Virtual events have become increasingly popular through the pandemic. Many PR pros have had to reallocate their event budgets and plans to adhere to stay-at-home orders and social distancing protocols. Planning virtual events may be new territory to some, so here are a few tips to make sure your event is just as successful as it would be in person.
Choose Your Platform
There are many different virtual streaming platforms out there. Understanding the kind of event you are wanting to host and the people who you will be inviting will help you decide on the best platform to use. Zoom, Periscope, Facebook Live, and Youtube Live are all great (and free) options to look into.
Plan the Details
Once you have chosen the best platform to use, next decide on how the event will run. The specific details are very important to ensure the event goes off without a hitch. Make sure to keep a schedule of the events and sessions you want to host to stay organized. This will also help when you are putting together PR collateral for the event.
Invite Your Audience
Create unique invitations for your attendees that will stand out and entice them to want to join your event. Personalized video invitations or email blasts that tease what the event will cover are great invitation options. Make sure to include the time and date of the event, as well as any important links and instructions for joining the event. Having access to a Media Contact Database could also give you the advantage of getting the right people at your events. Click here to find out more about getting access to ours!
Spread the Word
Share the information about your event on all social media platforms! You will want to get the word out about your event as soon as you have all the details worked out to ensure a great turnout. Create polls for your audience to engage with and see what they are most excited about. Share clips from any keynote speakers who will be attending or blurbs with information about what will happen during your event. Try to create discussions about your company and the event to raise even more awareness.
Offer Incentives for Attendees
If you are planning a lunch and learn style event, sending the attendees gift cards for food delivery could really go the extra mile. Other incentive options could be coupon codes, insight into exclusive offers, or details of future events. Showing your guests that you appreciate their time and offering them a little treat will help ensure they will attend future events.
Be Interactive During the Event
To help keep your audience’s attention, especially if you have longer sessions planned, try incorporating ways that your guests can interact during the event. Creating polls or hosting a Live Tweet conversation can not only help your guests feel involved, you can also use this to your advantage to see what may or may not be working. By opening up a conversation, you can potentially get more ideas and feedback for future events.
Prepare for Technical Difficulties
It never hurts to be prepared for things to go wrong. Sometimes, no matter how much you plan, technological difficulties are always a looming threat to virtual events. Make sure that you have a secure internet connection, do some research on common issues with the platform you are using, and have someone ready to troubleshoot any issues on the day of.
With any event, the follow up is one of the most important things to not forget. Going out of your way to thank your guests who took the time out of their schedules to attend, will not only show that you appreciate them, it could also help ensure they attend your next event. Also, make sure to follow up with guests who may not have been able to make the event and send them a recorded version of the event. That way they can watch it on their own time and make sure to plan for the next one.
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Jessica is a marketing professional in the hospitality and tourism industry with a passion for content creation and digital marketing strategies. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, cooking new recipes and traveling with friends.