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How to Plan a Virtual Event & Reach your Audience Online?


The face-to-face interaction at any event has its importance, but sometimes replacing the on-site events with virtual events brings out more benefits to the event. But how do you go virtual and make your online presence effective? How to engage your audience throughout the event to make it successful?

With some tips and proper planning, you can host a great virtual event under your budget. Hosting a virtual event is not only about managing a webinar where a speaker takes its stage and starts speaking. There is a lot more about making impactful virtual events.

Man giving persentation.

What is a Virtual Event?

In the simplest language, a virtual event is organized online to attract a large number of attendees across the world. In times of pandemic, when everything is online then why not events? When social distancing is still a concern and traveling is still not easier, thus hosting a virtual event is the best thing you can do to make your presence reach globally within a short period.

How to plan a Virtual Event?

With proper planning, you can host a virtual event just like you had been hosting the onsite event. Follow the five steps outlined that start with the format to follow and end with the measurement of success of your event held.

Step 1: Choosing the Format for your virtual event sessions

There are three options to choose event session format:
  • Live stream
  • Uploading pre-recorded video
  • Live stream and pre-recorded video

Let's go through the advantages and disadvantages of the different event session formats:

Live streaming enables the attendees to feel connected throughout the event with real-time experience that they could ever have during the onsite event. The spontaneity, live interaction, Q&A, enthusiastic conversations among attendees and speakers make it a preferred format for hosting any virtual event. Though, connectivity is the primary concern for such events. To Livestream, you can choose from the options: Zoom Meeting, Zoom Webinar, WebEx, Google Hangouts Meet, and Youtube Live.

A pre-recorded video doesn't cause connectivity issues but it takes away the real-time experience that the audience may enjoy during the live event. Viewers may watch this event anytime in their comfort zone without being bounded by time. To upload pre-recorded videos, you can choose from the options: Youtube, Vimeo, and Dreamcast. Youtube is the preferred and common platform used by organizers but it is annoying if an ad blocker is not installed. Vimeo has limited storage space but doesn't cause trouble with the ads.

Also Read - How To Increase JioFi Speed

Globally, it becomes difficult to draw attendees from different parts of the world in the Livestream due to different time zones, thus having both the options of Live stream and pre-recorded video enables you to draw a large audience to your event. This format is recommended to the organizers for its versatility.

Step 2: Finding the perfect Virtual Event Platform with advanced features

To live stream and upload pre-recorded video, Youtube and Vimeo are good tools at a low cost. But to make your event different from the competitors, choose the virtual event platform that offers some prominent features such as-

  • Virtual interaction: Offer personalized features like live polls, Q&A, instant chat, exchanging business cards, and networking. With the networking table feature, the attendee can have discussions one-to-one or group with the speakers, sponsors, or other attendees. In this manner, the attendee may stay engaged and connected. On-demand content should be readily available to the viewer.
  • Leaderboard: A leaderboard displays the scores earned by the attendee through playing games and activities. The top 5 scorers win virtual prizes and gift hampers. Creating a leaderboard engages the participants and keeps them active throughout the event.
  • Feedback & Surveys: Couple leaderboard feature with submitting feedback. This will lead to an increase in getting feedback as more attendees want more leaderboard scores. Taking feedback helps you in analyzing how the event is going on and on what parameters do we need to improve?
  • Scope of sponsorship: Like onsite events, virtual events have a huge scope for the promotion of sponsors. The sponsors' banners can be showcased on the virtual booths wherein, attendees get an option to request more information about their products and services.
  • Gamification: Various games can be integrated into the virtual event platform to engage the audience. The scores earned by playing games can be added to the leaderboard.
  • 24X7 Customer Support: Offer customer services to the attendees and allow them to ask any kind of problems they are facing in watching the event online.

Step 3: Finding the suitable Date and Time

Hosting a virtual event enables the attendees to watch your event from different parts of the world. So, choosing a suitable date and time is a primary concern to be taken care of. Avoid fixing the event when there are holidays or other prominent events.

Going Live Stream is not possible for everyone, thus offering on-demand content to your audience. This ensures to reach maximum people in less time.

Step 4: Promote like CRAZY!

To turn out your virtual event as you want it to be, you have to promote it like crazy. In this pandemic, when most people are working from home, online promotion is the most effective thing you could do to influence the market. Use paid social campaigns, hashtags, various social media postings to reach across the globe. You can urge your followers and sponsors to promote your upcoming virtual event more and more.

Step 5: Create a memorable virtual experience!

On the big day, you need to take care of a few things. Ensure your audience is able to join your event by logging in to the correct link with the right email address. You can also send the guide to your audience prior to the event. Send a reminder an hour before the event starts so the audience stays logged in for the event.

Before the event starts, make sure your speakers are also ready to join the event. Check if all the tech tools are working properly so that the event goes on hassle-free.

During the event, send out push notifications when a new activity starts to keep the audience engaged.

Step 6: Get Data Analytics post-event

Get data analytics from your virtual event platform that showcases the entire data about your attendees that how much time they have spent on different activities and sessions throughout the event. This will help you in improving on certain parameters if required. Some platforms also integrate the other analytics platforms like Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel to get you more precise data and insights.

How to Reach your Audience Online?

To ensure that your virtual event doesn’t get lost in the digital shuffle, you must follow some online promotion strategies. These will enable the businesses to reach globally at a vast pace.

  • Create a catchy virtual event page: Create an appealing page to attract the audience. Include the necessary details on your event page like an agenda of the event, time and date, sign-up links, speaker bios, sponsors' details, and payment options for registration.
  • Keyword planning to enhance the search potential: You might be using keywords for your company ranking on the Google webpage. Similarly, to promote your virtual event, you need to include keywords in the event marketing content.
  • Leverage Email Marketing: Email marketing has been the oldest promotion strategy but the most effective one. Send out the upcoming virtual event news updates to the email list and stay connected with them throughout and post the event.
  • Make the most of Social Media Platforms: Post your event page on all the social media accounts of your company. Boost up promotion more on Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, and Twitter. Create a hashtag for an event and urge your sponsors and promoters to use them. Keep sharing the video clips and photos of the event as a reminder on a regular basis.

The virtual events will be in trend even after the global pandemic ends. Hosting the virtual events help industries to save cost and draw the attention of more attendees in lesser time. Through the integration of various advanced features into your platform, ensure your attendees stay engaged as they would be at onsite events.

Are you planning to host a virtual event?

With Dreamcast, you can host a successful virtual event and gain more audience to the event.

1 comment

  1. Thanks for sharing this great content. It is really informative and useful.