Do you have an upcoming virtual event?
During the past year, virtual events exploded in popularity as companies sought to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic. The prevalence of online connection, though, isn’t something that will go away after the end of the coronavirus. In fact, experts believe the future of professionalism lies with people using virtual technology. More workers will perform their work from the comfort of their own homes.
As such, you should consider planning virtual options for your company events. But how do you pull off an excellent virtual event?
Keep reading to learn our top tips for each virtual event planner!
Determine the Purpose of the Event
The first step of planning a virtual event should consist of outlining the purpose of the event. Virtual events require your employees to invest a lot of time and money into the planning process, so you should ensure the purpose serves your company well.
Sometimes, companies choose to highlight their newest products or innovations. Others, such as non-profits, may choose to highlight certain initiatives their organization has taken or host a fundraiser. No matter what your purpose, write it down. Make sure everyone on the event planning team knows the goal of the event and can plan around it.
Develop a Roster of Speakers
Do you want to attract more attendees to your virtual event? Look into inviting a handful of speakers. These individuals should serve as experts in your field or people in charge of interesting, relevant innovations.
Come up with more speakers than you need, in case someone declines your invitation. Prioritize which speakers would represent your ideal lineup. Then, someone on your team should reach out to them and invite them to speak.
Many speakers ask for honorariums in exchange for their presence. Either decide on the honorarium yourself or invite the speaker to name their price.
Ask them to speak on a topic related to your event. Then, ask them to share information about your event on social media in case anyone who follows them would like to attend. This also increases the visibility of your company.
Decide on the Software You Will Use
Next, you need to decide on the platform you will use for your virtual event. Many people choose to use video conferencing services. These allow their users to send people links to the event and join using their internet connection.
To determine which platform would work best for you, take a look at everything you want to do at your event. Then, look at the benefits of each virtual event platform and choose the one that best suits your needs.
Test Your Technology
Before the event launches, make sure everything works well. Test out all of the platforms you will use hours before the event and make any last-minute changes.
Make certain your event works well on both desktop and mobile, and ask your employees to log on to see if it all works.
Look for Vendors
Many events, especially expos, include vendors. These consist of companies showcasing their contributions to your field. At in-person events, these vendors set up booths, with which attendees can interact.
Vendors also give you the opportunity to build your professional network. When you allow a company to advertise at your event, it builds a relationship with them. So, vendors don’t just give your attendees something to do at your event. They also allow you to bolster your professional connections and perhaps work on exclusive deals.
Virtual events can also feature vendors, even though people won’t visit a booth in-person. For help locating vendors for your online event, check out our extensive list of event vendors!
Have the Timing Down
When planning an event, you need to know what will happen when. Some activities may run longer or shorter than expected, but you need to know how to keep it moving so that you don’t encroach on your attendees’ time.
First, determine how long your event will last. Then, take a look at what you want to accomplish in that time. How much time will you allot for each keynote speaker? How much time will you give to other activities, such as side panels or vendor opportunities?
Have a plan for what will happen if the event starts going much longer than anticipated. This will keep you on track and leave you in control of the event.
Promote the Virtual Event
When you create a virtual event, you shouldn’t let it go without a promotion. Use your various platforms to release information about the event and include information on how to RSVP.
You should send out multiple posts or messages to keep it at the front of your followers’ minds. This might get you more attendees.
Contact the Press
Do you want to expand the impact of your event? Contact the local press and invite reporters to it. Offer them interviews with keynote speakers or people in your company.
Then, the press members will attend your event virtually, do the interviews, and report on what happened. They will then write a report for the local paper, and their readers will learn about your company. This increases awareness of your business and improves your chances of attracting new clients.
Assign someone on your team to handle scheduling press presence. Start out by contacting the editors in chief with a press release that invites them to send reporters. Follow up with them about a week later if they don’t respond.
Ready to Start Planning Your Virtual Event?
So, do you need to start planning a virtual event?
If you have an upcoming event, you need everything to go as well as it can.
EventNation has listings for everything to help you and your team onboard to the new reality of hybrid, livestreamed, virtual, remote and in-person events