Virtual Meetings + Events: Adding a Human Touch in a Digital World

Digital meetings are transforming corporate events & meeting landscape globally. How to engage with online audience & increase virtual event participation.

In today’s changing landscape, the need to continue business and hold virtual meetings is paramount. Digital meetings are transforming the corporate events and meeting landscape globally. Read more from Imprint VP of Account Management, Adriane Hodder, based on our recent remote event, “Chef’s Feature.”

Related Resource: Take Meetings Digital – Best Practices for Conducting a Virtual Meeting

Meeting professionals around the globe are having to pivot quickly to educate themselves on how to shift from in-face meetings to virtual conferencing.

Logically, meeting planner’s first focus will be determining the best virtual platform to use based on their audience, followed by creating an agenda and all the tedious yet important business strategy will need to be thought through to build a strong remote meeting foundation.     

While this is, of course, is imperative, I think all of us are realizing even more so after our isolation continues, is how crucial it is to take the time to identify a way to incorporate thoughtful HUMAN touches into the meeting as well.

I heard a great saying earlier that rings so true, “It’s not SOCIAL distancing it is PHYSICAL distancing” we are experiencing. People are craving human interaction now more than ever, and this gives planners the opportunity to put extra time and thought into incorporating moments of delight into all aspects of producing a virtual meeting.

How do you Facilitate an Online Meeting?

There are many ways to accomplish this – but just like any live event, you need to ensure what you’re incorporating makes sense for your audience, and in turn, provides a measurable ROI to the event. 

Meeting professionals around the globe are having to pivot quickly to educate themselves on how to shift their in-face conferences to host online meetings.

The first focus of planning your next virtual meeting should be to determine the best virtual platform to use based on their audience. Then you can create an meeting agenda and lay out all the tedious, yet important logistics that will need to be thought out to build a strong meeting foundation.     

Here are the important, yet sometimes forgotten components to consider when you begin considering a virtual meeting environment:

Consider Your Digital Event Demographic:

Start by considering and defining the demographic and psychographic of those that will be participating and attending online.

By asking this question, you are able to quickly narrow down the most suitable options that make the most sense for your event. While it may be cutting edge to offer a virtual reality teambuilding experience, it will quickly fall flat if your guests don’t understand or aren’t comfortable with the technology behind it.

Considering the comfort level of the audience you’re aiming to serve, will determine what style of digital event will be a success, and avoid falling flat.

What Content Will Drive Engagement with an Online Audience:

Our attention span is even shorter today, where we are limited to our home environments and interacting with others through a screen.

Driving online engagement is curated by providing multiple personalities in your virtual event. This includes professional level hosts, emcees, and experts in the field of the topic will keep your guests engaged.

Adding in fun competitions, polls, and live music elements to interactive sessions will also drive that extra layer of excitement and engagement, regardless of the activity you decide upon.

Virtual Meetings Need to Remain Thoughtful and Authentic, Or Digital Audiences Will Not Engage:

The key to making this experience thoughtful and authentic is to dig in even deeper when you are choosing the host that will be leading your activity. Ensure they are comfortable with a digital setting and that they themselves are thoughtful, authentic and personable.

If your budget allows, add an extra step by sending a personal box of items that will be used for the activity itself.

For example, if you wanted to host a cooking lesson, why not send all of the ingredients required for the demonstration to one of the attendees with a personal note on their doorstep?

This adds the human touch and interaction that also drives excitement leading up to the activity they’ll be participating in.

Digital meetings are transforming corporate events & meeting landscape globally. How to engage with online audience & increase virtual event participation.

A Successful Virtual Meeting or Digital Event Requires 3 Components:

By considering each of the points above, Imprint Group was able to curate an engaging and exciting live cooking demo for 100 attendees who participated online.

Our hosts, Lauren and Cory Harwell, are members of the Imprint family, and both professionals in our industry. With Lauren’s unique and inviting personality, paired with Chef Cory Harwell’s talent in the kitchen and years of experience to teach our audience, we created a virtual cooking activity, where Lauren and Cory as a pair made for wonderful and engaging hosts for the topic.

We also had our team across multiple destinations put together “Boxes of Yum” with all of the ingredients to be used in our cooking demonstration. After adding their own personalized touches, these boxes with ingredients were delivered to multiple attendees who were planning on joining the live event. This extra step, drove audience excitement and their participation because everything they needed was ready. That, paired with a personalized cooking playlist Chef Cory Harwell loves to play in his kitchen, allowed for the guests to have personalized, human interactions and experiences, all within a virtual setting.

Need assistance facilitating your next virtual meeting or brainstorming a digital event to engage an audience? Contact Imprint Group to be your digital partner.

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