How to plan a successful virtual event | Panda Anku

Event technology expert Jack Geddes shares his top tips for planning a successful virtual event.

Love them or hate them, virtual events are here to stay. The format has surprisingly proved so popular that it is now considered a credible alternative to a real event.

But being aware of the benefits of virtual events is not enough to plan a virtual event that generates leads. Here are nine top tips to make your event go viral.

1) Choose engaging content

Whether you already have a broad audience or are building one from scratch, you should have engaging content to attract them to your virtual event. Creating engaging content is the foundation of a successful virtual event. Your content should be captivating, engaging and have a significant impact on your audience.

What are the ingredients to create engaging content?

Communicating a new idea, a new product, a new lifestyle

Whatever your niche, you should work on something new, special, and different from your competitors’ content. In fact, focusing on different aspects and an unexpected perspective on the topic is the best way to attract your audience and introduce a new product, communicate a new idea, or promote a new lifestyle.

Answering questions

There are various reasons to attend a virtual event, but potential attendees are all definitely looking for answers to questions. So, engaging content doesn’t just give an idea or an overview of something; it should provide specific, clear and reliable information.

propose solutions

We face a variety of challenges every day. Most of the time we don’t have time to get help or support to address or solve these issues. Virtual events are the modern, easy and accessible way to connect with people from all over the world, connecting them with experts and giving them the opportunity to grapple with their difficulties and problems.

Quality content should be able to meet your audience’s expectations and provide relevant solutions to their problems.

Quizzes, polls and contests

Engaging content should feel tailor-made for your attendees. It should be interactive so your audience feels involved and wants to actively participate in your virtual event through quizzes, polls, or contests.

Anticipate your audience’s needs and behavior changes

To continuously engage their interest, your content should reflect the needs of your target audience and be able to anticipate their behavioral changes.

2) Make it smooth and fun

A long passive speech, giving too much information and too much detail can be tiring even for a knowledgeable audience. Remember that your attendees can unsubscribe at any time during the show.

You should be creative and choose the right rhythm that will keep your audience interested and connected to the end. Don’t hesitate to add unexpected jokes (in the right context); It could be used as a short break, as a simpler way of explaining, as an example, or as a smooth transition to the following part.

3) Choose your audience

Your content can be exclusive, compelling and highly engaging; But to make your virtual event successful, you should target the right audience. There are several techniques to choose your audience – you can opt for email campaigns, online forms and surveys, or social media sponsorship campaigns. There is no doubt that audience-centric virtual events can achieve the best result.

4) Choose your guests

One of the most valuable ingredients that could take your virtual event to a higher level is adding some interesting guests. You just have to make sure that their posts are relevant and appreciated by your audience.

Here are some key points to consider when choosing your guests:

– They should preferably already have an impact on your audience.

– They should be experts in their field; either have outstanding experience in this field or an inspiring track record.

– You should be articulate, have excellent speakers and be comfortable dealing with the camera and the audience.

– They should correspond to your company or brand values.

5) Careful planning

As with anything in life, planning is the key to success. Even with virtual events, the planning should be meticulous and every detail should be considered.

Your virtual event planning should start with choosing the most opportune time for your event, the brand, event positioning and speakers.

But why is planning so important for your virtual event?

– It helps you find better ways to achieve your goals.

– It forces you to prioritize.

– Breaking down your project into small tasks gives you a meaningful overview of the whole process and makes a big undertaking seem easier.

– You opt for more productive and efficient processes.

– It gives you the ability to delegate tasks to the right people.

– It gives you more options and alternatives to better deal with unexpected incidents or last-minute changes.

– It allows you to track your progress better.

6) Have a successful marketing strategy

Although the above points should be part of your marketing strategy, you should of course rely on a powerful long-term marketing strategy to better achieve your goals and reach your target audience.

It’s not just about promoting your upcoming virtual event, but also about building a memorable brand and a unique and lasting image.

For all these reasons and more, you should rely on a strong marketing team consisting of a strategic marketer, a community manager, a graphic designer, a copywriter, and a producer/video editor.

7) Decide on the right platform

After the pandemic, we can form a constructive opinion about the most famous online platforms.

In order to choose the most suitable platform for your upcoming virtual events, you should first review and evaluate your requirements, such as:

– Your virtual event format: meeting, webinar, live, pre-record, conference.

– If you need to restrict or allow live chat and speakers.

– If you need to allow participants to connect.

– The estimated number of participants.

– If you have a time limit or other technical limitations.

If you have more specific requirements, you should list those as well. Once you know what to expect from your video conferencing service, you should choose the platform that supports your needs without causing recurring technical issues that cannot be quickly resolved during the event.

You should also check if the platform is free, if the platform is compatible with most of your audience’s devices, and if the platform is available in all countries where you might have participants.

8) Management of the technical side

You can plan your virtual event perfectly, but you can never avoid technical problems. Still, you can always try to minimize technical inconveniences if you have a thorough plan to better deal with unexpected issues.

The best way to do this might be by hiring a reliable technical support team. Otherwise, you have a few practical tips such as:

– Be fully aware of the technical limitations of your platform.

– Carrying out all necessary tests for all your technical equipment before the event.

– Send your attendees some handy tech tips and encourage them to pre-test their devices.

– Establishing and sharing some rules that must be respected during the event.

9) Collect data and feedback

Virtual events are the best opportunity to gather feedback and valuable data from your audience.

First, any relevant information you collect from your attendees will help you evaluate your event so you can improve and develop your next one.

After all, being interactive and responsive to your audience’s needs and expectations gives you more credibility and trust.

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