The wonderfully collaborative community of live events came to a halt for us all in 2020. Over the past few years, we have learned to embrace a virtual environment for our internal teams and our external event goals. If you’re facing the challenge of taking your already planned live event virtual, here are our tips and tricks!
From In-Person to Virtual Events
If you have a pre-existing live event booked that needs to be converted to virtual, make sure you understand and have read through your facility contract.
- Are you canceling soon enough to get some or all of your deposit back?
- Remember, the sooner you cancel the facility, the better!
- If you weren’t doing it before, make sure you’re now reading the fine details before ever signing anything.
No live event means you’ll no longer need to worry about food & beverage, room setup, AV, accommodations, covid-safety precautions, etc. However, that doesn’t mean your event planning process is any easier! With virtual and in-person events, it’s all about perfecting the details to execute a successful event & build a following.
Communicating with registered attendees
Notify Your Current Attendees
Did you have attendees already registered for your live event? It’s essential to notify your attendees of the event change. We recommend reaching out by email and phone to guarantee no attendees show up in person on the day of the event.
Market to new attendees!
One benefit of transitioning to a virtual event is your audience just grew exponentially! Use this opportunity to grow your event size and market to new attendees. Use these tools to get your name and event out there:
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Event
- Social Media Posts
- Digital Advertising
- Add the event details to your email signature!
Planning Event Size & Platform
Just as a venue is key to creating a successful live event, the platform & speaker are vital to engaging your online attendees. There are many platforms available to help you host your online event. Over the past few years our team has fallen in love with the power of the Zoom platform for digital events. Here are some factors to consider when looking at your online learning platform and speaker.
- Does your speaker have experience presenting in a digital course?
- Do you need to see attendee faces or videos during the event for credentialing reasons?
- Should attendees have the ability to speak or collaborate during the presentation?
- Do you need a polling feature for live results during your event?
- Are you manually sending pre and post-event emails? Or can your virtual platform handle that?
- Do you need to accept payment for your events?
- Can you add custom branding to your event to create a more customized event experience?
If you need help deciding which platform is right for you, or need someone to do the heavy lifting of planning, we can help!
Don’t go into the day of your event without practice! Set up a mock virtual event to do a run-through with your presenter/s and support team the week before. Many platforms, including Zoom, offer a practice session before your official event starts. Here are some questions to ask yourself leading up to the event:
- Who is monitoring and responding to your Q&A or chat section?
- How are you presenting and launching polls through your presentation?
- Who will handle the opening and closing statements?
- Do you have someone to introduce your speaker?
While transitioning a live event to virtual poses some challenges, it also opens many opportunities to extend your reach and engagement. If you have questions or are looking for guidance on planning a successful virtual event, we can help!
Jess is the Events Manager at Innereactive. After gaining 11 years of event experience in the food industry, she’s ready to take on the optical world. She’s very passionate about helping people, simplifying processes, and creating positive experiences.