How to host a virtual event
Your virtual event checklist
Across the world people are hosting their first virtual events – the number of organizations planning a virtual event doubled this year. In this new, virtual world, it’s easy to feel more overwhelmed than excited with so many things to consider when making your events digital. At True Events we want you to feel confident and giddy about this new opportunity!
To demystify virtual events for you, we’re going back to basics and explaining how to host a virtual event and make it successful. So whether you’re hosting one this year or planning for a 2021 where hybrid and virtual events are the norm, you know you’re going to slay it.
Choose a virtual events platform
This is your virtual venue and what will determine the experience your attendees have. It’s important to choose a platform which offers everything you need both in event features and support for you and your organisation.
If you’re looking for guidance on the planning, organisation, marketing and execution of your event, alongside the hosting platform, a complete event service like TrueEvents is for you. We’re all about giving you a stress-free experience which exceeds your expectations.
When it comes to features, consider the aims of your event; education, networking, entertainment. What do you need to achieve this; a networking option, live streaming tools, embedded content, participant engagement tools, something else?Ben Collins, Director TrueEvents
You can find the features of any events platform listed on their website so you can quickly see if it ticks your boxes.
Here’s a few things to consider when you’re deciding on your virtual events platform:
- How you want people to attend?; some people are happy to download an app for an event while others would prefer a web based solution that can be accessed from any device.
- How easy is it to use? Nobody wants to miss out because they’re figuring out how to work the technology.
- How many sessions will you be holding?
- What kinds of sessions will they be? Webinars, networking events, music, sports, the possibilities are endless so be specific here.
- How many attendees are you expecting?
- How do you want those attendees to be able to interact? Text chats, polls, video calls and collaborative documents are just a few options.
- Will interacting with the content itself be enough or do you want to include group or one to one chats with speakers or other attendees too?
Optimise your content
Simply filming your event and uploading it to an events platform isn’t enough. At TrueEvents we put your event’s goals at the heart of our design meaning the content is created specifically for the digital space and is displayed in an engaging way.
In the planning stages we talk in depth with your team about why you’re putting on the event, what you want to achieve with it and how you want your attendees to feel. We dig into your idea to get the most important information out and then we show you how that translates into the digital space.
Whether you’re offering educational webinars, inspiring fashion shows or something else entirely, considering how you can keep your audience interested and make them a part of the event itself is key. That’s why we’re not interested in the fabulous venue you’d chosen or the fact you’d laid out the seminar rooms to save time on walking, we care about why you did those things. Understanding the core of your idea and building out from that with a digital first mindset is what ensures success.
Promote the experience
Virtual events are awesome so make sure your marketing is clear about the things you’re offering and how your event will work. Unfortunately the popularity of improvised virtual events through lockdown only added to the feeling that they can’t compare to the “real thing” so don’t leave your audience guessing.
Ensure your marketing materials explain how the event will work and how you’ve designed it to be an online experience. Snippets of behind the scenes event planning or a preview of the platform itself can go a long way to building confidence in the value of a virtual event.
Remember to go big with your marketing, just as you would with a physical event. With lower overheads it can be tempting to reign in your marketing too but we say go all out! If your in person events got billboards and TV ads and mailshots to industry experts, give your virtual version the same treatment. You know that it’s going to knock their socks off, share that excitement with your people!
Speak to the experts
Don’t lose days or, worse, weeks researching how to host a virtual event. Pick up the phone or send us an email and ask us; we’re happy to chat about your event, how that can work online and what it entails.
Simply talking to events organisers about their issues and answering their questions helps us to improve our own services. We know we provide the best platform but we want to offer the most supportive service from start to finish so get in touch and tell us what’s holding you back from hosting a virtual event.