Tips for online events
The important questions to ask when taking content online
Since our post last year on the need for a strategic approach to online events we’ve been asked by a few organisations to provide some more guidance. So I thought I would cover the most important questions to ask when an event planner is considering the decision to deliver events online. Here’s our top six tips for online events:
1. Is the desire to record and distribute on-line content objective led?
It is easy and in a lot of cases understandable to jump on the online content bandwagon. Unfortunately too many organisations skip this crucial first step. It’s not just the “When to take an event online” it is the how and the why and they all have to match an objective.
2. Are your objectives specific and strategic to align with your organisation’s overall objectives
I am mainly thinking about Associations with this one as it is the most common questions I have to address. So for example I would break this down and ask the organisation: “will the delivery of content online impact and affect member retention or member recruitment?” For other organisations the question could be framed around their profit or market share objectives.
3. Have you fully assessed and identified the training and educational needs of your members (and potential customers)? And have you thought about this before you have decided on the platform or pricing?
This is a long question and needs a long answer. I can best sum it up by saying planners must identified the barriers that could possible derail the successful implementation of your online events and then tackle them. You need to understand the actual impact of the new approach before you get too far down the line.
4. Have you decided which growth strategy to adopt?
So I would ask: “Will you be giving all your content away in exchange for data?” “Will you be charing a fee for some or all of your content?” “Or will you be adopting a freemium model? ” This may not be the first question to ask but it has to be answered before you move too far.
5. Have you chosen the right supplier/s?
Should your organisation decide to offer online content one of the most important decision you will take will be the organisations you choose to partner with. The world of online event delivery moves exceptionally fast and your organisation will need to ensure that there is flexibility within any platform or contract with your chosen supplier. The choice is not a simple one. Providers vary dramatically in what they offer and the service they provide. Organisations must ensure that the agreement they enter into with any supplier is flexible.
6. Have you considered the resource implications for your organisation?
Digitising and delivering online content will have a resource implication for your organisation and it is likely that your events team might need a bit of training to fully understand the opportunities online and of course how best to achieve them for your organisation. Organisations can’t expect planners to seamlessly move from the physical world to the online world. They need to support their organisers.
Tips for online events
If you are considering taking your content online simply posing these six questions will give you some initial guidance.