Virtual events offer the rare opportunity to connect with users from across the world within an online space, all from the comfort of your own home. Use of these events has sky-rocketed over the past year with stay-at-home orders, allowing people to discover the real ins and outs of hosting one of these virtual getaways. Below we’ve compiled a list of tips to help guarantee your next virtual event is a success:
Choose a Virtual Platform Fit for Your Event
There are many platforms to choose from for virtual events like InEvent, but deciding which platform fits best for your event depends on the type of event you are throwing. Find out how many attendees you’ll be having, what format will the event follow, will there be a question and answer segment? Third-party services such as BigMarker and GoToWebinar are great platforms that were created especially with virtual events in mind, you can post slideshows and engage with the audience, however, these platforms do limit the number of attendees.
Zoom has become very popular for events, but again has its limits on capacity and information sharing. If you have a larger group of attendees, or a strong following on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Clubhouse, you can use their “live” feature and select a time and date to appear on the platform.
Create An Event Plan
The best way to prepare for a virtual event is the same way you would for an in-person event, by creating an event plan. Make sure you have interesting speakers lined up, and that you’ve time-stamped the event so you aren’t all staring at a blank screen for 15 minutes waiting for the next part of the program. Check-in with your team, make sure if your attendees need logins for the event they get them in advance. Go over your agenda the morning or evening of the event, make an agenda, and send it to your attendees so they know what to expect throughout the event. Making sure your event is scheduled smoothly will only help fully polish your event.
Promote Your Event Virtually
Promoting your event is pivotal in order to attract new users. This can be as simple as purchasing a few paid posts on Instagram to garner more attention and attendees, or you can set up an email marketing system that reminds your guests of the upcoming event. Buy virtual advertisement spaces. Create a hashtag for the event. Have speakers and attendees post statuses on their social media to encourage their followers to come. The more you stay at the forefront of people’s minds, the more likely they are to come to your event and even tell more people about it.
Create a Raffle or Contest with Product Giveaways
Raffles and product giveaways are a great way to engage with guests and product vendors. Not only does it encourage your guests to be active participants during the event, partnering with other businesses will give you the opportunity to network and support businesses that you believe in. Raffle tickets and giveaway entries are also a great source of extra income during your event, and you could even look into donating a portion of the proceeds to a charity of your choosing. Custom promotional items are a great raffle giveaway option that won’t put a dent in your bank account.
Prepare for Technical Difficulties
While virtual events offer so much, technical difficulties during an online event can be disastrous if not thought about and planned for in advance. There’s a chance your event may freeze, the platform you’re using might go down, or maybe the sound stops working. In any case, technical difficulties might happen and the only way to get through them is to have a backup plan. Gather with your team during your prep meetings to discuss a plan for technical difficulties. Mention to your guests prior to the event what protocol you have put in place for if the virtual space goes down, that way there’s less panic and more time to get things back on track.
Send Post-Event Follow Up
After your event, send out a thank-you email to your guests, presenters, speakers, and anyone else who was involved in your event. Make sure to include all of your contact and business information in the email, in case anyone wants to reach out to you personally about the event. Follow-up emails are a polite and professional way to remind people of the experience they just had and show your appreciation for the time they gave. It could even be what encourages people to show up to your next event.
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