers endless new possibilities for planners to promote their sponsors and for sponsors to get potential leads from the virtual experience.

But one of the biggest virtual event mistakes lies in the choice of sponsors or not getting any at all. If you're posting T-shirts and medals, you can involve sponsors here  by having their logo on merch. If you're doing leaderboards, you can paste their logos here, if you're doing facebook live or instagram lives you can talk about them and their businesses. 

But be weary if you choose sponsors that have nothing to do with the industry or theme/charity that surrounds the event, as virtual event sales might not pick up if you’re sponsor promoting creates distractions instead ticket sales.