Planning & Promotion

The Dos and Don’ts of Hosting a Successful Virtual Event

Eventually Learning Team

In today’s virtual business world, crafting the perfect webinar is the key objective. The captain of any business ship is marketing and outreach. Many businesses and start-ups struggle to increase their brand image and customer outreach. It also takes a long time to gain the trust of your customers and to establish yourself as a leading brand in your industry.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, it might be surprising, but after a momentary fall in the global market and economy, many businesses adapted to innovation, and new ideas emerged out of the chaos.

Events were and still are a great way of advertising and marketing your business, products, services and your organization as a whole in order to reach out to your target audience. Before Covid-19, only in-person events were emphasized and organized, but after the onset of the pandemic, people started venturing out in the hybrid and virtual event industry heavily.

Out of sheer necessity, virtual events have become a great way to connect with your audience, potential clients, sponsors, etc. But there are certain challenges a lot of people might come across while organizing virtual events like deficiencies in technological tools and support, audience engagement, content strategy and creativity in social media promotions. Last but not least, difficulty in driving registrations for a virtual event and struggles with engaging speakers can also rear their ugly heads. But fret not! We are here to guide you through the dos and don’ts of hosting a virtual event.

Future of Virtual Events

The number of events is going to skyrocket in the coming years. 87% of marketers believe that the opportunities generated by virtual events will be a big success factor for their business.

In today’s virtual business world, crafting an ideal webinar is the goal. This can be done only when you focus on cooperating with virtual event partners, sponsors and event providers. Since the demand for virtual events has gone up, the types of companies providing event partnerships and solutions have also risen.

There is a wide range of virtual event platforms where you can host a successful virtual event for your business.

Checklist for a Successful Virtual Event

It is the goal of every business to provide the audience with an exceptional experience at their event so that they come back again. How can you nail virtual audience engagement and host a successful virtual event?

There are many advantages to organizing virtual events, and once you get the hang of it, you will absolutely shine at what you do. In virtual events, the digital component is heavily involved, which gives numerous opportunities to engage the audience, use tools to demonstrate your services, to enable your audience to interact from any corner of the world, etc.

The following is a list of dos we swear by for organizing virtual events which you will also find helpful.

Finding the Right Virtual Event Platform/Partner

It is important to note that virtual events can be strictly online, or they can be hybrid events which are a combination of virtual and in-person audiences. In the case of virtual events, the audience is only in the remote form, and immediately from execution and throughout the event, the experience is completely virtual. 

While looking for a virtual event partner, it is important to note that all event platforms are built the same. So, how can you find the right virtual event partner for your business? Well, you can do this by first, deciding the purpose of your event. You will then choose the virtual event platform that is clearly the one for you. This would be done by searching for the one that best fits your ideology and business goals. Only when the partner understands your mission, will the delivery be smooth enough to get the desired results. 

Many of you may wonder how you can get a clear vision of your virtual event. Well, the answer may come as a surprise, but you can obtain a clear vision by simply, asking questions. What types of questions should you ask before diving into finding the right event partner for your virtual event? Here are some that will help:

  • Do you want cutting-edge distribution technology that can help in broadcasting and storing content to local and global audiences
  • If you are promoting a product or a service, would you benefit from an e-commerce space for your content
  • Do you need multiway video conferencing technology

As soon as you start asking and finding the answers to these questions, your expectations from your virtual event platform will become clearer, and you can more easily decide which one to go with. 

Use Tools for Virtual Audience Engagement and Participation

Gone are the days when the speakers presented at an event, and the audience remained mainly passive. In current times, the success of an event is measured by audience engagement and participation. 

According to research, audiences are more likely to go with brands that are open to two-way or multi-way communication. So, you can woo your virtual audience and increase virtual audience engagement by involving them in frequent Q&A rounds, polls, quizzes, open forums, debates, discussions, etc. 

Be sure that you enable chat rooms, discussion forums and other networking possibilities for your attendees.

Sponsors are The Key to Increase your Business Outreach

Though your audience may be the face of your virtual event, your sponsor is the backbone. It is equally important to get sponsors for you event as it is to recruit attendees. For a webinar, live conferences and virtual events, weaving a wide range of sponsors based on your niche and business industry can be relatively easy when compared with in-person events. Be sure to discuss this with your marketing and sales team to come up with relevant package levels for sponsorship to meet your ROI expectations.

Don’ts to Remember While Organizing a Virtual Event

While we have already given you some pointers about the things that you should absolutely do while organizing a virtual event, here is a list of don’ts. 

Content is King - Don’t Forget About the Content Strategy

Leveraging technology and using the right tech tools is important in hosting a successful virtual event. However, without relevant content, how and what are you going to present to your audience? Technology is simply the medium to reach the audience, but in order to engage them and make them understand your narrative, you’ll need relevant content. You will also have to build a proper format that includes videos, demonstrations, social media content posts, infographics, customer success stories, information about your business and organization, website landing page, etc. 

You need to present a story to your virtual audience that resonates with them and hooks them for the rest of your virtual event. 

Don’t Make it a One-Time Event

The most common mistake that many businesses make is that they use events as a rare occurrence or just a one-time thing. This may not be the right thing to do. Be sure that you are making event marketing and virtual events a part of your year-round strategy to boost business.

You should keep on repurposing and curating fresh and trending content that aligns with your business and with your target audience. If you keep on hosting events, the reach of your business will expand. Every time a new person attends your event, you get a future business prospect.

Don’t Forget the Data

As important as it is to focus on the things mentioned above, in order to get that ROI, chase your leads and convert them into regular clients. You need to squeeze out all the metrics and the data you can get from the virtual event. It is important to note that there are certain virtual event platforms that provide built-in dashboards or notepads, so you can understand the performance of your event and work on things that will help you for your future events.

Note: Measuring the success of your virtual event via data analysis and metrics is the key to become the master of hosting successful virtual events.

Frequently Asked Questions

How successful are virtual events?

All it takes is a good idea, content strategy and excellent promotional strategies to organize a mind-blowing virtual event. Moving forward, virtual events are going to be an integral part of the marketing mix. Also, going virtual breaks countless prohibitive barriers; therefore, it becomes easy to monetize a virtual event.

If you are looking for statistics, 87% of marketers believe that the opportunities generated by virtual events are a big success factor for the business.

How long should a virtual event be?

According to many studies, the attention span of an adult is around 18-20 minutes. In a virtual event, the attendees are often at home, in their element with many distractions, so nobody in that situation would want to be glued to the screen for more than 3-4 hours max. Therefore, the maximum duration of your virtual event should be around 3-4 hours.

Make sure to keep the virtual sessions engaging with frequent interactions and activities. In the case of a passive audience, they tend to get bored easily.

What is the best tool for virtual events?

Though there are many events hosting platforms out there, some of the best tools to host successful virtual events are:

  • Bizzabo Stream
  • Bizzabo Interact
  • Google Hangouts
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Zoom
  • GoToWebinar
  • Eventcube
  • Airmeet
  • Accelevents
  • Orbits

These are some of the best event platforms, but you can do your own research and see what works best for your business and event.

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