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Engagement

Bonfire 2022 - A glimpse of the vibrant life at Zuddl

5
Mins Read
Kishore C S

Zuddl recently held the second edition of its annual offsite, Bonfire 2022. Here's a firsthand account of the experience plus some cool pictures from the event!

Earlier this month, Zuddl concluded the second edition of its annual company offsite event, Bonfire, and this time around, the team was much bigger, and so were the festivities!

For a remote workforce like ours, the annual offsite is a rare chance for each of us to get to know the people we’ve otherwise only interacted with virtually.

A four-day event, Bonfire 2022 had all the ingredients of a power-packed event, starting from leadership and strategy sessions to cultural activities, sports and a whole lot of surprises! Now, for someone like me who has been at Zuddl for about six months now, meeting my remote team (and the extended Zuddl family) in person was a very unique experience. 

Initially, I didn’t know how it would be; there was this slight anxiety, or curiosity rather, as to whether our smooth virtual relationship with each other would translate seamlessly when we all shared the same physical space and picked up on each other’s non-verbal cues. To my surprise, we seemed to hit it off as if we’ve known each other for years.

Once the event concluded,I thought about how that happened. What have we been doing right to see this beautiful outcome? And, what has been the company’s role in helping us achieve this.

Here's why I feel Bonfire 2022 was proof of a company that has managed to establish a healthy culture in this remote reality!

A sense of belonging

The first sign that you organically fit into a community is the fact that you don’t have to make a visible effort to fit in. This seemed to be the general vibe at Bonfire; a genuine ‘coming together’ of people rather than a forced one.

A self-driven team

Whatever session or activity that was handled by a particular team was done with a very authentic flair; there wasn’t an instance where it felt someone was compelled to take up a chunk of responsibility. That speaks volumes of how Zuddl, as a company, has built an environment that doesn’t introduce a sense of distance between different working elements of the company, or the classic ‘hierarchy’ if you will. 

Palpable trust

Let’s admit it, we’ve all been to many professional events or gatherings because we were told to be present - almost like the company in question was ‘taking attendance’. In this aspect, Bonfire 2022 was a breath of fresh air because at no point did anyone ever compel any of us to be present for a session or event; they trusted that we would show up on our own. It’s this element of trust that automatically builds a sense of ownership in an employee. I’ve always felt that when there’s a sense of freedom in the environment, it actually induces employees to respect and uphold the liberty harbored.

A joyful environment

Just like every place has a mood, every community does too. The one thing that struck me overall was that there was a shared experience of happiness when awards were announced and a collective sense of celebration when party time set in. Now, I may be more introverted than the normal individual, but I think even the most extroverted butterfly would agree that there are some crowds you click with, and some you don’t. 

Thankfully for us, we just clicked - and that’s what made Bonfire 2022 a memorable one!

Product

How we solved the notification issue

6
Mins Read
Arvind Choudhary

As Zuddl evolved, the tech requirements also kept evolving. We had to move from a single notification delivery system to a multiple notification delivery system which was required at runtime. This post takes you through the problems we faced, the implementation patterns and our learnings.

At Zuddl, we send more than 10 different types of notifications to our users. For instance, when one attendee sends a 1:1 meeting invitation to another and when a meeting invite is accepted, when someone asks a question or an attendee answers one, for votes, etc. All of these notifications are sent instantly as the user takes action.

Single vs multiple notification delivery

At Zuddl, we send two types of service notifications:

  • Real-time notifications
  • Email notifications

Pusher lets you create web apps with real-time functionality such as sharing live results, messaging, and pushing content to end-users and back. We use one of Pusher’s messaging solutions; Channels, to communicate between our servers, apps, and devices which thereby helps us send real-time notifications to attendees in a single event. Pusher’s ‘Channels’ is also used for real-time charts, real-time user lists, real-time maps, multiplayer gaming, and also to notify many other types of UI updates. Whenever anything happens in our systems, it helps us keep our web pages, apps, and devices updated.

Every notification contains a payload. The notification payload is created at the backend which contains the title, description, and other required information.


Understanding pusher

Users also receive emails for every notification received on the app such as event reminders, thank you emails, and post-event emails amongst others. For email notifications, we use SendGrid, a cloud-based SMTP provider that allows you to send emails without having to maintain email servers. SendGrid manages all technical requirements, from scaling the infrastructure to ISP(Internet service provider) outreach, reputation monitoring to whitelist services, and real-time analytics.

