We learned it the hard way that not everything goes according to plan.
The event industry took hit after hit, proving this without a doubt. Online events, its Plan B, has now officially become the primary plan. The game rules have changed, we might think, but in reality, not so much.
All it takes for a successful virtual conference/event is a little planning.
Why the special treatment?
Whether they are teleconferences, webinars, podcasts, or hybrid events, online events need the same planning and attention as their offline counterparts. Hosting virtual events is not just about finding the perfect platform and then publicizing the event. It is about being meticulous in planning, armed with enough knowledge and an all-encompassing checklist.
A checklist that covers the most important aspects of virtual events works equally well for veterans and beginners. It not only ensures that you don’t miss things by checking things off (a wonderful feeling in itself) but also gives you a platform to measure your goals against your actual achievements.
What must the virtual event checklist cover?
The primary duty of a checklist is to aid you in pulling off the event seamlessly. This is why the list needs to be exhaustive. Does it remind you of things easily forgotten? Does it ensure that the basics are not overlooked? Does it add that extra layer of a surety that you can benefit from?
You could overlook several things while putting together a virtual event, so, adopt the following checklist we have put together for you.
What is the event objective?
It is the beginning of it all. It is where you determine the reason for conducting this event. Is it to educate your audience on a particular event? Or is it to market a specific product you’re proud of? Or maybe, you just want to generate some leads and garner potential customers. Whatever the objective, you must first decide on one because your entire event revolves around it.
Who is your target audience?
Once your objective is in place, it is time to identify your target audience. Who do you want to talk to? Which faction of the population do you think your event will benefit or influence? You need to narrow down your preferred audience for maximum impact.
What type of event do you want to host?
Your objective will give you an idea of what kind of event you would have to host to get your point across. Will one session do, or do you have to go for a multi-day event? Does it have to be a running series? These questions are essential for you to create the content for your event.
What platform will serve you?
Once you have an idea of the kind of event you want to host, it will clarify the platform that would suit your needs. You need to choose one that suits your audience and your purpose well. Research well on the different functionalities offered by other platforms and make sure your virtual conference checklist has it as a priority.
- Who will be your speakers?
When you select speakers for your event, keep in mind that they should have a good grip on the topic at hand. They must also be comfortable doing virtual events because, depending on the platform, the experience will be quite different from its offline counterpart. You must also decide on how many speakers you need for your event. A panel will be the best choice in most cases, which means you need more than two speakers.
When will your event take place?
This one is simple. Fix the most appropriate time and date for your event, depending on your audience’s geographical location, speaker availability, and varying time zones. We said simple, not easy.
- How engaging is your content?
Always, always have a structure laid out for your content. Fight the idea to be extemporaneous. It is better to be prepared rather than rely on your wits not to fail you. If you have multiple sessions, prepare introductions, conclusions, and ice breakers. Have a clear idea of the points going to be discussed in each session. Your content must be engaging. Sprinkle interesting facts (numbers will also help) in your presentation to keep the interest level high.
- What is your promotional plan?
Once you have your content and event details ready, equally important is your plan to promote it. Spread awareness by coming up with a fool-proof promotional plan. We’re talking digital. Set up online campaigns and registration portals that will drive maximum traffic to your event. Ensure that it is easy for people to register, with as few steps as possible.
Check Off on Preparation
Once you check off the last item in this checklist, you’ll be off to a great start with your virtual event. They might seem simple and easy to remember, but why take the chance? Keep the checklist ready with all its associated documents, and they will turn out to be that extra pair of hands you had always wished for.
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