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Successful Online Events

Organizing Successful Online Events: Need to Know Secrets

Online events or virtual events are gatherings held in the virtual world. These virtual events consist of two or more people communicating interactively, smiling, laughing, having fun, and bond across absolutely any distance. Virtual events can also be used for corporate events that help connect colleagues online while working remotely for long periods.

Virtual events have risen due to the worldwide pandemic in the past few months. The reason is that despite the ongoing crisis, people wanted to continue their supposed in-person events such as conferences, meetings, team building, and family gatherings.

As for the event organizers, the unforeseen pandemic mandated them to cope up with the new norm in a short period of time. Many have successfully overcome this situation, but some fail and, unfortunately, cancel their events.

If you are an event organizer worried about starting an online event, make sure that you read this along because this article will give you tips and the need-to-know secrets on organizing the best virtual events.

How does a virtual event work?

How does a virtual event work?

Virtual events do not go far with in-person events because they are also gatherings but was just take place online or on virtual platforms. The concept may sound easy, but virtual events may become more complicated.

Like an in-person event, online events have many elements to be formed. Most importantly, the technological and social aspects that need to be given attention to.

On the technical side, the platform and event management capabilities include online event registration, payment integration, customizable forms, mobile event apps, video conferencing, and other features that you may require for your event to be a success. The social side of virtual events, on the other hand, refers to how your attendees will absorb the content offered to them and interact with the other participants.

A virtual event will successfully work together when these two aspects correlate and enhance the attendee experience.

What do you do in a virtual event?

What do you do in a virtual event? | Virtual event ideas | types of virtual events

Virtual events do not happen without any purpose. These purposes do not just help you move forward, but they will also guide you to focus on achieving success in your online event. There are many different things that you can do in an online event, and here are some types of events:

A. Virtual Networking events

Virtual networking events encourage attendees and speakers to communicate with each other and build professional relationships in a virtual environment. After-work, happy hours, get-togethers, government contracting, bidding, auctions, and many more can be a theme of any networking event.

B. Online job fair or hiring events

Job fairs conducted in virtual events help the applicants easily identify companies seeking new employees and determine whether they meet the specific qualifications of the hiring company. Employers profit from these virtual events because it helps them quickly narrow down the number of applicants and find eligible prospects, rather than wasting time, money, and effort.

C. Virtual Meeting

In the corporate world, communication with the members of an organization is critical. Especially nowadays that everyone is working from home. With the help of virtual conferences, the management team can conveniently relay information, get an update of everyone’s current task load and give out the best solutions to any problems.

D. Virtual team-building events

Virtual team-building helps the people involved in the organization share tips, build work relationships, trust, and enhance teamwork despite being in their own home offices.

A virtual meeting and team-building can remind all company members that there are other people they can rely on in times of need.

E. Online fundraising event

Technology was rapidly changing and available to everyone in need in these modern times. Align with that, non-profit organizations can now be easily heard and reach out to everyone. Non-profit organizations can now efficiently conduct fundraising events on virtual space to raise money and additional resources for their needs.

F. Digital shopping events

Many small businesses gave life to shopping events because of the on-demand shopping and purchasing needs. This type of online event is one of the most anticipated sessions in the world of social media and e-commerce right now. Virtual shopping events are used for product demos or sales in which customers can buy plants, clothes, furniture, cosmetics, and a variety of other items virtually.

G. Virtual social event

Virtual conferences are not just simply for business purposes only. You can set up a virtual social event to gather your family and friends intentionally. You can virtually catch up, drink, play board games, watch movies together, or do anything that can create socialization and bonding.

H. Live Sessions

Nowadays, some professionals wanted to learn new things while doing errands or household chores. That is why many online platforms offer education sessions in different subjects and niches. Anyone can master any skill while having their training session in the comfort of their own home with digital workshops.

Bands, songwriters, and music studios also adapted to the current situation by having a virtual concert at home. With live and interactive sessions, influencers, instructors, and others were able to connect with their followers and lighten up the mood of their listeners.

