Virtual Events have promptly become a new norm in the events industry. You can not only host them from any corner of the world but also save your resources and still ensure an excellent engagement. Taking your virtual events online has numerous benefits like generating leads, building your brand, establishing your social presence, extraordinary networking opportunities, etc. However, as we are still getting the hang of this virtual shift, it’s significant that we plan the event efficiently and without missing out on any important aspect. Let’s explore some of the most noteworthy aspects of planning to host a virtual event and begin by understanding the essence of an Online Event.
What is an Online Event?
As simple as it sounds, an online event is simply the event you host over an online platform with all your participants attending it virtually. The numerous innovative opportunities a virtual event renders is the major reason behind the prevalence it is gaining amongst organizations. An online event can be anything from webinars, conferences, and Virtual AGMs to tradeshows, exhibitions, and product launches, as the only limit is your imagination.
Let’s move further and explore a few steps to take your first event online.
Best Tips to Host Your First Online Event
1) Understand your Audience
You need to have a very clear mindset about your target audience. Before moving forward with the planning of your first online event, it is vital to assess the wants and needs of your audience. They should have an influence over all your prime decisions like the content and date & time of the event.
The satisfaction and event experience of your target audience determines the success of your online event. Therefore, the ideal way to begin planning your first online event is to predefine the audience-related matters. Ask yourself the following questions to get all questions related to your target audience clear:
- What are the demographics of your audience?
- What does your target audience expect from your virtual event?
- How will the audience benefit from the content of your event?
- Where is your audience coming from?
- What are the challenges they might face while attending your online event?
- How will your attendees participate, interact and network throughout the event?
Answering these questions will surely set a clear picture of your event planning process.
2) Define Your Goals and Objectives
Setting clear goals for your online event since the start is very vital for its success. Defining a goal does not only help you in executing your virtual event smoothly but also measures its success once the event is over. A virtual event is very different from a physical event; hence your goals are also different. Your objective can be anything from generating profits to promote the reach of your brand. A predefined objective will help you stay on the right path throughout the event.
3) Establish the Event Format and Content
A virtual event can have different types, sizes, and formats. Therefore, once you are done with planning the goal of your online event, think about which format suits your objectives the best. Determine the types and numbers of sessions, the variety of networking & engagement activities, the interactive tools, etc., that you want to include in the event.
Dedicate more focus on the following elements of your event format:
The content you present in your virtual event plays one of the key roles in engaging your remote attendees. If the content you present over the virtual event platform is not engaging enough, remember that your attendees are just a click away from leaving your event. Therefore, focus on every aspect of your content like the quality and design of images, videos, interactive elements, background banners, presentations, texts, etc.
While planning the agenda of your online event, make sure that it appeals to your virtual attendees instead of boring them out. Including multiple tracks and types of sessions as a common type track would become too tedious for your attendees. For example, help your attendees personalize their schedule by including presentations, panel discussions, entertainment sessions, product demonstrations, breakout sessions, etc.
Even though the event is being organized virtually and your attendees are attending it from their remote locations, they will still need time to grab a cup of coffee. Including mini-breaks will also help you make your event more engaging.
4) Choose an Appropriate Virtual Event Platform
Choosing the right virtual event while hosting an online event is as important as choosing a physical venue while hosting an in-person event. A virtual event platform provides various tools and elements to host a successful event with smooth logistics. Ask the following questions while choosing a Virtual Event Platform:
- Does the virtual platform provide customizable tools?
- Does the platform have the latest networking tools?
- What are the device support facilities?
- How efficient is the backend support?
- Does the platform have high-quality delivery tools?
- What is the level of tool integration available?
- Ask for past event experiences and get a demo.
5) Create Excellent Networking Opportunities
All your attendees expect to maximize their reach by lead generation, interaction, and networking opportunities. You can use various networking tools to enhance the quality of your attendees’ event experience. Following are a few innovative Networking Tools and activities:
- Social Media Groups
- AI Matchmaking
- Networking Lounges
- Advanced Search Filters
- B2B Meeting Schedulers
- Team Competitions
- Coffee Rooms
6) Enhance the Engagement
You can create various engagement opportunities at your online event to ensure its success. The more interactive your event is, the more your attendees feel engaged. Advanced virtual event platforms provide you with different interactive facilities and element support to ensure engagement at your online event. Mentioned below are a few engagement ideas that you can include in your first online event:
- Virtual Scavenger Hunts
- Virtual Escape Rooms
- Human Bingo
- Swag Bags and Giveaways
- Photo Booths
- Social Wall
- Contests and Trivia
- Signature Wall
- Q&A Sessions, Polls, and Live Chat
- and many more…
7) Promote and Market Your Event
Promotional activities of your first online event play a vital role in accumulating more attendee registrations and participation. The best way to create a social presence and identity for any virtual event is using social media platforms. You can also market your event amongst the target audience through email lists, promotional stories, word-of-mouth, etc. Another great idea is to run social media contests to reach the maximum number of the target audience.
8) Collect Feedback and Measure the Experience
Collect your online attendees’ feedback about their event experience with the help of various tools provided by the event tech support. Collecting feedback will not only help you understand the efficacy of your event strategies but also understand the perspectives of your target audience. This element will also facilitate you with a guiding step while planning your future events.
In case of any further assistance to ensure the success of your first online event, contact Dreamcast now!