Virtual events and webcasts enable quick and effective communication with shareholders while providing the opportunity to reach potential investors who may not have been previously accessible. However, engaging an audience in a virtual environment and delivering a successful event is different from in-person.
To help take your in-person events online and create an engaging virtual experience, we’re sharing a few tips along with a handy checklist.
Here’s what you need to know:
Location and Technical Requirements
There is a multitude of factors that can negatively impact the quality of your audio and in turn, the quality of your event. It’s important to remember that when investors are unable to understand your message on the call, they may tune out or even drop off.
Regardless of whether you’re hosting in-house or externally, there must be available bandwidth and a stable internet connection. Finding a provider to host your event externally can alleviate the bulk of hosting a virtual event. For example, your provider can ask questions about the space and technology requirements that you hadn’t considered, ultimately saving you time and most importantly, a stressful call.
Before your event, you want to ensure that you communicate your event details to investors in a timely and effective manner. Start promoting your event 15 days from your virtual event to allow for enough notice and also that your event is prominently featured on your IR website.
In the time leading up to your virtual event, prepare not only for what is going to be presented but also how you’re going to prepare investors and set expectations. It’s important that you spend just as much time preparing for your virtual event as you would for an in-person event. Additionally, asking investors ahead of time what they’re interested in learning can go a long way in hosting a successful event.
Creating a Presentation for a Virtual Audience
You should be direct and to-the-point on what you want to achieve with your messaging and what you need to communicate. That means keeping it simple and sticking to your main message, don’t get sidetracked with tangents and excess information.
As mentioned, you want to ensure that your virtual event is just as engaging as an in-person event. One aspect that can help hold your audience’s attention is incorporating different types of media into your webcast.
Even before your test stream, you want to ensure that your participants are well prepared not only to deliver the presentation but all possible scenarios — good or bad.
For those that haven’t presented at a virtual event before, adapting to the platform can potentially be a bit awkward. Additionally, if you see early on in preparation that your participants are struggling with a difficult message, you may want to consider pre-recording your call.
Engaging your audience
Some ways that you can make sure your audience is interested and attentive include user polls or surveys. These are easy to implement and can give you instant insight into how your call is faring. You can also inject some activity into your virtual event by implementing live questions and answers functionality. A Q&A feature allows users to directly ask questions and interact with the presenter providing a two-way conversation.
Social media is a powerful tool for sharing your company’s achievements, financial information, and showcasing your management’s vision — not to mention, increasing traffic to your investor relations website and earnings calls. In terms of what social channels to focus on, we suggest Twitter. As a best practice, keep your tweets short and succinct, making references to the key metrics (such as operational and financial highlights) and linking back to official disclosures when appropriate.
If you’re interested in learning more about hosting a stress-free virtual event, download and read the full guide, here.