It’s no secret that digital events and virtual meetings were hurriedly adopted by almost all sectors as remote work and shutdowns impacted workers in 2020.
As local, metropolitan, state and national communities continue to be subject to rapid lockdown situations, effectively delivering the events so critical to Government over digital platforms is arguably more important now than it has ever been.
Government teams were among the first sectors to experiment with virtual events, adopting and fine-tuning their use as part of their ongoing internal and external communications and training programs.
There are many reasons for public sector communicators to continue to include fully-virtual events or hybrid events that offer digital access alongside live, face-to-face event content in future communications and marketing programs.
Following are the key advantages we see Government teams experiencing from converting their events to digital.
First and foremost, virtual events remove the health risks associated with pandemic outbreaks, as providing COVID-safe travel, seating and registration for speakers and attendees is no longer a concern when an event can be attended remotely.
This removes concerns that events could be cancelled, postponed or otherwise derailed due to COVID-related issues, and allows the show to go on.
For hybrid events that include a face-to-face element, speak to your virtual event provider about their contingency plans in case of lockdowns or regulatory changes.
Government teams often have additional requirements when it comes to security.
Secure video conferencing and webinar platforms, the option of requiring viewers to register to attend, and the ability for administrators to view and control those who are logged into an event, can help government communicators deliver secure public and private virtual events.
Digital events can also be delivered securely without breaching Government IT firewall requirements — just talk to your virtual event provider.
Virtual events are vastly more accessible than face-to-face events, particularly for differently abled audiences.
When it comes to accessibility requirements, Auslan interpreters can appear on-camera in a studio broadcast to help deliver the message, and captioning can be included to provide access for the hearing-impaired, along with in-depth written resources.
Underpinning that accessibility is the ability of digital events to be delivered to regional and remote communities, and to use a variety of technologies including teleconferencing if broadband coverage is patchy.
And digital events overcome the tyranny of distance that often prevents people from attending events outside their immediate market.
During one industry briefing we helped deliver for a public-private partnership construction project in the first phase of the pandemic, attendance was five times higher than what was previously expected for a traditional face-to-face regional briefing.
Expanded presenter options
The increased reach of virtual events includes the ability to tap a broader market for potential speakers.
Virtual events are not limited to presenters who are able to travel to your physical venue, but can show presenters virtually from all over the country, as well as from international locations, regardless of border closures.
The costs associated with virtual events are much less than those of face-to-face events, eliminating the need to hire large physical venues, or pay for travel and catering.
All that’s required is a webinar platform or managed webinar provider, and video technicians or studio hire if you would like to present from a physical studio location.
For maximum reach, accessibility and cost-effectiveness, consider hosting your digital event online for as long as the content is relevant.
Unlike live physical events, digital events can be accessed online at a time that’s convenient to your internal stakeholders or the public at large, expanding the longevity and audience for your event and message.
Highly customisable and controllable
Also unlike face-to-face events, virtual events can be rehearsed and edited to put together a highly professional event that can be broadcast as-live and as well as being offered on-demand.
Green-screen studio technology can be incorporated to provide customised or branded backgrounds that can easily be inserted and updated instantly.
The staging can also be adapted to suit the purpose and tone of your digital event: for example, presenters can be seated on lounges for a less formal event, or behind a desk for a more serious topic.
Encourage engagement, interaction and feedback
While physical events offer the ability to connect with speakers via in-the-room dynamics and networking opportunities, virtual events encourage interaction via multiple channels — so you can be sure of reaching your stakeholders in the channels most convenient for them.
These include live polls and comments, questions, networking via virtual chat-rooms, easy access to additional resources and post-event FAQs.
Digital events also offer measurable results not necessarily available to events held at live venues, including time-based engagement metrics, quizzes and post-event surveys.
Finally, virtual events can be tailored for just about any occasion you can think of, from internal communications and training to policy launches, Government roadshows and virtual conferences.
The sky’s the limit — we’ve seen Government teams host complex virtual events with multiple speakers located in-studio and remotely, and interact online with audiences located around the world.
Reach out to Redback if you need help managing complex digital events for maximum impact.