The Events Industry has been witnessing a major downfall since the beginning of 2020, as most of the in-person events have got canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak across the globe. Now, the virtual events turn out to be a savior for many event organizers who are considering this platform as the best option to overcome these uncertain times.
However, if you’re a first-timer to host a virtual event, there are certain things you must focus on which include choosing the right online meeting platform, engaging your online attendees, effective marketing and so on.
In this post, we will guide you through how to shift your in-person events to a virtual one, ways you can host and ideas to make it a successful one.
What is a Virtual Event?
Virtual Events are nothing but online events that allow you to connect with your attendees across the world through the web. Ultimately, this helps your participants to avail of the advantage of joining your event according to their convenience from home, office or wherever they are. On the other hand, the event organizers can host their events with less effort, as they don’t have to plan for onsite event management as they do for in-person events.
Types of Virtual Events
Before taking your event virtual, it’s important to know the types of virtual events and pick the one that best suits your event goals. Here are they;
This is one of the most in-demand virtual event formats which allows the participants to learn skills and certification courses through online sessions. Besides, the attendees can also interact with their trainers and other participants during a session.
Webinars (also known as web-based seminars) is the interactive online meeting format that creates engagement for the attendees via surveys, polls and downloadable assets. It suits events that have a larger audience.
Video conferencing is the communication between the group of people regardless of their location. This format allows the event organizers to host conferences with multiple speakers, breakout sessions, conduct live polls, and surveys. It suits corporate meetings, job training sessions and so on.
It’s a live transmission of an event through the internet. Be it a new product launch or a music concert, the event hosts can broadcast it in real-time for their participants. There are several live streaming tools available for you to choose from.
What are the benefits of hosting a virtual event?
When compared to in-person, there are several advantages while you host events online,
Affordable: Any event organizer would want to make the most out of the minimum budget. This is where virtual events come in handy to reduce the cost of almost 80% compared to an in-person event.
Reach Broader Audience: When it comes to virtual events, you can reach a wider audience as your attendees can from any part of the world. All they need is the accessibility to the web.
Time-Saving – While taking your event virtual, you don’t have to spend a lot of your time on logistics. Instead, you can spend only a little time to set up your virtual event using a web-based platform
How to Shift from In-Person to Virtual Events
In this modern era, most people spend a lot of time on the internet. So, shifting your physical events to virtual is not a herculean task. With proper planning and in-depth research, any event organizers can pull this off with ease. There are several popular events that have gone virtual recently and so can you.
To begin with, you have to visualize how your online events are going to look like. You must think from your perspective and attendee perspective. Some of the things that you must focus on include;
- What are the content pieces that you are going to show?
- Is your event live or a recorded one?
- How are your attendees going to interact or ask questions during the event?
- What is your attendee persona?
- How to engage your attendees
- What’s the duration of your session?
- How to handle connectivity issues during your event?
While taking your events virtual, you have to pick a webinar or live streaming platform to create and manage an online event. Also, enhancing the event experience via the event management software.
Online meeting platform tools to create virtual events
Webinar Tools: Gotowebinar, Gotomeeting, Gototraining, Zoom, Livewebinar, Bigmarker, On24, Livestorm, Joinive, Clickmeeting, Zoho Showtime, Adobeconnect, Webex, Bluejeans, Google Hangouts, and more.
Livestreaming Tools – Vimeo Live, Youtube Live, On24 Webcast, Livestream, Ustream, Brightcove and more.
Event Technology for Virtual Solutions
An event technology platform helps you to do more than a webinar or live-streaming tool. It helps you to do multiple tasks like event promotion, registration, attendee management, and much more. Thus, picking an event management software that integrates with online meeting tools is a great advantage for you.
Here is what you can do with the event technology;
Create an Event Website
Be it an in-person event or virtual event, creating a website certainly helps you to promote and manage registrations for your event. And, importantly you don’t have to be a techie to create an event website, as these event technologies allow you to create an event website within minutes on your own. All you have to do is to upload the event details in terms of venue, schedule, ticketing and much more.
Most of the event technology platforms offer in-built marketing tools for the event organizers to promote their events online. Some of the promotional activities you can do include sending email invites, creating discount codes, etc.
Mobile Event App
With an event app, you can engage your remote attendees before, during and after the event. It allows the attendees to interact with their peers using a private chat feature. Also, you can help your attendees to stay updated about your event.
An event technology allows your attendees to register for events with ease. Besides, you can collect your required data from your attendees by creating a custom registration form. Eventually, it allows you to create a personalized event experience for your attendee. Apart from it, you can stay on top of the things when it comes to the total number of registrations, payments, and cancellations.
As the event platform integrates with all the major CRM and marketing automation tools, you can sync all your data seamlessly.
How to Plan an Engaging Virtual Event?
To build digital connections and keep brands relevant, smart event planners are planning virtual events. But virtual events are so new, there are very little best practice resources to help in planning and hosting a virtual event. How do we know what event element will be useful, watchable and most of all, engaging?
If you’re looking for an event technology to host your virtual event, reach out to Eventzilla – All-in-one event management and marketing platform.