Anything but small: Micro events bring big benefits
Join top executives in San Francisco on July 11-12, to hear how leaders are integrating and optimizing AI investments for success. Learn More
If you’re not telling your story through video, your competitor is. Video content has quickly become a primary communication channel with your target. And if you’re not speaking to your audience in the way they prefer to be spoken to, you’re already behind. But effective video content goes beyond what you see in a social stream.
Organizations are feeling the pressure to “get video right” for all of their content needs — including in the events space. While video became a must-have during the pandemic, it’s clear both hybrid and virtual-only events are here to stay.
Adding another layer of complexity to the events landscape is the shift away from only hosting one or two large events per year. Companies are beginning to supplement their key thought leadership initiatives with micro events, which can be webinars, live video broadcasts, networking opportunities, townhall-style or intimate, highly targeted events.
Facilitating ongoing engagement
Micro events are condensed in size and scope (30-45 minutes is ideal), traditionally held virtually and executed multiple times per year, with the exact number varying by company and the objectives it’s looking to achieve.
Join us in San Francisco on July 11-12, where top executives will share how they have integrated and optimized AI investments for success and avoided common pitfalls.
The ultimate goal behind micro events is to facilitate an ongoing engagement model where you’re positioned to share, promote and leverage video content more consistently and increase engagement with your target through ongoing pulses of communication.
If an organization was solely dependent on a large event to communicate crucial and time-sensitive information, it could result in a missed opportunity to connect with its audience. Ongoing micro events, paired with consistent communication between events, allow you to be responsive and get ahead instead of simply keeping up.
Just as polished as in-person
One of the biggest misconceptions is that a micro event means it can be less polished than a traditional event. Simply put, that is not the case. Just because an event is micro doesn’t mean you treat it as such. It needs to be executed with the same level of discipline and thoughtfulness as that of a traditional event.
That being said, the overall approach to creating content for a micro event versus a traditional one will be different.
In a virtual environment, it’s best to keep the content engaging, focused and to the point. Generally, having different speakers and/or new content every 10 minutes will keep the audience’s attention. Depending on the subject matter, this may not always be possible, but the goal should be to make the content on camera as energetic and entertaining as possible to keep your audience engaged.
How to make the move into micro events
When a company is ready to get started with a micro events model, the inclination is to immediately solve the platform question — what tool are we going to use to deliver the content and event? But this should actually be the last step in the process.
First, you need to define what success looks like and develop a video content strategy that facilitates the desired behavior. That could mean driving more sales, increasing sign-ups or visiting a landing page.
Doing more video for the sake of doing video will no longer cut it — you need to determine what behavior you’re hoping to influence and how success maps to that. Establishing those key performance indicators (KPIs) will not only act as the framework for your micro events, but you’ll be able to adjust them accordingly after each event to help ensure that you’re tracking toward any overarching or larger goals for the business.
With the KPIs known, you can start to figure out what you want to say and who in the organization should say it. Conducting outreach to your key audience is helpful to learn what would be valuable to them. This can come from quick surveys, email and/or social media polls, or feedback you’ve heard from other events you’ve hosted.
The crowdsourced ideas and suggestions can become the themes for events throughout the year. If there isn’t time to gather input from your target, select a topic or two that you feel would be most helpful to them based on key insights or trending topics in the industry.
Stemming from those initial micro events, you can analyze your KPIs and event metrics and pivot as needed. Ideally, there should be a throughline between your events for connectivity, to build momentum and continue conversations from one event to the next.
Choosing the right hosting platform
At this point, you can look at hosting platforms. KPIs plus the type of content you want to present should be the determining factors when assessing a tool.
For example, if the goal of your micro event is to facilitate a small, collaborative session among participants, a basic web conferencing tool is going to be an appropriate selection. If the event will follow a more traditional path — an individual presenter sharing information — a webcasting tool will provide more options for event management and engagement, such as polls, live Q&A and multi-streaming.
Knowing how you want your audience to interact with the content and the type of event experience you want to provide for attendees will help you pare down the choices much more quickly as you assess the various features and functionalities and rule out whether or not they can help meet your goals.
Keeping the momentum going post-event
After all the prep and planning, your micro event goes off without a hitch and now you can rest easy, right?
Actually, after an event, there’s still work to be done. The period in between events is arguably one of the most important parts. This is when you need to deliver a regular cadence of content stemming from the event. Content that either is new or has already been shared or dives deeper into the event’s subject matter does well because of its value add.
The follow-ups with additional content will allow you to glean feedback, keep your company top of mind and help foster an ongoing dialogue with your audience. Plus, you’ve already created an abundance of new video content, so repurposing it and continuing to leverage it throughout the year maximizes its value.
Behold the benefits of micro events
That may seem like a lot to do, but the benefits are big. There are a lot of companies trying to capture the attention of your target daily. Micro events position your organization to provide relevant content consistently, increase visibility and foster meaningful connections with your target.
Through feedback and ongoing conversations, you’ll know what is (or isn’t) resonating and adjust content, event topics and even business goals quicker. Keeping your finger on the pulse in this way helps you work smarter, not harder, because you’re providing thoughtful, more proactive content that matters in the moment.
What’s important to remember is that people crave content, and in some way, shape or form, they will find what they’re looking for. The key is to make the content they find yours. Optimize the content for search with SEO keywords identified and included in content titles and descriptions.
Additionally, make sure the content is tagged with enough metadata so that if there is a lot to choose from in a resource center, the target can find exactly what they are looking for through filters and search fields.
Micro events are a way to get your thought leadership in front of the right people, at the right time and for the right purpose. While it might be a deviation from how your organization has approached video content and events in the past, micro events can have a sizeable impact on your business.
Donny Neufuss is director of business development and strategic partnerships at Sonic Foundry.
Welcome to the VentureBeat community!
DataDecisionMakers is where experts, including the technical people doing data work, can share data-related insights and innovation.
If you want to read about cutting-edge ideas and up-to-date information, best practices, and the future of data and data tech, join us at DataDecisionMakers.
You might even consider contributing an article of your own!