The online world has taken the globe by storm. Many thought the virtual event platforms would vanish as the world readjusted to life after the pandemic. The transformation from in-person events to virtually attending events was a big adjustment. This transition was of such a high quality that many companies use virtual events to reach their audience.
Virtual events have proven their relevance and strength within the business world. Many have transitioned to virtual events due to the reach, cost-effectiveness, and planning around these events. The ultimate guide to virtual event planning starts by identifying the need for the event.
Businesses have seen the potential that virtual conferences and meetings have brought to the table. However, the biggest struggle for many in every industry is the planning, creation, and setup of a virtual event. Only a few event planners have the skills and knowledge to create the perfect, influential online event.
What Does a Virtual Event Planner Do?
A virtual meeting planner has the critical job of bringing an idea to life. Companies all desire to broaden their reach while educating and informing their clients about the company’s products, services, and information. The planner, however, must find a suitable method to fill the gap between the business and their potential customer.
A virtual event planner aims to create a virtual event platform where the company can educate and inform the clients or customers about products, services, and the company’s brand and values. The company must host the event virtually online, allowing attendees to join from the comfort of their living room or office space.
The virtual event planner aims to build an understanding of the customer’s needs, goals, and direction, all incorporated into the event they want to host. The organizer must obtain the event goals and define clear objectives to create and build the customer’s desired event. Setting a budget for the event will be another task that falls into the hands of the planner.
They must determine the potential expenses and the accompanied categories to provide the customer with a budget for the event. The budget will give the company an expectant expense list to which they can agree.
There are multiple event types, and the format of each differs. It will be the event planner’s obligation to determine the best-suited event type and adapt the plan according to the event goals and objectives of the company.
Types of Virtual Events
There are a variety of virtual event types that companies can choose from. The format and platform of these events change, and the company can adjust its event goals and information according to the specific type of event that they want to host.
A webinar is an event that provides a business with a platform to share information or knowledge on a matter of expertise. A webinar will allow the company to share its knowledge online, where participants will receive and follow a presentation that the speaker will share directly to their screens.
Webinars will allow the company to communicate and interact with a specific group of people. The event will allow a certain number of people to join, where they can enjoy the information the keynote speaker shares and ask their questions once the speaker opens the floor.
The platform can generate excellent leads that the company can use to increase sales. The keynote speaker will be able to answer questions and concerns that the audience brings to the table. The platform will allow the company to share accurate information directly with the target audience.
A virtual conference is an online meeting company leaders host to communicate with their staff. The company will use conferences to introduce a new product or provide new research or information to the employees. The aim is to educate, assist or provide guidance to all the team members within the company.
Virtual conferences enable company leaders to communicate with members within the company in separate locations. The employees can join the meeting from across the world, which makes communication and connection easier for all company leaders.
The platform will allow employees to ask questions throughout the meeting, or the planner can create breakout sessions, where employees will have a smaller virtual space to communicate with keynote speakers or company leaders. They can directly raise concerns, problems, or questions to management staff members.
Internal Hybrid Events
Internal hybrid events include in-person and virtual meetings. This type of event is helpful for more giant corporations with multiple locations that are widely spread. The company will use this platform to share specific information online to ensure the entire corporation receives the correct information.
The team can then use the in-person aspect to display a specific product or training to a set amount of employees. The internal hybrid event is helpful if a more significant portion of employees must receive the information while a smaller portion receives the practical aspect.
External Hybrid Events
An external hybrid event is similar to an internal mixed event. The only difference is that an external event will be hosted for customers, clients, and external individuals. An external event can have invited attendees only or be an open event for any possible attendance. This will all be determined by the company.
External hybrid events will allow potential attendees close enough to join in person to enjoy the event by physically joining. The other attendees that want to join but have no time to travel or have prior arrangements can join virtually by simply following a link shared by the company.
These events can be product launches, themed leadership meetings, or new knowledge and information discovered by a research team.
An exhibit is an event where a company, artist, or individual shares various documents, pictures, videos, or any other exciting display. An exhibition is one of the more challenging formats to transition to an online event. The idea, however, is to display one sculpture or piece at a time, allowing all attendees to witness it.
The planner can either display every piece once or ensure that all the details are displayed continuously to ensure the guests get all the portraits and pictures. Another method of using an exhibit is by creating multiple breakout rooms where the attendees can wander through on their own time. This will allow the virtual event to feel the same as an in-person event where all the attendees can walk and explore on their own time.
The exhibition event might be one of the least used forms of online events. This is due to the difficulty of clearly displaying the art and information on a screen. Some platforms can only hold a certain number of attendees, which might exceed the potential number of attendees wanting to observe the exhibition.
Seminars are small to medium meetings where students or individuals join a lecture or keynote speaker to obtain and gain information. A seminar will provide educated or informed speakers to share their findings or knowledge with others who want to learn or question the data.
