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72: How to Delight a Virtual Audience

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This transcript has been automatically generated.


Bonnie Christine [00:00:00]:

We are holding this conference virtually because it's better because it's more accessible for people because you can do it in the comfort of your own home And so we're really pouring a ton into the virtual experience and making it so immersive for everyone who's attending. And, you know, you don't have to buy a flight and book a hotel and worry about the travel logistics. and, of course, you get replays as a virtual attendee as well.

Bonnie Christine [00:00:30]:

I'm Bonnie Christine, and this is all things creativity, design, business, and marketing unite. I'm a mama living in a tiny town tuck right beside the Smoky Mountains running a multi seven figure business, doing the most creative and impactful work of my life. But when I first set out to become an entrepreneur, I was struggling to make ends meet and wrestling with how to accomplish my biggest dream becoming a fabric designer. Fast forward to today, I'm not only licensing my artwork all over the world, but also teaching others how to design their creative life and experience the same success. I'm here to help you spend your life doing something that lights you up, I'll help you build a creative business that also creates an impact changes people's lives, gives you all of the freedom you want, and is wildly profitable. Welcome to the professional creative podcast.

Bonnie Christine [00:01:36]:

Every year since 2018, I have hosted a conference in the fall after the immersion course, and it has evolved over the years at the very beginning. It was only for alumni of my course Searchie design immersion, and it was also really small. We met in person. There were, I think, about 30 of us. We met in around Top Texas that year. The next year, we met in Asheville, and there was closer to 50 of us. That was 2019. And for 2020, I had booked us a conference location that would hold around 300 and fifty people. And as you know, 2020 and every live event got canceled. And so we transitioned the event that year to a virtual event. And so what I wanna talk to you about today is how to delight a virtual audience and really where we've come with the conference ever since 2020. So this will be our 3rd year hosting this conference as a virtual event.

And we've learned a lot along the way, and specifically around, really, how beautiful a virtual event can be and how much more accessible it can be as well. Now while I'm talking to you about this, we actually released tickets to the public today. you can, find out more about the conference. It's called immersion Live, the art of business. and you can find out more about it at bodychristine.comforward/2023 immersionlive. We're really excited about the speaker lineup this year. We have some incredible speakers like Glow Attonmo, Amy Porterfield, Nicholas Wilton, and Morgan Harper Nichols, along with a whole incredible lineup as well. And we also have a very limited amount so less than 50 in person VIP tickets for the first time. We're really trying this out for the first time ever. but at its core, this event is a virtual conference. And so that's what I wanna talk about with you today. Now, of course, Oh, I should say one more thing is that we are in early bird pricing. So early bird pricing for this conference goes through August 15th and then we'll move up to regular pricing. So early bird pricing is still in effect, and the really cool thing is that If you get early bird pricing, so if you join us, get a ticket for the conference anytime before August 15th, you are also going to get what we call our ultimate swag box. The cutoff for receiving the swag, which, trust me, is really incredible, is August 15th.

Now the conference is in October. So October 19th through 21st is the are the dates for the conference. And if you get a early bird ticket, that's August 15th cutoff. You'll be able to attend virtually. We'll send out the replays, and you'll also get the swag. So, again, head on over to bonniechristine.comforward/2023 immersion live for all the details. So, of course, in 2020, we held the conference virtually because of COVID, and we actually did the same thing in 20 21. We held it virtually because of COVID again. And we couldn't decide what we wanted to do in 2022. And we had to make the decision almost a year in advance, and things were a little bit still up in the air. And so we decided to hold it virtually again. We have up leveled our virtual experience every year. We do it in a studio that is incredibly equipped for virtual audiences, and that's what we're gonna talk about today. It is so much more than, like, a Zoom meeting. but I wanted to tell you something that happened at our last conference. Lisa Jacobs, my integrator, who you've met here on the podcast as well, was one of our speakers, and she was coming to she was flying in and coming to speak in person, even though the conference is virtual, we often have the speakers come and present in the studio live. And so that was her plan. And she had something come up last minute and couldn't make the flight. And so she said it's okay. I'll still I'll still present.

