1. Give yourself time to plan
The Your Virtual Events team have worked with some tight deadlines (our shortest was to turn around an event in 10 days!) Whilst we successfully pulled this off, it made the critical timeline when it came to planning very meticulous. Remember, for a virtual or hybrid event you need all of the content that you would have with a fully physical event, and need to give yourself time to pull this all together. We also need to factor in your speaker briefings and their presentations, platform build and design and a whole host of other factors. Make sure you choose your platform (and venue if hybrid) in advance to allow you to pull together everything that’s going to be needed – you’ll thank yourself later!
2. Ask for support
Ok, so some people are already au-fait with arranging Virtual Events and have spent the past year focusing in on this. Others simply haven’t had the time. Realistically, when we’re speaking to organisers, in excess of 70% haven’t organised a virtual event using a platform before. You’re going to need a team behind you to bring all of your content together and even just for some of the smaller things like considering who you’re inviting. Supported by our in-house Virtual Events team this can really help to make your event a success.
3. Consider your speakers
Have a think about who you want speaking at your event and how much notice you’re going to need to give them to fix a date in their diary. If they’re in high demand, perhaps you can ask them for a pre-record and moderate a text Q&A on the day. I’d say my best advice is for your live speakers to realise how important they are to your virtual event – the content is why people will sign up after all, so you need their commitment not only on the day of the event, but for technical rehearsals and briefings, to make sure they deliver the best content possible and people can see and hear them!
Think about the production values. Are you happy with people presenting from home or would you like a more professional set up – if so we can help with pre-event and on the day AV and production.
4. Really think about your attendees
You want your attendees to have the best experience possible and it will be your job to make sure your content is engaging. When you’re planning, imagine the event from a delegate perspective. When you held the event physically, 9.00am-5.30pm might have been a breeze, especially with multiple coffee breaks and an abundance of food. Maybe consider sending your delegates something for their breaks. Remember the attention span at a virtual event is much shorter, so try to keep your keynote sessions shorter too, and consider holding the event across a couple of days to keep people engaged. Also think about how you can make the virtual attendees really immersed in the event, not just Q&A, Polls and Chat – activities, gamification and interaction all play a big part too. If you need to source any deliveries, entertainment, MC’s, guest speakers, we can help you with all of that.
5. Event Elements
Think about what is important for you when planning your event. Whilst we’ve probably all heard that ‘content is king’ when it comes to virtual, how you choose to present this can be equally as important. How will your event schedule look? How will you market the event to your attendees? Consider:
- Event Website
- Plenary Sessions
- Panel Sessions
- Breakout Sessions and the outcomes you want to achieve from these.
- Networking opportunities
- Audience participation/interaction
- Poster Sessions
- Activities/Engagement tools i.e quizzes, entertainment
- Breaks – how long for and will you be providing anything during these.
- On-Demand content
- Voice of God / Alerts
- Prize-Giving / Awards
Our Project Managers and Technicians will work with you on your event schedule to make sure all your timings work with the goals you want to achieve.
6. Revenue Generation
Think of the different ways you might be able to enhance your revenue generation for the event – sponsor packs, sponsored banners, linking to online merchandise store, different levels of sponsorship, session sponsors, exhibitor packages are all ways you might think about adding extra layers to your event. Continue to monetize by keeping your platform live and allowing people to register for post event access to content on-demand. Re-use the content from your event to strengthen your marketing campaigns. Think about the potential emerging markets that the Global reach of a Virtual event could open up to you and future planning. Most importantly, take advantage of trackable analytics to build on your future events and make them bigger and better each time!
For more tips on making your virtual event a success, and to discuss your platform options in more detail, get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org