In the current scenario, with the change in times virtual has become the new normal. Today, virtual events have become one of the most powerful tools and the first priority of event planners and marketers. Businesses and organisations around the world leveraged virtual events to keep going even in the time of global crisis. Marketers and planners are tapping on the most powerful technology to host events with remote attendees. Hosting virtual events has become a new trend and is getting immense popularity.
Virtual events were in existence for many years. Recently, a sudden boost in the percentage of virtual events has been witnessed. Due to the global pandemic, since the beginning of 2020, restrictions have been imposed on travelling and public gatherings. Various events that were planned up for the entire year either got postponed or cancelled completely. The only option left with organisations and businesses is to move their events online and connect with attendees remotely.
Recently, virtual events have gained immense popularity and success. Virtual events are indefinitely the future of the event industry and are here to stay for long. In this post, we have shared a go-to checklist for virtual event planning in all three phases. It includes pre-event, post-event, and during the event. An easy & simple virtual event checklist will help you to plan your next virtual event seamlessly thus ensuring success. Let’s get started!
Virtual Event Planning Checklist: Pre-Event
Here is a virtual event planning checklist one needs to follow before the virtual event.
#1. Identify the purpose of your event
Every event has an individual purpose behind it. Before making your virtual event strategy, determine the sore purpose of your event. Why are you hosting one and what you want to achieve out of it? Whether your event is about creating brand awareness, reaching maximum attendees, launching a new offering, showcasing demos, generating leads, etc. The purpose of the event should be clear in the mind of the presenter. Outline the purpose of your event as it will help in seamless virtual event planning as well as execution. Here is our playbook for delivering successful virtual events.
#2. Determine the goals of your virtual event
Determine the goals of your event beforehand as it helps in analysing how well your event performed as per set goals. You might be hosting a virtual event for the very first time with the same goals as an on-ground event. Do a little research and foster your goals accordingly. You can gather the data for your event from a virtual event platform that helps in measuring the performance metrics. Setting up virtual event goals becomes easier once you become familiar with hosting virtual events.
#3. Create a budget
Every event needs a budget so do virtual events. The planning of the budget for virtual events completely varies from in-person events. Virtual events escalate the cost involved in travelling, accommodation, venue, decor, food & drinks completely. With virtual events, you need to spend on technology needs as virtual events are hosted on a virtual event platform.
#4. Plan an engaging content for your event
Content is the main focus area with online virtual events and conferences that hold the attention of virtual attendees. It is the only medium that will keep them engaged throughout the event. It helps in driving engagements, networking, attendance, participation, and so on. Concentrate on the quality of the content and keep it short and informative. The virtual event format is entirely different than in-person events and attendees are accessing your event from the screen. Long talks may bore them out which results in falling out attendees amid sessions. Keep sessions short and engaging. You can break long content into parts and carry the event for a few days with virtual events. You can even offer on-demand content to attendees who missed attending the live event.
#5. Figure out your technology needs
Once you make a content plan, decide upon the number of attendees, length of the event, determine your technology needs. Select from a pool of virtual event platforms that best suit your requirements and offer engaging and interactive features.
#6. Promote and market your virtual event
Create a promotion plan to make your audience aware of your upcoming event. Social media integration works well for promoting and marketing of your upcoming event. Apart from it, you can promote your event through direct marketing, emails, public relations, websites, and so on.
#7. Search for the right virtual event sponsors
Look out for the right sponsors and partners to collaborate with your virtual event. Create sponsorship packages as per industry. Today, sponsors are more willing to participate in virtual events when compared to in-person events due to increased exposure.
#8. Make your virtual attendees prepared
Every attendee is not tech-savvy. Even if your tools and features are easy to use, send a maneuver to your attendees via email. Send it before an event so they know how to register and navigate through the event when you go live.
Checklist for Virtual Event Planning: During the Event
Here is a virtual event checklist you need to follow during the virtual event.
#1. Keep the attendees engaged with your event
Keep the attendees engaged during the event. You can incorporate live polls, surveys, Q&A sessions, games, quizzes, contests amid sessions to keep attendees engaged throughout.
#2. Enable real-time interactions
Allow your attendees to interact with other attendees, speakers, hosts, exhibitors, etc in real-time via live audio/video/text chats. It helps in delivering immersive event experiences to virtual attendees.
#3. Collect valuable attendee data
An advanced virtual event platform enables you to collect attendee data right from the registration till the finish line. How they navigated throughout the event? What did they like? Whom they interacted? And so on. With virtual events, every digital step of the attendee gets tracked. It helps organisers and planners gain insight and an accurate percentage of attendee’s engagement during the event.
#4. Enable networking options and one-on-one chats
Facilitate your attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors with networking options to connect and interact in a virtual space in real-time. Enable one-on-one chats, breakout sessions, and so on to deliver engaging and immersive experiences to make your event stand out.
Virtual Event Checklist: After the Event
Here are a few pointers you need to follow after your virtual event gets over.
#1. Send a survey to your attendees
Once your event gets over, simply send the survey to your attendees via email. Ask your attendees to share their valuable feedback about what they enjoyed and the event and what they think needs improvement. A feedback survey is quite effective in measuring the success of the event and generating leads.
#2. Measure the data gathered at the virtual event
Analyse the data you gathered during the live virtual event. Measure the data you collected from start to end to meet your set event goals and expectations or not.
#3. Present your virtual event success results to stakeholders
You need to share your virtual event success report with stakeholders. Present the results by using captured data and testimonials from attendees in an understandable way to key stakeholders.
As time changes, virtual events have gained their pace. The significance of face-to-face interactions holds its own value. But virtual events just double or triple up the number of attendees with its expanded reach. Follow the checklist mentioned above, if you are new to the world of virtual events. Time to get started and embrace virtual events. Deliver memorable event experiences to attendees with virtual events!