How to Make a Smooth Transition to Virtual Events
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on life science events. As many live events are canceled or postponed, companies are looking to learn more about virtual events. We’re already hearing from customers that they expect to host a greater share of virtual events in the long-term.
An impactful virtual event is not simply a matter of moving your live event to a virtual format. It requires strategic thinking and focused execution to be successful. Based on our experience managing thousands of virtual life sciences events each year, here are some of our best practices to help you get started:
- Set goals
Understand your target audience, who you want to attend, and determine your key takeaway message.
- Engage compliance early
Get alignment with your compliance department at the beginning to define your event parameters. You can work more collaboratively if compliance understands the purpose of the event.
- Update your policies
Many companies have an established policy for live events but it is often not well defined for digital channels. Create an overall policy and be sure that all of your teams understand it.
- Plan meticulously
Pre-event planning starts with a standardized checklist that lets you make adjustments tailored to your virtual event. Include an event brief, define your budget, and identify “must attend” targets.
- Use an ace project manager
Execution is everything in the world of events. Work with a project manager who has experience managing virtual events. Ensure he or she understands your brand and business priorities.
- Conduct presenter training
Help your speakers become comfortable speaking in a virtual format. Conduct dry runs to understand their presentation style and coach them to articulate clearly. You’ll also want to make sure that they have access to a high-quality microphone and a quiet environment. Consider connecting your speaker with a professional speaker coach right at the beginning.
- Choose the right tool
Technology can help progress your audience through the customer journey. It should be integrated with your CRM to enable easy hosting of field-managed events, be fully compliant, and standardized to simplify your virtual engagement.
- Engage the audience
Pre- and post-event engagement maximizes the value of your investment. Use integrated email capability to compliantly connect with your audience, send reminders, and follow-ups. Built-in surveys can also help you collect important information, such as soliciting questions in advance or gathering feedback after the event.
- Make relevant content available
Content should be aligned to the channel in which it is delivered. Simply reusing old content formatted for face-to-face events can negatively impact the customer experience. As a best practice, use a compliant email delivery tool to send approved content.
- Measure your impact
After your event, measure your impact by connecting back to the goals you established upfront. What percentage of your target audience attended? What was their feedback? Did they receive the right education and what was the impact on treatment behavior? To better understand your ROI, compare the difference in outcomes of live vs. virtual events.
A speaker bureau services partner with many years of experience managing life sciences virtual events can go a long way in helping you to deliver a positive speaker and attendee experience.
For more ideas or advice about running a successful virtual event, register to attend the Veeva Online Summit, held virtually in June.