Heather Sumperl Apr 14, 2020 10:30:00 AM

5 Must-Haves for Creating a Successful Virtual Event


So your in-person events have been cancelled, now what?

A virtual event can be the next best way to deliver content and engage with prospective and current students in light of COVID-19 cancellations and campus closures. Even better, virtual delivery is typically more cost effective, requires less pre-planning and has zero capacity constraints. 

Whether you are a rookie host or a virtual visionary, this post highlights the 5 must-haves for your next virtual event. 

1. Find your WHY

When it comes to planning your next virtual event, it is important to identify your desired outcomes BEFORE you navigate how you will get there. Let your goals be your guide. Are you looking to increase yield, connect your classrooms, or simply showcase your campus? Once you identify your strategy you can start piecing together your cyber solution. 

2. Promote Early and Often

Promotion is not a one-and-done. Create consistent messaging and leverage the tools you have on hand to promote your event often, over several weeks, and spanning multiple channels. As you structure your marketing plan, remember the bulk of your registrants will typically come through in the days leading up to your event. Also, don’t forget to send a reminder on the day of your event.

3. The Right Information at the Right Time

The old adage that timing is everything certainly rang true with our friends at the University of New Haven. Looking for a way to engage with prospective students amidst COVID-19 event cancellations, they turned to us for help launching a virtual event platform to conduct their Accepted Students Day. The consensus from prospective students was the StudentBridge virtual event platform was the "best virtual event" compared to all others in which they had participated.

With the right platform, opportunities are endless. Fill your virtual event hub with killer content that delivers relevant, specialized material based on specific interests and your outcomes. Decide on your messaging and get creative in the presentation. 

4. Encourage Engagement

Engage an audience that reflects your prospect base with emotional content and personalized experiences. Keep things interesting by mixing presentation styles such as panel discussions, live streaming Q&A, live chat or online, hands-on sessions. And finally, convert your audience by delivering a clear, singular call to action. 

5. Measure Results

Hosting a virtual event is an easy way to gauge the level of interest in your lead pool. It is important to use metrics to collect relevant data and measure overall performance. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will help you analyze and optimize your processes and objectives for future events.

Lastly, after any virtual event, it is important to email relevant content to all participants in a timely manner. Don’t leave your students out in the cold and nurture connections with your attendees. If using a marketing platform, automate your follow-up emails with sequence.

Looking to implement a virtual event solution for cancelled events, orientation, or graduation? Contact us today for an expedited meeting!

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Topics: Admissions, Virtual Campus Tour, Higher Ed Marketing, Student Recruitment, Campus Tour, Higher Education

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