10 Tips for hosting successful Virtual Events
Today marked the final day of a long run of planning, producing and coordinating over 50 virtual business events in 2021. It's been a great experience in levelling up and delivering high quality and engaging events. I've also taken opportunities to gain insights and inspiration by just attending virtual events including event industry summits, conferences, webinars and networking events; and this has enabled me to garner lessons on event design and hosting the best of virtual events.
It is this that has provided the inspiration to share these 10 tips for hosting successful virtual events:
1. Set clear goals from the start – planning events involves a multitude of decisions so never host an event without having an event strategy - it is your guiding star and will make decision making easier and ensure you achieve your goals.
2. Choose the right platform for your event - know your event requirements e.g., event size, programme content/format, know the technical competency of your audience and use these details to determine your virtual platform selection.
3. Choose the right day and time for your event – know your audience’s preferred days and times, consider time zones, holidays and avoid your competitor’s event dates so that you run your event at the optimum time.
4. Promote your virtual event – research your audience and know how to appeal to them. Advertise in advance remember that promotion is the first touchpoint of audience experience so get it right!
5. Develop a clear agenda that includes speakers and timeframes – give your audience enough detail to understand your event and how it might benefit them.
6. Include moderators at your event - use experienced moderators who know how to bring high energy and engage with a virtual audience for the best audience experience.
7. Engage your audience - set a tone of participation - it’s key! Be intentional and create room for conversations e.g., gamification, networking, Q&As, breakouts.
8. Rehearse and prepare to troubleshoot – do a dry run through to identify glitches and to ensure everyone involved is as comfortable as possible. Also save yourself the stress and bring on board an expert tech partner to look after your tech setup and in event operation. Don’t forget to create contingency plans that include an alternative/backup for broadcasting in the event of a tech failure.
9. Send out a post-event follow up- don’t miss your opportunity to build on the momentum of your event – providing follow up communications are an easy win to keep your audience engaged and for you to keep providing value beyond the event.
10. Debrief - there’s always something to learn that can be applied to your future events. Taking the step to meet with your event team and/or stakeholders and to digest the event metrics is an opportunity to level up your next event.
Have any questions about virtual events? Talk to me about hosting your next virtual event for 2022.
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