I. Webinars

Before the pandemic came in, seminars and training were types of events done through in-person experiences. But now, this type of physical event has converted into a virtual event called “webinars.”

virtual events - webinars

Conducting virtual webinars helps all virtual event planners easily invite speakers and connect with other professionals worldwide. Whether you are attending or organizing virtual webinars, it can help you extend your contacts network.

J. Live Streams

Live streaming is popular in the entertainment sector, and it may be watched on a variety of social media sites. In order to attract potential clients and other people in the industry, you can do a stream on social media to develop connections, produce marketing campaigns, and raise awareness.

How do I create an online event?

How do I create an online event?

The only missing part of the virtual event is the venue and the attendees having face-to-face interaction. However, you can create a big successful online event if you care and pay attention to it as an in-person event.

Like in-person events, planning for virtual events is tricky and time-consuming. That is why when you plan, you should have a standard event strategy planning to create and execute a great event. Although virtual events feel different, you can treat them like an in-person event to make your attendees feel better virtual experience.

For a spectacular virtual event, here are some tips and tricks to help you get started:

1. Define the event purpose

As an event organizer, you surely want to execute an online event that will leave a lasting impression. It is crucial to have a purposeful event to achieve a successful event.

To help you find your event purpose, you may ask yourself the following:

  • Will I entertain the participants?
  • Will I encourage engagement?
  • How many guests can I cater to?
  • Do I want to educate my audience?
  • Do I like to express appreciation to business partners, employees, or stakeholders?

The given questions are just some of the things you may choose from. After finding your event purpose, you can pick the event type, think about the concept, paperwork, etc.

2. Choose the event type

One factor that could affect your event purpose is the type of event you would like to conduct. The reason is that event planning may vary depending on each type of online event. There are lots of event ideas listed above that you may choose from. When you determine the kind of event you want to execute, you can set SMART objective planning to process the event effectively.

3. Gather a competent team and create a remarkable event name

A single person cannot organize a fantastic online event alone; you surely need a team to work with you. Why do you need to put up a competent team in event planning? The team will not just help you to achieve your plans but also set all the event parameters.

Gathering a team involves hiring skilled and trusted people. You will quickly achieve what your online event wants to reach if you have a team. Your staff can also provide you with recommendations during the meeting planning process that could improve the experience of both the organizers and attendees.

Another thing that the team can meticulously think about is the event name. The name of your event might somehow serve as your brand, that is why it is better to brainstorm with the team to think of the best event name thoroughly.

4. Allocate responsibilities

Equal distribution of work among event team members is critical. You can establish a system of accountability by allocating individual responsibilities to team members. A dedicated communication channel is also established, ensuring that all tasks will be accomplished. This also improves the overall performance of an individual and demonstrates efficient teamwork with the members.

Some of the roles you can assign to team members are as follows:

  • Promotion
  • Event program
  • Social Media Management
  • Venue management
  • Publicity
  • Registration

When you assign a specific person to a particular task, they will be responsible enough throughout the entire duration of the event.

5. Set the event date

It’s possible that the dates for regular events are already fixed. However, if you’re planning anything new, it’s a good idea to keep the following guidelines in mind before organizing your event:

A. Allow yourself enough flexibility to make a decision! Give yourself 4 to 6 months for a large event, and for smaller ones, at least one month. However, depending on the type of your event, your preparation may vary.

B. Keep an eye out for the impending holidays.

C. Avoid school holiday time periods

D. Check the availability of keynote speakers, VIP visitors, and other essential participants.

6. Create a budget plan

Having a well-planned spending budget is one of the most important aspects of event preparation. Even the best thought virtual event idea fails for not having a well-planned budget because the money can affect the overall aspect of the event, from the choice of venue, guest speakers, staffing, technology, entertainment, etc. As a result, before you start preparing anything else, you should have a rough sense of how much you’ll be spending.

The following are some important budget items that you can include:

Venue: subscription or membership costs to virtual event platforms.

Marketing: expenses for promotional materials to be used

Entertainment: this can cover the key speakers, hosts, special guests, media team, etc.

Labor Costs: payment for staff and budget for the volunteer’s need

Event technology: event app, event website, event-ticketing software, etc.

