Creating Experiences That Transform: Virtual Event Strategy
As our world has turned virtual, virtual events have become the prominent form of gathering. It is now, more than ever, so important for businesses and consumers to adapt to our new normal, where many presentations, events, birthday parties, work out classes, memorials and more are all taking place online. If you're a business (small or large) and you're preparing to host your own virtual event, there are many things to consider while planning.
Here's a broad overview of some questions to think about when planning your next virtual event!
Establish Your Virtual Event Goals and Objectives
- What is your goal? What do you want to accomplish? Use this to guide you through the entire planning process.
- What do you want your attendees to leave with?
- Valuable information on a specific topic
- Knowledge on how to do something
- More awareness for a cause/charity
- A sense of community
- Something else?
Define Target Audience
- Who’s your audience?
- How many people will attend?
- Larger events consist of about 200+ people and smaller events are about 200- people, so it's a good idea to gauge how many people will be at your event.
Fee or Free?
- Decide if your event is free to attend or if there will be a registration fee.
- If there will be a registration fee, how much do you want to charge per person?
- Which live streaming platform would best fit your virtual event?
- How do you want your attendees to interact?
- Do you want to offer personal networking pre or post show?
- Do you want to separate your guests into break out rooms throughout your event?
- What do you want engagement opportunities to look like for your audience? Such as a Q&A, chat box, comments section, etc...
Run of Show - Do You Have One?
- If you usually host this event in person, how do we condense the event to virtual?
- How do we avoid screen fatigue for guests?
- Define your team roles and create a plan.
- Marketing and Design Teams: This includes social media promotion, email marketing, website design, brand/event merch, reaching out to influencers and more.
- Production Team
- Project Management
- Speakers: More about the different options for speakers below.
- Sponsors: Who do you want to sponsor your event?
You have a few options when it comes to speakers:
- Live & remote speakers - with the equipment that they already own at their home (laptop and webcam)
- Pre-recorded & remote
- Pre-recorded & in-person - with higher quality equipment provided by a company to play back as if the speakers were live (at least for a portion of the event). Recorded content would also take out the variables of "live" such as being reliant on people's internet connections.
- What do you want to get out of registration?
- Should we incorporate fielding questions?
- Do you have any specific questions for your audience?
- Does your registration platform communicate with your virtual event platform?
- Send out virtual invitations, reminder emails and an intro video to show your audience how the platform will work beforehand.
- Organize and gather brand elements and show content, intro videos and presentations.
- Decide what's going to be pre-recorded and what's going to be shown live.
- Have someone in charge incase of any technical issues and also have preparation in place for wifi or internet connection loss.
Rehearsal and Tech Check
- It's important to do an internal run through of the show so that there's no mishaps when it's time for your event.
- Make sure everyone who is presenting or speaking has good audio, internet connection and sufficient lighting about an hour before your event start time.
- Send thank you emails to all event participants and follow up with a feedback survey, details about your next event and a way to contact you one on one if they still have questions or comments.
- Where will your virtual event continue to live? The video can now go onto your social media or website and be replayed for future use. You can use the same platform and store all of your content on there.
Good luck with your virtual event and please let us know if you have any questions!