Virtual events, often known as online events, are becoming increasingly popular around the world. Technology has advanced to the point that businesses, individuals, and organizations can now host virtual events that even compete with real events. Learn how to host entertaining and engaging events that will keep your audience want more.
What are virtual events?
A virtual event is one in which a person attends a session online rather than in person. Online conferences, webinars, exercise sessions, cooking courses, Yoga and Dance Parties are just a few examples of virtual events that can be held utilizing any of the many available conferencing tools or social platforms. Virtual events can be just as effective as in-person events; the only difference is that virtual events do not require a physical venue or audience. However, it’s worth noting that they may both necessitate the same amount of effort, although virtual meetings are significantly less expensive due to the lack of fees for food, venue, or transportation!
10 virtual event hosting tips
Here are some helpful tips to help ensure the success of your virtual event.
Choose an appropriate channel
There are numerous platforms available, each with its own set of features, ranging from co-hosting with another organization or company to extensive moderation tools.
Let your audience know which platform and format you’ll use to communicate with them, and choose one that will keep them connected from start to finish. With so many platforms to choose from, you might not know where to start preparing for your event.
When selecting a platform, always choose one that works well for you and offers all of the capabilities you require. Chat, Q&A, live polling, the option to submit slides or additional content are just a few of the tools that may completely revolutionize your event.
Different platforms have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. For example, Skype is free but only enables 50 users to connect at a time. Others may lack security or include fun elements such as comical backdrops. A Google Hangouts chat can have up to 150 individuals, but only 25 people can be at a video conference at the same time.
Set clear goals
Make sure you know why you want to host your event before you start setting your agenda or choosing the best virtual event platform. Set SMART goals and make sure the entire project team understands what you want to achieve. Take care of reducing costs. You can use expense management software to help you track all of your company’s expenses and cut costs.
Choose the best time for your event
Consider how many people will be able to attend, if they are in various time zones, and how much time you will need for Q&A. The holiday schedule varies from country to country!
Register your participants
To organize a fantastic event, gather essential guest information and target your audience. To keep track of how many people might come, use sites like EventBrite or even a simple Google Form.
If your event is paid, you can use an invoice generator and share it with your attendees via email or any other preferred medium.
Make interesting content
Virtual events rely on content, so make sure to curate consumable information, display it in the most user-friendly manner possible, and make sure it’s entertaining. You must put in the effort to attract, engage, and provide value to your audience, just as you would when preparing a real event. Create engaging press releases and videos promoting your event. Your press release should be informative, highlighting important aspects of your upcoming event.
Promote your virtual event on social media
Do not expect the audience to come to you; instead, promote your event ahead of time so attendees know when it will take place and how they can participate. You can use a social media scheduling tool for effortless scheduling, creating, planning, and publishing on all platforms.
Create engaging and informative videos and make them go viral on social media. You can supercharge your design using SVG waves – you can create similar shapes in seconds and apply them to your designs.
Try SMS marketing as well. It is a low-cost and high-performance business solution. You can send one or more SMS messages using an SMS marketing platform.
As the event organizer, you must be aware of the areas of cybersecurity issues of your event. You should constantly be aware that breaches can occur, and you should take steps to prevent them. Consider website encryption as an approach to ensure that information entered through your site is only readable by you.
- Participants should only be asked to provide information that is relevant to the project
- Make sure you’re using a secure platform
- You should also inform your attendees that they, too, have a role to play in maintaining data privacy. This can be accomplished by ensuring that they follow the following guidelines:
- Updating and installing any essential updates on their computer systems
- Avoid disclosing very personal information
- Whenever possible, avoid downloading content from a person or an untrustworthy source.
Make a detailed agenda with speakers and timeframes
You don’t want your guests to have to wait too long. Allow attendees to plan ahead by providing a clear agenda with well-defined timings and any relevant links.
Invite moderators to your event
If anything gets out of hand during your virtual event, make sure you have the right moderators. Keep in mind that not everyone is as polite online as they are in person!
Engage your audience
Instead of an “hour lecture,” prepare activities that require the active participation of your audience. Encourage your guests to engage in discussion with one another and to ask questions to the hosts.
Prepare to troubleshoot
You might want to use more than one platform. You can switch to another service if there are any technical issues with your video or audio, and the event will proceed as planned.
Take stock of the event
Take time after the event to get back in touch with your team and discuss what went well and what didn’t. You’ll be more prepared for your next virtual event!
- Follow the event on social media with a hashtag and contribute as needed
- Post-event survey to learn more about the attendees’ experiences
- Thank everyone who took part, both speakers and participants.
- Attendees should be informed of the meeting’s outcomes
- If the content is not sensitive, make webinars public for those who missed them and create a slideshow of the best moments from the event
- Provide the opportunity for attendees to stay engaged and communicate.
After the event, a post-event survey is one of the most critical parts to measure attendance satisfaction. It should be sent out as soon as possible after the event. Consider asking questions like this when creating a survey:
- What was the effectiveness of the various sessions?
- What do they think of the content?
Be ready to receive both positive and negative comments, and use them to improve your events, regardless of whether they have any extra criticism.
The key to a successful virtual event is to start right from the beginning. Ask yourself, “Why am I organizing this event?” before you start preparing your event. What do I want my audience to remember about me? “Who are my attendees?” and similar questions should assist you in planning an event. Although virtual events will never be able to completely replace in-person events, they are sometimes the only option.