Online events are not a novelty. However, recent events like the pandemic have increased the popularity of virtual events, so many businesses are only now beginning to use this format. The conclusion they reach is that virtual events aren’t merely necessary. They also provide fresh viewpoints and unique advantages!
What Is a Virtual Event?
An online event is referred to as a virtual event. Instead of being present physically, its participants join it online through video communication systems. Hybrid events are so-called because some of them combine virtual and physical elements while others are totally virtual. Any type of event can be held online, including webinars, conferences, courses, concerts, summits, Q&A sessions, and tours of art galleries and museums.
What are the Benefits of Virtual Events?
There are many advantages of virtual events but the main of them are:
- no risk of cancellation;
- unlimited geographic coverage;
- cost reduction;
- improved analytics;
A Guide to Hosting Successful Virtual Events
Despite the many benefits, virtual events will never completely replace real meetings, as attendees won’t have enough handshakes, coffee break conversations, and other networking elements.
An online conference will not be able to compete with this, so it should attract visitors even more with valuable content and high quality organization. To organize a successful event, you will have to invest yourself and be attentive to best practices. I’m just sharing some rules and guidelines for online events right now.
Select the Correct Date and Time
Although virtual events have no geographic boundaries, time lag can still be critical. You should choose a time based on your audience’s preferences. If you plan to cover the whole world, choosing the right time will be more difficult, but still possible. You can check analytics on when your audience is usually online or even run polls. It is also necessary to avoid coincidences in time with popular shows on television.
Choose the Right Place
Despite the virtual character of the conferences, the place remains important. This should look good, as it shows your professional level. So the next tip on how to host a virtual event will be this: make sure you don’t use the so-called “Skype area” – the only clean place in the apartment where the kids haven’t already scattered toys.
Use Good Software
When planning a virtual event, choose a video conferencing platform. Explore their features and plans and choose the one that suits your needs.
Announce the Event
An online event will require even more publicity than a traditional event. Use all possible channels. Example:
- create a Facebook event and actively use the invitation option;
- create a countdown for an event on Instagram Stories;
- record the conference on sites like Eventbrite;
- add an event to the community calendar dedicated to your technology;
- promote the event in the groups and communities where your audience meets;
- create an event site with all its details;
- email potential visitors;
- remember to create and use the official #hashtag.
Use Quality Materials
Virtual conferences from reputable companies have professional quality visuals and audio and also offer uninterrupted streaming without technical issues. So, in order to create a successful virtual event, make sure you have a good camera, microphone or headset, fast PC, reliable internet connection, etc.
Test Everything Well
No virtual event is immune to technical issues. It is therefore worth testing the Internet, video and audio beforehand. Save your presentation materials in an extra space. It is also recommended to rehearse how it will work. If attending an event requires specific steps, create a Q&A guide for attendees.
Try Online Conversation Techniques
If you’re a speaker, remember that it will take a little more effort to grab the audience’s attention than in the traditional format. Look into the camera to make eye contact with the audience. Use real-time illustrations. You can ask questions, crack jokes, monitor intonation, and use other techniques that make speech more interesting.
Encourage People to Participate
Another tip for hosting a successful virtual event is to create a networking spirit even without a physical presence. Encourage the public to ask questions, leave comments, share social media posts with the official event hashtag, and more. You can create a chat, organize a quiz, game, survey or contest with good prizes. Break up the conference day with virtual coffee breaks.