Mail flow

The first notification system we developed was great but was not scalable. It also had other issues, for example, wrong notifications being sent or notification misfires, delays, and complicated logic on the UI side. In the case of single notification delivery types such as Pusher and email, the existing implementation worked. But when multiple notifications delivery types(Email, Pusher and Firebase Console Messaging) were required at runtime, we had to put on our thinking hats to handle such use cases.

How we used design pattern for notification delivery

To get the right service or delivery at run time we use a factory design pattern. But before I go about explaining the factory design pattern, it is essential to to understand how design patterns are used.

A software design pattern is a basic, repeatable solution to a commonly occurring problem within a given context in software design. It cannot be used off the shelf as a finished piece of code design but needs to be customized and transformed into a source code for a particular use case. It is supposed to be used as a template for how to solve a known problem factoring in several scenarios.

Factory method pattern is one type of design pattern also known as a creational pattern that uses factory methods to deal with the problem. In this way, we can create objects without having to specify the exact class of the object that will be created or the subclasses that are responsible for creating the instance of the class.

To resolve the multiple notifications delivery types that are required at runtime for any event, we created a factory class.

Design pattern 1

The above class is responsible to fetch a service type based on delivery type.

We have also created a NotifyAdapter class to check common validations like duplicate notification, input request validation, and many others.

Design pattern 2

Our other services(Email and Pusher) only call the NotifyAdapter class and internally we fetch service type based on DeliveryType using factory pattern.

Design pattern 3

Take away

Factory Method is a widely used, creational design pattern that can be used in many situations where multiple concrete implementations of an interface exist. The pattern removes complex logical code that is hard to maintain and replaces it with a design that is reusable and extensible.

Virtual Events
Hybrid Events

5 Ways Employers Can Stand Out in Virtual Career Fairs

6
Mins Read
Kishore C S

With the recent shift from in-person recruiting to virtual recruiting, employers are on the lookout for new strategies to make their brand stand out online and attract the best talent. Here are some quick tips on how they can achieve just that.

While a virtual career fair brings top talent to your doorstep and initiates the first candidate-employer interaction, there are thousands of other employers vying to do the same. 

So, how do you make yourself stand out? 

Here are 5 ways employers can stand out in virtual career fairs and attract the best candidates.  

 1. Create a virtual expo booth: 

 

Typically, there are two types of virtual career fair avenues: 

  • One is a simple webpage with a chat window where attendees can interact with recruiters at a chosen time. 
  • The other is a virtual platform where you can build an elaborate design that mimics an in-person career fair with exhibition halls, expo booths, and a resource center.  

Obviously, choosing a more robust design with extensive features and an immersive booth design is a great way to build your employer brand and bring about excitement among your attendees.   

 Talk about a sure-shot first step in drawing candidates in! 

2. Perfect your employer brand 

 

Nowadays, job seekers want to know whether their job is going to be impactful. Much like how employers evaluate a potential candidate’s background and experience, candidates heavily focus on evaluating an employer’s brand before applying for a job.  

Therefore, a key tactic to make yourself stand out in virtual career fairs is to outline how every talent can add value to your organization.  

Being crisp and clear about your long-term business goals and mission is surely a good thing. This gives attendees an idea of what would be expected of them and how they would be able to contribute to the company’s mission.  

3. Conduct a session for your sponsors

 

Socializing and networking are something job seekers look forward to when they attend your virtual event. An effective way to boost attendee engagement is to consider conducting a live streaming sponsor session that allows them to present to your audience in real time.

Your sponsor could choose career and company-focused topics, providing insight into what it's like working for a company like yours. Also, they can answer any queries that people may have about the benefits, work culture, and other best practices for their first interview.  

4. Make your virtual booth interactive 

Gamification is one of the best ways to stand out in a virtual career fair and make your mark. Passive activities such as watching a video (yawn) are simply not as effective as incorporating interactive elements such as virtual games.

Set up virtual trade show games, with the likely opportunity for attendees to win a prize. This would keep people immersed plus buy more time for your booth reps to interact with potential candidates and build rapport.   

5. Employ immersive design options 

 

A virtual job fair is much more than running a plain old webinar. Setting up an immersive 3D virtual booth can go a long way in standing out to candidates. It creates a memorable experience for them as it is inherently more immersive in nature.

Think about it, 3D booths are something that virtual job seekers hardly ever see from other employers, and this allows you to really cash in on impact and recall.

Of course, the possibilities are endless when you have a good virtual event hosting platform that will help make all the right features pop out with intuitive and engaging virtual experiences. 

