An Introduction to Virtual Event Planning

Virtual events are here to stay. So let’s learn to master them.

Virtual Event Starter Kit

There is a lot to talk through when it comes to online event planning but here is an introduction to what you need to think about when it comes to planning virtual events. A virtual or online event is any kind of event you host…online. This includes webinars, demos, masterclasses, Q+As, panels, and interviews with celebrities or industry leaders as well as for training. On a bigger scale, it can include virtual trade shows, conferences, and company-wide gatherings.

1. Understand Your Audience

Before you plan anything, answer the following questions:

  • Who will be attending?
  • What challenges and problems are they facing?
  • What are their goals?

Understanding who your attendees are, what they’re struggling with, and what they want will create a strong foundation for a successful virtual event.

Virtual events shouldn’t be siloed away from the rest of your events. They need to be integrated into your meetings and event programs, and you can combine them with your in-person events for hybrid event planning.

2. Event Planning Fundamentals

  • Virtual events, like in-person events, need good marketing. Without targeted, effective promotion, attendance suffers.
  • Content is king. In a virtual setting, your content is your event. Powerful keynotes and engaging sessions tailored to your attendees are critical.
  • lone doesn’t have to mean lonely. Keep virtual attendees engaged. Offer options that are relevant to each attendee type and utilize online event guides for virtual events.
  • Data is the only way to prove event success. Measuring engagement and capturing attendee data are the only way to prove event ROI and activate the user’s journey.

3. Think Mobile

Many of your attendees may attend your event on their phones, so it’s important to optimize for mobile experience when creating your materials.

If you’re using slides, keep the text on each slide to a minimum, and increase the font size so it’s readable from a pocket-sized screen. Select a platform that supports mobile devices with their interactive features, so attendees can chime in no matter where they are.

4. Virtual Event Elements

A virtual event is built around content, attendee engagement, and data.

While virtual events don’t require Food & Beverage, they are made of many of the same elements as any other kind of event. Video production quality and connectivity will be important, as well as the site that houses the agenda and content. According to Forbes, a virtual event should contain a mix of live and pre-recorded content. Here are the elements that make up a virtual event:

  • Event website
  • Event registration
  • Live presentation content
  • Live, one-way audio/video
  • Question and answer
  • Live polling
  • Note taking/favorite slides
  • Interactive video conferencing
  • Feedback surveys
  • Live polling

5. Example of Kickass online events

Here are some events we have found online and/or participated in that were innovative and relevant. We are sharing these so you can also learn what tips and tricks from the those who are doing it best

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