How to Host Virtual Events: Step by Step Planning Guide
So, you are planning to host a virtual event. Well, you can take help from modern-age video streaming solutions, virtual event planning tools, and computer software like Zoom web conferencing to manage the audience online. No matter whether you are event planning a one-man show production, a virtual social event like a garden party, or juggling a live online event for remote work, fun virtual event ideas and online event activities can offer you great scope for serving an remote audience beyond the local geographic theaters.
Event planners who are hosting their livestreams and virtual events for the first time might be worried about which online event activities to consider. Well, virtual engagement requires brainstorming to succeed with live entertainment, applause, and web conferencing knowledge.
Below are listed the essential steps to kick-start your upcoming virtual event:
Step 1: Understand your virtual audience
To host a successful online event, get to know your target audience. This is the most important and first step towards hosting a virtual tradeshow or any professional online event. The idea is to know how well the audience can interact with the virtual platform software, and make sure the audience has the required set of accessories to connect online. You should also learn about their interests and gather information about the audience preferences. Send the audience survey forms, have your organization provide a demo for your virtual team, use social media marketing and motivate the audience to join discussion forums prior to the online event.
Step 2: Define your virtual event format
Same as in person live conferences, teleseminars and virtual conferences have several unique virtual event formats. A virtual event may have one emcee taking over the stage or you can organize a workshop or virtual tradeshow as well. Use online event ideas like gamification to create some unique memories for your virtual team and memorable experiences for the audience. If budget permits, the organizers can also take help from an experienced design company to create theme boards for the event along with a user-friendly navigation system.
Step 3: Choosing a virtual platform
You may find several options for live streaming services; the most popular ones in the virtual space are Facebook Livestream, Webex, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom. Though most of these virtual platforms have similar basic online event features, the selection depends on personal preferences. Most of these services come with a free trial that you can demo before running the final event. It will help you to understand basic functionalities and plan online event activities accordingly.
Step 4: Finding a virtual emcee or virtual host
Depending on the type of online event, you can consider hiring a professional speaker, virtual entertainer, or assigning an in-house professional to create a comfortable environment for the remote audience. While making a selection for the virtual event host, make sure that the host or emcee has the ability to speak clearly, are familiar with the virtual platform, and can respond to the quick questions of the remote audience online. The emcee needs to talk by looking at the camera instead of the reading script in hand.
Step 5: Promote the online event
Live virtual events require proper marketing, the same as live, in person events. You can use already existing social media channels to promote the virtual event activities. Social media posts provide convenient links to vlogs, tutorial videos, speaker bios, and other essential guidelines with ease.
Step 6: Finalize the virtual event date and time
When you are planning to host your virtual event activities online with a larger remote audience, it is also important to keep in mind the possible geographical concerns; mainly when people are going to connect from different time zones. Take suggestions from the audience to make a confident decision about the most suitable time and date.
No matter whether you are planning to host a normal webinar online, online magician show, musical event, or some on-demand tutorial session; it is good to start with proper planning and adequate resources on virtual event ideas and online event activities. The idea is to ensure complete comfort to the audience during the online event and it will automatically build up more trust in your brand. Virtual events can be the best solution for people and businesses that have an audience from different corners of the world and it is generally difficult to gather them in the same physical venue. Moreover, it can be a great choice to save on the available budget with several opportunities to cut costs.