The shift to virtual events is here to stay for the foreseeable future and while the unknown can be scary to some, going virtual is not necessarily a bad thing. There are perks to virtual events like accessibility. Virtual options allow you to accommodate attendees who would not have been able to attend in person. It also brings the cost down for everyone. Going virtual can save money on things like food, venue, and travel costs for speakers and special guests as well as attendees. This cost cut can possibly result in a higher attendance rate.
Even though there are some undeniable perks to virtual events, it can be difficult to plan for something you’ve never had to do before. We at Eagles Talent have created a virtual event checklist to help you ensure that your virtual event will run smoothly and be satisfying for all.
Before the Event
Establish an Event Goal. Just like an in-person event, establishing clear goals and objectives for your event is crucial to your success.
Ask: Why are you putting together this event and what do you hope to achieve? What will attendees get out of the experience? Do you have any financial or marketing goals?
Identify your target audience. Will you allow anyone to attend for a registration fee? Will it be an exclusive event only for members of your company? Identifying your target audience will help you to book the right speakers and entertainment for your event.
Create a Plan: Put together a team of people you trust to handle events (bonus points if they’ve ever worked with virtual events before). Make everyone’s roles and deadlines clear. Work with your team to meet all goals and objectives you’ve set for this event.
Create an event timeline to guide you. Set clear deadlines and make sure your team meets them.
Create an event budget. Like with an in-person event, a budget will help you to clearly understand where to allocate funds. Be sure to keep your budget updates and have an emergency fund just in case.
Choose your speakers and entertainment. Do you want all speakers to deliver a certain message? Whether it be a talk from a keynote speaker, business professional, or the CEO of your company, it is important to have engaging content that your viewers can interact with. This can include Q+As, live polling, breakout discussion rooms, feedback surveys and much more.
Choose a platform that is easily accessible to speakers and attendees.
Be Mindful of Your Technology. First you must decide if your event will be live or pre-recorded. Different platforms work for both options. Video production quality and connectivity will be most important. Find a platform that will support all of your attendees and make the experience enjoyable for everyone. Have several run throughs with all speakers and entertainment. Work out every possible glitch beforehand so you won’t have any surprises on event day.
Prepare for things to go wrong. Technology can be tricky and even with several impeccable run throughs, there is a possibility something might go wrong. Have backup and a plan b for everything, just to be safe.
Promote Your Event. Create an event website and/or an event mobile app. A website/app is a key promotional tool. This will be a place where attendees can receive up-to-date information about the event, a place where guests can register (whether you plan on charging a registration fee or not, it is important to have guests register so you have an accurate number of how many attendees you have), and a place where you can receive any feedback about the event. A mobile event app can also be used as a “home base” for attendees leading up to and during the event. This is where you can include a link to all sessions allowing attendees to pick and choose which events they would like to attend. This tool can also help attendees to connect and network virtually.
Create an event hashtag. Share the hashtag on your app/website so attendees can see and use it. This will help you to get critical feedback of the event from attendees in real time.
During the Event
Know who is responsible for what and make sure that each member of your team is doing their given job.
Collect feedback from attendees through polls and surveys.
Check event hashtag to receive immediate attendee feedback.
Enjoy the event you worked so hard to put together (but be ready to jump in if need be)!
After the Event
Review the event goals you set for you and your team. Did you achieve them? If not, work with your team to develop a plan for how you can better achieve them next time.
Have a post-event meeting with your team. Discuss the highlights of the event and what you think could have gone a little smoother.
Send thank you notes to sponsors, speakers, partners, and event attendees!
Posted by Stephanie Guida
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