This blogpost will give you, B2B professional, tips and thoughts on how to organize virtual events. So, why organize a virtual event and how you can do it?
What virtual events are? They can be anything between meetings on Zoom, Google Meet or Microsoft Teams to big events held on virtual event platforms. What all these platforms have in common is that they are fully organized online and enable almost limitless access from all over the world. People around the world can exchange thoughts and materials and interact with each other. Interaction is made possible through chats, polls, one-to-one chats and video calls between the participants.
Virtual event can be either small or big and it can either have free access to it, or it can be behind a paywall. It is very important to consider the event’s target group and what kind of content appeals to them. Focus on the meaning of your virtual event – it can be for example creating added value for the different attendees, stakeholders and partners.
Where to start?
First you should decide the strategy for your event: what you are doing, to whom and why you are doing it? After this it is good to clarify your goals and what are the needs that you need to fulfill in order to accomplish those goals. In other words, it is important to find the solution that fits for your company’s, organization’s or school’s needs and support you to achieve these goals.
Like a physical event, virtual event is created with different kind of elements. When working online, the internet connection plays a huge role. It is easy for the attendee to close the computer and the event if the quality of the program does not please them. At this point it is important to acknowledge that you don’t have to do everything alone. Ask help from the professionals to ensure that your event will be successful!
Engagement and gamification
The next step on the process is to think about the content for the event – keeping in mind the target group. Good content makes the event appealing. For example, interaction can be created with workshops and polls. Gamification is also a way to create an interesting virtual event for your attendees. When you are planning the content for your virtual event, remember to also create a script. Read more about gamification from here.
When creating the script, you need to take into account that the tempo in virtual event is different than in a physical event. Virtual event should not last longer than half a day at a time, speeches should be shorter and there should be enough breaks. The script also tells everyone working with the event, for example technical teams and speakers, what to expect to happen and when.
Partners bring more content and added value to the virtual event and the attendees. When creating the timetable for the event, consider if there can be ads or other ways to promote the event’s partners. Partners can present new products or services and interact with attendees on chat and on video calls.
After these steps, you should start to outline who your target group is and how you can reach them. Marketing communication is a way to inform about the content and interesting performers of the event to the potential attendees. It is important that there is also a customer service person answering participant’s questions before and during the event. It is recommended to send a newsletter before the event to the attendees, not only to promote the event but also give to give them information on how to attend the event, when it starts and what kind of content there will be.
When it is easy to attend the virtual event, the experience is better for the participants. Reward the participants for attending this event and make them feel appreciated. You can lift the atmosphere of the event with social media: ask participants to share their feelings with certain hashtags that you have created. This way the attendees are also recommending your event to others! Watch the Liveto’s free webinar on how to use social media to create a buzz around your events.
Finishing the plan
From technical point of view, it is important to pay attention to the studio/location and good lighting, microphone and cameras. Read more about the technical part of the virtual event from here. Also, remember to familiarize yourself with information security to keep all the data from your virtual event safe. Finally, remember to have a rehearsal! Rehearsal is to make sure that everything is working smoothly be and there should be no surprises on the actual event day. Of course, it is impossible to be 100% sure with technology but rehearsal should make sure that everyone included in the project knows what is happening and what time.
Make sure that you are using some metrics to analyze your event, how well it went and for example what was the participant percentage. Don’t forget to collect feedback from the participants and learn about how you can make your event even better the next time!