Transitioning to Virtual - Your Questions Answered

Yesterday, we hosted our first virtual GuideTalk. Thank you to everyone who joined How to Transition to a Virtual Event. There was such a tremendous amount of interest in the topic; we were unable to get to all of the questions during the session. 

As we all adjust to a more virtual lifestyle, it’s important to explore your questions to ensure you’re maximizing your upcoming events. Let’s dive into your questions.

How can I use the Guidebook platform for virtual events? 

Guidebook empowers organizers to engage their audiences with custom mobile apps – whether at a conference or from their couches. While recent circumstances have prompted a sudden and significant push towards virtual experiences, Guidebook has supported virtual events for a number of years. 

Our users utilize Guidebook for virtual events much as they would for live events: as an event’s central information hub and engagement tool. Virtual event apps should house all of the resources and tools you want at your audience’s fingertips, including:

  • Virtual event schedules and session tracks
  • Interact, Guidebook’s social feed
  • Live surveys and polls 
  • Attendee networking tools
  • Presentation materials or supplementary reading
  • Sponsored content, and more

Virtual events allow you to safely connect with your audience and enable you to reach an even wider audience than with physical events. Further, virtual events help organizations save money on many events-related expenses (venue, catering, and decor just to name a few). We are here to help however we can! We look forward to partnering with you in facing new challenges together.

Which live streaming and/or digital conferencing platforms does Guidebook recommend? 

Guidebook works with popular webinar platforms like Zoom, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, and WebEx, to name just a few. Keep in mind – everyone’s priorities are different, so make sure you choose a platform that works best for you. For example, some webinar platforms require a paid subscription whereas others are free.

You can easily drop the webinar link from any of these services on the main menu of your guide or as part of any schedule session. Based on the platform you choose to incorporate into Guidebook, you should be able to host as many sessions as you need — even concurrent sessions. The Guidebook app will be able to contain as many links as you want to include. Just make sure the platform you choose is optimized for mobile! It always helps to do a practice run so you’re confident and familiar with the tools you use. 

What are the best ways to drive attendee engagement during virtual events? 

With folks signing on from home, we understand you may have to fight harder for your audience’s attention. The engagement strategies you rely on for a digital event will be similar to the strategies you employ in-person. As your attendees check in to your app, they will be able to network and chat with one another, create a custom My Schedule, and browse all of the presentations & resources you include in the app.

With our “Interact” social feed, you can nurture a vibrant community space for meaningful dialogue and important announcements. This is a great place for discussion prompts, trivia questions, and networking! 

Be sure to make the most of mobile-specific tools like push notifications, live polls, and surveys. There are so many ways to drive audience engagement with these tools and we’ve seen our clients do all sorts of creative things. Here are a few ideas that you can make your own:

  • Push notification to alert users of an impromptu prize draw. This can be done by sending an alert to all of your attendees and directing them to a section in your app where they’ll need to fill in a survey or answer a trivia question. 
  • Live poll during a scheduled session. Have your speaker ask a question to your audience and get results in real-time.
  • Use sponsored surveys to drive people to your exhibitors/sponsors.

Gamification also goes a long way in keeping audiences engaged. The QR Code Scavenger Hunt feature is a rewarding way for your audience to stay involved. By “hiding” QR codes in various session presentations or breaks, your audience can scan to win virtual recognition or even prizes. One of the best prizes we’ve seen was one of our clients give away is a weekend trip to Napa… how fun is that!  

What do virtual Sponsor/Exhibitor packages look like with the Guidebook platform? 

The digital packages you create to support your partners will look very similar whether you’re going virtual or holding an in-person event. You have access to:

  • Rotating banner ads
  • Sponsored posts on our social feed “Interact”
  • Sponsored sessions in the schedule
  • Eye-catching push notifications
  • Dedicated partner or sponsor pages. 

Further, your partners can be featured on the splash screen, or loading screen, of the app. Our platform is meant to work for you, so there are many ways to highlight partners and sponsors.

As your attendees will be engaging with your sponsors and/or exhibitors solely through the app (versus walking through an exhibition hall where they can potentially miss specific vendors), virtual sponsor/exhibitor packages on the Guidebook platform come with much more accurate metrics in terms of sponsor/exhibitor exposure. 

From how many times someone viewed a sponsorship or exhibitor listing to how many times someone clicked on a banner ad, these are all metrics that can be reported to your sponsors and exhibitors, making it much easier for them to gauge performance and determine how much return they’ve received from your event.  

Want to learn more about sponsorships? We encourage you to check out our ebook,  Increasing Sponsorship Revenue.

 

Again, thank you to everyone who joined and keep an eye out for upcoming GuideTalk events. 

To learn more about using Guidebook at your next event, schedule a demo or get in touch with your account manager. 

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