With virtual events becoming one of the mainstream ways to network and build connections worldwide, setting the stage for successful virtual events is vital to ensuring the highest levels of engagement and connection-building for both the organizers and attendees.
Here, we will discuss the importance of planning a virtual event like a pro, from event planning and promotion to event design to execution to feedback. Understanding these steps will ensure you achieve the highest levels of engagement, connectivity, and inclusivity for everyone.
II. Defining Your Virtual Event Objectives
When planning your virtual event, identifying goals and objectives is critical to achieving the highest level of success for everyone. Asking questions like, what are we trying to accomplish for the short and long term, how will we achieve it, and what impact will we make will not only ensure a successful virtual event but will help you achieve the maximum possible engagement levels and connectivity for everyone.
A primary starting point is understanding the purpose of your event. Are you trying to help your attendees improve their networking skills, advance their careers, or provide valuable information or education that could help them personally or professionally? Once you understand your event's purpose, you can plan and promote it more easily.
Once you identify goals and objectives and understand the event's purpose, the next step is determining the scale of the event, which will allow you to establish how many attendees you will be hosting. This ensures that you target the right audience with the necessary level of engagement and promotion without going overboard on the logistics before, during, and after the event.
III. Assembling Your Virtual Event Team
All successful events have successful teams behind the scenes, and this begins with establishing the role of a project manager, sometimes known as the virtual event planner, whose role is to ensure everything runs smoothly from start to finish. This includes ensuring all team members are on the same page and carefully documenting all aspects of the planning and implementation of the virtual event, as well. The most essential characteristic of the project manager is to stay in constant communication with all team members to ensure that everything stays on track from start to finish.
Once a project manager is assigned, the next step is building a well-rounded team assigned to different aspects of the virtual event, from promotion and planning to event design and execution to how feedback will be collected and documented. No matter how small the task, a well-rounded team will successfully contribute to the success of the virtual event from start to finish.
IV. Engaging Content and Activities
Virtual events aim to achieve the highest level of engagement and connectivity for everyone; you can accomplish this by designing engaging team-building activities to create camaraderie among your attendees. Team-building activities allow your attendees to network and build connections through interpersonal engagement and interaction, which can foster connections and build inclusive relationships for everyone.
Incorporating real-time interactions is another method to develop engaging content and activities, as this offers your attendees the opportunity for live discussions and knowledge-sharing, which will only achieve the highest level of engagement and inclusivity for everyone. Through these real-time interactions, your attendees can hone their networking skills while learning from many individuals worldwide.
One strategy for a successful virtual event is leveraging happy hours and face-to-face moments with your attendees, which will allow them to engage and interact with each other in a more personal and relaxed setting. Face-to-face communication also offers attendees increased knowledge-sharing and enables them to learn from each other more personally.
V. Effective Event Promotion
While the project manager's job is to ensure all team members are on the same page through the planning and execution of the virtual event, the marketing manager's role is essential in promoting the event. This includes ensuring they target the right audience, streamlined registration, and sending invites to all attendees leading up to the event.
Successful event promotions ensure you are maximizing brand awareness both leading up to the event and through the event, as the goal is to build connections among your attendees while building your brand, which will ensure your attendees will return for future events you might host.
Social media has become a part of our daily lives, and harnessing the power of social media for promoting your virtual event cannot be understated. This includes using company social media pages, such as X, Instagram, or Facebook, to promote your event and even having a social media account solely dedicated to your virtual event, especially if the event is part of a series.
VI. Measuring Engagement and Success
Throughout the virtual event, monitoring and gathering data on attendee engagement and audience interaction is paramount for achieving the most impactful and successful virtual event. This can be accomplished either by your team members or through artificial intelligence and will ensure your attendees achieve the highest level of engagement and connectivity possible.
Another way to ensure a successful virtual event is by evaluating the impact of the team-building activities to ensure everyone has the highest level of engagement and connectivity. Determining which activities are the most and least impactful will ensure your attendees are engaged while setting the stage for successful virtual events.
VII. Post-Event Reflection and Improvement
A significant step to ensure you continue to have successful virtual events is analyzing post-event data and feedback from your team and attendees. Feedback surveys sent via email or within your event platform are an excellent way to collect feedback immediately following the event. It's best to do this quickly following your event so the information is fresh in everyone's minds and you receive the most valuable information as fast as possible.
One area to focus on is identifying areas for improvement; this includes everything from event planning and promotion to targeting audiences to event management and even how you collect feedback. Concentrating on improvement will ensure you build the best team and host the most impactful event in the future, ensuring more significant levels of engagement and connection-building for everyone.
When planning a virtual event like a pro, having the right team and objectives in place will ensure a smoother and more successful virtual event, from event planning and promotion to event design to execution to feedback. Through this, you ensure the maximum level of engagement and interaction for your attendees and allow them the best opportunity for networking and connectivity with individuals from all over the world. We encourage event planners to embrace these best practices when planning a virtual event like a pro, which will ensure connectivity and inclusivity remain a top priority for everyone.