Career fair coming up? Hit it out of the park by running it on Zuddl - talk to us.

4 tips for running your virtual hiring event the right way

4
Mins Read
Pavi Sagar

With the virtual world opening up a bigger talent pool to recruiters, supply is high. But how can HR professionals run hiring events efficiently to leverage this opportunity? Read more to find out.

Thanks to the pivot to remote working over the past two years, recruiters now have the freedom to hire the best candidates they can find regardless of where they are. In other words, the entire world is now the new talent pool. “With a typical office you have a 50 mile radius before potential hires need to relocate,” comments  Jenny Bloom, CFO of Zapier (a company with 500+ people in 38 countries). ”With remote work, there are no boundaries.”

However, this ease of access to talent hasn’t necessarily translated into an easier recruitment process.

The same lifting of geographical boundaries that allows recruiters to have more choice in hiring talent, has also meant that candidates have more choice than ever before in finding a new role. This means that recruiters have to go the extra distance (pun intended) to promote their company amongst candidates, make their employer brand stand out, and influence candidates' decisions about who to work for.

That’s where virtual hiring events come into play.

What’s a virtual hiring event?

A virtual hiring event
A virtual hiring event

Virtual hiring events, or virtual career fairs, are a way for recruiters and HR professionals to easily and efficiently connect directly with potential candidates from all around the world. Through the capabilities and features of the virtual event platform used for the occasion, organizers can showcase company branding and quickly and easily find the talent you need. Here’s how:

1. Show off the best and unique aspects of your company

Shine a spotlight on your brand
Shine a spotlight on your brand

Via a virtual event platform, you can showcase your EVP to potential candidates in a variety of ways - of which, the virtual Expo Booth is one of the best. 

An example of a Zuddl virtual expo booth
A Zuddl virtual expo booth

Organizers can use booth widgets to highlight company USPs and get candidates excited about working at the company:

  • Upload videos that showcase company culture, introduce prospective teammates, or give candidates a glimpse into what a day in the life at work would be like
  • Share media - blogs, photos, infographics - to give candidates insight into the organization's vision
  • Staff the booth with a company representative to answer questions
  • Use  a ‘register interest’ button to build a pipeline of passive candidates for future roles

To make recruitment even more personalized, organizers can invite teams or departments to set up their own virtual booths to give candidates a deeper understanding of day-to-day operations. 

You can also leverage virtual Stages to show candidates exactly why they should want to join the company! You can play pre-recorded videos speaking to your mission and goals throughout the event. If possible, you can arrange for a keynote from the CEO to kickoff the open house and arrange for leadership in the company to hold sessions throughout the day to give your event a truly personal touch.

2. Speak with candidates 1:1

Connect 1:1 with candidates
Connect 1:1 with candidates

Recruiting is all about building relationships but HR professionals often do not have the time to get to know a candidate at a level that is deeper than their resume - simply because of time constraints. Using a virtual event platform like Zuddl can help address this issue. 

Leveraging platform capabilities, organizers can set up virtual rooms and meetings - to have simple introductory chats that make candidates feel welcome early in the process, hold more intensive interviews, and host group conversations that bring to light a candidate's teamwork, communication and management skills. 

  • Smart networking: Organizers throwing an open house can use Smart Networking to connect recruiters with the right candidates for 1:1 meetings.
  • Virtual breakout rooms: Recruiters can host small group discussions or collaborative assignments within Rooms to help candidates put their best foot forward.

3. Make the entire experience fun, exciting and inclusive!

Fun, not fearsome
Fun, not fearsome

The application process can be downright boring and/or a nerve-wracking experience, so making your virtual event an experience that attendees will remember for all the right reasons is just one way to make your company stand out from the competition. To do so, organizers need to blend their creativity with the capabilities of the virtual event platform. Here are some ways:

  • Bedazzle the virtual venue: Thrill potential candidates from the get-go by playing a welcome video when they join the event, and create a branded immersive virtual venue that candidates will have fun exploring. For instance, you can create a professional looking company lobby that helps candidates navigate through the venue, networking zones and breakout rooms as well as add some fun elements like virtual photobooths and gaming zones.
  • Gamify the event: Introduce a fun spirit of competition into the proceedings by rewarding points for activities completed during the event and giving prizes to those who top the leaderboard! Try to come up with activities that are educational and memorable such as a virtual scavenger hunt (with items like take a picture at the virtual photo booth or connect with 2 team leads), or a trivia sheet (where candidates must talk to senior employees to learn the answers). Winners can receive exclusive company swag. 
  • Use live-captioning and translation integrations: Make candidates from different geographies feel comfortable and supported at your event by making your content and communications easily understandable for all. 

