Are Virtual Events a New Replacement For Physical Events ?
With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, large and small businesses have had to rethink, change, and even cancel long-planned events. However, one possibility is to move formerly in-person gatherings online and hold virtual events instead. There’s a lot to consider and plan when creating a virtual event from scratch or converting a physical event into a virtual one.
Whether you’re arranging a small meeting or a large conference, event planning is a major task! Every event, regardless of how small or complicated it is, involves meticulous planning and organizing. While planning for a virtual event there are a number of components you should start thinking about early, from establishing an exact budget to promoting your event to make the process of virtual event planning as stress-free as possible.
Many event planners have gone virtual since the pandemic, however as the virtual event is still a relatively new trend, many people and businesses are unsure how to get started and how to conduct a successful virtual event. As a result, we’ve put together this helpful blog that provides useful suggestions and step-by-step guidelines for holding successful virtual events.
1) Identify the target audience for your virtual event
Every decision you make about your virtual event, from the time and date to the platform you use to broadcast it, should be influenced by your target audience. Therefore, it is critical that you know exactly who your virtual event is for. Try to be as descriptive as possible when describing your intended audience. Important information could include their age, career, and level of technical experience. You must have a good understanding of your audience’s overall mindset.
Is it more likely that they will participate in virtual event planning? Are they capable of using technology? In order to construct a strong demographic profile, you should also consider the following questions:
- What aspects of your industry catch their attention the most?
- What level of familiarity and activity do they have on social media?
- Are they comfortable while communicating on online platforms?
To get feedback from your audience, send out surveys or start a discussion forum. The more you know about them, the more likely you are to plan an experience that will benefit them. After all, they won’t show up if you don’t provide value!
2) Create a virtual activity map for your virtual event
A virtual event’s activity map is similar to a list of tasks that will take place during the event. It should address all aspects of the event. The activity plan should include information and answers to topics such as how event registrations will be handled, whether the event will be live-streamed or pre-recorded, and how to proceed with event promotions. You should also specify the feedback gathering approach, audience size that is permitted, execution tools, and much more in the activity map.
The virtual event planning should also include the reason for conducting the event. Defining your ‘why’ is crucial to ensure that you receive what you want out of the event, as well as allowing you to assess its success once it’s finished! Deciding the date and timing of conducting the virtual event is essential. You can’t expect everyone to show up at any certain time and day. While creating an activity map, figure out when most of your target audience will be available for the event. If you don’t get this right, all of your other efforts and investments will be for nothing because there won’t be any audience to attend the event
An important virtual webinar guideline is to understand that your event doesn’t have to be live. Even though the majority of people now work from home, there are still several distractions, such as children and pets. A live event that revolves around a certain point in time (such as a product launch or an announcement) will be beneficial. However, video on demand could enhance the user’s understanding of informational content by allowing them to watch and comprehend it on their own time and at their own pace. Even if you opt to Livestream your event, you’ll never be able to find a day and time that everyone will agree on. Remember that virtual events differ from face-to-face events; therefore, before just transferring an existing face-to-face event to a virtual event, make sure that the event still helps you achieve your goals.
3) Select the right platform
Just as you’ll need a physical site for in-person events, you’ll need a digital platform for conducting your virtual event. This will serve as a site for participants to connect and participate during the event. Many applications allow you to establish your own virtual venue with all of the essential outlets, such as an information desk, lounge, theatres, auditorium, etc. There are numerous tools and technologies that may be used to combine various engaging, exciting, and interactive components into your virtual event in order to improve participation and to develop a dynamic experience.
A technology that provides a personalized event platform will assist you in creating a more advanced event, including networking with instant chat, question, and answers, live polling. While doing virtual event planning, make sure to look into the possibilities and priorities of the tools that will help you achieve your goals and satisfy the needs of your target audience.
4) Select the right host for your virtual event
One of the most significant virtual conference guidelines is that you must hire a professional speaker or use an in-house employee who is comfortable giving a live presentation to a distant audience in a virtual event. Whoever the chosen person is, he or she must be able to talk properly, answer social media questions, and engage the audience. The host should look straight into the camera rather than the script. In addition, the host must be able to react quickly to unanticipated situations. You can also have two hosts who can communicate with each other as well as the audience. It can be pretty effective if both hosts have a good rapport.
