The concept of a virtual meeting has become common for businesses across the world as they help in reducing costs and come with a wide range of other benefits. However, hosting successful virtual events and meetings have become extremely important after the coronavirus pandemic.
Virtual meetings are pretty straightforward and easy to host but virtual events can still be unchartered territory for most companies. For example, a lot of these companies might be wondering how could events like multi-day conferences work in virtual space?
However, with the right virtual event platform, hosting successful virtual events is easier than ever. Additionally, virtual events are also more cost-effective and time-effective than physical events. And if done correctly, they can provide as much value to the attendees as a physical event, if not more.
In this blog, we’re going to take a look at the top 20 tips for hosting successful virtual events.
What is a Virtual Event?
Virtual events are just like physical events, except the entire event takes place in a virtual space. Even though they are hosted over the internet, there are just as engaging for the attendees and create a highly personalized experience for every single attendee.
Depending on the goal of the event, there can be a number of different types of virtual events such as virtual trade shows, virtual job fairs, a virtual conference, and more!
A virtual event doesn’t need to be limited to a single event. It can actually extend into multiple days with many speakers. In essence, a virtual event provides incredible value for everyone involved – the speakers, the attendees, and the host!
Tips For Hosting Virtual Events
Live virtual events need management just like physical events do. Of course, there are some differences, for example, you don’t have to deal with setting up the venues, but there are some new challenges such as setting up the virtual environment, ensuring all the speakers are connected, etc.
This is why it is important to ensure you pick the right virtual events platform for hosting successful virtual event.
Once you’ve picked the best platform for your needs, here are some additional tips that will help you in hosting successful virtual events!
#1 – Have a strong vision right from the start
A virtual conference, like a physical conference, needs to have a central powerful vision to make it engaging for attendees.
This is why it’s important to start off with a strong vision about how your virtual event will look like. Once you have the vision for your event ready, all the other pieces start falling into place really quickly.
#2 – Make virtual events a part of your business model
Live virtual events are not just events but also a great marketing opportunity. There are countless webinars, podcasts, and blogs in the world but not every company is leveraging the idea of a virtual event as a marketing tool.
By incorporating virtual events into your business model, you can gain significant advantages in terms of marketing and revenue. Instead of just thinking of hosting a virtual event as a one-off thing, it is a good idea to have a sustainable plan and make it a regular part of your strategy. Read more about Virtual Events and B2B Marketing.
#3 – Focus on the niche
In live virtual events, you should focus on a narrow niche instead of trying to cover a wide base. By picking up the right niche, you’re not only going to target audiences that are more relevant to your event but also provide a much better experience for the audiences.
#4 – Have a unique hook
A “hook” is what draws your attendees to your event. A great hook can help your virtual event stand out and get people more interested.
When it comes to creating hooks for events, you should focus on creating something that is unique and draws people in. A great hook for any virtual event should be original, interesting, and completely in line with the vision of the event.
#5 – Provide a great offer to the attendees
One of the major aspects of virtual event management is marketing and ensuring that the attendees love what your virtual event has to offer to them.
It is always a good exercise to think about the value that your virtual event provides to the attendees and to ensure the offer for the event is irresistible for your attendees.
#6 – Get used to an intense planning process
While a great virtual events platform can make the process of planning much easier, it is still one of the things that you should definitely hyper-focus on.
The planning process for a virtual event might seem to be less intense than a physical event but the truth is that planning for a virtual event is still a pretty intense focus.
There’s a lot of things that you should take care of when it comes to a virtual event such as picking the right dates for the event, finding the right promotion strategy, ensuring you’re using the right tools and the right virtual events platform and much more!
#7 – Create strong relationships before the event
To host a virtual event, you would need help from a number of people, especially influencers and speakers.
A lot of companies do not invest much time into cultivating powerful relationships and approach speakers and influencers right when they need them.
It can be a better approach to start the process of building relationships with the people you want to participate in your virtual event way before you actually “need” them. It is also important to ensure the relationships you build are also authentic and real.
#8 – Pick the right speakers
When it comes to virtual conference, finding right speakers can be one of the most important parts of the process.
