For the past year, events have shifted from physical to digital. As a result of this shift, digital platforms are popping up everywhere you go. But how do you know what to look for in a digital venue? Jaimy van der Meer, project manager at Obsession, specializes in digital events. In just 5 steps he will tell us what to look for when your event location goes digital.
How to find your digital event venue
First of all, you need to make sure the objectives for your event are clear. Either physical or digital, that always remains leading for your event. You need to know what your cliënt wants to achieve and how you can make the platform suitable for that goal. Is your cliënts main focus on engagement? Or are you looking for a high capacity to reach a lot of people? Once you know the objectives, you will compare the different platforms with each other.
2. Program implementation
“When choosing your digital location, your program design is of great importance. I think that's one of the big differences when choosing a physical or digital location. With a physical event you look more at capacity or accessibility, because often you can no longer adjust afterwards. But there are still choices to be made in specific program elements. When choosing a digital location, it is essential that you know these details in advance."
''If you want to interact with your audience, and during the event, you find out that isn't possible? Then you know you made a mistake.''
''By having the content of your event as concrete as possible, you immediately know what you are looking for in a platform. Think, for example, of a Q&A function or the 'space' for several sub-sessions that participants can switch between. In this phase you also consider whether you are going to use gamification, for example, to activate your viewers. Let people network with each other for points or, for example, create a game room where people can win a prize as a team. All those ideas must be possible in a platform. So check as soon as possible whether that is also possible, because if it is not possible then it is better to look further.”
''Once you found different platforms that may work for your event, compare them with each other. Also, have a look at how easy it is to adjust certain functionalities. When you expect a lot of participants, make sure you can increase the capacity for your event. In this step, you also check whether you can personalize the platform with the corporate identity of your cliënt. It could be a crucial element for your cliënt because it gives them the feeling of ownership over the platform.''
''In some platforms, it is possible to integrate so-called third-party tools. It could be a photo booth, a Pacman game, or a marketing tool. Does your cliënt want to be able to reach the participants afterward? Then see if it is possible to embed such a marketing tool into the platform. It allows your cliënt to include the participants in a new marketing campaign after the event.''
''As soon as you know what a platform can do, it is essential to check how easy it is to use. Pay particular attention to the target group for which you are hosting the event. Is the platform also user-friendly for people who are not dealing with this type of technology every day? There is a risk that someone will leave the event if the platform is not easy to use. It could cause irritations with your target group. And that is something you always want to avoid. You could ask your contact about previous events with a similar audience and their experience with the platform.''
''Another essential element is safety. At a physical location, we take emergency exits, crowd management, and first-aid posts into consideration. During a digital event, we focus on other elements of safety. Especially the protection of privacy is crucial. Protecting personal data is regulated through the General Data Protection Regulation. If you fail to follow these rules, you could get high fines. Therefore, it is a critical element in your event platform choice.''
''Not all new platforms will have the correct certification on this subject yet because most of them are start-ups. A prominent one is the ISO certification; this sets requirements for the quality management system. The SOC certification is also important. It logs how a company handles personal data and how they process it. To avoid fines or unclear agreements, always record your cooperation in a processing agreement. It takes some extra time, but it confirms who is responsible for the data.''
Are you organizing a digital event soon and would you like to receive professional support? Then give us a call! As partners for live, we make every event challenge a success.
Photo credits: Platform designed by Squares. Event platform for digital and hybrid events.