Love them or not, virtual events are going to be a regular offering from here on out. The advancements in the virtual space have been vast since the start of Covid. In an area that many considered to already be technologically advanced, the new offerings, options, and features continue to come. Regardless of your budget, an effective virtual event is still possible. Below are 7 tips to keep in mind as you plan your upcoming virtual event!
1. Consider accessibility
Virtual events are often more accessible than in-person for people with health conditions or disabilities, people in different countries, and people with less time on their hands to spend commuting and networking at an event. However, virtual events bring a new process for
attendees to, well, attend! Your attendees may or may not be tech-savvy, so make sure you provide clear instructions beforehand on how to enter the virtual event through a link and/or password, and, when appropriate, how to connect through chat, audio, or video during the event.
2. Prepare for technical difficulties
Just like you would with an in-person event, you should always have a plan for when things go wrong—like when activities are off-schedule, when a speaker cancels last-minute, or any other unpredictable problems. With a virtual event, you should anticipate a new set of problems: assume that you, your speakers, and your guests will deal with technical problems. Have a plan for how to deal with these problems. For example, in your instructions for how to attend the virtual event, provide attendees with some simple troubleshooting steps and a person to contact when they are experiencing technical difficulties.
3. Consider asynchronous options
You may want to consider recording the virtual event for those who cannot attend live. Providing this option gives busy people or people in different time zones a way to still
engage with the event, which they otherwise would not be able to if this was a standard in-person event. Even after the event is over, you can keep the fun going by reaching more of your audience with the recorded content!
4. Consider your options for interactive engagement
If the event is one that allows room for attendees’ participation, either through discussions, Q&As, or networking with other attendees and speakers, consider how you will provide this interactive experience. Will guests be connecting through video, audio, or chat? Will guests connect through whichever option they most prefer? When will guests be allowed to connect during the event? Throughout the whole thing or during select times of guest participation? How will you encourage participation and give instructions on how to participate?
5. Emphasize your digital tools for event marketing and post-event engagement
If you’re hosting a virtual event, it’s likely a good idea to prioritize things like your event website, social media, and email marketing even more than you would with an in-person event. You are trying to connect with virtual attendees, so naturally, virtual marketing and
engagement should be more important than ever. Virtual events can feel less gratifying in
terms of social connection, so make good use
of your digital tools before and after the event to keep your community connected!
6. Take advantage of digital event data
With virtual events, it may be easier to gather data about the success of the event through the number of registrations, the number of attendees, the attendees’ participation during the event, the website, email, or social media engagement before and after the event, and more. Depending on which platforms and channels you use, you might find data collection easier with a virtual event, and then you will be able to continuously improve for your next one!
7. Find the perfect virtual event platform for you, your brand, your purpose, and your audience
There are so many different conference, video chat, and webinar platforms available today. Some of the most popular include Zoom, GoToWebinar, Remo, Google Hangouts, and live streams through popular social media like Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. Consider the price points of different platforms, the interaction features, the accessibility, and more. Prioritize your purpose and your audience when deciding between the various options available—after all, the best event will be the one that is personalized for you!
As an event company, we constantly strive to curate events that people love and look forward to attending. We’d love to get a little insight into where you’re at when it comes to virtual events. If you have 2 minutes, we’d love it if you could take this short survey to help us get a pulse on the current state of feelings about events.