It is a good idea to research the speaker by going through work, social media, website, etc. A good speaker can really draw a lot of crowd to your event but a bad speaker can often end up providing a bad experience for the attendees and ruin their experience of the event.
More often than not, the right approach to finding the best speakers for your event is not to just go for the biggest speakers but the speakers that are perfect for the niche and vision of your event.
#9 – Pursue a win-win approach
While a virtual conference might be a lucrative option for you, the correct way to approach it is to ensure that it is a win for all the parties involved, i.e, the speakers, the audience, and you.
Some things to keep in mind while planning your virtual event involve ensuring the speakers get sufficient exposure through both the event and the promotion initiatives, ensuring that your attendees have an experience that is exceptional, and lastly ensuring all of this happens while your goals are fulfilled through the virtual event.
#10 – Good design is vital
When it comes to virtual event, ensuring your design is top-notch and professional should be one of your highest priorities.
This not only applies to the event and the virtual venue but all parts of the event funnel. Don’t be afraid to go big on the design. While good content is what satisfies the attendees, it is the design that draws them in and keeps them engaged.
#11 – Use the right virtual events platform
The right platform can help you a lot when it comes to virtual event management. While there are a lot of industry-standard tools when it comes to virtual meetings (i.e. virtual AGM, town hall meetings, corporate meetings etc) such as Zoom, the virtual event space is still growing.
It is a good idea to check the different options you have available. Go with the one that has hosted live virtual events that follow the niche you’re targeting.
#12 – Create actionable content before the event
The content should be actionable when it comes to creating content for virtual event.
What this means is that most of the content in your virtual event should be created in a way where the attendee can take some sort of action on it.
For example, ensuring that there are some actionable steps the attendees can take after every presentation can be a good step as it increases engagement for both your event and the speaker. It also provides more value to your attendees which makes it a win for everyone involved!
#13 – Constantly communicate with speakers and influencers
If you want your virtual event to be awesome, it is important to ensure that all your partners are on the same page. This is why it is a good idea to stay in touch with the speakers and influencers at your event and constantly communicate with them all through the planning phase.
#14 – Promote the speakers and partners and help them be successful
The promotion plan for your virtual event should also involve the speakers and influencers of your event. At the end of the day, their success is directly related to your event’s success. This is why it is important to promote the speakers and influencers to ensure they get as successful as possible.
The goal should be to make the attendees excited to see every single speaker instead of just a select few. This, in turn, creates a much better virtual event filled with value for your attendees.
#15 – Automate as much as possible for hosting successful virtual events
Hosting successful virtual events is a pretty intense process and there’s a lot of moving pieces to handle. Fortunately, it is possible to automate a lot of the processes so you can focus on the important stuff like getting the right speakers and ensuring the promotion of your event is on point.
One of the most obvious things to start automating would be the email marketing with tools like ConvertKit and GetResponse that allow you to set up complex email marketing campaigns to create a journey for every attendee through the entire event funnel.
#16 – Put in the work to promote the event
Ideally, you should start promoting your event at least 3-4 events before it starts. Digital channels like social media and email marketing should be the focus of your promotions and marketing initiatives. However, it is also possible to go old-school and promote your virtual event in the real world. There’s still a reason why people say word-of-mouth marketing is still super effective.
#17 – Use affiliate marketing
Along with digital marketing channels like social media and email marketing, you should also use affiliate marketing as much as possible. By picking the right affiliates for your events, you can really boost the engagement for your event by multiple magnitudes.
#18 – Cover a wide base but understand the 80:20 principle
The 80:20 principle is an idea that 80% of your success comes from 20% of your efforts. This stands true when it comes to virtual events too. For example, the majority of your attendees might only come from one single marketing channel.
This is why you should cast a wide net when it comes to marketing your virtual event but once you have identified the channels that work, don’t be afraid to go big on them.
#19 – Host a live hangout just before the event
Hosting a live hangout right before the event can be a great idea in order to boost event’s reach and engagement.
#20 – Be grateful and have gratitude after the event
Once the event is over, you should put in an effort to thank everyone that was involved with the event. This is not only a good thing to do but also to cultivate good relationships with the best speakers and influencers. It can be a good idea to hold a post-event virtual meeting with all your speakers to discuss it.
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