Learning how to host a virtual event is a skill that will help you create lasting impressions on your most important audiences — now and for years to come. Over the last year and a half, virtual events have taken the world by storm. This trend is not likely to change, even as we return to a new, post-pandemic normal.
The benefits are great—increased reach, lower overhead, and accessibility all mean that virtual events will continue to become more popular, serving different needs than live or hybrid. Once you decide to host, we can help. Get started today by browsing our directory to find the services you need for a successful event!
In an increasingly remote workplace, hosting virtual events offers a valuable opportunity to boost employee engagement. Building a sense of community and belonging within a remote team can exponentially improve focus and productivity.
Don’t let milestones and quarterly events fall by the wayside just because your team is remote. These events are key to building the relationships and cooperation that make the workday flow more smoothly and efficiently. You might even consider virtual team-building exercises to help bring your team together.
Hosting corporate events, such as a product launch or sales meeting, also offers opportunities. Virtual events can support a much larger, more geographically diverse audience. The cost behind the event is generally much lower, and real-time feedback can help inform event and product development. A successful virtual event can offer new leads, open new markets, and drive innovation through networking.
What Makes a Virtual Event Unique?
Even if they serve the same purpose and advance similar goals, virtual events should not mimic live ones. They are different experiences and should be treated as such. Virtual events will continue to occur in the post-pandemic world because they are simply a different solution with different strengths to apply to new opportunities.
In some ways, a virtual event is simpler; there is no travel to book, no venue to rent, and no size constraints. There are, however, a few things particular to virtual events. You must choose a platform to host your event. With global reach comes events that span time zones. Scheduling should be carefully planned to accommodate the time differences within your audience.
Planning a Virtual Event
When figuring out how to run a virtual event, you’ll need to consider how to make it successful. Here are a few tips.
What are your goals?
A clearly defined purpose and defined measures of success will allow you to work with the end in mind. Consider your audience and the type of event you want to host. From a holiday party to a shared team experience, the event you are planning will define the options you consider as you move forward.
Give yourself time.
Providers book up, audience calendars fill, and you want to be first in everyone’s book. Planning in advance gets you what you want, when you want it, and minimizes stress on the whole event team.
What will you need?
Will you need entertainment? Music? AV production services to make the most of a livestream? Consider the tools and services necessary to meet the goals you set, then search our directory to find providers. Find inspiration in our categories and listings!
Allow room for networking.
You should also make specific plans for networking opportunities by providing chat and breakout room functions—these interactions occur naturally in live events, but must be planned for when gathering virtually.
Promote your event.
Whether your event serves an internal or external audience, early promotion is key to ensure solid attendance. Promote via social media, email, internal communication tools, and other marketing methods, targeting your audience effectively and proactively.
Choose a solid platform.
Audience size, type of event and how your content is going to be presented are the biggest things to consider when choosing a platform. Do you want an immersive experience? Breakout rooms? On-demand or real-time access? Chat functions? Cover the features you want and the scalability you need when choosing a platform.
How to Choose a Platform That Works
One of the most important decisions involved in hosting a virtual event is the platform used to run it. When considering the platform that suits your needs best, be sure to check out our directory of virtual event platforms. With such a vast variety of solutions out there, you’re sure to find one that matches the needs and size of your audience.
Step 1. Do some goal-setting
Take some time to consider the goals of your event, and tailor your platform to your needs. A livestream will have different technical needs than a product launch or online convention. Keeping the end in mind when looking at platform strengths will help you choose the right features and tools.
Step 2. Determine your support needs
What are your technical support needs? Be sure to choose a platform that offers support before, during, and after the event! From access issues to presentation support and post-event recordings, it’s important that a platform provider is there with you to ensure that your event runs smoothly and seamlessly.
Step 3. Calculate your budget
Knowing the numbers upfront is helpful for planning and feature choice. Do you need more customization? Be sure to allow for that! Platform options are available to fit almost any price, so knowing what you want to spend will help you make the best choice.
Step 4. Consider the user experience
Your user experience is a vital part of your event. Try to keep access as simple and hassle-free as possible to maximize attendance. Intuitive controls, minimal logins, and an uncluttered screen all help to create a smooth experience for your attendees, and there is definitely room for branding and customization!
Searching for the best platforms to host virtual events? Look no further than our directory. We make it easy for you to browse the available options to find the best companies to work with for your event. If you represent a business that works with virtual events, consider claiming your listing, so that users can easily find you and the services you provide. By using our listings, event hosts can save time and effort finding the perfect match for your needs!