Contingency funds: budget for unforeseen expenses

budget planning

As I previously stated, your budget will have an impact on many aspects of your virtual event. That is why it is best that you don’t get too wrapped up in the things you genuinely must have. Always consider undesired expenses.

Unforeseen expenses are usual during events, and supplier charges are sometimes offered as estimates rather than fixed rates. Therefore it’s vital that the entire budget is controlled effectively and contingency plans and finances are in place.

7. Choose the right venue

With the great demand for online platforms, different online venues rise in numbers and offer additional competence. Here are some examples of these platforms to give you an idea of what they are:

I. Zoom

In today’s industry, Zoom is one of the most widely utilized virtual events platforms. Each session may host up to five hundred people on the platform.

Businesses and professionals use this virtual event platform on almost any transaction they need, like office meetings, client presentations, and team building. Event organizers commonly use this platform when conducting webinars.

One advantage of the Zoom platform is that it can automatically organize and distribute people into smaller groups known as breakout sessions or rooms when the number of attendees exceeds the capacity.

Virtual events | virtual conference

II. Google Meet

Google meet is widely used by educational institutions nowadays. The platform is accessible through a clean, easy-to-use application, including HD video, one-click presenting functionality, and privacy features.

There are three types of users under this platform: personal, business user, and google workspace admins. These three types of users have different functions, but the most used is personal use, which can obtain one hundred people with sixty minutes of the virtual conference.

III. Microsoft Teams

Like the Zoom platform, the Microsoft Teams, formerly known as Skype for Business Online, can set up breakout sessions to effectively manage the audience. However, at the time, the platform could only accommodate up to two hundred people.

Participants can attend a meeting through a link, and HD video, screen sharing, recording, and third-party app integration are among the additional capabilities available. Microsoft teams best serve small virtual events or company gatherings with a small number of employees.

Virtual events - meeting

IV. BigMarker

BigMarker is a web-based platform that allows planners to access all their online events via the web browser. To communicate with your virtual attendees, the platform enables you to construct digital whiteboards for your presentations, where virtual attendees can comment on the board or ask questions at the same time.

V. Eventcube

Eventcube is a one-of-a-kind platform that brings together a portfolio of products that each work together to deliver a strong and seamless experience.

The platform offers live streaming, virtual attendee networking, hosting, live chat, and many other more. The company also offers white label ticketing and registration services for music festivals, corporate conferences, university fairs, among other events.

VI. GotoWebinar

GotoWebinar is an online event management platform that will allow you to successfully plan, promote, and host engaging virtual events.

The virtual event platform allows you to host up to three thousand guests. It also offers Customer Relationship Management (CRM) integrations and analytics tools to help you to engage attendees.

VII. Hopin

Hopin is an online events platform that offers the streaming of different virtual events but stands out for its networking sessions.

You can use the platform to fully customize it according to your desired virtual setting or branding. The software can allow up to five organizers to host the event with a maximum time limit of seventy-two hours and one hundred thousand attendees.

Moreover, for online courses, fairs, trade exhibits, workshops, and hybrid events, Hopin assists event organizers in recruiting event sponsors and making it simple to sell tickets in any currency.

8. Learn to use the platform

In order to succeed in event planning, you must constantly learn new skills. You must be prepared and adaptable to the industry’s constant change. Keeping yourself equipped with the latest trends, technology, and ways the industry works in recent times is a must.

learn new skills for virtual events

Many event organizers have successfully overcome the challenges of the global pandemic and learned how to manage online events effectively. Some can even manage and run two virtual events simultaneously since the participants attend virtually.

You can also do what other event planners do, as long as you let yourself explore the virtual event platforms available to you. You should know how to set up your audio, change the background if needed, let the people in, do presentations, and all of the necessary questions that you can think of.

9. Utilize social media

A social media account exists for almost everyone on the globe. During the year 2020, according to studies conducted in the United States, the typical social media user spent sixty-five minutes on the platform.

You can make use of this chance to market and promote your event online as an event planner. It will be preferable for you to have a social media page for the event you are preparing to increase market awareness and act as one of your marketing strategies to gain more participants and measure event success afterward.

