The Secret Ingredient of Hosting Successful Virtual Events
Hosting events is no easy task, be it physical or virtual. But virtual events are especially more challenging to execute. Initially, the on-going pandemic forced many organizations to cancel and postpone their events. However, several companies stepped up and moved their events online. Today, virtual events have become the new normal and virtual conference platforms, like zoom, skype, etc., are the new event locations.
But how does one make a virtual event successful? If you’re not sure how to go about hosting your event, you’ve found yourself in the right place. Here are a few tips to make your virtual event a success.
1. Flawless planning
Planning has to be the most critical aspect of hosting a successful virtual event. You must design a strategy that covers all the elements of your event, from finalising the speakers to marketing and audience registration. As it may be the first time that you use a virtual events platform, it would be best if you test a few to find out which one will work the best for your event.
Consider asking yourself the following questions before you begin the planning process:
- Who is your target audience?
- What aspect of your business/event interests your audience the most?
- What is the goal of your event?
- What sort of experience do you want to offer?
- Who will speak at your event?
- Do you want your event to be open to all or contingent on registration?
- What do you want to gain from the event?
2. Choosing the right day and time
Setting the right date and time for your event is a crucial decision that contributes to the success of your virtual event. Whether your event is a small or large scale, you need to make sure that the maximum number of people can attend it. If it’s an event targeted towards the local audience, you have to choose a day that doesn’t conflict with any other major event or holiday.
If your audience includes a majority of working people, then office hours may not be the best time to host your event. In the case of a national or international audience, take into account the different time zones and set a time that works for most.
Looking into the analytics of the typical times that your target audience is online is also an excellent idea. Most importantly, you can give the power to your audience by sending out a poll.
3. Marketing the event
Promoting your event is just as important as hosting a top-quality event. Even if you invite the best of the best speakers, but if your target audience doesn’t know about it, then what’s the point? You must market the selling point of your virtual event so that audience participates enthusiastically.
There are many tools that you can use to promote your event. Social media is, by far, the most powerful and convenient platform to reach your audience. Making an event page on Facebook with all the information, and inviting all your contacts is a good place to start. Consider running ads of the event on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
Use your social media business pages to create anticipation in your audience by sharing glimpses of what the event offers. Starting a countdown, a week or ten days before the event is also an excellent way to make sure that the audience tunes in. Introducing a trendy hashtag is another great option.
4. Solving tech issues
The biggest challenge that most event organizers face during virtual events is recurring tech issues. Bad connection and interrupted stream are the quickest ways to lose your audience, so you must ensure that you’re ready to tackle these glitches on the spot.
You need to ensure that all your speakers have the required tools and a secure connection for a smooth stream. After you’ve chosen the platform to host your virtual event, send a tutorial or a guide with FAQs to all your speakers. Set up a virtual tech support desk or contact that can provide quick assistance.
5. Consistency in branding
It’s essential to make sure that all the graphics that you’re going to run are in alignment with the overall theme of your brand. Events are an opportunity to increase visibility and awareness about your business. Therefore, incorporating your business logo into the backdrop of the presentations and other virtual material is very important.
6. Doing a trial Run
In order to solve any possible issues that may arise on the day of the event, you should do a trial run. It will allow you to test all the equipment that you’ll use, as well as address any loopholes in the planning.
Consider this a rehearsal of your event. Request your speakers to join in for the trial, so all their issues get resolved before the event. Line up all the presentations and other visual material that you plan on running during the event. Check your backdrop, noise errors, and your team’s internet connectivity.
7. Hosting an inclusive event
For a successful virtual event, inclusivity needs to be one of your top priorities. If you’re using videos, incorporating subtitles and bright colours is very important. The presentations that use a lot of text should be in a large font, so people who would join on a phone screen don’t have trouble reading it.
Most importantly, try to make your panel of speakers as diverse as possible. Make sure that your event is easily accessible and open to all.
8. Making it engaging
An engaging event is a successful event. Make sure you involve your audience by incorporating Q&A tools. You can make use of the chat tool on your virtual conference platform. Send out suggestions and feedback forms before and after the event.
Hosting a successful virtual event can be challenging. But with the right strategy and preparedness, you can make it possible.
If you need help hosting a creative and engaging virtual event, contact us today!