Seminars will need a chat option on the virtual platform. The platform will allow the attendees to virtually raise their hands and ask questions as the speaker shares their information. This event will use the entire online equipment, such as allowing the speaker to see the video and activating the microphone. Enabling attendees and speakers to see and speak to each other. The microphone will increase the clarity of communication, which is vital for a seminar event.
Trade shows are events where companies can display their products and services in booths. The attendees can witness the multiple businesses by walking through their booths at the trade show. These shows will advertise a specific industry and allow attendees to experience some of the best companies within the industry.
Trade shows provide attendees with the option of window shopping at all the possible stores in one front. The attendee has the opportunity to compare and experience various products and services. Multiple platforms cater for an online trade show event. The focus is to provide the attendee the chance to experience a trade show through the ability to walk around virtually and share every booth that is present.
Critical Skills Needed for Successful Virtual Events
As with any career, virtual event planners must acquire specific skills to provide them with the tools to be successful event planners. These skills will give the planner the foundation that will lead them to planning and organizing successful virtual events.
Check Out The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Events:
Create Clear Goals
The first skill a planner must have is gaining insight into company plans by creating clear goals and objectives. Many companies will have the desire to create a virtual event to connect with their attendees. Some companies need the knowledge or the direction to set clear and concise goals for an event.
The event organizer must, however, be capable of creating event goals with the company to ensure direction for the event. The event goals can be in the form of raising brand awareness, increasing sales, or educating the employees on products or information that will be critical in the future.
Without event goals and objectives, the team will aimlessly host a function that will hold no value to the company or the attendees. The goals will allow the team to evaluate the event’s success rate and improve any future event the company wants to host.
Create A Budget
There are many benefits to online events. One of the well-known benefits of an online event is the expenses. Virtual events will be cheaper to create and host. This is a great benefit to the company. What many still forget is the importance of a budget. This is even more true for a virtual event.
A budget is a document that states a company’s set expenditures and income over a specific time. A budget must be drawn up for a virtual event. The budget will include every area and aspect the company will spend the funding on to create and build the online meeting. The document must display the entire itinerary of possible expenses.
The main objective of a budget is to provide the company with a clear allocation of expenses for the event. The company will know precisely how they will be spending. The budget is only an estimate, which means the company can change it to save money or pay more if they feel that a specific item is short of finances.
Communication and Management
A planner must have the ability to communicate clearly. The main reason for this is the multiple teams and corporations they have to deal with. The planner will have continuously speak to the hosting company. Communication will include feedback and updates on the project. The planner will have to communicate with the platform host and other teams that will assist in building the venue for the company to host the event.
Communication is key. And with communication, the organizer must be able to manage the different teams that are part of the project. The planner will have to check in on all the teams to ensure they are on the right track and understand their objectives and tasks. The virtual event will only be possible with a group and an excellent manager. Thus managing and communicating with the entire team throughout the event is paramount.
Knowledge of the Best Virtual Platforms and Creating a Live Stream
Even though the event planner might not need to create and set up the live stream or determine the best platform for the event, information on these topics is crucial. The platform will provide the attendees with the necessary abilities to communicate and interact with the speaker; thus, using the wrong platform will lead to an inability to interact, leading to an event’s failure.
The planner must know about creating a live stream setup. The education on live streams will allow the team to create a great and accurate setup without needing a professional or external individual. It saves the company money and provides the organizer with the platform to create the perfect stream for the upcoming event.
Another benefit of having the information on the best platform and creating the live stream is that the team can create multiple events without switching and changing staff. The planner can guide and assist the team with the necessary information to create the perfect event according to the event type.
Marketing the Event
The event planner will have a set strategy to market the event. The marketing strategy aims to inform the potential attendees of the event’s date, location, and format. The organizer must have marketing experience. If unsuccessful, this will provide the marketing team with guidance and opportunities to change the marketing strategy.
The planner must know to capitalize on the various platforms that will be used to promote the event directly to the target market. The planner must be able to change the strategy according to the type of event and the platform the target market enjoys using.
Measuring the Success of a Virtual Event
There are various methods and tools to measure the event’s success. Every tool and technique will calculate a specific aspect of the event, providing the team with much information depending on the method and tools used.
The planner must have the knowledge and capabilities to calculate and determine the event’s success based on the goals and objectives the company set at the event’s beginning. The success will solely be based on whether the goals were met. The feedback can be obtained through multiple methods and must be done most effectively.
Have Up-to-date Knowledge of the Latest Restrictions for In-person Events
As the world returned to the new normal, virtual events became a set way to host. Companies felt the method would broaden their reach and save the business money. These benefits of the virtual event made companies fall in love with these types of events.
There is, however, an opportunity for in-person events to return. And no one knows what the future of virtual events holds. All virtual event planners must consider this. They must keep themselves educated and informed on the in-person trends and restrictions. This will allow them to inform their clients whether virtual events will best suit their goals.
Key Responsibilities of a Virtual Event Planner and Manager
A set of responsibilities falls on the shoulders of the planner. The responsibilities can be changed into a checklist to ensure that every task and responsibility is ticked off as they are finished. These responsibilities lay the foundation for a successful event. And with these responsibilities, the company can host a successful event.
