The benefits are huge, and if you're considering hosting a virtual event of your own, then this guide should give you everything that you need in order to make it a success.
Virtual events are quick, easy, and cheap to set up.
Virtual events are quick, easy and cheap to set up. You can do them from your computer and have an audience in a matter of minutes. You don't need a big budget or expensive equipment like cars or hotels; you can do it from anywhere in the world so long as you have access to a computer and internet connection.
Heck, if you're feeling ambitious, even your smartphone will suffice!
Your virtual event doesn’t need to be fancy or expensive, but it does need to attract the right people for its intended purpose. Here are some tips on how to make sure that happens:
You can host virtual events in a variety of formats.
If you've been racking your brain about what kind of virtual event you should host, here's a list of different types you might want to try:
Live video streams: A live video stream allows you to connect with your audience in real time. They can ask questions and participate in the conversation as it unfolds, so this is an excellent format for hosting Q&A sessions or webinars where you want people to have an opportunity to interact with one another.
Recorded videos: If you don’t want to commit to live video, recorded videos are another great option. You can host webinars, Q&A sessions or product demos that people can watch again and again.
Google Hangouts on Air: A Google Hangout on Air allows you to live stream your hangout to the world. It’s a great way to connect with your audience and build trust by communicating directly with them in real time.
Webinar: A webinar is an online seminar that allows you to host interactive presentations. You can use webinars to share information, answer questions and provide feedback to your attendees. Webinars are usually conducted through a platform such as GoToWebinar or other proprietary platforms for a fee, but there are plenty of free options as well (we'll get into those later).
Video Conference: Another option is hosting a video conference call with participants who have been invited via email or social media. These calls are similar to traditional meetings except they're done over video chat instead of face-to-face. The benefit here is that participants don't need any special equipment beyond their computer or mobile device — though it's worth noting that some companies do not allow employees from working remotely during regular business hours due to security concerns or productivity issues (more on this later).
Webcast: In addition to the aforementioned types of events where people interact through text messaging, there are also ways for them all together at once via live streaming technology so everyone can see each other at once - either virtually through screen sharing software like Zoom or physically by attending events like conferences where presenters will often share their screens so attendees can see what's being projected onto big screens behind them as well as listen via speakers throughout conference center halls .
Choose the best format and technology for your audience.
If you're hosting a virtual event, the most important thing to remember is that the format of your event should be suited to your audience. As in it should work for them and not against them.
And no matter what format you choose, it's important to remember that there are no rules. You can do whatever works best for everyone involved!
The best way to make sure your virtual event goes smoothly is to choose a technology solution that will allow you and your attendees to have a seamless experience. To choose the right technology for your event is to ask yourself some questions.
- What are your goals, and how can technology help you achieve them?
- Do you want attendees to be able to interact with each other in real-time?
- If so, what kind of interaction do you envision?
- How often do you expect people will be on their computers at the same time?
Create interactive experiences for attendees.
You're probably wondering: "How can I create an interactive experience for my virtual attendees?"
Here's the answer: "Make it easy for them to share their experiences."
It's important to encourage your audience members to interact with each other, and with you. If attendees have a reason to communicate with each other during a session, they'll feel more invested in the event as a whole—and that means they're more likely to stick around. This can also help strengthen your brand because it creates a sense of community among users who are interested in what you do. To make this happen, ask attendees what they think about the subject matter or topic at hand; give them some kind of prompt or question that gets everyone involved and engaged with one another.
It doesn't really matter whether it's through text messaging (chatting) or live video streaming (vlogging). Just make sure that whatever mediums are used will be easy enough for anyone who attends without having any technical expertise at all!
Use social media to drive buzz.
Use social media to market your event. If you want to get people excited about your upcoming virtual event, use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to share details about what attendees can expect at the live sessions. You can also use these tools to promote the virtual conference with graphics or videos that highlight the benefits of attending.
Host an online party for your attendees during or after each session. Encourage everyone who is registered for the event to join in on this fun by using a hashtag that will allow them to connect with other participants online before, during, and after each session has been completed. This will keep those who attend engaged throughout the entire experience!
Share information about any special guests who will be speaking at various times throughout each day (or night). The more users know about their favorite speakers before attending an event, the more likely they are to attend!
Don't forget to capture attendees' contact information.
You’re probably wondering what your attendees will have to do in order to join your virtual event. The answer? It depends on the platform you use, but it's likely that they'll be asked to fill out a form on your website, download an app through their device, send you an email or text message (or call), visit a web page where they can enter their information and RSVP for the event.
Of course, these actions aren't mandatory—but if your goal is to attract people from outside of your existing network who would otherwise never hear about this special event, then asking them for more than just their contact info will certainly help make that happen!
Craft the perfect invitation list.
Crafting the perfect invitation list is the most important part of your event’s success -- if you don't invite the right people, you're going to have a tough time getting them to attend.
To make sure that you get as many attendees as possible, here are a couple of tips:
- Use a mix of attendees. Make sure that your event has a healthy balance between those who are interested in your topic and those who may be less well-versed on it so that everyone can benefit from attending. This will also keep things interesting for those who might not otherwise know each other very well!
- Invite people who are likely to attend. You want people who will actually come, so make sure before inviting someone that they’re interested in or familiar with virtual events and how they work best for marketers like yourself!
Invite influencer attendees.
To help you get the word out, reach out to influencers.
Influencers are people with a large following on social media who can help promote your event and attract attendees. They can also be used in other ways during an event:
- Encourage them to share their experiences through live videos or photos on their channels.
- Ask them to provide real-time commentary during breaks or presentations. This can make your virtual events feel more like traditional ones that include speakers and/or panelists, instead of just sitting at a desk alone in front of a camera.
Ensure your event is mobile-friendly.
Mobile devices are the most popular way to access the internet, and attendees will be using their smartphones to view your website, social media accounts, and other materials. Make sure that your online presence is optimized for all devices.
In addition to ensuring the content on your websites and social media pages is readable on these small screens, consider using responsive design so that it can adapt automatically based on whether a visitor uses a desktop computer or mobile device (or both!).
Offer tech support during your event.
Provide contact information for attendees who need help in real time. If a participant has an issue attending an event or cannot connect with others in person due to location restrictions or other factors affecting their ability to attend, then make sure you have resources available so they can find assistance when they need it most. While you're hosting! Best support practices include:
- Using a dedicated event app
- Providing a live chat feature
- Having a backup plan in case of technical problems and offering tech support during your event.
We hope this guide has been helpful in giving you the tools you need to host a successful virtual event. Remember that it’s not always easy, but with some planning and forethought, anyone can create an event that will attract their target audience.
Click to get on the waiting list for our next Event Planner Expo where we will have experts go over how to create an online event that actually works!