4. Leverage data for effective follow-ups

Data driven decisions
Data-driven decisions

One of the biggest advantages of hosting a virtual event as compared to its in-person counterpart is the difference in data collection.  In using a virtual event platform for your event, you’ll be able to obtain engagement and lead data that’ll help you:

  • Keep the conversation going with qualified candidates
  • Stay in touch with passive candidates for future pipelines
  • Refine subsequent events

To sum up…

Virtual hiring events give recruiters an incredible opportunity to source and build relationships with talent from all around the world. However, this opportunity can be squandered if event organizers and HR professionals are unable to get all aspects of the event right.

The first step is for organizers to understand how to leverage the capabilities of the virtual event platform chosen for the event to its utmost potential, and second, to ensure that all aspects of the event are as human and customized as possible. Keeping the candidate experience at the forefront - making sure every interaction makes them feel comfortable, supported, and good about joining your company - will distinguish your event and organization from the competition.

Virtual Events
Engagement

Tips to make your virtual workshops more impactful

5
Mins Read
Kishore C S

When it comes to training virtually, there are a different set of challenges and possibilities. Read this article to learn how to make your workshops work for your company!

Have you ever sat through an overly long workshop event and counted down the minutes until it was over? We’ve all been there. With virtual events here to stay, adapting to the changing landscape and learning how to throw a successful online event is of utmost importance.

When it comes to training virtually, a different set of challenges and possibilities exist in this space. Read this article to learn how to make your workshops work for your company!

Be prepared

Being prepared might seem like a no-brainer. However, running a successful workshop takes a lot of planning. A sense of organization and keen focus are key to pulling off an engaging workshop. You’ll need plenty of creative preparation before diving into the day-of agenda. 

Some items to keep in mind that can help promote a smooth, impactful experience:

  • Plan for breakout groups in between sessions
  • Send out any set-up and navigation instructions prior to starting
  • Create and list out your main discussion points
  • Know how to get a hold of technical support if needed 

Choose the right platform

You’ve prepared your pre-workshop checklist, your speakers have been lined up, and you’re ready to host an impactful day of learning. Having the right tools to enable your agenda will make all the difference in making sure attendees feel engaged. 

For virtual events, you’ll want to utilize a platform that enhances the learning experience for all involved. This could mean choosing a platform that allows for in-session chat capabilities to enable participants to ask questions easily and collaborate with each other effortlessly.  Perhaps you’re hosting a large event and need to accommodate numerous attendees. Start off on the right foot by choosing a platform that allows you to do so.

The right platform will look different depending on the event in question. Choosing a platform like Zuddl that brings attendees together seamlessly is a good place to start.  

Get people involved

It can be difficult to sit for hours on end listening to a speaker, regardless of how invested you are in the topic. To that end, having an interactive component during training can be helpful. This could be a group discussion during break times, or it might be something as simple as a group question and answer session at the end of a section.

The more enjoyable an event is, the more memorable the information becomes, thus helping to solidify the information presented. A few ideas on ways to get attendees involved:

  • Rooms for networking sessions
  • Audience surveys or quizzes
  • Interactive games
  • Collaborative brainstorm sessions

Additional tips

Eager to offer even more to your virtual attendees? A few additional options might look like:

  • Offering virtual swag or “a gift bag” much like an in-person event
  • Hire a virtual event entertainer
  • Create a theme around your event
  • Limit the time the actual event runs 
  • Provide food for your virtual attendees

Checking your list…

Remember, a successful training workshop is one that keeps people engaged and learning. By following these few tips, your next event is sure to be an impactful one.

Psst… there are a variety of tools and features on Zuddl to help you provide a valuable online training experience. Feel free to book a demo with us and go over them in real-time!

Virtual Events
Hybrid Events

Are your events digitally secure?

5
Mins Read
Kishore C S

It's clear that digital events are here to stay, either as a completely virtual one or as part of a hybrid event. With companies hosting and sharing a lot of information on such events, one of the important factors that marketers must take note of is the level of digital security of the event platform. This post can serve as a reality check on the present state of a company's events and also suggest improvements to fortify security.

