Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, businesses have realized the benefits of hosting events virtually. You can save a lot of time and money on traveling, venues, and other factors by setting up any event at a virtual level. And if you are hosting one, bid adieu to all the overwhelming expenses of the venue, catering, transportation etc.
However, in an effort to make your events more cost-effective, make sure you do not compromise on the quality and goals. If you are looking for a little help to pull off a successful virtual event, this guide is for you. Today we will share seven essential tips that are absolutely fundamental for every successful online event.
Ways To Host A Successful Virtual Event
Here are our seven expert tips for hosting a successful virtual event:
1. Find The Right Channel To Promote The Event
Your event can be in trouble right from the get-go if you can’t find the right channel to promote it. When it comes to digital promotions, companies tend to try to promote the event on every possible social platform to get maximum exposure. However, promoting on can be quite inefficient, especially if you’re working with a smaller budget. Hence, the first thing you need to do is see who your target audience is and where they are most active.
For example, if your company targets content creators and influencers, you should try Instagram. On the other hand, if it is looking for small businesses, try both Facebook and Instagram.
2. Select The Right Time
No matter how exciting your virtual event is, people will hardly ever compromise their own schedules to prioritize your event. Hence you need to pick a time that would be suitable for the maximum number of attendees. However, the tricky part here is that target groups can often be diverse in their preferences and availability, making their preferred timing quite different. Also, if you are conducting a global event, contrasting time zones will make planning the event even more challenging.
In this case, we recommend grouping attendees from similar time zones together. In addition, it’s also important to try and avoid big holidays and weekend mornings as time slots for your event, as a fair number of attendees won’t be willing to sacrifice their free time or sleep just to attend.
3. Create & Share The Agenda
Promoting your event alone isn’t enough to achieve ideal attendance rates – you have to show them clearly what’s in it for them. Thus, you must create a transparent agenda and share it with your attendees beforehand. Tell them what you will be sharing in the event and how it can add value and attract them with clear-cut benefits, not just self-promotions.
You can also try creating timeframes for each segment of the event. This will help your attendees to participate in key sections they’re interested in, and so that they’re aware of when important segments are being covered.
4. Have Someone Moderate The Event
Any big event is an opportunity for trolling and potential toxic behaviour, and it’s important to take this into account during your planning process. To avoid any major controversy in your event, make sure you have enough to look after the attendees and the overall interaction between all the parties.
They should have clear instructions to handle situations relating to verbal or textual abuse, inappropriate comments and defamatory claims. They should also be prepared for immediate de-escalation at the slightest hint of aggression.
5. Keep It Fun & Interactive
Virtual events are not college lectures. You do not want to bore your audience with hour-long one-way lectures. If you want your audience to be hooked till the end, try to keep the event as fun and engaging as possible.
Allow enough opportunity for your attendees to interact directly with the host and ask questions. You can also make it more fun by adding opinion polls or allowing your attendees to share their opinions directly. The more they feel included, the less likely they will be to leave midway.
6. Be Prepared For Technical Emergencies
Virtual events are a lot more prone to technical emergencies than physical events. While technical issues at physical events are still manageable, if you run into any major technical crisis, the entire event can go down, and you will have no way to reach out to your attendees.
Having a “dry run” to test out all your equipment is a must and should always be a part of your planning. It’s also important to prepare backup resources and tools to ensure that in case of a badly-timed malfunction or disruption, you can quickly switch gears and continue your event with minimum delay.
Finally, it’s also important to choose a reliable platform to host the event and have plenty of technicians monitoring the situation to ensure everything is running smoothly. Following these steps can ensure that your event continues without any problems and retains the maximum number of attendees.
7. Keep A Follow-Up Email Ready
Your attendees have things to do, and it’s important to recognize the conscious effort they made to attend your event. As a result, sending a follow-up email or correspondence after the event is a good way to express your gratitude and also refresh them on your brand’s value points.
Send an email that reiterates the key points covered in your event, and make sure to include a small recap of the most essential and lucrative points. This will remind them of the benefits you offer and persuade them to move to the next step.
You might not get too many leads during your first event, but don’t let that discourage you. Maintain an interactive, on-going relationship with attendees can serve as the backbone of your relationship, and it can encourage them to join your upcoming events and possibly convert to paid subscribers in the future.
A successful virtual event can help you make a good first impression and get your foot in the door with potential paid subscribers. Thankfully, hosting a virtual event can be much more cost-effective and is usually easier to do compared to in-person gatherings.
Take care to focus on your attendee’s needs, implementing the best marketing and promotional strategies, and focus more on building relationships over simply making a sale. With these points and the steps covered in this article, your first virtual event is bound to be a great success.