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You want to do a virtual event? But not quite sure how it works or how to plan your virtual event? We’ve been at it for a while so here’s the breakdown.
A virtual event is an online event that involves people interacting in a virtual environment on the web, rather than meeting in a physical location. Much like any physical event, planning starts out with having an objective. In the execution stages, organizing logistics surrounding the event, ensuring your audience gets the best experience and measuring effectiveness follows. Whether your brand has a specific objective to raise awareness, educate, advertise or even entertain; virtual events can help you achieve all of the above.
So How Do We Start Planning?
You have an idea for why you want to do an event, you begin planning the event, you use one or various digital platforms to execute this event idea, you target the audience that would benefit the most from this event and in turn, you achieve the goals you set out for this event.
1. Begin by listing your specific objectives for your event and brand. Once you have those objectives listed, you might want to meet up with a virtual event planner (ahem) to help you bring your ideas to life. We begin by having a consultation, putting it all out on the table to see what’s possible for the scope. You will need to determine the following:
Who is my audience? What is the demographic?
How many persons will be attending?
Do I want this to be a free or paid event?
What do I want persons to take away from this event?
What do I want attendees to do once the event is over?
Which type of online event would carry out my objectives? (There are different types of virtual events-broadcasts, social live streams, webinars, conferences, networking events etc)
2. What will be on the agenda of the event? It’s important to have an idea of what the content of the event will be and how it will be delivered. What/how do you require attendees to participate and engage during the event. Will they be required to listen and participate via chat only or do you require them to be able to use video and voice? Is networking important during the event? Are there sponsors and what opportunities will you need to give them during the event? How will the speakers deliver their content? Is a shared screen require.
Whilst your agenda will be a working document, being clear on what will be happening during the event will then help you with point 3…
3. Select your platform. Choosing the right event platform is very important in a virtual event. Depending on your activities during the event and your needs for data, attendance and design, do research on the platforms available to determine which will be the right fit. Select one that will deliver on most of what is desired/required. Platforms pop up every day, most provide free demos of their features. A google search will reveal a plethora of options but we have highlighted a few options in a previous blog here. The key to making the right decision is being clear on what you need to happen during the event and your objectives.
You might want to discuss with your event planner/consultant what options you should consider for the best delivery. Most platforms may have a learning curve so take advantage of their experience in using the various platforms.
4. After careful consideration is given to the above, we then move on to planning the logistics of the event. For a virtual event, this would include (but not limited to) the following:
Setting date(s) and time(s) – Tip: commnunicate the time of your event with the relevant time zone.
Creating a budget
Planning your marketing strategy
Setting up registration and payment system (for paid events)
Determining the best way(s) to engage your audience (eg giveaways, gamification, real time networking etc)
Determining your production requirements (can you produce the event yourself or do you need a team to provide camera and audio services?)
Testing your choice of a event platform
Establishing and testing your internet connection at the venue you will be using. Test your lighting, camera and audio.
Doing a dry run/rehearsal (thank us later!)
Maintaining communication with your attendees in the lead up to the event (what to expect, how to’s etc)
Determine your support system for on the day of the event and assign roles/responsibilities.
Setting up systems for reporting, monitoring and feedback
We’ve scratched the surface but the logistics required for your virtual event will be dependent on the size and scale of your event. A webinar with 2 speakers will be easier to set up than a conference with a cast of speakers.
Your virtual event planner will be the best person to guide you through all of the logistics leading up to your event AND on the day. Murphy loves events and he seems to love even more those that involve technology.
When you work with us, we ensure your event is structured and coordinated in the best way possible for your audience to receive a meaningful and fun experience.
Virtual events will not replace face to face events; whilst they are now the main option, they have proven to deliver in areas that provides great return on investment and will form part of event calendars for a long time to come.
If you want to make a statement with your event, click the button below and let’s get started on planning your first or next virtual event.
Download our Corporate Brochure for a list of all the ways we can help you achieve your objectives!