12 Ideas for Your Next Virtual Event on LinkedIn
June 19, 2020
People and companies everywhere are facing a lot of turbulence right now, emphasizing the value of solidarity and coming together (even if we can't do so physically). If you’re looking for new and better ways to engage and grow your audience during these times, LinkedIn has two tools tailor-made for companies looking to bring their professional communities together:
LinkedIn Live is the fastest-growing content type on our platform, driving 7x more reactions and 24x more comments than regular video.
LinkedIn Events create a virtual space where your professional community can come together in real time.
In our new Virtual Events Activation Playbook, you’ll learn how to use these tools in tandem. Since most of us are new to virtual events, you’ll uncover losts content ideas for your Event and best in class examples from other companies using LinkedIn Live.
Not sure how or where to start? Here are 12 possibilities to consider. And best of all, you can implement all of these ideas while working from home.
6 Ideas for Your Next LinkedIn Live Broadcast
Any of these scenarios would also work for a Virtual Event, depending on the nature of the content, but we most often see them used successfully with LinkedIn Live, which is designed as more of a one-to-many broadcast.
Conduct a Fireside Chat with a Member of Your C-Suite
As entire industries face new questions and dilemmas, now more than ever, knowledge is comfort.
It’s times like these when your audience may be especially motivated to hear from your company’s leading experts. By helping your audience members make sense of change and figure out their next steps, your executive leaders can provide a calming reassurance that’s sure to be appreciated and remembered.
Stream a Keynote or Panel
Today, more and more executives are capitalizing on live-streaming’s ability to amplify key messages among a highly engaged community.
For instance, Microsoft live-streamed CEO Satya Nadella’s keynote during Build, the company’s premier development conference. Pegasystems went live from PegaWorld 2019, generating much fanfare for their CEO’s streaming keynote. We recognize that these examples are pre-pandemic, but your team can still deliver a keynote from home (Tom Hanks’ monologue in a fully remote Saturday Night Live episode serves as an example.)
Host an “Ask Me Anything” Session with a Key Executive
If you’re looking to drive brand awareness (who isn’t?), Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions are one of the more authentic and transparent options for doing so. These sessions are particularly popular and effective when the goal is to help the audience understand or adjust to change.
Recently, The Mullings Group’s CEO fielded questions and shared his experiences regarding moving from a small company to a big one.
Interview Someone Your Audience Looks Up To
We all love to learn about the “day-in-the-life” experience of those we admire. Insights, tips, predictions, stories – we’ll gladly accept them all from those laudable professionals. At a time where many are facing uncertainty, and seeking guidance or examples from those they respect on how to proceed, this can be especially impactful. It’s also an opportunity to promote diversity and elevate under-represented viewpoints, both of which are rising as urgent priorities.
In addition to giving your audience what they want, when you interview someone your audience looks up to -- even through a screen -- your brand also benefits by gaining exposure to the influencer’s audience.
Unveil a New Innovation
Whether you’re debuting a new product or a new way to use an existing product (say, for remote purposes), live events can be an ideal way for brands to “show” versus “tell.” And because we’re making use of a visual medium and interactive learning – something you can’t get with other visual formats – your key messages may be more likely to resonate and internalize.
Announce a Merger or Acquisition Live
Think of this as a way to supplement (rather than replace) your public relations and brand-building efforts. A live session can allow you to walk both audiences through what to expect, answering FAQs along the way.
Live sessions are also a great way to illuminate the new advantages your audience might enjoy as a result of the acquisition or merger.
6 Ideas for Your Next Virtual Event on LinkedIn
The same caveat applies here as in the previous section -- any of these use cases could also cross over into LinkedIn Live, but the following scenarios are well suited for Virtual Events on LinkedIn, which offer more of a targeted and interactive experience for participants.
Highlight a Helpful Partnership
If you were to take stock of all the partners your company works with, your list would likely be longer than you might expect. The interesting thing about partnerships is that most of them were created to solve a unique problem. That means there’s a unique story to tell.
When you highlight a partnership, both partners can essentially cross-promote their brands to the most relevant segments of the others’ audience, thereby growing their own audiences. You can highlight corporate partnerships, product-related partnerships, and even community partnerships.
The online world is increasingly a place to recruit new employees. Virtual events can be used for talent branding and attracting new employees.
Virtual events, for instance, can function as career fairs for graduating students looking for their first job or for workers looking to make a move. A virtual event could also deliver deep information about a popular role, such as a software developer or engineer.
Demo a High-Tech Product
While many companies reserve product demos for interested decision makers only, some high-tech products come with a particularly curious and motivated user-base. This is especially true now for solutions that can assist with life’s disruption in specific ways.
A live event can be an excellent way to deepen relationships with product users and potential customers alike. Plus, the ability to field questions and demonstrate the product is invaluable for both parties: The brand gets real-world feedback while audience members get real time answers to their most pressing questions.
Talk to Someone from R&D About Your Development Process
As the saying goes, your customers don’t actually buy your product; they buy into your approach to solving problems. What better way to showcase your approach than to host a live session with one of your company’s foremost problem solvers?
Deliver Insights and Analysis
Not all of us have the time or expertise to mine our company and industry data for previously undiscovered nuggets of insight. Most of us do, however, have content gold sitting around already. And with a live event, we have yet another way to melt it down, reshape it, shine it up, and share it with those who want it. Take advantage of the live format’s timeliness to deliver acutely relevant information pertaining to key trending topics.
For example, Workday repurposed and spotlighted its healthcare data and trends by conducting a #wdaychats on Live.
Share a Collection of Topical Advice
Add a present-tense personal touch to your favorite presentation, like SoFi, which recently commandeered its resident negotiation expert to live-stream a Negotiation 101 workshop for its audience.
What are your most popular and practical how-to guides? Think about repurposing their contents via a live-stream so audience members who prefer this format can discover and engage with your brand as well.
To stay up-to-date on new product announcements and helpful features, I highly recommend joining our Pages Admin Group. If any of the above suggestions sound like something you could or should get on board with, get started by reading Virtual Events on LinkedIn: An Activation Playbook.