How to Create a Successful Virtual Event

May 20, 2020 Categories: Customer Experience and Engagement, How-to Guides, Marketing Strategies, Technology and Mobile Tags: , , ,

Virtual Events and Trade Shows

What is a Virtual Event?

A virtual event is an online gathering that happens on the web. The host and attendees join remotely from anywhere on the globe, enabling large groups of people to easily attend. Typically, virtual events are less of a hassle to host and a more cost-effective option, but like face-to-face events, they require planning and preparation. Hosting an online event requires attention and care to ensure your guests leave with a lasting impression, even beyond the computer screen. Here are five steps and useful tips to prepare you for an incredible virtual event that will awe your attendees.

Benefits of hosting a virtual event:

  • More cost effective than an in-person event
  • Modern and innovative
  • Ability to generate a larger audience
  • Easier for people to attend
  • Less commitment
  • Opens the event to more people

How to Set Up a Virtual Event or Trade Show

Questions to Ask When Planning a Virtual Event

Before you get started, there are many questions you should consider to drive the even planning process. The answers will provide direction to the type of experience you want to offer attendees.

  • Will it be live or pre-recorded?
  • Is the team prepared for technical problems?
  • Is it informative and engaging?
  • Did you include incentives for guests to join?
  • Who will host the event?
  • Is there a key speaker?

Creating a Virtual Event or Tradeshow

Top 5 Steps to Create the Ultimate Virtual Event

1. Set up a Time and Venue

Come up with a time where your attendees will be available to join the event. Do research on your guests, such as a poll or questionnaire, to ensure a substantial attendance rate. The next important consideration is the venue – we all know the significance of location when planning a business event. Although the event is virtual, attendees will be able to see the location. Visuals are just as important as content, so make sure they’re catchy and worthy of a second glimpse.

2. Choose an Appropriate Strategy

There are many ways to share and attend a virtual event. Below are some options:

Webinars

Webinars are online presentations that are held in real-time but can be viewed afterwards. This style is more intimate and personal. The host can share their screen and provide slides while speaking to the audience.

Podcasts

Podcasts include a series of episodes with the same group of speakers. These can be re-visited and downloaded anywhere, anytime.

Social Stories

Adding to your social media is a great way to interact with your followers. You can also add awesome filters, conduct polls and do a live Q&A. This is a fun and engaging way to share information. How about creating a little behind the scenes section? We think “yes!”

Conference Platforms

For a more formal touch, consider using platforms such as:

  • 6connex
  • Run the World
  • Accelevents

These are powerful, yet affordable, software programs to hold your next virtual event. They offer live streaming, 24/7 support, virtual booths and plenty of helpful tools that are all entirely online.

3. Build an Agenda

First things first, stay organized. Work with your team to stay on top of event dates and times. In addition to the schedule, plan the layout of the event, create engaging content and achieve a formal ambiance. Remember to keep the layout visually appealing so the watcher stays involved.

4. Promote Your Event

Who doesn’t want a great turnout at their event? Here are a few ways to promote it:

  • Start by sending a save the date email and then follow up with an invitation
  • Create a tab on your website consisting of event information
  • Share on all social media
  • Create a calendar with a countdown to the date
  • Ask guests to register online

5. Test it, Evaluate it, Inspect it and Repeat!

Never assume that everything will run smoothly the day of the event. You’re relying on technology and the last thing you want is a technical failure, so make sure to test and retest everything to ensure that all will go as planned. You won’t regret this last step, trust us.

COVID-19

We’re currently dealing with a pandemic that nobody could foresee, causing many of us to alter our plans. During these trying times, it’s valuable to know the options you have. It’s understandable to cancel an in-person event and convert it into a virtual experience for the sake of everyone’s well-being. Having an agenda in place, along with reliable technology, can open the doors to a digital world your guests will enjoy.

In this day and age, events can be attended from anywhere in the world as long as you have access to the internet. Are you ready for your virtual event? After all, it is 2020.

We Use Cutting-Edge Technology Too – for Your Print and Mail

Although we don’t specialize in creating virtual events, we use cutting-edge technology to generate forward-thinking customer communications strategies. If you have a need for high-volume print, mail and electronic presentment services, FSSI is available to provide support with marketing, development, design and production. Inquire today at (714) 436-3300 on how we can help you succeed.