Virtual events came to the world’s rescue during the pandemic. They served as a safe way for companies to continue to engage with their internal and external stakeholders remotely. Later, when in-person events came back into the picture, companies still found it valuable to retain a virtual element as part of their event, as the latter proved to be a scalable, cost effective and measurable way of running events. The insights that planners were getting from virtual event platforms changed the way they strategized events; and this created the perfect situation for hybrid events.

Virtual elements are here to stay

Virtual events are here to stay

What can we learn from these developments? It’s simple; virtual events or elements are here to stay. Their relevance has gone beyond the pandemic. Companies have acknowledged the unique benefits of going virtual or hybrid. Now, since we’ve already highlighted the boons of virtual events above, one must wonder what are the more challenging aspects of going virtual? For one, of course, it’s the need to upskill and understand event technology; this is where a robust virtual event platform plays a huge part. However, there’s one more crucial aspect to any event that organizers cannot compromise on - the security of an event.

Event security needs have evolved

Event security needs have evolved

Different ways of running events bring their own challenges. You can see why a virtual event is a desirable cyberthreat target; cyber criminals stand the chance of tapping into important attendee data and company information if the event is not robust enough to keep them at bay. In the past two years, there have also been instances of cyber criminals posing as attendees and joining a virtual event. Once they succeeded s, they were capable of doing anything from sharing risky links and inappropriate content with attendees to heckling the speakers at the event.

We’re sure that all this information is scary enough for planners to make sure they prioritize event security and not take it for granted. Thankfully, securing your event doesn’t have to be difficult. 

Here’s an easy checklist of best practices for you:

  1. Choose a virtual event platform that is certified and highly secure so that there are no chances of software vulnerabilities within the platform.
  2. Ensure that the event platform you choose has periodic audits in place to ensure the confidentiality and security of event data.
  3. When picking the event platform, another thing you should look for is how much control it gives you as an organizer; you should be able to restrict and limit the content shared during your event.
  4. While inviting guests to your event, generate unique URLs for each attendee and unique access codes too.
  5. Inform your attendees that all communications related to the event will only come from your official trusted email address and information from any other source must be ignored.
  6. Inform attendees whenever you plan to record a session; it always makes them feel at ease when you get their consent.

How attendees can make sure they attend secure virtual events

If you’re an attendee, you can add another layer of safety to your event experience by ensuring the security of your personal information by:

  1. Verifying the source of all the emails and communications you received about the event
  2. Using a reliable browser that is aptly patched to handle security vulnerabilities
  3. Creating a password that you don’t use anywhere else (if the event requires you to create one)

To sum up… 

As we see the world embracing virtual elements in every walk of life from education to large-scale events, it is our responsibility to be aware of the risks of going virtual in order to reap the many many benefits that virtual events bring us.

Want to make your next virtual event secure? You can't go wrong with Zuddl - book a demo today.

Virtual Events

5 virtual event platform issues that need to be solved ASAP

6
Mins Read
Pavi Sagar

Here are the top 5 grievances organizers have with virtual event platforms - and one single way to solve them all.

Necessity is the mother of invention.  

Over the past two years, event organizers have had to quickly adapt to the changing times, and embrace two years' worth of digital transformation in about two months. This has meant figuring out how to use broadcasting software, and streaming platforms like GMeet, Zoom, Skype and more to host conferences, summits, sales kickoffs and more literally overnight. 

This had led to many great boundary-pushing virtual experiences being held, such as Tomorrowland Around the World which had eight stages for performances by artists, chat rooms, games, and interactive meetings, and was attended by more than one million people. Another example is  Salesforce Live: Australia and New Zealand that had keynotes, interviews with industry leaders and partner product launches, which was held for over more than a month.

As a result, organizers are now fully aware and appreciative of the benefits that only virtual platforms can afford such as increased reach, improved engagement and better analytics. 

But that is not to say that it's been all smooth sailing. In many cases, organizers find themselves compromising on event vision or messing up on event execution because of the platform they are using. 

Here are the top 5 grievances that if solved would make life so much better for organizers.

1. Not being able to prefigure sessions

When you create a live session at your virtual or hybrid event, you pull together speakers and content, make choices, react to changes, and generate a professional livestream in real time.  

The classical way to achieve this is to familiarize your speakers with the platform, create transition videos, prepare content to share during the session etc, and then pull it all together on the day of the event, praying that nothing goes wrong. 

