How to Plan Your Virtual Event
15 April 2020
All over the world, the Coronavirus is affecting both people and businesses. Life is changing on a daily basis in order to keep up with the impact this virus has made and that means businesses have to change daily too. One of those changes is a massive increase in virtual events.
Well known conferences like Microsoft’s Build is one of the latest tech events that has stated that it will hold a virtual event this year, in May. Other businesses have followed suit. Businesses like Hopin, a well-known virtual hosting platform has seen an increase in business and has a waitlist that has grown from 10,000 to over 100,000. Many other businesses have been affected by the Coronavirus and are not sure where to turn to set up a virtual event. Maybe that is why you have found yourself reading this article.
Planning Your Event:
Step 1: Know Your Expectations
Planning an event is just like planning a party so you need to have all your ducks in a row. Do some brainstorming to find out what your expectations are and then adjust them. Our expectations far outweigh that grasp we have on what will really play out within any sort of event. Just because it seems easy to transform a physical event into a virtual event doesn’t mean it will be.
If you can hire experts to help, this is one situation in which you’ll want to. Zoom and GoToMeeting are two trending virtual meeting platforms right now, but make sure you do your homework on how they work. All these small details go into the knowing what you expect from your virtual meeting.
Step 2: Are your details right?
Practice. Part of your details is to have practice sessions with your presenters. It needs to be clear that each presenter knows how to use the event platform. They need to know how to use any slides as well. Check your connections, make files easily accessible, etc. There will always be some sort of hiccup that comes along, but this will ensure that things run as smoothly as possible.
Your audience’s time is precious and so you need to make the details as right as you can.
Step 3: Stay Engaged
One thing to keep in mind when it comes to your audience is that it can expand seconds before you go live. Unlike physical events, attendees can register at the last second and you need to make sure you are aware of that. So leave room for it when you are learning about your expectations.
To keep your attendees engaged, it’s best to separate them into pairs or into small groups. You want to make sure your virtual event appears less like a TEDtalk or YouTube video and more like an actual physical event. Therefore, allowing your attendee’s to socialize is one way of creating that ambiance.
Create something that attendees can do between sessions. This can be done through instant messaging or through small group workshops.
When setting up engaging activities, make sure that you think about time zone differences as well. If your event is open to attendees from around the world, it’s important to know what the time difference is and to set up your event accordingly
Hosting an online event is becoming increasingly popular due to this virus, but it may be a trend that is here to stay for a while.