Today, organizing virtual events has become the new normal. Organizations and businesses around the world leverage virtual event technology to keep going and connect with global delegates seamlessly. Right from organizing recurring virtual meetings, conferences, town halls, AGMs, trade fairs, exhibitions, job fairs, product launches or demos, open day, networking fair, onboarding event, and so on a virtual event platform serves all.
Today, organizing virtual events have become the first priority of organizations and businesses around the world. It has become the most powerful tool to connect, network, and generate revenues in the current arena. The benefits offered by virtual events are far beyond the reach of in-person events. Increased reach, better attendance, engagements, data trackability, reduced expenses, etc. are some of the merits of virtual events. A sudden spike in the percentage of online virtual events has been witnessed recently. The number has notched high and the number of virtual event platforms coming up every day answers it all.
With the change in scenarios in 2020, people are enforced to maintain social distance and avoid gatherings and traveling. With the impact of COVID-19, the percentage of virtual events has skyrocketed. Many famous names such as Apple, Johnsons & Johnsons, etc. leverage virtual events to showcase their latest unique offerings to attendees globally. Everyday event planners are coming up with brilliant virtual event ideas to engage attendees and deliver immersive event experiences. To deliver a successful virtual event, creating the right strategy, and leveraging the right technology is a must.
In this post, we have mentioned a virtual event checklist to plan your virtual event successfully. With the below mentioned virtual event checklist, you can deliver seamless virtual experiences with a substantial return on investment (ROI). Let’s get started!
Virtual Event Checklist to Host Successful Virtual Events
1. Determine the purpose of organising a virtual event
The purpose of organising a virtual event should be clear in the mind of the organiser. Whether you are organising an online event to reach maximum attendees? Tap top talent? Organise meetings with global delegates? For better visibility? Better lead generation? For boosting revenues? Or for brand awareness? And so on. The sole purpose of organising a virtual event and what you want to achieve out of it should be clear in the mind of the presenter.
2. Set the goals you want to achieve
Once you know the purpose of hosting a virtual event, set the goals you want to achieve out of it. While deciding on virtual event goals keep it in mind that it varies from that of in-person events. Once you become familiar with hosting virtual events, setting up goals becomes easier.
3. Create a budget plan
To host any event creating a budget is a must. When you plan to host a virtual event the expenses involved in renting a venue, decor, accommodation, travelling, foods & drink, hiring staff, etc. get resolved completely. With virtual events, you need to invest in the right technology and promotions to ensure a successful virtual event. Create a budget beforehand before you start looking for virtual event technology.
4. Create a plan and strategy for your virtual event
Creating a virtual event strategy and plan is a must to deliver a successful virtual event. Brainstorm your mind and generate brilliant virtual event ideas for a successful engaging event. Know the answer to the following questions: Will your virtual event be gated or free? What engaging features would you like to introduce in your event? Will your event be live, on-demand, or both? What will be your registration process? How will your attendees navigate throughout the events? And so on. While answering all these questions start creating a virtual event strategy to deliver a successful virtual event.
5. Select the right technology
Leveraging the right technology is the major criterion with virtual events. It is the medium that enables you to connect and network with other virtual attendees globally. Selecting the right virtual event platform that offers engaging virtual event services is a must. Look for the interactive and engaging features in a platform such as live audio, video, text chat capabilities, live polls, surveys, the ability to organise Q&A sessions, games, quizzes, contests, and so on. It helps in keeping the virtual attendees engaged with the event throughout. Check beforehand whether the platform enables you to customise virtual booths or not. A customisable virtual booth helps in creating brand awareness. The platform that offers robust data tracking and every digital attendee footprinting enables you with a detailed analytics report. It helps in measuring the success of your event and knowing the pitfalls.
6. Select the date and time for your virtual event
Once you reach the stage of finalizing the date and time for your virtual event do a little research. Check out whether the date you decided does not have any competitive events or national holidays. If you target a global audience, keep time zone considerations in mind while selecting the time of the event. Select a time that ensures maximum attendance at the event.
7. Promote your virtual event right
Promoting the event plays a major role in reaching a large audience segment, thus ensuring maximised attendance at the event. It does not matter how good your event is, if your potential target attendees are not aware of the upcoming event it’s of no use. Promote your virtual event in the right way. A majority of the population is available on social media. Leverage social media channels to promote your upcoming virtual event and reach ample attendees at a time. Apart from it, utilise public relations, direct mails, display on websites, and so on.
8. Run a test
Ask your virtual event platform service provider to show a dry run and check out for any technical errors in advance. It prevents your virtual event from falling flat on its face during the webcast. If any technical glitches arise, you are still left with the time to fix it. Get ready with a backup plan for sudden technical glitches at the last moment either due to an internet breakdown or something else.
9. Engage attendees during the virtual events
Attending a virtual event is not as stimulating as attending a physical event where you are surrounded by other attendees. A virtual event is accessed by attendees via any device or browser, thus making it less stimulating. They have no one nearby to interact with. Organise live polls, surveys, Q&A, games, contents, etc. to hold the attention of virtual attendees. It helps in keeping them engaged with the event throughout. Enable live chats that allow attendees to have 1:1 or group chats with virtual booth representatives, hosts, speakers as well as other attendees in real-time.
10. Do not forget to do a follow-up survey
Once your virtual event gets over send your attendees a follow-up survey requesting them to share their valuable feedback. Ask them what they enjoyed at the event and what needs improvement. A follow-up survey helps in gaining an insight into the hotspots that engage attendees seamlessly. Apart from it, it even helps in identifying impediments to improve for the next event.
Virtual events are an effective way to connect and network with remote workforce and global delegates seamlessly. The enormous perks served by virtual events not only dragged the interest of large and small scale organizations, but exhibitors, universities, job seekers, etc. all are aesthetically looking forward to the same. New to virtual events? The above-mentioned easy-to-follow virtual event checklist would help you to deliver a successful virtual event.