Virtual Events are the next best thing in the event world. Our current situation has forced us to take the first step into a more engaging, sustaining events that can connect your audience.
Do not look at the transformation from an in-person event to a virtual event as scary. Having the resources and planning in place can make a difference. With that in mind, follow the timeline below to create a successful Virtual Experience.
Why are you having the event? What is your purpose, and what are you trying you accomplish? Determine if your ultimate result is to sell a product or establish your brand. Once you determine your WHY, then you can set goals.
What is your target market? Establishing your target market has always been difficult for me. Do not overthink it! Make sure your target market is small and exact. Once you know exactly who you are marketing too, then you can effectively reach your audience.
Recruit your team. Yes, you need a team to make your event a success. Choose your team members wisely, and make sure they share your vision. Delegating is essential to reduce stress and anxiety.
Create a timeline. Establishing a guide is an integral part of the planning process. Schedules help you keep focus and stay on task.
Create a Budget. You Must have a budget. Budgets are set in place to help you effectively allocate money. Keep in mind, events without a budget spend a lot more than necessary. Your budget should include income, expenses, estimated vs. actual costs, and misc. fund.
Determine the Date and Time. Research your Social Media Platforms for the best time to post to help you establish a time to schedule your virtual event. Also, consider other events planned for the same date and time.
Choose Format. There are endless apps available for a virtual event. Make sure the platform serves all your needs and ensure that its user friendly.
Webinar – this most popular format allows attendees to log into the platform to hear your speakers. Try apps such as Zoom, GoToWebinar, Livestream, and Google Hangouts.
Live Stream – Determine how you're going to live stream. Streaming from home or studio is both options. Try apps such as Periscope, Livestream, Facebook Live, and Instagram.Web Chat – How will the attendees communicate with the host and speakers. Try apps such as HubSpot Live Chat, LiveChat, and PureChat.
Content Development. When hiring content creators, ask for experience, studio accessibility, and the willingness to deal with unexpected changes.
Find Speaker – Look for Speakers that are connected to your purpose and have a following that aligns with your target market.
Find Sponsors – Determining what you can offer your sponsors. Sponsors should align with your target market and fit into the purpose of your event. Remember, organizations you have a relationship should be the first organizations you should reach out to for funding.
Find Curriculum Expert – Curriculum experts have the expertise is keeping your audience engaged after the event has ended. Charmin Williams, Core Connect Works does an exceptional job of creating content based on your event purpose.
Develop a Marketing Plan. Create a marketing plan that speaks to your target market and goes beyond social media. Email marketing, print materials, radio, podcast, and word of mouth are great ways to market your event.
Final Details. Make sure everything is set up and tested. Your team is on board, and you have followed your timeline.
After the Event. Set up a debrief with your team to discuss problems and successes. Keep a record to see if they align with your expected goals—review surveys from attendees.
Send a thank-you note to Sponsors, Speakers, and Media.
The world of Virtual Events can ensure exceptional results! Put on your big boy pants and go for it!