As an events organiser, you are trained to think of the worst case scenario – whether that is the caterer running out of snacks or the speaker not arriving – but it is safe to say that a global endemic is not a scenario that anyone considered. And given this new reality, the events-planning industry has had to make some creative changes to how things are done. 

You should be investing in tools for virtual events so that you can continue operating during this difficult time. You can turn this time into a positive one, finding creative ways to build community and connection in a world which is now no longer limited by travel or cost. You might be wondering, how exactly, you can do this, so below we provide some tips for running virtual events. 

 

What Is The Purpose Of Your Event?

 

As with any other event, you should start by thinking about what the purpose of your event is. For example, you could be planning an online launch of a client’s new product, hosting a webinar in place of a conference, or perhaps you might be offering a free class to those who are interested in a certain topic. 

You will also need to consider how you want your attendees to feel, what format would be the best fit for your virtual event, how you can keep people engaged (being online has many distractions), and how many people you would like to “attend” your event. These will all help you to decide on what type of event you want to host and what the purpose is. 

 

Assign Roles To Your Team

 

After you have thought about what the purpose of your event is and how you want to host it, you should think about the roles that your team should take. Similar to an in-person event, you will need to have roles that make attendees feel welcomed and appreciated. The roles will change slightly due to the event being online. 

You will need to have a greeter, to welcome everyone to the event, a chat moderator to encourage engagement and ensure that the post rules are followed. You will need a host, as you would with any event or conference, and always have technical administrators to perform troubleshooting throughout the event. 

 

Think About Timing

 

Before you send out your professionally designed e-vites for your virtual event, you will need to consider the date and time for your event. Because people are now at home and are not able to go out to events, there is more flexibility with times and dates, but you will need to be considerate of any obligations people might have which could prevent them from attending. 

You could use social media tools to ask about what dates suit your audience, such as having a poll on Facebook or Instagram about times and dates that suit everyone. Choosing the most voted-on dates and times will allow everyone to attend, so be sure to provide more than one option. You could also offer two different dates for the event, so everyone has a chance to experience it live. 

 

Pick The Right Tools

 

After establishing the date and time, you will need to move on to choosing the right tools. You should use tools such as Microsoft Teams, Skype, Google Hangouts or a tool such as Webinar Jam, which allows you to create a recording and replay of your webinar for guests to join at any time. 

The tools you choose should be free and accessible to everyone, otherwise you will lose out on attendees. Video conference tools can be difficult to find, but once you have the right one, you will be able to plan and organise the event. YouTube is a highly useful platform, and you can even live-stream an event, allowing attendees to ask questions and make comments in real-time. 

 

Always Be Prepared

 

After choosing the software, you will need to test that it works, and this should be done a while before the event actually starts. Ask your staff to check that the video software works even with a low or unsteady bandwidth, and that all microphones have the right sound quality. You will also need to see what the event will look like for the attendees.

You could also spend this time creating a “wrap-up” video thanking people for attending and show this at the end of the event. Not testing the software will mean that on the day, you might experience issues which could lead to the event not running as smoothly as it could. 

If you would like help with creating video content and marketing content for your virtual event, speak to the NetMechanic team today to find out what we can offer you.