A virtual event or a hybrid event, is undoubtedly an inevitable trend for our new normal; not only because of its online advantages but also thanks to its accessibility, interaction with audience, cost effectiveness, and customers connections via online social platforms.
With the remarkable benefits that virtual and hybrid events bring, customer experience (CX) at such events is an utmost priority for organisers. We have analysed and composed some tips for event organisers to maximise the customer experience while attending an online or hybrid event.
Tip 1: Define the participants’ personas
The success of a virtual or hybrid event is determined based on the number of attendees and the value that the event brings to them. No matter how big the scale of an event is, it will all be for nothing if the target audience is set out wrong. One of the first and foremost objectives of any event is to understand who the participants are and what they expect, so as to bring them the exact experience that they wish to have. Via the pre-event assessment tools such as survey upon registering, organisers can determine the personas of those participating, i.e. if they are the right targeted audience, if they are truly interested and motivated to attend the event, etc.
Identifying an attendee persona for the event with detailed specifications such as demographic, hobbies, interests, even their concerns and fears will help increase the experiential values that an event can deliver.
For example, let’s look at a launching event of a CRM software product. The targeted audience should include business owners seeking solutions to sort out the customers’ database, those looking for assistance to increase sales, or those with inefficient softwares looking for upgrades.
Tip 2: Understand what event participants expect
Understanding the needs of attendees makes it easier for event organisers to further explore and enhance the experience they offer with the event, from registration to during and post event. The content of the event is one of the most crucial factors that attendees take interests in, especially for virtual events. As a result, technology can be utilised in programming, ticketing, informing of the event for the guests convenience.
Tip 3: Enhance customer experience and encourage their participation
As we have been stressing, customer experience is the utmost factor to the success of a virtual or hybrid event. Nowadays users are no longer strange to technology, this leads to the fact that customers demand their needs to be served promptly. Good customer experience starts from easy access information about the event, smooth registration, pre-event support, to the services during and post event. Trying to think from customers’ perspectives will help to develop appropriate content.
7 factors for customer experience
Source: Peter Morville, President of Semantic Studios
These following rules will help you to concentrate on customer experience and to enhance participation from attendees to virtual events:
Simplicity: According to Paypal, a company operating in the field of e-commerce, specialising in providing payment and money transfer services via the Internet, has applied the “Letting Simplicity Rule” to their website and application. Their mobile application, Paypal said that simple, easy, time-saving experiences are something that every customer in every field wants to experience on a digital platform.
Personalisation: Attendees will have different interests, and have various approaches to different topics during the event, and personalisation is the optimal way for attendees to make the right choices. Personalising the event will attract attendees, contributing to the success of the event. For example, attendees can customise their own personal schedule at major conferences: they can join the panel discussions or seminars relevant to their interests.
In the end, do not forget to include customised and personalised content to attendees to wrap up a well-rounded experience for customers.
Tip 4: Map out the customer experience journey for event attendees
Customer Journey Map is meant to illustrate the experience journey of attendees in the event in a chronological order; or the journey to connect customers with organisers. Creating a journey map will help organisers understand the touch points and interactions of attendees. At the same time, this ensures consistency and seamless experience during the event. The process of learning and designing customer journey maps will help event organisers better understand the needs of attendees at each event: What makes the audience happy, what makes the audience more engaged and emotionally attached, and when the audience leaves the event before it finishes. By tracking customer journeys, we can focus our efforts on improving the quality of service or content at these touch points.
Below is a customer experience journey guide that you can refer to while planning a virtual event.