Virtual Event Technology and Equipment
Understanding the technology and the equipment needed for a virtual event is critical. The planner will pick a team that will capture and display the information on an online platform. An educated planner will know the equipment and technology needed to host the event.
This will allow the planner to identify the strongest team and equipment that will be able to host and run a successful event. The planner can save the company money if the technology specialist wants to sell extra equipment to raise more funds. An educated planner will have a greater impact and control over the event they wish to create.
Managing Virtual Event Logistics and Scheduling
Logistics, planning, and scheduling are the backbone of an event planner’s responsibilities. Every event planner knows the struggle of organizing and creating a schedule that suits every individual and team needed for the event. Not only will the organizer be responsible for finding the best in the business, but they must also create an event schedule allowing every part to come together to launch a virtual event that the virtual attendees can experience.
Logistics for the event will be crucial to the success of the event. The logistics can take up most of the planners’ time, and this will be their biggest responsibility, planning and moving the entire team according to the action plan created.
Managing and Delivering Event Details at Each Step
The planning and logistics of the event is key. Moreover, communicating these action steps and plans to the team will have the most significant impact. The planner must communicate and deliver all the detail to the specific teams to ensure they know what to do and when to be ready. This will provide every team member with information about their next task and the specific time of delivering or completing the task.
A clear and concise plan must be drawn up and delivered to every team member. If there are any updates, the planner must communicate to the individuals the change will impact. Another system that will increase efficiency is an online communication platform or app. The team can communicate through one platform, ensuring all details are noticed and remembered.
Planning and Managing an Event That Encourages Sales Leads
The idea behind an event is to reach the goals set by the company. The planner’s responsible for creating an event that generates sales leads and encourages interaction between the company and the attendees.
This will allow the sales team to contact the leads to turn the target audience into loyal customers. The planner must build an event that provides a platform for the company to inform, educate and interact with its customers.
The post-meeting evaluation is one area many meeting professionals must be aware of. The evaluation aims to gain insight and feedback from the customers, attendees, team, and the company on the planner’s ability to arrange a high-quality digital event. The event organizer can identify weaknesses in their planning that they can improve. Send attendee surveys to collect their feedback for the virtual experience.
Attendees will provide accurate feedback on the entire experience of the virtual event. The planner can send every attendee a questionnaire or feedback form where they can describe their experience. The form can include strengths, weaknesses, and critical areas the event planner can improve.
Check-in with Speakers, Volunteers, and Moderators and Express Gratitude for their Efforts in this Special Event
Another part of the feedback evaluation will be to receive information on the speakers’ experience, the hosting company, and the rest of the event team. The meeting professional can share a document or organize a physical event where each part of the team can raise problems and share their experience. This will allow the event planner to adjust and change their event strategy to build and create a positive experience.
Virtual Event Planning Checklist
A planner must create a checklist of the entire event content that must be completed. The tasks will include pre-meeting tasks and event day objectives that the entire team must complete to ensure the attendees have a fantastic event experience.
The event coordinator will be in charge of creating the entire checklist. This list must be shared with the event management partner to ensure approval. After the approval, the team will receive the checklist with tasks and objectives assigned to each.
The professional event planners will use their organizational skills to determine which tasks are important and will be added to the checklist. The checklist must include the physical meeting or the online event on the set date.
How Can Conference Sources Assist Your Virtual Event?
Conference Source is an event planning organization that aims to bring any event idea the company has to life. The team takes pride in building an experience that will stay with the attendees and the company.
Conference sources will reduce the stress of planning a virtual event and create a safe environment where the company can share and build the exact experience they want for their customers. The team has the knowledge, connections, and information to build the best virtual event,
What Are The Different Types of Virtual Events?
There are a variety of virtual event strategies that companies can choose from. Popular events such as seminars, conferences, and webinars are significant events. Companies can use internal and external hybrid events to inform employees and customers of new products or knowledge.
Why Host A Virtual Event?
There are many benefits to using online platforms to host an event. Not only will the event increase the reach and potential attendance, but the company can also increase sales all over a particular area and educate a wider audience on the importance of the company and the project. There is a drastic increase in virtual events, and online platforms are growing into effective and easy-to-use systems.
How to Become a Virtual Event Planner
The road to becoming a virtual planner can be through a degree in hospitality or any business-centred degree. Another option is to obtain an event planning diploma and then build experience and knowledge in virtual event planning.
Which Platform To Use?
There are many platforms that companies can use for their event. The first factor in identifying is the number of individuals attending, while the second is the capabilities these virtual attendees must have. If the attendees will break into smaller rooms or will have to interact with the speaker, the platform must provide them with these options. There are many platforms. The idea must be to identify the event’s needs and key features before rushing into an outlet.
There are a variety of options for companies to share the information and knowledge that they have. The business can lead the innovation charge and use virtual events to connect and share information. Virtual events will provide any company with multiple benefits, and the planner who leads the charge can use the connections and knowledge to bring the best virtual ideas to life.