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Events

Let’s Get Digital: What We Learned About Virtual Events (So Far!)

by AppLovin on Aug 27, 2020

In a recent AppLovin meeting over Zoom, our global events team chuckled about what we’re all doing to make the best of being at home during the pandemic. 

Over the last five months, our in-person events have shifted to virtual-only—since we’re all learning as we go, we thought, why not share what we’ve gone through in the last five months?

At AppLovin, events are a huge part of what we do. Our global events team makes sure our network and community of developers, studios, partners, and players are constantly connected to learn from each other, bond, and most importantly have fun doing something we love. 

If you want to start creating your own virtual events or want to expand your strategies, here are our top five takeaways. 

1. Partner up!

Remember when the lockdowns first happened? It was a mad dash for businesses to get digital. We also felt the urgency to connect with our audience as quickly as possible. However, we didn’t want to rush into something that wasn’t well thought-out, especially since webinars and videos take time to create, both from a technical and content standpoint. 

AppLovin’s Director of Global Events Briana Billingham recalled, “We wanted to do everything at once but it wasn’t realistic. Transition at a pace that’s doable.”

Because of the many partnerships and studios we have, we partnered up quickly to appear on webinars as a guest speaker or to help host. Doing it this way allowed us to be more of an observer, but also participate and learn more about different kinds of webinar platforms, for example. 

2. Measure success through goals and the right audience

The goal of our digital events are based on awareness and education, rather than networking. Because of that, it can be difficult to measure what the direct impact of an educational event will be. 

“With more general AppLovin topics, we mainly looked at attendee growth,” Billingham said. 

Growth and key measures for success didn’t necessarily mean having 500 people attend each event. Billingham continued,

“Having a smaller attendee list but getting in front of the right people meant better engagement and repeat attendees.”

3. Have a plan for where your content will live and how your audience can watch it

After a few virtual events got off the ground, we started to see a need—people were watching our videos and attending webinars. We wanted to make sure this content was easily accessible so we thought about the following questions:

  • Did we want to put the content behind a “gate” and make people sign up to watch? (Since these were mainly educational topics, we decided not to.)
  • Put them on an events page? (We created this page so it would be easy for people to find our videos.)
  • Which platform did we want to promote the content? (We uploaded them to YouTube and shared them in our monthly newsletters. This is in addition to sending the event recordings to absent attendees after the event.)

What we learned from our global teams in Asia

In addition to our U.S. audience, we continued to host virtual events globally—specifically in China, Korea, and Japan. 

Engaging AppLovin’s global audience helped us learn even more about the different types of webinar platforms and content that resonated with each country.

4. We got specific with our approach

Every region has its unique culture, characteristics, and needs. In Korea and Japan, we learned that virtual events tended to have higher engagement if accompanied by a visual presentation, such as a PowerPoint slideshow. (This was a trend we noticed at our in-person events as well.)

It was an important finding because we figured out that engagement would not be as high if we had two people casually having a conversation, for example. 

This discovery also helped us shape the tone and style of the virtual events in these regions. Some were more buttoned up, while others were more free flowing and casual. 

5. Use data, statistics, and actual examples

Who doesn’t love a good story? 

Compelling stories or interesting use cases tend to be attention grabbers. We also supported those findings with data and statistics.

Amy Mills, AppLovin’s Japan-based field marketer, explained, “The webinars that got the highest engagement always included case studies and statistics about developers’ strategies to improve ads or creatives, for example.” 

Fellow AppLovin marketer Yubin Liu also chimed in. “Latest industry insights and best practices in user acquisition, monetization, game design, and studio growth tend to be popular topics among attendees.” 

What’s in store for AppLovin’s digital events?

With unclear timelines for when people can start socializing in-person again, we’re looking ahead to evolve our virtual events. 

Increasing engagement and making sure attendees are benefitting are top priorities when we create digital events. We will continue focusing on:

  • Quality vs. quantity 
  • Keeping the length of events on the shorter side (think: bite-sized, but with a punch)
  • Staying on top of trends and important industry insights

The team will continue brainstorming for fresh ideas, so stay tuned—there’s more to come! Check out our upcoming AppLovin events