I'll just have to present virtually. Of course, we rolled with it. Everything went off with with no problem at all. But here's the interesting thing. Lisa, for the first time ever, got to attend the virtual conference as a virtual attendee. and her takeaways were immense. She loved it. She said, you know, she had she she viewed it as entertainment, like, put it on the big screen, was in her entertaining chair, got takeout, put her family on notice, and she soaked up the beauty of this event because This event is truly, like, equally inspiring as it is really strategic and business minded. And so it's a really, really fun thing to attend. And so she attended it, and she's on my team. So it's been really, really fun to hear her takeaways. And what we decided, at least for the next few years, I believe, is that we're not holding this conference virtually because we're concerned about health or any other reason, we are holding this conference virtually because it's better. because it's more accessible for people because you can do it in the comfort of your own home. And so we're really pouring a ton into the virtual experience and making it so immersive for everyone who's attending.

And, you know, you don't have to buy flight and book a hotel and worry about the travel logistics. And, of course, you get replays as a virtual attendee as well. So we are doing something a little bit different this year and opening up some VIP tickets, like I mentioned, for a very small in person crowd. but beyond that, it's entirely virtual. So for this episode, I wanna talk about how we do that in a virtual setting. Our goal is to absolutely bring this conference to life for you from wherever you're joining. So today, I'm gonna share 10 ways that we use our how we bring this virtual conference experience to an invigorating and rewarding experience for everyone, let's get into it. Way number 1 is virtual immersion. We really utilize engaging online platforms and tools to replicate that immersive experience of a physical conference. So for instance, we have a stage. We're also doing it not in the comfort of our own home or studio. Instead, we have rented out and we're working with 1 of the leading studios for online conferences. And the nation actually say it is the leading studio for online conferences, and they have their own online hosting platform that makes the experience feel incredibly immersive. like you are in the room with us. I can see everyone's faces on the screen in front of me so I can see and interact with you.

way different from an average Zoom setup. The next way is through interactive sessions. Sessions are designed to be dynamic participatory and filled with actionable takeaways, and we love having a the audience participate. So we encourage that, and we make each session filled with unique ways that make it interactive. So sometimes we'll allow audience members to share their biggest takeaways or ask questions, or maybe speak to each other. The next way is through networking opportunities. think it's really, you know, one of the things that we love about an in person event is the connections made between the other humans that we meet. And so we've put a lot of effort into how can we make this still true for an online virtual conference. So we're really working to facilitate connections between everyone who's so like minded. So we have dedicated discussion places. We've got breakout sessions to encourage interaction and collaboration. And we have seen truly lasting professional relationships and real friendships come out of the virtual conference. Now way number 4 is through what I mentioned, the ultimate swag box I have a thing for getting something beautiful in the mail, which means that I also have a thing for sending something beautiful in the mail. We love sending our attendees a curated box of just delightful, beautiful resources, things that they can use during the conference, things that they can use after the conference, like workbooks and notebooks, and we often have artists sponsor the box And so we really pulled together a curated list of resources and try to just bring that tangible element to the virtual experience, and it makes the whole thing so memorable. Now these boxes are highly sought after.

And in years past, we've always capped it at a number. So let's say the first eight hundred people who register for the of it get the swag box, Well, typically, they sell out really quickly. And so this year, instead of capping it at a number, we've capped it at a date. So that's why August 15th is so important. Everyone who joins and, buys a ticket to the online conference by August 15th is guaranteed an ultimate swag box. Now if you're listening to this after that, you won't be getting a swag box. but you will be getting, like, a virtual bidi bag with all of the most important takeaways and printable versions of everything that we can, accommodate with. Now way number 5 is access to replays. we record every session in, like, HD, beautifully recorded, and we give them to all of the attendees for their convenience. Now I've seen a lot of people do a lot of different things with replays. Like, maybe you have to be there live and there are no replays or you have to pay for the replays. We absolutely give everyone access to the replays of the entire event. And, you know, one reason is that I know so many people are joining from many different time zones, it's hard to be there live, but I also want you to have access to the replays you know, moving forward so that you can come back and revisit the material.

