The COVID-19 pandemic turned many in-person event planners into virtual event planners overnight. Whether you chose to host a virtual event or it’s a necessary change you weren’t expecting to make, now is the time to plan the most successful virtual event possible.
Virtual event planning is a skill that develops over time, but it helps to have some knowledge and tips from the experts. Follow these top dos and don’ts to make your next virtual event a success.
Audience engagement is a key goal at any type of conference or other event, but it’s more challenging in a virtual setting. People are naturally less engaged when they aren’t in the same room in person as the speaker. On top of this, you have no control over distractions in each attendee’s environment like kids or pets.
Get creative and find ways to get the audience involved in sessions and presentations. Incorporate activities for them perhaps, take polls of the audience throughout, or play a trivia game about each session’s content.
You may not have a traditional exhibit hall, but don’t assume you can’t bring in revenue from exhibitors. There are plenty of ways to sell sponsorships and partnerships.
You may be able to set up a “virtual exhibit hall” with breakout rooms for each exhibitor. Or, you could sell ad placement in informational packets. Either way, find a way to make your event a financial success.
There are many virtual event hosting platforms out there, and they aren’t all created equal. Each one has different capabilities, like hosting multiple concurrent presentations in the same event, offering breakout rooms, establishing a centralized virtual exhibit hall, and so on.
Do your research to compare your options. Consider the type of event you’re hosting as well as the capabilities and features you want to have.
This is a common mistake. Event organizers are used to coordinating the logistics of an event venue with in-person guests so they assume that they can throw together a virtual event in half the time.
The logistics may be different with a virtual event, but it still takes extensive time to organize. You need plenty of time to schedule and sign contracts with speakers, get the proper technical equipment and set it up properly, promote your event to attendees, create a schedule, advertise and sell sponsorship opportunities, and more.
If you have a virtual event on the horizon, it has the potential to be just as successful and productive as any in-person event as long as you plan appropriately. The tips above can get you started on the path toward a profitable event. To see how Canapii can help, learn more about our virtual event platform or contact us here.