Virtual events have been prevalent for a decade, but 2020 has changed the way people started taking the same. 2020 was the year of a roller coaster ride for the event industry leaving them in flux. With the passing time, virtual events have spiked up suddenly and more and more marketers and event planners are leveraging the same. It has proved itself as a powerful tool in the digital arsenal.
The upheaval of events in the year resulted in many changes. Organizations that were not willing to move their events online are now dedicatedly planning virtual event strategy for upcoming events. Today, the internet is brimming with a wide range of virtual event platforms that offers interactive & engaging virtual event solutions. Picking up the one depends upon the business needs. The number of ongoing virtual conferences and events has grown exponentially over the past year. As virtual has become the new normal, hosting virtual events is the new trend.
Today, the large-scaled on-ground events are hosted on a virtual event platform connecting people globally. When compared to traditional events, virtual events come with major merits. Reduced expenses, carbon footprint, Increased reach, attendance, engagement, greater ROI, valuable data collection are some of the perks that come along with virtual events.
As virtual events are highly flexible, people living in any corner of the world can have the access to the same. To ensure the success of the virtual events an adequate virtual event planning is a must. If you are new to online events and hosting virtual events for the first time, this article will help you. We have shared some tips to host a successful virtual event and do the right virtual event marketing for desired outcomes. Before we start with the virtual event planning tips, let’s first briefly understand virtual events.
What are virtual events?
Any event that is organized online rather than taking place in a physical location is known as a virtual event. It is organized on an interactive virtual event platform that allows planners to network globally. Virtual events involve a gathering of people over the internet where they interact with other attendees, planners, speakers in real-time. Any type of on-ground event can be converted into a virtual event. It can involve recurring day to day meetings and large-scale events such as conferences, trade shows, job fairs as well. Virtual events can hold a large number of attendees at an event seamlessly as it does not consist of space limitations. An interactive virtual event platform that offers no audience capping enables as many attendees as possible to attend an event. Webinars, trade shows, exhibitions, job fairs, career fairs, conferences, concerts, or any other type of event, all can be hosted virtually.
Tips to ensure a successful virtual event
Create a virtual event strategy
Before hosting virtual events, you must know the objective of hosting one and what you want to achieve out of it. Every event whether it involves a gathering of 5 people or an endless number of attendees, must have a strategy. Outline your virtual event strategy at first to make your event successful. Before hosting a virtual event make a list of questions and have answers for all. The earlier you plan the better.
Here is a list of questions you should ask yourself before hosting a virtual event:
- What experience would you like to deliver to attendees?
- Will your virtual event be live or on-demand, or both?
- Whether the attendees will have free access or they have to pay at registration?
- What is the best time to go live?
- Do you require pre-event registration?
- How to promote the event before the actual date?
- Will people still have access to the event once it’s over?
Apart from it, make a list of certain questions and know the answers of each before just hitting the live button.
Select the right date and time
Once you plan out the virtual event strategy, selecting the date and time for your virtual event is a must. If you target a global audience, keep time zone consideration in mind to ensure maximum attendance and participation. Do a little research and see the date you decided do not have competing events. Change the date if so, as it will result in interfering with the attendance of attendees.
Select the best virtual event technology
Now comes a crucial step, select the virtual event platform that offers comprehensive virtual event services that suit your needs. There are ample of interactive and engaging virtual event platforms available nowadays. Pick the one that suits you and help you deliver immersive virtual event experiences. A virtual event platform that offers engaging features like Live chats, polls, surveys, quizzes is the best bet to rely on. It helps in keeping the audience engaged throughout the event.
Work on promoting the event
How good your event is and may you have hired the best speakers, but it’s of no use if your audience is not aware. Work on virtual event marketing and promote your event to make your attendees aware of the upcoming event. Integrated marketing works well for promoting virtual events. Apart from it, you can use direct mails, public relations, social media channels, company’s website to promote the event.
Be prepared for technical glitches
Before just hosting a virtual event, run a test beforehand. Check for the internet connection, backups, speakers, and see if everything is in line. Anticipate troubles beforehand and be prepared with backups for the last-minute technical glitches.
Make it accessible
Make virtual events accessible to a wide spectrum of audiences. If possible incorporate the language change option as well. As local language tends to connect the audience well as they are closely connected to it. Provide captions in large fonts, visuals wherever possible, etc. to make the event inclusive.
Boost engagements at your virtual events by creating innovative opportunities to keep the audience engaged. If the event is engaging it is likely to be a big hit and loved by attendees. You can incorporate Q & A sessions amid your ongoing session to know the mindset of your audience. It makes them feel valued as they get the opportunity to ask questions or share their valuable feedback. Apart from it, virtual events that entail games like spin the wheel and offer virtual or physical giveaways help in motivating the attendees while keeping them engaged. You can ask your attendees to share their feedback in the comment section. Engagements are one of the crucial aspects responsible for the success of a virtual event.
If you are new to the virtual event arsenal, by following the above-mentioned tips you can simply host a successful virtual event and hybrid event. If you have not thought about hosting a virtual event, now is the time to take your physical events online.