You may be seeing virtual events popping up all around you lately. Before you ask the question “How can I create a virtual event?” you may want to understand what a virtual event really is. Over the past year we are no longer strangers to the term “virtual”. With so many businesses having to shift to remote work and host virtual meetings and training, we have all slowly adapted to incorporating the virtual world in business.
A virtual event is an event that is held online where a virtual event platform replaces the physical location. This means that one will attend the event from any location they choose via their chosen device as opposed to attending a physical event. With virtual events, the possibilities to reach a vast audience as endless.
Virtual events has given businesses more opportunity to connect with their audience. There are other benefits of hosting an event virtually including the ability for guests to be attending from anywhere in the world. With travel times reduced, people no longer have to worry about time difference or commuting across the country or world for an event. Additionally, costs associated with travel are also reduced due to the ease of accessibility. A virtual event also allows for teams to stay connected and collaborate in a similar fashion of being physically in a room together.
Where you choose to host your event will determine how you plan your event. It is extremely important that you choose a virtual event platform that will best suit your needs. In the process of choosing a platform, you may want to consider factors such as accessibility, privacy and data security, and functions. You want your event to be easy to access and this will depend on your audience of which you are reaching.
Additionally, having the right features is also important for the event. The event will need to have features such as gamification, social media integration, ability to have breakout rooms and more to make sure you engage your audience. Attendees will also be looking for networking opportunities which you will need to consider when you plan your virtual event.
Something to keep in mind, if your event is targeting an audience that is above 65 they might have limited technological skills. It could be a good idea to choose a platform which doesn’t require complicated downloads and installations to ensure no one is frustrated and confused when trying to attend the event.
No matter the type or style of event you choose to host, the planning aspect of the event is crucial. Have a schedule leading up to the event and one designed for the event. Decide on factors such as fees, registration and promotions. Once you have decided on what your event is and how your event will run you can create a schedule for the event that outlines the programme. This is a necessary step to stay organized and prepared. You don't want to be stressed out at the last minute.
It is important to pick the most appropriate time and date to maximize attendance for your event. Pick dates and times which are most suitable for your audience by considering holidays, time-zones (if your event is global), and competing or similar events. If you struggle with accommodating certain time-zones for your event, consider allowing your audience to access your event content after the live event.
This goes back to choosing the right platform for your event. If you want to have on-demand viewing, pick a platform that includes video recordings, that can be played back afterwards. You can also add the ability to download or connect to any content such as files or links relating to the event.
A crucial point to keep in mind. If there is anything we’ve all learnt form our WFH situations over the past year is that having a good and stable internet connection is important, but it still fails from time-to-time. Buttons don’t always work when you click them and other features might have a glitch when you need to use them. While it’s not the end of the world when these things happen, it's imperative you plan to have backup solution.
The event should also have a live help booth or a help chat feature incase your attendees run into problems. These booths are great for you to be in the know of whether everything is running smoothly and helpful if you need to step in.
Keeping your attendees engaged and entertained is the most important thing. You will want your event to be engaging to your audience. You need to make sure they are busy! There is nothing worse than sitting in front of your screen being bored, so make sure you plan the event with ways to engage your attendees. You can do this by physically involving your audience in answering live polls or participating in break out rooms. Your audience is attending your event for a reason and you need to show them the value your event provides to them.
Working remotely has become the new normal. We can conclude that having meetings and events digitally is a concept that is is here to stay. Now is the time to wow your clients with your innovative solutions. Virtual events are the best way to start doing just that.