But today’s event organizers need a better option than relying on crossed fingers. 

https://giphy.com/gifs/RosannaPansino-ro-rosanna-pansino-8GmUS2rjYl3aZ6e3vy

2. Getting it done yesterday

So much to do, so little time. With each event - regardless of size - consisting of 100 and more moving parts, event organizers are always pushed to the maxim, especially since B2B companies typically spend only 5-8 weeks planning events

Organizing virtual events can add to this stress because organizers - besides confirming the line-up of speakers, overseeing registration and email follow ups, and promoting the event on social media - have to set up the entire virtual venue on their virtual event platform of choice. For organizers unfamiliar with this type of technology, it can take weeks to set up their event - time that they just don’t have.

An ideal solution? A platform that enables virtual events to be set up in minutes instead of days or months, so organizers can concentrate on finessing  rather than implementation. 

3. Customizing your event without coding

Coding is ubiquitous; it is used everywhere, from the website you are on right now to the app you use to order your groceries every week, and is central to many essential services and online solutions offered today. This is why many event platforms too require some knowledge of coding - to make the virtual venue look a certain way for instance, or to create online forms for attendees to fill during the event.

However, coding is not as ubiquitous as literacy - as yet. Many people just do not know how to code - as yet. So to make coding a requirement of building and customizing a virtual event is just another source of frustration for event organizers. 

In a perfect world, a platform would not require event organizers to become amateur coders in a span of a month in order to create a virtual event exactly the way they envision it. 

4. Making the event look professional and high-quality when you have a small budget

All event organizers want their hybrid and virtual events to have professional production quality but unfortunately often end up with PowerPoint visuals. 

This is because it usually takes a team of studio professionals or requires the hiring of expensive tools to produce an experience that is polished, cohesive, and sleek - think branded backgrounds and sharp graphics, different stage layouts to present speakers - similar to TV news segments.

So if event organizers were ever granted three wishes by a genie, we’re sure one of them would be spent wishing intro reality a way to create a high-quality professional livestream  without having to break the bank ie. a solution that democratizes production like a pro, just like how Canva made beautiful design accessible to everyone.

5.  Dealing with a 30 second lag 

It is a truth grossly unacknowledged that lags or delays are part-and-parcel of most streaming platforms  used to host virtual and hybrid events. 30 second delays between speakers and attendees is simply considered the norm - when they really shouldn’t be. These delays mean that your virtual attendees will only be able to consume and react to content later than in-person attendees…

… which can make them feel like second-class citizens, and which contributes to a negative event experience.

One of the most critical needs for an event organizer is a zero-latency live streaming platform that seamlessly connects remote and in-person audiences in real-time.

So what’s the solution?

Event professionals like you will be pleased to hear that there’s no need to rely on prayer, wishes, crossed fingers or anything of the like anymore. 

Zuddl’s new solution ‘The Zuddl Studio’ is here to address all your virtual and hybrid event woes and fulfill all your event needs. From ZERO LAG to NO CODING REQUIRED, it’s guaranteed to be your new favourite go-to for virtual and hybrid meetings, conferences, sales kickoffs etc. 

The best part? It’s fully compatible with all manner of streaming platforms, from Microsoft Teams to Zoom and Hopin to Hubilo. 

Curious? Sign up for the beta launch of the Zuddl Studio before spots run out.

Virtual Events
Hybrid Events

Six challenges faced by virtual event organizers

7
Mins Read
Kishore C S

Virtual events have introduced a whole new world of benefits to event organizers worldwide, but this hasn’t necessarily come easy. Find out the typical obstacles that event organizers face when running a virtual event.

The virtual realm has not only been a savior to companies since the pandemic but also become a beneficial addition to their event strategy. Virtual and hybrid events are all the rage today because they possess the ability to make any event inclusive, scalable, accessible, convenient and insightful.

However, as with anything else, hosting a virtual event comes with its own set of challenges and limitations, especially if you’re running it on widely popular but basic streaming platforms.

Here are 5 challenges you’re likely to face or have faced as an event organizer while running a virtual event:

  1. Engagement 

Your virtual attendees are typically individuals who have been working and attending meetings virtually for a long time now, so it’s no surprise that the phrase ‘Zoom fatigue’ is being mentioned more and more these days; they’re tired of attending meetings online, and this is why engagement is one of the biggest challenges faced by virtual event organizers today.

Going virtual is not just about knowing how to run an event virtually, but more about knowing how to make the event engaging and interactive. When companies run events on basic virtual platforms, the scope for engagement is very limited.

In order to overcome this, event organizers must prioritize features such as Chat, Polls,Q&A and live networking if they want event attendees, exhibitors and sponsors to all have a fulfilling experience.

