Hosting events is important in the business world, whether they take place virtually or physically. However, the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact it had on every aspect of our professional and private lives, changed our understanding of effective interaction and being connected, necessitating the implementation of virtual and digital solutions.
As a result, virtual events became popular in business, allowing to create lasting and memorable experiences that connect people and help brands and organizations stay relevant. They’re also a great option as they don’t come with a lot of overhead and work.
You might wonder how to organize and host virtual events that are worth attending and that will capture the attention of your attendees and achieve genuine engagement. Below, we offer an expert guide to hosting successful virtual events that will impress participants.
Have a clear plan
Before you plan any event, it’s important to know what is its purpose. What do you want to convey to the participants and how should you do it? See it from both your perspective as an event host and that of the participants. What do you want to get out of the event and how can you achieve it by simultaneously giving the participants what they’re looking for?
Reflect on everything that is part of the content for your virtual event. Want to invite a guest? Are you the only speaker or will there be more? Should the event be held all in one day or broken into different parts? Make sure to decide on all the practicalities before setting a date.
Select a good platform
One of the most crucial things you must ensure when conducting virtual events is that they go off without a hitch. Usually, when events are hosted, businesses pick basic video conferencing tools that don’t allow the participants to engage appropriately once the number of participants increases.
Contrary to this, the best virtual event platforms allow your event to be more immersive and allow participants to explore and interact efficiently. You should check which platform is best suited for your needs and according to that, you can make use of features and engagement tools such as live streaming, polling, Q&A sessions and fireside chats, virtual booths, meetups, and workshops.
Some virtual event platforms can also simplify your event-planning process so you can organize, support, and host a virtual event even more easily.
Target the right people
When you decide on the main purpose of your virtual event, you should also have a clear picture of who would benefit from attending it. Make sure to market your event based on those individuals’ needs, make your offer irresistible and explain clearly what they will gain from the event.
If you already have a community of people who fall within the scope of your “ideal” audience, market your event to them. If not, there are great opportunities to use social media and other means of advertising and present detailed information to people who have shown an interest in what your event is about.
Another important factor for the success of your virtual event is to engage the audience and encourage them to participate with their questions, views, and insights. A good way to do this is to use the live chat function available on various virtual event platforms. This way, participants can communicate with each other during the event.
A tip could also be to set aside some time before the end of the event that is only dedicated to answering questions. You can also ask your audience questions. Use various features for polls, organize a quiz or ask viewers to live tweet with a special hashtag.
It’s extremely important to sometimes take a break from the very concrete and informative way of hosting an event and instead bring in a relaxed vibe where participants are reminded that they’re an important part of your event.
Get feedback after the event
Practice makes perfect and this goes for hosting virtual events too. So, make sure to ask for feedback after the event. What was good and what can you improve the next time?
Even if you have a certain opinion, it doesn’t mean that everyone else shares it, so be open to new points of view and ideas you haven’t considered before. In addition, it can be smart to check who signed up to join but didn’t show up. Reflect on how you can make your virtual event even more appealing next time.
Virtual events offer great flexibility and benefits as you can promote your brand while being creative. However, to make it a virtual event that is worth attending, follow our expert guide to engage your attendees and create memorable moments.