How To Host A Virtual Event: 10 Actionable Tips
Virtual events have rapidly become more commonplace. As a result, planning them has become an essential aspect of any event planner's job.
Virtual events can be very beneficial for several reasons, including cost savings, more interaction with your audience and potential customers, lead generation, brand promotion, and helping you or your clients become leaders in their field.
Utilize these event hosting strategies and tactics to assist you in developing an excellent virtual event, from strategy and planning to hosting and presenting.
#1: Establish your format
Virtual event planning comes in many forms. It could be a one-person presentation, an exhibition, or a workshop. The goal is to create an experience that stands out from the competition.
Once you've decided on a topic, select a virtual format. Experiment with many choices until you find the most effective and easiest to execute. Create a diverse schedule, including keynote presentations, panel discussions, Q&A, and interview sessions.
#2: Recognize your audience
You must figure out what your audience thinks as a group. How tech-savvy are they? There are many more questions you should be asking to build a robust demographic profile.
When selecting a topic, keep in mind that content is king. Your attendees are there to learn, so prioritize what you believe will be fascinating to them. Avoid being broad or unclear; instead, focus on a single topic, and look for speakers who will talk about variations of this particular topic.
#3: Find a suitable event time and date
A virtual event removes all geographical restrictions. However, the timing should still be right. Are there other things going on at the time? If you're planning a big event with people from all over the world, think about time zones. With big events that happen worldwide, it's hard to fit everyone in. Choose a time that works for most people. If your event management platform allows you, you can give people who missed the live stream a way to watch it later.
#4: Promote your event
No one will attend the event if they are unaware of its existence! The ability to get the word out about your event is essential to its success. This is where the use of social media and other tactics come into play.
There are a wide range of options for marketing your event. Here are a few examples:
Create an event landing page
An event landing page may work based on the event and the intended audience. Highlight the information on your landing page. The page can collect registration information and provide attendees with a digital version of the event's who, what, where, and when.
Maintain an email list
Encourage attendees to register early by sending a "thank you for registering" message and a reminder one or two days before the event begins. Send a follow-up email after your event to solicit feedback on how to improve your next virtual event. Ideally, the event management tool you use will do this for you automatically.
Attendees may utilize your branded hashtag on social media to ask questions or provide information to the organizers. This boosts audience participation as well as brand recognition.
Run an event countdown on your social media accounts
This allows you to remind attendees about the event and get them excited about it. Let's face it, not everyone reads our emails, and in some cases, the emails are routed to their junk email folder. A running countdown on your social media accounts is an excellent way to remind people about your upcoming event.
Run Google display ads and social media marketing
Online advertising allows you to target people who are most likely to be interested in your products and services while excluding those who are not. You can also see if those people clicked on your advertisements. Additionally, online advertising enables you to contact potential customers across a variety of platforms: desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
#5: Do a practice run with your presenters
Once you've selected your speakers and presenters, ensure they're prepped. Check in with them to confirm they have access to the relevant tools and understand their role in the event. Recognizing the bigger picture helps the presenter tailor their message to the event and audience. It will also help if you have a copy of the speaker’s presentation, so if any technical issues arise, you or your team can assist right away (e.g., you can share the presentation on the screen for the speaker.)
#6: Utilize booths to highlight your sponsors
A physical event provides a dedicated area for sponsors to showcase their brand. In a virtual event, you can present a sponsor's logos, information, or sessions in various ways. It will have the same effect as an in-person event.
Provide booths with customizable branding. Turn booths into moneymakers: rent them out to exhibitors and sponsors to defray your operational costs. Booths are great places for businesses to list assets such as eBooks and white papers and show off their products.
#7: Consider offering access or discount codes
Attendance is one of the most important indicators of the success of a paid event. A discount or an access code can boost event awareness and attendance. Because people are more inclined to spend money on a ticket if it is a good deal, discounts and access codes may attract attendees who would not otherwise attend.
Coupon codes generate a lot of buzz and public interest right away. It's a low-cost way to engage the community and increase attendance. Just keep in mind that it is essential to price the ticket in a way that it reflects the value of your event. In addition, deciding on the right price makes for the best possible event experience for your attendees, and the best potential sales lead for your sponsors and exhibitors.
#8: Make it easier for attendees to connect
Create an environment that encourages attendees to participate and communicate with one another. Attendees' concerns should be answered in real-time using a live chat feature or a Q&A session. Chatrooms will allow attendees to discuss the topics in real-time. They also provide an opportunity for attendees to get to know one another better.
Make time for networking, whether one-on-one or in groups. 1:1 networking sessions are an excellent way to connect more personally. You can set up meeting times ahead of time or use chat software that automatically matches your attendees.
#9: Get ready to troubleshoot
Unexpected incidents occur in virtual events just as they do at in-person events. It is possible that your presenters' microphones are malfunctioning, that attendees' registrations have failed, or that they are unable to enter the event, and so forth. Establish that participants have a way to contact you in the event of a problem. You can also appoint someone to answer inquiries and assist you in these types of circumstances. If you need an expert to ensure the smooth sailing of your phenomenal event, find a platform that offers services such as dedicated event support. At Accelevents, we offer these services, wherein one of our experts will be at your event to guide and assist you and your attendees.
#10: Utilize the “mute all” function
"Can everyone mute?" is a phrase that has invaded our vocabulary, yet it has no place in a large virtual event. People who are giving presentations should not have to worry about being interrupted. Establish that you or a designated IT person have control over everyone's microphones.
Even if we are limited to working from our homes, we should maintain professional development, networking, and education. There are numerous options for securely hosting reliable and profitable online conferences and events. Attendees adapt to the digital format and express a desire to maintain professional connections.
So while the idea of hosting a virtual event may be intimidating to some, most organizers agree that their virtual events made them stronger. With clear goals and the right virtual events platform, your organization could make significant progress.
Here at Accelevents, we've got everything you need! We've got you covered, from being the right platform to ensuring that your launch is successful. By following the tips mentioned above, you'll be able to ensure that your virtual event is a hit!