Virtual events come in all shapes and sizes these days. With the advent of the worldwide web, there really is no limitation to the creative events you can put together virtually. Thanks, internet! But this is still a form of event that many aren’t totally comfortable producing or attending. So how do you get the most out of a virtual event? We’ve spent a lot of time attending and planning virtual events this year, so we have some tips to share!
Tips for Event Planners to Make the Most of A Virtual Event
Determine Your Event Goals Early & Plan Accordingly
What is your ultimate goal for your virtual event?
Is it to make money?
Maybe you want to create connections with your audience?
Do you want to showcase a new product?
Whatever it is, those goals need to guide your planning and virtual event strategy just as they would a live event.
If you want to make money, offer a robust sponsorship kit with lots of options for sponsors. Plus, you can create tiered ticket options and add some attendee perks for higher paid tickets—they won’t be able to say no to that value! If you want to showcase a new product, offer an intimate VIP unboxing virtual event with select influencers who can get it out into the world. If it’s connections you’re seeking, focus on all the places that you can generate opportunities for your attendees to interact with you and each other. Small moderated breakout sessions are a great way to do this!
Choose a Versatile Virtual Event Platform
The last thing you want is to realize halfway through planning that you don’t have a platform that allows for easy networking (networking is the #2 reason people attend virtual events, #1 is coming up next…). Or realize your sponsors won’t be able to get analytics that were promised in their package. Use your goals to guide your selection of a versatile virtual event platform that will have everything you need. Here are three of our favorites that aren’t Zoom!
Did you know that 80% of people who attend a virtual event are joining for educational purposes? Attendees want to learn! Give them a sought-after guest speaker or have your company’s President do a keynote if they don’t speak often. Make it exclusive and exciting and you’ll see those registration numbers soar.
Gain Inspiration from Other Organizations
Now, if you’re planning a virtual event, honestly one of the best ways to get the most out of the event you’re planning is to attend one (or more) yourself! Seeing what other groups do to make the most of their virtual event could spark some inspiration for you too. Which brings us to our next tips…
Tips for Attendees to Get the Most Out of a Virtual Event
Save Times in Your Calendar for Priority Sessions
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day minutia and totally forget you had wanted to attend a keynote session for your favorite networking association. It sounds simple, but so many register for a session but don’t download the calendar invite to make sure it’s set in stone on their calendar! Not all virtual events provide recordings (which is something you’ll want to consider when planning yours…), so especially if a recording won’t be provided, do this the second you hit register!
Familiarize Yourself with the Platform
The last thing you want to do is miss out on a session you’re excited about because you have no idea how to navigate the platform or haven’t read the instructions and missed out on downloading the event app for live engagement. Take some time to review the platforms, event agenda, and engagement opportunities to make sure you get the most out of your virtual event attendee experience.
Take Advantage of Virtual Networking Sessions
It may seem odd at first to “visit a vendor booth” virtually. But, in reality, it gives you an uninterrupted way to connect one-on-one with people in your industry, that you may not have access to otherwise. Plus, that uninterrupted time is a perk of virtual that you wouldn’t get on an in-person show floor. Attend that cocktail-making happy hour session, too! It doesn’t have to be all about business. Cheers!
Are You Ready to Make the Most of Your Next Virtual Event?
If you’re ready to dive into planning a virtual event that will produce major ROI for your company but are feeling overwhelmed, it’s okay! Our Eventistry by Alecia team has put together an all-encompassing Virtual Event Checklist to help guide you to a virtual event strategy that works. The best part? It’s FREE! Download your Free Virtual Event Checklist now!