The perfect all-in-one guide for being prepared and throwing an amazing virtual event, complete with a downloadable checklist.
Virtual Events and conferences are a fantastic way to connect with an audience online. You can build relationships, introduce new ideas, create programs, and learn from others all through your event. A well-organized virtual event is far more rewarding for the attendee than a poorly organized one. If your attendees are confused or unengaged they might miss big moments, leaving them frustrated and upset. That’s why preparing well is key to a successful ROI for your virtual event.
So, you are ready to organize your first virtual event. Whatever the type of event, there are tried and true ways to make it a success. Virtual events are not much different than in-person events when it comes to planning. This blog will break down all the most important steps, and why you should pay close attention to the details. Pre-conference, During-conference and Post-conference checklists will keep you on track. Small choices can make a significant difference in the experience for your event attendees.
Pre-conference activities and materials will help to keep your speakers organized, your team on track, and your attendees having a great time.
Establish a Clear Purpose and Goal
Setting a clear purpose and goal for the event will make sure your planning doesn’t create a distracting event. Are you looking to sell tickets? Raise money for a non-profit organization? Hold an educational session? These are important questions to answer right away. Once you know the overall purpose you can set the specific goals you are trying to reach so everyone involved knows exactly what they are working towards.
Communicate and Collaborate
It takes many people and moving parts to make a virtual conference happen, and changes are happening frequently. Make sure that everyone on your team is communicating effectively about event development. Keep speakers and featured guests in the loop about any changes. Perform dress rehearsals and mixers on the platform to make sure everyone is well informed.
Create a Run-of-Show Agenda
Your agenda will keep everything moving in the right place. When it comes to virtual events you must be vigilant to fit all your speakers and networking in for the allotted time. No matter if you are playing a game or giving awards you will want to make sure you do not go over the time allotted for each activity. Just like a normal event you may cause other speakers or activities to lose time and can risk losing attendees at the end. However, on a virtual event, they will simply, log off.
Free & Paid Promotion
Social media and event ticketing platforms provide great opportunities for event promotions through free channels. Make sure you keep all your pages fully optimized by updating event descriptions, titles, banners, profile pictures, and posting to the feeds. Create event pages on all the platforms that provide it, for example: Facebook, LinkedIn, Eventbrite, Meetup, and more. Identify which channels your attendee audience uses the most. You can also run paid ads on these platforms as well. You can consult with the Vsummits Marketing Team about various advertising opportunities.
Event day is the big day! Here are some tips to optimize your event for the attendees and speakers.
Stick to the Agenda
It may be enticing to want to implement last-minute ideas or speakers that come up but stick to your agenda. It will save your speakers and event volunteers a lot of stress and you will look more professional. If anything, add in a slot of free time that can be used for networking or the possibility of a last-minute speaker.
Visit the virtual tables
This is your event, and you are the host so visit all the table and floors on the virtual Vsummits platform, or whatever platform you use. Say “hello” to your attendees and ask them if they are enjoying the event or need any help navigating the floor. Make sure they know where to locate “Tech Support”.
Good lighting and decor
Just because people only have a limited view of your stage doesn’t mean it has to be empty. Make sure you are well lit and don’t have too much backlighting (this creates a silhouette look and can lower your camera quality.) Use the opportunity to hang a banner or sign behind you, maybe some decorations or colorful objects that brighten the frame-up.
Encourage participation in the event
Attending a virtual event can make some people nervous, many times in-person events can allow people to blend into the background, but with a virtual event, everyone has a camera on them. Encourage others to decorate their space, dress up for the occasion, and interact with other attendees. Plan games like networking trivia, where’s waldo, or networking bingo.
Following up with attendees will help you gather information for your next event, remember any leads you were able to meet, and stay in touch with event-goers.
Highlights and recordings
Just like a live event, you will want to capture pictures of your attendees, the platform, and any other activities you execute at your event. You can do various things like a full-screen recording and recording speakers through the Vsummits platform. Use these on social media and through your post-event coverage.
Gather feedback and contributions
Surveys and testimonials are a great way to gather feedback from your event attendees. Ask them how they heard about the event, what they liked and disliked, and if they had any hiccups navigating the virtual floor. Most of all make sure to ask them if they had a good time and would leave you a review!
Follow-up with new connections
If we circle back to our goals at the beginning, you may have gathered information from some attendees. Make sure to follow-up quickly with any event attendees while the experience of attending is still fresh in their minds. They will have plenty to talk about!
These are just some of the many ways to make your virtual event a huge success and hit all your goals! While there will always be much more to learn these are our best practices gathered from our experience. If you have any questions about how you can make the most of your virtual event, or how to execute a virtual conference on the Vsummits platform then contact us at [email protected] or (813) 407-1566