One of the more important options you have when selecting a virtual event platform revolves around customization options. You’re already putting in major effort in creating and providing your virtual event, so the customization (being able to contribute your own look and feel on several key elements) is the fit and finish to your event that can make a huge difference.
This is part of a series of posts that supplement the “5 Things to Ask…” free planning guide, available at the top of the right column of this page. Get your free copy here.
There are several areas to consider for your customization: they include items that are based in the platform, but also items that are things you control entirely for the presentations. Here’s a quick look:
Slide templates – make sure your slides have a common theme and look and feel. While this seems perhaps tedious and odd, it’s important to have your event (even if it’s a webcast), have your logo information, your branding, you “look and feel.” These things reinforce to the attendee who is providing the event, and where to turn with questions on the overall event and information provided. Creating templates in your presentation tool (like Powerpoint, for example) is typically pretty straightforward. Taking the time to create the template and distribute it to your speakers is a small step that has a big branding and consistency pay off for your event.
On-screen elements – talk with your provider about options you have for customizing the environment. Things to ask about include:
- Your logo placement throughout the event environment
- Your graphical backgrounds and designs (1)
- Your graphics and designs on the registration pages and microsite
(1) examples of this include one event where we were doing some work with school busses. We changed the lobby to include a school bus and used the windows of the school bus as the navigational elements in the event (instead of conference room doors). Consider using your offices, or your campus or other items that relate to your business and the industry you are serving.
Exhibitor booths – if you’re having booths inside your virtual event, consider the options you have for booth designs and how much your exhibitors can easily take advantage of those options. Graphics sizing, options for using the “margins” on the page (some exhibitors like to include coupons in these spaces), custom menu and button options, custom videos and assets, along with general customization to the look and feel are the things you’re looking for here.
Emails, (Attendee Correspondence) – How much control do you have over the branding, look and feel and other elements that make up the email contact capabilities for notifications, announcements, etc. These are important because you may be able to offer sponsorship opportunities (as an example) where you can include sponsor logos in the emails about your event. In addition, you will want to make sure your branding is prominent and consistent.
There are many different components to customization. While most platforms will indicate that customization is allowed, the “how” of it all – the options available – vary widely, as do the tools and approach to implementing the customization. Ask lots of questions, find out the various things possible and make sure they align well with your company and show branding and functionality requirements.