  1. Technical know-how

There is a common tendency for event planners to assume that a virtual event is no different from another Zoom or Microsoft Teams meeting, and who can blame them. With these basic tools, they may be able to run day-to-day activities just fine, but that’s about it.

To overcome this obstacle, organizers need to not just upskill themselves but also have access to the right technology as well as the right tech support in order to produce studio-quality events without breaking the bank. 

  1. Lack of control over proceedings

As an event organizer who’s working with basic technology, you’re left with no option but to make the best of what you have. What this implies is that you’re restricted by limitations of your tool when it comes to managing your speakers, sessions, attendees and of course, the overall event experience. 

The only thing that can make a difference here is a virtual platform or tool that allows you to take charge of the event behind the scenes - that way you can control the event rather than the other way around!

  1. Lack of scope for branding

One of the most limiting things about a virtual event that’s run on a basic virtual platform is that every event pretty much looks the same. You can never really make your brand’s presence felt since the scope of customization is quite low. 

This can be a deal-breaker especially if you’re expecting a good return on investment from your virtual event. Branding at a virtual event can only be enhanced when you have a powerful virtual studio on your side.

  1.  To go live or to pre-record

This is the question that would boggle Shakespeare’s mind if he was around today.  As an event organizer, it’s important to understand how your attendees like to consume their content. While live streaming  offers a real-time experience, pre-recorded content offers flexibility and an on-demand edge to your event that is sure to appeal to today’s Netflix-watching audience.

This is why many organizers are going in for a blended approach these days. However, you need to have the right technology to make this possible.

  1. Latency, latency, latency

Last but not the least, most streaming platforms are vulnerable to latency. This one problem is powerful enough to derail a virtual attendee’s entire event experience. With engagement already a challenge on its own, latency can just pile up to the problem and make an attendee feel totally lost and disconnected.

Banking on technology that can give you near-zero latency streaming capabilities is the safest way to dodge this bullet.

So, what’s the solution?

No matter how much event organizers upskill themselves, they will always be limited by the technology available to them.

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The answer is yes!

Zuddl Studio is built for the modern day event organizers. Seamlessly manage the backstage speaker transition to and from the stage, add lower thirds animation - all this while retaining complete control of your brand. 

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Engagement

The 4 types of people you'll meet at virtual events

5
Mins Read
Pavi Sagar

Have you encountered DOVEs at a virtual event? How about PEACOCKs? Dive into the 4 types of attendees you'll meet at virtual events and also learn how to come up with a strategy that ensures that they all have a great experience at your virtual event.

Know your customers. 

Know your attendees. 

Know thy audience. 

It’s basically the first commandment of good marketing. 

In fact, where there is a marketing team, a blog about the importance of understanding your target audience is sure to be a stone’s throw away (case in point: there are over 38,70,00,000 results on Google about this topic).

But when it comes to understanding the make-up of attendees at virtual or hybrid events, it’s a little more complicated.  

But before you keep reading, let’s pause for a moment. Why exactly is it important to know your audience?

Why it’s important to know your virtual event audience

Today’s virtual event attendees come in all shapes and sizes, and of different ages and countries. They have different pain points, challenges, goals, and desires. And critically, some are digital natives whilst others are digital immigrants. That’s why you can’t treat all of them in the same way.

Going the traditional route with stereotype-based alliterative-named personas might not help because you’ll need to go way beyond basic demographics. Virtual attendees have a complex mix of needs that they’re looking to satisfy at your event, and online and digital behaviours that they expect will be accommodated. More than ever, the name of the game is different strokes for different folks.

But the reality is that while they’re all unique individuals, it’s simply not possible to cater to your attendees at an individual level. Instead, you identify several types of attendees based on their behavioral patterns, and then plan in spaces and content that really resonates with them.

So, what are the different types of attendees you can expect at your virtual event? 

We’ve done the work for you. Keep an eye out for these formidable virtual attendee types’ (we were inspired by Dean Peter’s ‘Dangerous Animals of Product Management’ and make sure you have a strategy in place for each of them.

The different types of attendees you’ll find at your virtual event 

OWL (Obsessed With Learning)

Like their figurative namesake, OWLS are knowledge seekers who value information. They’re at your event to update their professional knowledge and upgrade their skills. They want to delve deep into topics of interest with knowledgeable experts, learn about industry best practices and pick up new tips and tricks that they can put into practice right away.

