Hosting a virtual event for the first time? We’ve got you covered!
Due to the health concerns amid the ongoing pandemic, events around the world have been forced to cancel or postpone. Lucky for us, we live in an era where modern technology is highly accessible and inexpensive to use. As such, many organizations have turned to virtual events to build, grow and scale their online business. They can help save you money, increase engagement with your audience, impress potential customers and establish your brand as an industry leader.
What is a virtual event?
This may seem obvious, but a virtual event is any kind of event that you host online. Virtual events can include workshops, demos, Q+As, webinars, interviews, conferences, and even concerts! For some people, it may sound a little futuristic and intimidating, but the benefits of online events cannot be overlooked. Modern technology and social media have opened the door to new ways for people to connect online, allowing organizations to reach a massive global audience. In 2018, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival hosted a livestream on YouTube that brought over 41 million people in 232 countries to tune in, rather than just the hundreds of thousands who attended in person.
Are you ready to get digital? Here are some tips on how to host a successful virtual event.
- Understand your audience
To begin, you need to have a solid understanding of your audience. Who will be attending? Are they more inclined to partake in a virtual event? How tech-savvy are they? What are some of the goals and challenges that they face? Understanding your audience will help you create a strong foundation for planning a successful virtual event.
- Be consistent with visual branding
It’s important to match your virtual event’s materials with your brand’s aesthetic and identity. This includes everything from the registration page to sales, promotional graphics and social media marketing. Use similar colours, graphics, and other design elements that fit with your brand’s overall style. This will create a consistent experience for your audience and make your brand more recognizable to them.
- Use the right tech
One of the biggest concerns that people have about hosting a virtual event is the technology – what to use, how to use it, and where to get it. When researching the right platform to use for your event, look at the pros and cons of each option. Consider the price, features, bandwidth (how many attendees are able to join?) and whether it is user-friendly. Set up a test to try out every feature that you may want to use during your event, and be prepared for a backup platform.
- Make attendees feel involved
If all you’re doing is streaming content, it’ll be hard to keep your viewers interested. Your attendees are much more likely to engage with brands and organizations when it’s a two-way conversation. Ask questions, provide talking points, create social media hashtags and look for different ways to communicate with your audience. It may also be a good idea to find a moderator and a platform that is able to support online chatting, so that your moderator can guide conversations and focus on relaying information between speakers and attendees.
- Prepare for tech problems
Like physical events, be prepared for the problems and glitches that could occur during your virtual event. Before your event starts, test your Internet connection and all of the equipment that is involved. Prepare backup files of every visual element, presentation, and document in case something goes missing. Furthermore, anticipate the troubles that your attendees may have by preparing guides or FAQs. Be open to answering questions and provide the necessary support for people who may not be tech-savvy!
- Get feedback from attendees
Follow up with your attendees after your virtual event. This can be as simple as an email that asks for any feedback or thoughts! Having feedback from your audience is extremely valuable, as it will help you plan your next event and help you determine whether your virtual event was a successful one. Did the platform you choose work for your audience? Were there any technical difficulties that you weren’t aware of?
Are you ready to host your next virtual event at Trident Banquet Hall? Virtual events are a fun, effective way to build your brand and reach a global audience. Getting started may seem intimidating, but with proper planning and strategic thinking, your virtual event could be a huge success! If you have any questions about planning or need help with equipment, please don’t hesitate to contact us!