Virtual events have become the new norm in the current scenario. With the change in dynamics in 2020 caused due to COVID -19 global pandemic, physical events planned for the entire year have come to a stop. Today, a large number of organisations and businesses around the world leveraged virtual event technology to keep going. Event planners and marketers are tapping into the most powerful tool to keep going even in the time of the global health crisis.
Nowadays, virtual events have become the new normal. The success achieved by virtual events and a rapid increase in virtual event platforms in 2020, makes it the future of the event industry. Even after the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic people will remain skeptical to be part of large gatherings. Indefinitely, virtual events are here to stay and grow furthermore. The benefits served by virtual events are far beyond the reach of in-person events. Increased attendance, better participation, improvised ROI, reduction in costs, carbon emissions, robot data tracking are some of the benefits that top the chart. Thinking about all of these aspects comes under the event planning process that helps you host a successful virtual event. To ensure a successful virtual event, leveraging the right technology and following the virtual event planning checklist is a must.
In this post, we have listed an easy to follow checklist for an efficient virtual event planning process for your upcoming virtual event. A simple virtual event checklist helps you to deliver a successful virtual event. Time to get started!
Pre-Virtual Event Planning Checklist
We have listed some easy to follow pre-virtual event checklist below, have a look:
#1. Determine the purpose of hosting a virtual event
Determining the purpose of the event is a must before making any virtual event strategy. Identify the sole purpose of hosting a virtual event. You must know why you are organising one and what you want to achieve from it. Make sure the purpose is clear before proceeding to virtual event planning. Outline whether you are organising an event to reach maximum attendees? get better visibility? showcase the latest releases and product offerings? generate more qualified leads? want to reach top talent across the globe? or have an AGM? and so on. Whatsoever is the sole purpose of organising a virtual event, the purpose should be clear in the mind of the organiser.
#2. Identify your virtual event goals
Identifying your goals is another vital step to ensure a profitable event planning process. Set your event goals beforehand to measure how your events performed against the set goals. If you are hosting virtual events with on-ground events goals then it might not work well. Do a little research and set your goals accordingly. A virtual event platform enables you to collect the data that helps in measuring the performance metrics of your event. Once you become familiar with hosting virtual events, setting up virtual events goals becomes much easier.
#3. Outline your virtual event budget
Creating a virtual event budget is a must to make further selections. Every event needs a budget, but virtual event budget planning varies from in-person events. The cost involved in travelling, accommodation, decor, venue, and so on gets completely resolved with virtual events. Investing in the right technology is the major criterion while planning a budget for the virtual event.
#4. Create an engaging content
Content is always the king whether it’s a blog post or video content. Engaging content holds the audience’s attention and keeps them engaged throughout the event. It helps in amplifying better engagement, attendance, and participation at the event. Keep your content informative, engaging, exciting, and short. Long speech or talks may result in falling out of attendees as they are assessing the virtual event via the screen. Offer on-demand video content to attendees who missed attending the live event for better leads.
#5. Identify technology needs
Once you are done with defining the purpose, creating the budget, and making a content plan, identifying the technology needs come next. Decide the length of the event, the number of attendees you want to host, and so on. Once you determine these factors, select a comprehensive virtual event platform that offers customisable and engaging features.
#6. Market and Promote your event
Another significant step in creating a fully-fledged virtual event planning process is indulging in the right marketing activities. Promoting and marketing your upcoming virtual event is a must to ensure maximum attendance at your event. It does not matter how good your event is, if your potential attendees are not aware your event will not be successful. Some of the best event marketing strategies are- leveraging social media, sending direct mails, utilizing public relations, promoting your event on the website, and so on.
#7. Seek right virtual event sponsors
Seek the right virtual event sponsors that offer customisable sponsorship packages as per industry.
#8. Get your attendees prepared to experience virtual events
Make your attendees prepared to attend a virtual event. Not every attendee is a tech-savvy person. To deliver seamless virtual experiences to your attendees send them a guide via email. The guide must consist of how to make registrations, access the event, and how to navigate throughout the event.
Checklist for Virtual Event Planning During Event
Here is a virtual event planning checklist during the event, have a look:
#1. Keep attendees engaged throughout the event
Keep your attendees engaged throughout the event. Introduce virtual event engaging features such as live polls, surveys, games such as spin the wheel, quizzes, contests, digital footprinting etc. between your events. It helps in keeping your attendees engaged throughout the event.
#2. Enable attendees to interact in real-time via live chat functionality
Enable your attendees to connect & network in real-time with other attendees, speakers, hosts, exhibitors via live audio/video/text chats.
#3. Robust data tracking
A comprehensive virtual event platform enables you to track every digital attendee footprint right from registration till the event ends. Whom they interacted with? What did they like? What did they comment on? And so on each and every move gets tracked. It helps in gaining a complete insight into audience engagement and creates a complete analytics report that helps in measuring the success of the event.
#4. Enable 1:1 chats and networking options
Allow your attendees to connect and network in a virtual space. Enable 1:1 chats, breakout sessions, chat rooms, virtual networking tables and so on to deliver interactive and immersive experiences to make your event attendees, thus making your event stand out.
Virtual Event Planning Checklist Post Event
We have listed a few steps to follow once the virtual event gets over, have a look:
#1. Send a follow-up survey to your attendees
Sending a follow-up survey helps in gaining audience insight and to know how their experience was. Do not forget to send a follow-up survey to your attendees once you are over with your event via email. Request attendees to voice out their opinions and share their valuable feedback about the event. What they enjoyed during the event and what they did not enjoy. It helps in measuring the success of your event, generating more qualified leads, and working on the impediments for the upcoming event.
#2. Analyse the data gathered during the live virtual event
A virtual event enables you to collect valuable attendee data right from the start till the event ends. Analyse the data gathered during the virtual event to measure the performance metrics. A complete analytics report helps in identifying whether your event met the set goals or fails to achieve it.
#3. Showcase your success results of the virtual event in front of stakeholders
Showcase your virtual event success report to shareholders to leverage better revenues and boost growth. You can share the result by utilising captured valuable data from the event and testimonials shared by attendees.
As restrictions have been imposed on travelling and people are pushed to maintain distance, it resulted in the upheaval of events in 2020. Today, the virtual has become the new normal. In the past few months, virtual events gained its pace and became immensely popular. Marketers and event planners realised that the significance of face to face interactions hold its own worth but virtual events have closely replicated the same by delivering immersive experiences.
The merits served by virtual events are far beyond the reach of in-person events. Increased reach, attendance, better engagement, improved ROI, reduction in costs, carbon emissions, robust data tracking, and so on are some of the benefits of virtual events. If you are new to the arena of virtual events this article might help you to host a successful virtual event. We have listed an easy to follow virtual event checklist that ensures you to organise and host a successful event and deliver memorable and immersive experiences to attendees without any glitch. Time to get started!