Saturday, June 12, 2021

    How to plan a virtual event

    First, I will start off by defining what is a virtual event. A virtual event is an online event that involves people interacting in a virtual environment on the web, rather than meeting in a physical location or in person. With a virtual event, attendees can attend from anywhere in the world. A virtual event also allows the host to have a global presence. During the pandemic, this type of event has become popular. Some examples of virtual events are conferences, tradeshows, bookfairs, expos, trainings and even table reads for films.

    As the owner of an event planning business, the world has been forced to pivot to virtual events. Here is a blueprint on planning your first virtual event. If you have planned one or many, this plan could assist you as well. So, are you ready? Let us go.

    The first thing I would suggest is clear on your objective. What is your objective? Why are you hosting a virtual event? Make sure you have a clear vision and communicate it effectively.

    Secondly, research different virtual platforms to host your event. There are many platforms that hosts virtual events. Some of them are:

    1. BigMarker
    2. GoToWebinar
    3. HeySummit
    4. SpotMe
    5. Hopin
    6. Zoom

    Whichever one you choose, make sure you research and choose the best one for your event. Keep in mind to ask yourself some questions when choosing your virtual event platform. Is it easy to use? If not, is there a training you can take prior to the event? Are there any audience engagement tools like breakout rooms? What type of experience do you want your attendees to have? You may have other questions, but these questions are a start.

    The next thing is who is your target audience? Are you targeting entrepreneurs, authors, aspiring entrepreneurs, marketing experts, younger or older audience? Make sure you know your audience you are targeting. This is essential to your event.

    Marketing is next. To market your virtual event, you would utilize the same channels you use to market live events such as social media, content marketing, and email marketing. You may also want to think of some paid advertising marketing as well. But, whatever you do, be consistent. We all know marketing plays a huge role in the success of any event.

    Make sure you have an agenda. This is also called a road map for your event. The agenda will allow you to maintain the flow of your event. It also will allow you to keep track of all the moving parts of your event while still being able to engage with your attendees.

    If your event needs a team to assist you, ensure your team has the proper understanding of how the event will flow and what their responsibilities are. I know I have hosted many of these events and one thing my team and I always do is have a clear line of communication before and during the event. Some examples of how you and your team can stay connected during the event is to create a FB messaging system or a group text. That way, when you have a question or just want to make sure you all are on the same page, you can connect through that communication channel. It works!! You will be amazed at what is said through those messages.

    The next level for a successful event is to seek out sponsors and collaborators. Many businesses will jump at the chance to be a sponsor at an event. When seeking sponsors for an event, think of the benefits for you as the organizer as well as for the business. Get really specific about your event goals. Reach out to sponsors from relative events and make sure to narrow down to the brands that align with your event needs.

    One important thing is to make a timeline. A timeline will help you stay on track. As you complete a task mark as complete and move to the next task. Your timeline should have a title for the task and a day to have it completed. Share this timeline with your team and delegate who will be responsible for that task or tasks. Again, time management is crucial to the success of your event. Here are my final thoughts on virtual events. It can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. It is also a learning experience just like any person-to-person event.

    Upon your planning your event, make sure you create the timeline and get a team that will know how to assist you and the attendees the day of the event. One last thing…PROMOTE! PROMOTE! PROMOTE! Happy virtual event planning!

    LaKisha James
    Designer Events by LaKisha
    (678) 982-1431

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