5) Choose the suppliers
You may believe that a virtual event does not necessitate the use of any vendors. There are some supplies needed for every type of virtual event. Rather than repeating the same virtual event template ten times over, it is beneficial to think outside the box – and get the right suppliers. There are, however, dozens of new excellent virtual event vendors who ensure that your virtual event stands out.
6) Make your virtual event branding the main priority
Virtual events must be promoted in the same way that traditional live events are. From the name and topic to the website design and on-site look, your event’s marketing sets the tone for your event. Strong event marketing also serves as a vision for your event and aids in steering it in the right direction.
This is where social media comes in handy. Yes, there are the traditional techniques of publishing to Facebook and Twitter. You must, however, go beyond that and integrate other ways. You must reach out to your audience via digital platforms, whether through paid advertisements or social media marketing about your event. To achieve maximum participation, incorporate the registration or event attending link to your marketing. Links to other content, such as speaker profiles, Vlogs, or a training video on how to log into the broadcast, can also be included in social media posts
Informing and instructing the audience about the event will be crucial in spreading awareness, educating the audience, and enticing people to attend. You could also utilize Instagram or Facebook to show viewers the location of the virtual event.
When it comes to event branding, it usually entails:
- The name of the event: The name of your event is the first thing that the attendees will see, so it should express your vision for the event.
- Theme: A name cannot tell the entire tale. A theme is frequently used to connect an event together. It includes colors, designs, and logos.
- Email, signage, on-site décor: While not every touchpoint needs to be hyper-branded, some do. The individual element should work together to complement the overall story
7)Prepare For Technical Errors Ahead of Time
The most significant problem with virtual events is the possibility of technical difficulties and errors prior to or, even worse, during the event. So, before you begin your event, you must identify all technological instruments and equipment that you will be employing, as well as any potential problems that may happen as a result of them, such as a camera malfunction. You’ll need spare cameras as a backup in this circumstance. While doing virtual event planning, identify and prepare for all unexpected, unforeseen events.
8)Conduct Test Runs with the speaker
You’ll never know the real difficulties and their impact unless you test and try the processes and procedures, no matter how much you plan and prepare for the worst-case scenarios. Conduct test runs without attendance prior to the virtual event to ensure that everything is in order and to identify any unforeseen flaws or issues. You can also have a briefing with your speakers, attendees, performers, and others on how to progress, any breaks in between, how to handle unexpected occurrences, and some more crucial events.
9)Follow-Up with participants and audience
After the event, develop an attendance report and share recordings or resources that were discussed with the attendees, conduct a survey to collect feedback from attendees that can help you organize and advertise future virtual events. You can get feedback on the event’s activities, agenda, and objectives, as well as the audience’s experience with the event. This will assist you in comparing your performance to the anticipated outcomes of simulated events. You will also receive valuable feedback on whether or not the objectives were met.
Conclusion for virtual event planning:
Keep these virtual event practices in mind.
- When it comes to planning a virtual event, you should get started as soon as feasible.
- Follow the above-mentioned critical and valuable recommendations for creating a virtual event from the ground up and making it a success.
- Every event has different goals, expenditures, and audiences; with so many moving parts, having a jump on things ensures a smooth end
- It’s important to consider the production value. Attendees will be more engaged in a session if it is well-produced.
- Keep in mind the duration of the session. Keep sessions shorter than you would at an in-person event if the content format doesn’t change and isn’t compelling.
- Test your technology and plan ahead of time to record the sessions that will be available on demand.
- Train speakers prior to the virtual event and make sure their equipment is in good order.
WP Event Manager
If you want to plan a virtual event, you should indeed seek assistance from the WP event manager. When it comes to preparing your virtual event, they’ve got your back from tickets to advertising the event. WP event manager is an affordable virtual event platform that uses its advanced features to add event listing capabilities to your WordPress site. It is easy to create and customize virtual or hybrid events with the WP Event Manager.Click on this link to learn some new and exciting virtual event tips to jump-start the planning process and maximize your event's success. Click To Tweet