10 best practices for hosting virtual events

The era of COVID-19 has made so much of our lives transition to virtual platforms, from birthday celebrations to holidays. Events and conferences are no exception.

May 26, 2021

- 2 min read

The era of COVID-19 has made so much of our lives transition to virtual platforms, from birthday celebrations to holidays. Events and conferences are no exception. 

Hosting a virtual event is a unique challenge that takes practice, just like hosting an in-person event does. For your next virtual event, take advantage of these ten best practices. 

1. Choose your format early 

Decide right off the bat how you’ll lay out your event. Will you have a virtual “exhibit hall?” Large webinar-style presentations for the speakers? Individual breakout rooms? This will inform the rest of your planning, so it’s key to decide at an early stage. 

2. Identify the best platform for your event 

There are several event management platforms out there that are designed for hosting different types of virtual events. Now that you know your layout, choose the one that has the capabilities you need. Find out the capabilities Canapii offers, for example. 

3. Create a precise schedule 

Plan every part of the event just as you would for an in-person event. Make sure you communicate this schedule clearly to all the participants and attendees too so that everyone can be in the right virtual place at the right time. 
Take advantage of the lack of location restrictions for speakers 

Your presenters can work their magic from anywhere, so make use of that unique advantage. Seek out the best speakers for your event regardless of where they are. 

4. Plan ahead for promotions 

As soon as you have your lineup of star presenters, start promoting! Allow at least three months to promote the event so participants can plan it into their schedule. 

5. Vary your promotions 

There’s a golden rule in marketing: never put all your eggs in one basket. While promoting your event, use a variety of methods—social media, email marketing, reaching out to related organizations and groups, and so on. 

6. Get plenty of practice time 

If you’re new to the platform you’ve chosen for your virtual event, remember: practice makes perfect. Take the time to play around with it and get to know its features and functions so you can operate it smoothly on the big day. 

7. Have support available at all times 

With technology, things can always go wrong, whether it’s on your end or a participant’s end. Regardless, have a support team available during the entire event in case of emergencies. 

8. Consider keeping presentations online 

Part of the beauty of virtual presentations is that you have the capability to record and store them for later access. Consider offering this option for your attendees so that if they miss a session, they can enjoy it later. You could offer this to everyone or make it an add-on purchase. 

9. Find ways to engage 

For both virtual and in-person events, you don’t want every session to be a one-way conversation. Come up with ways to get the audience engaged and interactive. This could include trivia questions, in-session polls, social walls, and so on. 

10. Planning a knock-out virtual event 

Hosting a virtual event is certainly different from hosting an in-person event, but that doesn’t need to mean your event is less successful. Use the best practices above and learn more about Canapii to see how we can help. 

Canapii provides unique solutions to manage in-person, hybrid and virtual events. As the only supplier with genuine 24/7 customer service, our global team lives and breathes events, no matter their location or size. Canapii has over 45,000 users and is used by 5000+ companies. By being ahead of the innovation curve, we enable our customers to impress their audiences every step of the way.


Eleanor Martin

@eleanormartinn
Co-Founder at Canapii

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