Number 6 is just through some really fun interact thing. We design custom backgrounds that you can use in your own zoom, you know, screen if you want. We, of course, have custom swag We also have something called reaction cards, which are, like, laughing emojis and heart emojis and so that you can hold them up to your camera and really interact You know, typically, everyone will be on mute unless we're calling people to unmute and speak to us. So, typically, everyone is on mute and so reaction cards. are such a fun way for everyone to see how everyone is reacting with the content. This is our way of giving attendees a super fun way of participating and our the way that we, let our audience really show our speakers how they're feeling, and there is nothing like speaking to over a thousand people and seeing everyone hold up their heart card or, like, their light bulb moment card because they had a good idea. Now number 7 is something that we're trying for the very first time this year, and we're calling it live notes. we are wanting to inject creativity and energy with this particular conference by having someone live note taking during the actual entire conference. We you'll have to be there to understand, but it is such a fun way to see every presentation come to life because the note taker is, like, it's the form their form of art.

Like, they're making beautiful notes and summarizing the present a note taking contest. or at least maybe a competition or a giveaway because something that's so incredible about this conference is truly it's where, like, business meets beauty. And so almost everyone attending is an artist or a creative entrepreneur. And so they just have a way of taking beautiful notes. And so it's really fun to see everyone's note taking ability. Whether it's beautiful or just well captured, we always love to see them. So we're thinking about how to play into this this year. We don't have it all ironed out yet, but I'll be sure to share it with you when we do. Now number 8 is the digital goodie bag. I mentioned this already because it is what everyone will get who joins us after August 15th. So instead of the swag, they'll get the digital goodie bag. And it's and and people who get the physical swag box will also get the digital goodie bag. It is a digital version of the swag as much as we possibly can. So it's some printables some recommended resources and then anything that's relevant to the actual presentations. So worksheets, workbooks, and all of the digital goodies like that. Now number 9 is a super fun way to engage with everyone during the online conference. And that's through interactive polls or quizzes. I did one last year, actually, for this very podcast. We had everyone vote on some things that had to do with this podcast, and it was the very first time that I even announced it. I'm gonna have a really fun announcement to make at this year's conference as well, but it's still a secret for now. So we love to use polls and quizzes during presentations or anytime we really want audience engagement. And it's a really fun way to get feedback in a real, like a live setting.

And then finally, number 10 is through creative challenges. We very much encourage attendee engagement through creative challenges related to the session's content. So we very much want feedback in real time We oftentimes, draw winners and give prizes away. We want people interacting in the chat and with each other. And so those are ten ways. There's actually more than that as well, but these are ten ways that we work to really ignite the audience for a virtual event. Honestly, it's unlike anything that I've ever attended, And every year, I feel like this conference is so, so much work. We kind of have a moment of, like, are we doing it again? And every single year, the attendees get so much from the conference. The takeaways, the connection, the strategy that they leave with and the outpouring of love for this conference every single year has me saying as long as it makes this kind of an impact, we will do it forever.

And so here we are gearing up for it again. We've been preparing for it for a couple of months already, even though we still have about 3 months before we go live. I would love to have you join us there, and I hope this episode was helpful for you if you run any type of online conference or workshop or even for regular Zoom calls, some of these things can be a great way to really help engage your audience. So whether you're a seasoned artist looking for fresh perspectives or a budding entrepreneur seeking guidance. immersion live 2023 truly holds a well of knowledge and inspiration for you, and we're counting down the days until we can share it. Until then, my friends create the beauty that you want to see come alive and the world and remember there's room for you. Thank you for joining me today, and I can't wait see you soon. Bye for

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I'm Bonnie Christine.


Thanks for joining me in this journey. I can't wait to help you to craft a career you love!

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