In 2020, our world turned upside down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But digital acceleration came from this calamity, as more companies changed traditionally in-person events to virtual events. Hosting an event of any kind can be intimidating, but hosting a virtual event has its own unique challenges. If you do not have the time or expertise to plan a virtual event, consider hiring a London event company to do the work for you. In this guide, we will help you plan a successful virtual event in 2022.
What Are Virtual Events?
Virtual events happen online. There are a wide variety of virtual events, including but not limited to networking, conferences, webinars, hiring drives, workshops, social live streams and more.
The format of a virtual event will depend on its purpose. For example, if the event is a webinar, it is typically made up of one live session where attendees join for an hour or so. Alternatively, a virtual conference is made up of several sessions and may last several days.
But how do you go about planning a successful virtual event?
Set SMART goals
First, you need to establish the goals for your event. A virtual event without clearly defined goals has the potential to descend into chaos. To avoid wasting your time and the time of attendees, you need to set SMART goals for your virtual event. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based. The SMART method gives you a clear sense of direction and will increase the likelihood that your event meets its objectives.
Choose a suitable virtual event platform
Now that virtual events are commonplace, the virtual event platform market has taken off. There are dozens of different virtual event platforms available today, including but not limited to Eventcube, Airmeet, Filo, InEvent, Tame, Accelevents, vFairs, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and many more. The platform you choose will depend entirely on the size and nature of your virtual event. For example, if you are running an internal team-building event, you may opt for Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Alternatively, if your organisation is hosting a virtual event with hundreds of attendees, a platform such as Eventcube might be better suited.
Set the time
Next, you need to establish when the virtual event will start. You need to set a time that is most convenient for the majority of your target audience. For example, if most of your target audience is based in the UK, starting an event at 9 am UK time is acceptable. Also, keep in mind that different countries have varying holiday calendars, so avoid planning the virtual event on a day when many people will be out of the office.
Create an agenda
After you have established the basics, it is time to create an event agenda. Again, the agenda will depend on the nature of your event. If your organisation is hosting a conference, for example, you should ensure the agenda is packed full of influential speakers, workshops, networking sessions and Q&As. Make sure to schedule regular breaks so that attendees can grab a cup of coffee or something to eat. Nothing leads to attendees disengaging from a conference like a schedule that does not allow regular breaks.
Promote your event
Once the agenda is set, you need to promote your event. First, make sure that your event webpage converts. The event page should explain why people should attend your event with a well-written event description, pictures, videos of previous events, and a user-friendly booking interface that stands out on the page. After you have perfected the event page, utilise email marketing to notify your clients and prospective customers of the event. Of course, you need to make sure these emails are GDPR compliant.
Next, you need to promote your event on social media. LinkedIn is an excellent platform to use to promote your virtual event. If you find that your posts do not receive as much organic traffic as you would like, consider setting up LinkedIn ads to reach your target audience. In addition, Facebook is a helpful platform thanks to event pages, which are easily shareable. Finally, if you have videos from previous events, or you have created a brand new promotional video to draw attention to the event, post it on YouTube. Why rely on one social media platform when there are several available to use?
The COVID-19 pandemic threat has subsided, but virtual events are still occurring. In fact, some companies prefer virtual events over in-person ones. However, to ensure that your virtual event goes to plan, you must set SMART goals, choose a suitable event platform, set the time of your event, create an agenda, promote your event to your target audience, and watch the tickets sell out in no time!