Planning your first online event?
Here are the 10 top tips!
Creating an online event requires planning and strategy to be a success. But with the right approach, you can deliver a memorable experience, even if it is your first time. To help ensure your achievement, we have created a list of the 10 top tips for planning your first online event.
1) Define the objectives of the online event
The first thing you must ask yourself is why are you having this event in the first place. By identifying your objectives, you can shape your event around meeting these goals. Are you trying to cultivate community within your sector? Are you trying to build brand awareness? Once you have identified these intentions, you can establish KPIs that can track successful outcomes.
2) Coordinate your team
A prosperous event is well thought out and includes the voices of various stakeholders within your organization. Identify who from your team will be involved in the event and what their role and responsibilities are. By coordinating your team internally, you will have a stronger organization flow in place to support your event. This internal organization will also give a smooth experience to your guests.
3) Organize the tech requirements
The pandemic set off an acceleration in tools available to host virtual and online events. Whether you are using Zoom, Webex, Teams, YouTube or some of the other tools out there, be sure to consider the user experience. Consider how many people you are inviting and what you want their experience to look like. Do you want to host a virtual show or a live broadcast? Consider the possibilities for your needs and pick the right tools to deliver the best experience.
4) Pick a date
Look at the calendar and be strategic about when you will host your event. When is your target audience available to attend? If you are holding a business conference, check the calendar for competing events to avoid potential conflicts. Also avoid public holidays and times when the world goes on vacation. There is nothing harder than trying to book attendees at a business conference when everyone is at the beach or skiing.
5) Book talent
You want to book speakers and performers that will draw a crowd, so consider the audience of the talent that you book. Whether you are hosting a business conference or a night for knitters, the speakers and performers should inspire your target audience. Who is influential in this space? Additionally, consider booking talent that has a large following that can help you boost ticket sales. Keep all of this in mind as you schedule the entertainment for your event.
6) Create the program
A good program can make the difference between someone buying a ticket or not, so put some thought into the program. Organize the time slots for keynotes, opening acts, performers and lunch breaks. Once you have this structure in place, be sure to give top billing to the top talent. Remember to include breaks so that people can get up from their computers. People need breaks from sitting too long at their screens.
7) Create sponsor partnerships
Create sponsorship opportunities throughout your event. Perhaps you have a virtual cocktail hour or a networking lunch throughout your virtual business conference. These are opportunities for sponsors to give a toast and display signage on the screen and on your website. Include sponsors where it makes sense and leave them out when it would be inappropriate. These partners can help contribute to financing the overall show.
8) Create a marketing plan
Marketing is important to increasing the number of people who will attend your virtual event. Create an email that explains why people should come in a fun and engaging way, with simple information about the details. Creating social media posts for Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter can help you reach different groups of people. Use a hashtag to make it easier to follow. Also make sure that your speakers and sponsors are promoting the event to their audiences.
9) PR Outreach
Create a list of relevant journalists, bloggers, podcast hosts and social media influencers that your event appeals to. Make your staff and speakers available for interviews ahead of the event, so that you can build buzz beforehand. Offer the press free press badges so that they can cover your event. After the event is over, send over video clips to the press to see if they will consider sharing the clips or writing articles about the piece.
10) Sell tickets
Once you have your event page live, make it easy to buy tickets. There should be several calls-to-action around the site, so that as people navigate the program, they can also smoothly add tickets to their card. Offer various payment methods to make ticket buying more accessible to all. Be sure to include links to buy tickets in your email and social media marketing efforts.
Following these tips will help you on the road to success with your event!