Over the past months, we have been able to pick the brains of industry professionals on a variety of topics and were able to glean their valuable insights on event hosting best practices.
Topics that were discussed include:
- The importance of cyber security in online events
- How to increase audience engagement to drive event longevity
- Using technology to create immersive experiences
- The relationship between marketing and events
We distil the key messages from each of the expert discussions to provide you with crucial insights to help you plan better virtual, hybrid or in-person events.
Digital Events and Cyber Security
Andrew Henwood, Director of Cyber Security Services at Blck Rhino shared his expertise on how to ensure the online security of virtual events. Henwood stressed the importance of complying with legislation, such as the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) and said a set of standard compliance practices was required for events.
He provided the following cyber security tips:
- Control who can log into your event to ensure that only those who have registered have access to the virtual space.
- Prior to the start of the event provide attendees with a list on how to safeguard themselves and others online.
- All event participants – event hosts and attendees – must ensure their network is secure and that all hardware has the latest anti-virus and internet safety software installed.
- Event planners must monitor attendees for any disruptive, suspicious or spam behaviour and remove anyone who infringes on the privacy or rights of other attendees.
- Event managers should have a contingency plan and be ready to deal with the worst-case scenario should a cyber security attack take place during their online event.
Read the full article: The Cyber Security Eco system and Online Events
How to Increase Event Engagement by Increasing the Length of Your Event
Herkie du Preez, event professional from Event Wizards, explained how a non-traditional approach to online events can create event longevity. He detailed how this approach provides more opportunities to engage with attendees. His advice is that you should have a detailed communication and engagement plan to execute at different stages in the event’s life cycle.
Plans should be created for each phase which should include:
- Pre-event engagement plan
- During event engagement plan
- Post-event engagement plan
To maximise the longevity of your event you need to create as many opportunities as possible for people to engage during the lifecycle of your event. By identifying opportunities before, during and after the event, you increase the number of times attendees can interact with your brand. This empowers people to engage with your brand in their own time and opens more channels of communication between you and your guests.
Read more on what Herkie had to say here: How to Increase Engagement Through Event Longevity
Creating Immersive Experiences with Technology
Steve Pinto, CEO of CRTL Robotics expanded on the interesting topic of how augmented- (AR), virtual- (VR) and mixed realities will impact the future of events. These realities will be used to create immersive experiences for audiences and are likely to become a staple in the way we interact with brands, products and each other going forward.
He said immersive experiences can transform an ordinary interaction into an unforgettable experience for online audience members. AR and VR provides brands with the opportunity to really connect with their audience and to own their communities.
We have seen the successful adoption of these technologies in the online gaming world and brands can recreate these experiences for their audiences by using the available technologies in a way that is innovative, evokes emotion and inspires their attendees, he added.
Event planners need to keep ahead of technological trends and advances and think of innovative ways to incorporate technologies into events to give themselves an edge over their competitors and to increase the ROI of their events.
Find out more about the types of realities and how to utilise them at your next event by reading the full article: Creating Immersive Experiences at Events
The Relationship Between Events and Marketing
In July we had the chance to delve into the topic of marketing return on investment (ROI) and the role of events in the marketing process with Tracy Hirst, Chief Marketing Officer of Financial Services Company PSG Konsult.
She explained that putting events at the center of an organisation’s marketing campaign had worked well for the financial services group. Hirst said that events had become an essential marketing tool and it provided the opportunity to connect with audiences like few other platforms.
“The online events landscape provides so much more data which is almost instantly available and often comes directly from your audience. This makes the information far more reliable, and the qualitative data is simpler to analyse,” Hirst explained.
In marketing, the topic of return on investment (ROI) is always top of mind and event data provided by event platforms provide a better way to measure marketing ROI.
The debate on marketing ROI is ongoing but you can read more about how events can help bridge the gap in the full article, The Relationship between Events and Marketing.
Insights from Flock’s CEO
“Event engagement, security and marketing are all elements that play an essential role in the success or failure of an event. The complexity of the expanding event industry requires more energy and expertise to ensure success. With so many moving parts it makes sense that event managers are turning to eventing management solutions to better keep track of all these elements,” says Mike Lysko, CEO and founder of Flock.
“This is why we take what we do at Flock so seriously. We care about our clients and help them navigate the ever-changing world of online, hybrid and physical events to ensure they get the desired results every time,” concludes Lysko.
Flock Eventing Platform puts you, the event planner, in the driver’s seat and saves you time so that you can spend your efforts on the most important aspects of your upcoming event.