The Vineyard Brand Consultancy

6 Ways How to Successfully Host a Virtual Event

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6 Ways How to Successfully Host a Virtual Event
By: Trisha Arancon

The years of the pandemic have further pushed everything to go virtual and this does not spare events. Institutions and businesses have developed their occasional initiatives through the likes of social media or other video streaming platforms that cater live sessions of conferences or webinars.

The Struggle with Going Live

Going live online looks easy enough but when you delve deeper into the planning process, it might even be as tedious as how you would’ve done a face-to-face event, maybe even more. There’s even challenges how you would get anyone to attend your event, apart from your friends, colleagues, or families. A dilemma that has been going on about virtual events is the limitation of engagement. This merits a higher chance of not getting seen with the online community that you may be targeting.

The Silver Lining of Having Online Events

The advantage when you get to dominate the online event world is that you’d definitely have the traction of reaching a large amount of people in a single go. You can easily get the word out in an easy share of posts, even if it’s on social media – where almost everyone is on. There’s more ways to communicate with your desired audience and the way you want it can definitely be more creative to attract interested listeners. If you’re a business who wants to build brand awareness and credibility, online events would be advantageous for you especially if you want to harp on your leverage as a thought leader.

But, let’s get to the chase. What do you need to have to make your online event successful? What should prepare you for a remarkable event that would stay in the top of your audience’s minds?

1. Set the event basics and plan from there

Before even planning out the event and how you’re going to execute it, know the WHY. Why would you even want to host the event, what’s its purpose? You’ll be able to gauge out from here your target audience. Know their pain points to delve why they need or want to attend the event that you’re planning.

Once you’ve grounded that information already, set the goals for the events. What do you want to personally achieve from this? What’s your KPIs? This will set a path to how the event will go. A great way to start is knowing what type of event you want to plan – webinar, conference, or forum? Once you know the basics, you’ll get a sense of direction to how this will pan out. 

2. Create the tone around your event

Similar to how businesses want to get perceived by their target market, there needs to be a set of strategies that will focus on creating brand awareness and brand love. A thing of consideration for events is having the right marketing approach to level out the hype. 

A trend that’s going about with events is having their own event brand. This one includes having your own brand of your webinar series, for example. Or you could even make one specifically for your event. You can easily do this through creating a Facebook page allotted for the event brand. This means you’d have to go through making a logo, a slogan, and a set of branding schemes for your event. This will allow people to not get bombarded with a whole lot of information with your own business page. It makes your event more organized and is intentional.

Apart from that, you need to have a relevant and appealing topic that will address the pain points of your desired audience, as what was discussed in step 1. Just like how you would want to read an article, the headline must be eye-catching and must give them a feel of the value they will get when they attend your event. Make them want to yearn for more.

3. Resource relevant people to ensure event success

To make the event successful, you need a team of people who are knowledgeable about the end-to-end technicalities of hosting a virtual event. Everything’s online and you need to have extra hands to address impromptu delays and changes to the program. Online events are heavily dependent on the technicalities especially with the platforms you’re going to use to execute the live event.

Apart from the technical aspect to the event, you need to have a logistics team that will ensure that the materials needed for any presentation is up and running. This will also include the hosts, moderators, and the team leaders.

Of course, an important component to any event is the keynote speaker/s. They need to have a credible background to support your event topic. Also, it would be better if he/she has a big following of your target audience – whether their audience is niched, this will help you gain traction and interest in your event. 

4. Maximize and cultivate your audience’s engagements

As difficult as how to plan and execute the event, it’s also difficult to retain the audience’s interest and attention. There should be consistency with the energy before, during, and after the event. Get the mood going through networking opportunities among the members of your online community. Send invitations to your emailers or your social media pages and set reminders for the event. While you’re at it, maximize the space by also collecting their information that could add up to an audience database for future events.

You can definitely achieve this allowing a live Q&A session with the audience, create breakout rooms or a virtual lobby where they could chit-chat, go live on social media platforms, and you could utilize a platform that has live reactions that audiences can use where you could also acknowledge their comments and engagements they have for the speaker or for other audience listeners. 

5. Dive into the technicals

Just like how you would do an in-person event, you need to make sure that all equipment and materials needed are working properly through a dry-run. Make sure that the audio is fine-tuned for all of the people who will be talking at the event – same goes with the lighting and the video inputs for all parties. If there would be audio cues like background music or special sound effects, best to check if they’re working whenever they are to be used during the event.

6. Don’t forget post-event initiatives

Make your event memorable through documenting the event proper and making it as content. This will get attendees to re-share your post, same goes with the keynote speakers. This will again gain your spotlight on social media and other major platforms that can get you featured. With this, people will get to see the value that you offer and may get their interests for your future events to come.

To improve your succeeding events and activities, you need to have a post-event survey. Collect and gather your audience’s sentiments and base your improvement from there. This will help you decide your next direction and new set of approaches.

Think you’re ready to plan out your first or next event? Get in touch with us by sending an email to [email protected] or [email protected].

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