How to cater to OWLs:

Leverage the capabilities of your virtual event platform to help attendees gain as much knowledge as they hoped. A fantastic line-up is the first step but there’s plenty more you can do:

  • Give attendees the ability to “talk” during sessions! Chat, Polls, Emoji Reactions, and ‘Raise Hand’ have democratized participation. Both introvert and extrovert OWLs can ask questions and chat in real-time with speakers to learn more about topics.
  • Nurture more focused conversations. Set up virtual Rooms for some good ole’ fashioned group discussions, brainstorms, or workshops so that OWLs can ask other attendees about their insights or solutions and further cement their understanding of the topic.
  • Accommodate busy lives and different learning styles. Your OWLs may have a range of learning styles so share content in different formats so everyone can engage with them. For instance, besides sessions and group discussions, set up Expo Booths with videos and downloadable material like guides and checklists so that attendees can absorb content as per their preferences. Also, make video recordings of the sessions available for attendees to watch whenever their schedule allows it. 

MACAW (Most Active Conversationalists At Work)

MACAWs are excited about and effective at building relationships and making connections. You’ll generally find them around or actively participating in group discussions, easily and impressively making conversation with people they’ve met only a few minutes earlier. So the MACAWs at your event want plenty of opportunities to meet and connect with attendees who can help further their business and career.  They have a specific aenda and will actively search for the right people at your event.

How to cater to MACAWs:

Give your attendees an easy way to connect with other attendees (right from their couches!) by organizing plenty of interaction opportunities.  And even better if you find a way to help MACAWs meet the right people who can help them reach their goals: Here’s how you can do this:

  • Create different ways for attendees to connect with each other. From small discussion groups to ice breaker networking sessions, plan in small activities during the event that’ll give MACAWs a foundation for easy conversation.
  • Make networking more effective. Leverage AI-powered matchmaking to maximize the chance of MACAWs being paired with relevant professionals who share similar interests and complementary goals, for conversations that ultimately lead to business leads or employment opportunities.

DOVE (Distracted Online Very Easily)

Distractions abound for the DOVE. As there’s so much to do at home and work,  they’re often found glancing quickly in every direction at tasks that require their attention. You’ll spot them with plenty of tabs open on their screens, switching easily from answering their email to purchasing something on Amazon to working on a office task to replying to a message on their phone. This means that keeping a DOVE’s attention on your event will be challenging. 

How to cater to DOVEs:

Use the features of your virtual event platform to the utmost to grab and retain a DOVE’s  attention and improve ‘virtual event stickiness’:

  • Use gamification to make participation fun! Gamification is a fun and powerful way to nudge <name of birds> towards taking part in more activities at your event by rewarding their actions. For instance, for each poll answered or each question asked, DOVEs can win points or prizes, which will then encourage them to keep participating. Hopefully, over time, you can use gamification to turn these actions into habits, resulting in sustainable engagement.

PEACOCK (Prefers Exclusive And Customized On-brand Content + Keepsakes)

The PEACOCK is a brand fanatic. They’re passionate about all things involving your brand and are the biggest supporters of your business. They’re proud of being a customer and enjoy the status or prestige that comes with it. So when attending your event, they’re expected to be “wowed” by the brand experience you provide. And they’re also looking to be rewarded for their loyalty.  

How to cater to PEACOCKs:  

Create a unique event experience that is rewarding, share-worthy, and memorable. Here’s how you can do that:

  • Customize your virtual venue to be completely on-brand. Completely brand the Stages, networking areas, breakout rooms and Expo Zones  with your designs and colours to amplify your brand and reinforce your messaging. And play your attendees an amazing Welcome Video that looks and feels like a movie trailer to get PEACOCKs excited from the get-go.
  • Give them something to crow about. Share exciting and exclusive news first with PEACOCKs at your virtual event or give them access to high-profile brand ambassadors (imagine setting up a virtual cooking workshop with Nigella Lawson or a virtual meet-and-greet with Rafael Nadal!)or let them be the first to purchase a product from your Expo Booth with one-time-only discounts.  
  • Make them feel appreciated. Gamify activities or actions at the event to let PEACOCKs win brand merchandise or experiences that reinforce brand loyalty.  Giveaway little extras like virtual swag to make them feel special and valued.

Key takeaways

Your virtual event will be full of all kinds of people, each with their own reasons for attending. Some may not fall into any of the four categories mentioned above, while others may fall into more than one. Nevertheless, being aware of these possible types of attendees, knowing what each type wants and how to create a fantastic experience for them will make your event more welcoming, valuable and memorable for everyone.  More than ever, it’s different strokes for different folks. 

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