Today’s video games look stunning. The use of CGI and other augmented reality technologies make the images and animation look almost real. Now stop and compare today’s video games to old arcade games, the kind you plugged quarters into or played at home on the original Nintendo system. While I’ll always have a soft spot for Pac-Man, those old games can’t hold a candle to what modern ones can do.
My colleague Ruskin Johnson recently wrote about how to go about organizing a great virtual event. A crucial part to this is designing the interface. I’ve been doing this for a while and have learned that there is a big difference between a memorable virtual event and a mediocre one is how it looks.
If you do it right, your company will make a name for itself as a go-to creator of virtual conferences and field days. Do it wrong, and you may find your future webinars and meetings struggling to get attendees.
Make it Immersive: Whether your virtual event is a field day and your setting is on the edge of a wheat field, or a traditional suit-and-tie conference, don’t forget to add the small elements and details that they’d recognize from the “real” events they’re used to attending in person.
Be Consistent: Replicate the look and feeling of your previous events so your attendees aren’t taken aback by a fun kitschy vibe when you are normally formal and buttoned up.
Use it to Your Advantage: Don’t think of it as a disadvantage that you can’t see people in-person this year. Use all the tools at your disposal to strengthen your connection with your audience. Offer an easy to access location for attendees to download support materials that they might pass up otherwise, chat with representatives, attend a polished live presentation, or view a promotional video that brings the field, keynote speaker or opening ceremony to them.
Take the Time: Going to the trouble of fine-tuning these pieces will pay off and your audience will be impressed. Anyone can easily set up a webinar and walk through a PowerPoint presentation, and if that’s all your offer, that is exactly how it will feel to your audience — kind of phoned-in. You want them to come away thinking, “Wow! That really looked great, how’d you do that? I didn’t think you did that sort of thing?” Wherever you can, add animation, music, bring up the speakers’ titles on the screen, and capture some great footage to add that extra layer some people might be forgetting.
If you don’t currently have anyone in-house who can accomplish these things then it’s well worth the investment to hire someone who does.