There isn’t an event planner out there who hasn’t curated a virtual event of some capacity in recent years. As an industry, everyone was forced to adopt online engagements. And now, it’s commonplace to include virtual or hybrid events as part of their core offerings. With a little experience in creating these memorable online experiences, you can take a closer look at areas of improvement to streamline your efforts. Part of that event planning self-assessment can include spotting common mistakes worth avoiding. See if you’re making any of these virtual event planning mistakes.
1. Not Having an Agenda or Itinerary
Just because you’re not physically assembling event guests doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a well-planned event itinerary for your virtual event. With online engagements, it can be easy to lose track of time, for example, as conversations continue. An agenda will keep your virtual event on track, with enough time to accommodate every element and discussion point. Know what you plan to discuss, when you open up for Q&A when to initiate a break, and how you intend to open and close your event engagement.
2. Trying to Create an In-Person Experience Online
So many event planners try to recreate the in-person experience and results from an online event engagement. And the truth is, you’re going to need to think differently about the virtual event. People aren’t going to act and react the same way. You’ll have a technology-based experience to create that still engages and inspires a remote audience. Change up how you think about planning a virtual event. Many of your elements might be similar. But how you implement and create experiences will be different.
3. Overlooking the Networking Capabilities
With a live, in-person event, guests are free to meet and mingle with each other without your assistance. But in a virtual event, participants can’t really network with each other without your facilitation. Don’t make the mistake of setting up a virtual event without initiating proper networking time and chat channels for online conversations. Otherwise, your guests will be less apt to connect with each other at all, or they’ll private message others during other pivotal moments throughout the event.
4. Not Having Enough Breaks
Depending on how long you intend your virtual event to last, don’t forget to schedule in breaks. Play promotional videos or transition to online entertainment, creating blocks of time for people to step away from their devices for a moment. Incorporate breaks and communicate those time limits so guests know when to be back.
5. Forgetting to Make Guest Introductions
Don’t presume everyone in your virtual event knows each other. Take time to make proper introductions and ask participants to volunteer introductions. Get people interacting right away and inspire them to connect and network with each other after the event. These intros don’t have to be formal or forced. But connecting your audience is a great icebreaker that forms a bond among participants.
6. Not Preparing Virtual Event Guests Ahead of Time
Not all of your virtual event attendees will be familiar with the virtual event format. Leading up to the event, be overly communicative with everyone on your invite list, spelling out directions, times, and expectations. Make sure everyone is just as enthusiastic and prepared for the online engagement as you are.
Start making the necessary changes to your virtual event planning game, especially if you believe you’re making these common mistakes. And discover even more event planning insights when you attend The Event Planner Expo 2023 this October! Get All-Access Tickets for your whole event planning team!