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Tips for Hosting Virtual Events

Are you planning to host a virtual event for your company? Virtual events are a growing trend and offer a number of benefits when organized correctly.

There are multiple ways to run a virtual event. A virtual event can be completely hosted online, or it can be a more hybrid approach. Virtual events may include speakers or guests that offer pre-recorded or live presentations.

In some cases, virtual events can be more cost-effective than in-person events and often include participants that wouldn't normally be able to travel. Here are eight steps that can help you when creating your event.

Woman wearing a headset while presenting her project board to a video conference group.

Set Your Goals and Topic

It is important to know what you want to achieve with your event. This could include:

  • Funding or donations
  • Knowledge or awareness
  • Team morale
  • Industry leadership
  • Brand reach
  • Increasing sales
  • Product launches
  • Company announcements
  • Future vision or planning

Set priorities among any goals defined. This will help you define and achieve success.

Determine Your Audience

Knowing your target audience is going to help you create the kind of event they will find engaging and valuable.

Pick a Format

You may have a hybrid event with some attendees participating in person. You may choose to do a live event or go with everything recorded ahead of time. You may use illustration and graphics, or you might just use someone speaking right into the camera. You may make a series of short videos that can be accessed through a portal space and viewed at any time, or you may follow an event itinerary that flows from one feature to the next.

Find Speakers

You can use experts on your own team to show industry authority. You can also bring in guest speakers to increase your reach when they market the event to their own audience.

Create Your Itinerary

Set up the flow of your event. Get all of your speakers on the same page as to the focus of the event so the segments work together. Think about how you could use different formats or content mediums to avoid a mundane event.

Choose a Host Platform

There are a wide variety of platforms available for hosting a virtual event. Some platforms allow the participants to be on camera or mic. Other platforms offer strictly streaming features. Different platforms will have different levels of security and features to help you customize your event to fit your needs.

Market the Event

The first concern will be marketing to the target audience to get them to choose to register for your event. But, once that audience has signed up, you need them to become attendees. Virtual events can be easier to forget if the marketing isn't successful. Some organizations send swag bags or event promotional items in advance to attendees to help boost excitement levels.

Increase Event Engagement

While a physical event will have everyone in the same room, a virtual event presents a unique challenge: people can do anything else during the event. You are competing with chores, family members, TV shows, emails and anything else attendees might get distracted by as they watch your event from their screen. Events can boost engagement by opening up the floor to a Q&A session or having the audience participate in exercises during certain sessions.

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