Virtual events were on the rise even before the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the way we interacted and connected with each other. This isn’t really a big surprise given that virtual events have two major benefits:
- Virtual events are less costly
- Virtual events are more accessible.
Having a larger audience and spending less money sounds like a win-win situation. However, this doesn’t mean that hosting a virtual event is easier than conducting a physical one.
There are several things you need to know before hosting a successful virtual event such as the different virtual events platform, event strategy, and structure. Here is a list of the 6 most important things you need to know before hosting a virtual event.
1 – The Event Strategy
Just like physical events, virtual events also require meticulous planning. Since everything is live-streamed, you need to ensure that everything in your event goes smoothly. The last thing you want is people logging out from your event.
Your first step is to identify and understand your audience. This will help get an idea of your audience’s interests so you can structure your event around it. Some questions that you need to answer before your virtual event include:
- Who is going to attend your event?
- What are their goals?
2 – Structure of the Event
The next thing you need to work on for hosting a successful virtual event is the structure. For instance, you need to know the size and shape you should opt for. Moreover, there are several formats that you can choose from including workshop series, webinars, conferences, webchat series, hybrid events, etc.
For a smooth and seamless virtual event organization, here are some of the key points that you should consider:
- Will the event be on-demand, live, or both?
- Where do you want the content to be seen?
- Will the event be free or are you going to charge a registration fee?
- How are registrations going to take place?
- Are you going to conduct the event independently or are you going to work with an advertiser or sponsor?
- Will people have access to the event once it’s over? If yes, how?
- Do you want to collect some information in your virtual event via a poll or survey?
3 – Timing of the Event
Selecting the right date and time for your important is essential, irrespective of the size of your event. So, before deciding on a date, make sure to conduct a little research. Firstly, ensure that there aren’t any holidays or competing events that could possibly lower the attendance of your event.
Secondly, think about time zones. If you want to conduct an international event, try to opt for a time that is convenient for a majority of your potential attendees. If this isn’t possible, make sure that your content remains accessible even after the live stream of the event has ended. This way those who couldn’t attend the event live can still view it. You can also plan multiple networking sessions and different virtual events for different time zones.
Lastly, dig into your analytics to see when your target audience is generally online. And for a stronger consensus, you can even conduct a poll to see which dates your audience prefers. For instance, if you want to conduct a live session on Instagram, you can use an Instagram Story sticker to decide the date and time.
4 – Event Promotion is Key
A virtual event is very similar to any other product or service your company has offered in the past – it needs to be marketed to your target market. Using the right promotional tools will help you increase the number of people who attend and participate in your event. You can also get in touch with a digital design agency in London to help you create marketing content for your virtual event.
You can start off your event promotion by sharing the details of the event on social media and via email. Moreover, if you plan to run ads for your event, make sure to choose the correct format and target them strategically. For instance, extending invitations through LinkedIn’s InMail option is a better option than impersonal paid posts.
According to Adobe, event registrations increase significantly around 2 to 3 weeks before an event. Thus, it’s a good idea to boost your marketing efforts around this period.
5 – Tech Troubles are Quite Common
Connectivity issues, internet glitches, and lagging are some of the most common tech troubles you can face when hosting a virtual event. Thus, before starting your event, make sure to test your internet connection and ask your speakers to do the same. Have backups of your presentation and visuals and if possible, rehearse. The quicker you are able to identify any technical difficulties, the quicker you can come up with solutions.
Also, remember that not all of your attendees are going to be tech experts. Anticipate the problems people might face and develop easy-to-follow tips or prepare a list of FAQs.
6 – Providing Event Incentives is Essential
Another great tactic for hosting a successful virtual event is providing incentives to encourage people to show up. There are multiple ways to incentivize your audience to attend your event such as providing free items or talking about the valuable information your event will provide. However, the extent of incentivization will depend on whether your event is free of cost or if there’s a fee associated with it.
If you’re hosting a free event, you could talk about the event as an incentive itself. For instance, if you’re conducting a workshop for entrepreneurs on how they can leverage the power of social media, the incentive is the information you will provide in the event.
If there’s a cost of attending the event, you could create some materials that are specifically designed for the event. This could simply be an e-book or a PDF that the attendees download once they have registered. You could even have an early bird discount for attendees who register before a cut-off date.
Last Few Words
Knowing all of these things before conducting a virtual event will ensure that your event goes smoothly.
Emerald Colour is a full-service marketing agency in London, providing you with creative, digital, and print services.