Online Events: Validating Demand, Lead Magnets, Hybrid Events

“Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” – Amy Poehler

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โ“ What You’ll Learn

  • How to offer hands-on experience in online events?
  • What are examples of successful metaverse concerts?
  • How to validate demand?
  • How to get early revenue?
  • How to find qualified prospects with online events?
  • What are hybrid events?
  • Whoโ€™s building online events for AR/VR headsets?
  • How will open startups use online events?
  • How to break the ice in your online event?

๐Ÿ’Ž Why It Matters

Online events are borderless.

They are a cost-effective and scalable way to spread your message.

๐Ÿ” Problem

We want to connect, learn and be entertained without leaving home.

๐Ÿ’ก Solution

Online events have lower friction.

Anyone with web access can join.

๐Ÿ Players

Online Events

Online Event Tools

  • Zoom โ€ข Connect with video, audio, phone and chat
  • HeySummit โ€ข Build, grow and monetize online and hybrid events
  • Livestorm โ€ข Simple meeting and webinar platform
  • Gather โ€ข Build 2D online conference spaces
  • Podia โ€ข Sell workshops, classes and webinars
  • StreamYard โ€ข Live streaming and recording studio in your browser
  • BigMarker โ€ข Platform for webinars, virtual and hybrid events

๐Ÿ”ฎ Predictions

โ˜๏ธ Opportunities

  • Presell your online event to validate demand and get early revenue.
    • IRE21 is a virtual event for journalists that offers a 25% discount for early tickets. 
    • SHARP is an event for authors, readers and publishers that offers a 33% discount for early booking.
    • ATOMICON is a hybrid sales and marketing event for small businesses. It offers early tickets with a 55% discount.

๐Ÿ”๏ธ Risks

  • Connectivity Issues โ€ข Internet disruptions, slow speeds and lag spikes can lead to missed content, poor peer interaction and frustration.
  • Coordination Risk โ€ข Failure to manage groups can lead to poor attendee experience.
  • Reputation Risk โ€ข Misbehavior such as Zoom Bombing can lead to negative experiences and a lack of interest in future events.

๐Ÿ”‘ Key Lessons

  • Online events have higher margins. Lower costs and wider reach make it easier to make a profit.
  • Hybrid events are a โ€œtwo-sided medalโ€. Balancing in-person and online aspects of the same event requires 2x much effort.
  • Have a backup plan. You should be able to switch platforms when having technical issues.

๐Ÿ”ฅ Hot Takes

  • Online events with hundreds of attendees make it hard for each member to share value. This makes it more appealing to watch the recording on-demand than attending a live event.
  • Weโ€™ll see online events built for specific AR/VR headsets. Connect is a virtual event on virtual, mixed and augmented realities. You need a Quest device to attend the event.
  • Open startups will host public board meetings with past achievements and future plans. Gumroad shares its board meetings on YouTube.

๐Ÿ˜  Haters

โ€œIt is hard to engage remote audiences. They can get distracted by their friends, family and pets.โ€
Host the event over a few days. Break down content into shorter portions. Add interactive activities such as polls and Q&As. Change the pace of the event with videos and quick discussions. This can help attendees stay focused and to not get bored.

โ€œIn-person events have higher-fidelity interactions than online events.โ€
True. In-person events also have more friction since everyone needs to attend in person. Online events are more inclusive while in-person events have higher fidelity.

โ€œHybrid events have the best of both worlds.โ€
Hybrid events are complex. You need to solve logistics, catering and security problems for in-person attendees. As well as connectivity, engagement and moderation issues for online attendees.

โ€œOnline events are exhausting. Zoom fatigue is real.โ€
Short breaks, chit-chatting and letting attendees turn off video can help to lower online fatigue.

โ€œWhat if I want to go to two sessions that happen at the same time because of tracks?โ€
This is a tradeoff for having a focused experience. Most online events share recordings that you can watch later.

๐Ÿ”— Links

  1. Building a Report on How to Grow and Monetize Online Events โ€ข The Tweet behind this report.
  2. 35 Ice Breaker Games for Virtual and Hybrid Events โ€ข Ways to lighten the mood at the start of an event.
  3. Hybrid Events Are Essential โ€ข Learn the 10 benefits of hybrid events.

๐Ÿ“ Related Reports

  • โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹Audience-First Products โ€ข Validate products, build distribution and stay accountable
  • Gamification โ€ข Boost engagement with missions and rewards
  • Presales โ€ข Validate demand before investing time and money into building new products
  • Influencer Marketing โ€ข Borrow audiencesโ€™ attention to build awareness and find customers
  • Freemium โ€ข Lower your customer acquisition costs with a free version of your product

๐Ÿ™ Thanks

Thanks to Frank Jones, Mark Todd and Stewart Townsend. We had a great time jamming on this report.

โœ๏ธ Emin researched and wrote this report. Dru researched and edited this report.

๐Ÿ“ˆ What else?

Trends PRO #0127 โ€” Online Events has more insights.

What youโ€™ll get:

  • 20 Online Event Examples (186% More)
  • 14 Online Event Tools (100% More)
  • 12 Predictions (300% More)
  • 15 Opportunities (400% More)
  • 7 Risks (133% More)
  • 12 Key Lessons (300% More)
  • 7 Hot Takes (133% More)
  • 9 Links (200% More)

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