Despite the availability of vaccines and continuous reminders about health and safety protocols, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from being contained. But don’t let that stop you from hosting events. When planned properly and executed perfectly, virtual events can be just as memorable as in-person events.
Professional event planners are quickly adapting to the art of virtual events. It all starts with understanding your audience, defining your format, choosing a platform, and choosing the right date and time. And even though the event is virtual, you would still need a venue to record the speakers.
This is how you get started with the virtual event planning process.
First get a solid grasp of your target audience’s interests and event expectations.
You can start a conversation with them by opening an online discussion forum related to your virtual event’s subject matter. Or if you already know who your audience is and what they expect from the event, consider sending out surveys to determine how they want the virtual event to flow.
Second define the format of your virtual event and choose an appropriate platform.
Similar to the way live conferences have activities like breakout sessions and event booths, there should also be something to break the monotony of your virtual event. Design an online experience that resonates with your audience. Then, choose a streaming platform that can accommodate that.
Third choose the date and time of your event.
Your audience won’t have concerns regarding location. But you still have to determine the ideal date and time for a good turnout. Early evenings on the weekend are usually ideal unless they coincide with major events like high-profile sports or awards shows. You can conduct a survey to find out your audience’s preferences, too.
Finally, choose a venue for your virtual event.
A dynamic event often combines live and pre-recorded sessions, and you’ll still need a venue for your speakers or your workshops. The space doesn’t have to be huge, especially if only a limited number of people will be there to record. But you do need enough space for a podium, your equipment, and of course, social distancing.
These are only the basics of a successful virtual event. Of course, you have to market it through social media platforms that your target audience uses. You also have to look out for the latest virtual events trends to make sure that yours is appealing and exciting to your audience.
Hire an Experienced Emcee
No matter how interesting the subject matter is, nobody wants to sit through hours of presentations and slideshows. Hire an experienced and articulate host who can confidently interact with a remote audience. They should be comfortable in front of the camera and know how to keep the virtual audience engaged.
Prepare Animated Videos
Make your content easy to digest and your target audience will leave the virtual conference feeling good. One of the best ways you can do this is by transforming simple presentations into animated videos. Your audience is more likely to retain your message when it’s shown through a visually appealing format.
Share a Meal with Attendees
You and your attendees might not be in the same venue but you can still make it feel like you are. And because food tends to bring people together, maximize online food delivery services for the people who registered for your event. Alternatively, you can send them gift baskets after the event.
There are so many ways you can turn a simple virtual event into a memorable gathering. It’s all about knowing what your audience wants and adjusting your program to meet their expectations. Good luck!