10. Social Media Live streaming

Live streaming on social media platforms is usually done by government agencies, online sellers, or users with many followers.

Social event on online platform | virtual events engagement tools

The widely used social media tool Facebook and Instagram has the “live” feature, which allows you to host and stream for hours with the limitation that viewers can only comment to ask questions and express their concerns.

11. Protect yourself

Not because you are conducting your event virtually does not mean that you are safe. As an event organizer, you should be aware of staying safe. You may be safe from the current infection, but you may be infected by plenty of fraudsters and companies or clients looking for virtual event ideas and themes.

Many will pretend that they wanted to join your event, but some of them might just be getting all the information they can from talking and inquiring about your virtual event. This commonly happens when your brand is making its mark in the industry.

The more promoting you do, the more noise your event creates on social media, so keep an eye out for the actual ones while speaking with potential clients or participants.

12. Create brand awareness

Branding is essential when creating a virtual event because it affects the theme, topic, mobile event app, event website, page design, and even gives direction and vision. Your objective is to attract lots of participants; that is why when making brand awareness, make sure that your event has a strong personality when people think of it.

brand awareness | attendee engagement |

Actively shaping your brand creates a strong perception of the event and the organizing business. There is a lot that goes into building brand awareness. To give you an idea, the following are some of the most important things you need to know:

Event name: Your event name is the first thing you attendees will notice. Therefore, make sure that the event name you choose to have reflects the vision of the event you are planning.

Theme: An event name is not enough to tell the story of your event. Your event theme will grapple the event attendees together.

Color palette: Color should come consistently across all the materials used in marketing. Potential attendees, event sponsors, and partners will never be confused about the event’s arrangement as a result of this.

Branding is a huge task, so keep in mind that every element such as email blasting, event website, mobile event app decorations, social media engagement, or online registration should come together to support the event you want to execute fully.

13. Securing sponsorships

If you are looking for a possibility for a big brand to sponsor your event, keep in mind that they are more likely to do so if they can see that your event can have a great benefit to them.

The power of testimony can help you to find sponsors. That is why it is best to ask for feedback from the previous sponsors you have to testify on your end, or you can also ask them if they are willing to work with you again with the new event you are planning to host. However, if none of these apply to you, proper and well-prepared documents will come in handy.

But! Before sending any sponsorship packages proposals, make sure you do your research in advance. Remember that sponsorship is a two-way business deal; that being said, when seeking a sponsor, you may have the following on your list of criteria:

  • Have sponsored other events so they can easily recognize their importance
  • Has a similar audience or followers as yours
  • Offers services or products that would complement what your company or event offers.

Once you have successfully secured a sponsor to work with, you may then think of sponsored sessions wherein your sponsor can create sessions in line with your event concept. Also, if your event format allows you to do so, you can offer a few sponsored push notifications on the app to remind attendees about the sponsored sessions.

Just note that when you are working with sponsors, be ready to be transparent and willing to answer their questions to strengthen each other’s communication and trust.

14. Create a marketing plan

Having a marketing plan is pretty self-explanatory. Also, the truth is, no matter how well you have planned your event: securing sponsors, having the best venue, getting the top speaker in the industry, the best entertainer, and so much more, if you can’t get enough remote attendees to participate in your event, every effort will then be destined to fail.

To have a good planning process, you should think about your logistics, marketing plan, content, promotional plan, and all. You can use various channels like advertising, social media marketing, sending an event press release, email marketing, brand awareness campaign, etc. But the most important thing of them all is knowing how you would market your event to your target audience.

How do you make a virtual event more fun?

How do you make a virtual events more fun?

As an event organizer, you are responsible to create events that produce the best and exciting feelings for every participant. But if you are not doing things wholeheartedly, things may fall out of hand and lead to inappropriate results.

So, how do you make a virtual event more fun?

There is nothing more than making your event more fun for your participants by being genuinely interested in what you do. The fire for passion and willingness to provide the best event affects the whole outcome of the online event.

Putting all your efforts and enjoying every single aspect of being an event organizer will bring out the best in any event that you will plan. That being said, make sure that when you get into event organizing or planning for your next virtual event, plan it wholeheartedly and with all your eagerness.

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