Today, thousands of event organisers worldwide cannot imagine the event industry without virtual or online events. And this is because of apparent reasons like pandemic and restrictions on social gatherings. As a result, online or virtual events quickly became mainstream. However, this was not the case a few years ago.
Virtual/online events first appeared in the 90s, as video chatting and later webinars. With time, virtual event technology progressed. And became capable of hosting sophisticated events. Despite this development, no one thought that virtual/online events would substitute physical events.
Before we dive into the world of the virtual event, let’s look at the concept behind virtual/online events.
What is a Virtual/Online Event?
A virtual/online event is an event that is held in a digital environment. And since the event is digital, the audience is connected virtually. Hence, making online events much more convenient and accessible. And this is the most significant difference between physical and online events.
To organise a virtual event, you need to have a virtual event platform or virtual event software. These platforms or software aim to replicate the experience of the physical event in the online world. For this, these platforms offer a 3-D and intuitive interface that makes the audience experience richer.
Now that you have understood the concept behind the virtual events. You must be wondering why virtual events are so popular? So let’s find out.
Reasons to Host a Virtual Event
- Affordability: Virtual events are light on pocket. And you can save your money on expenses like venue, travelling and accommodation.
- Easy to host: Hosting a virtual event is very convenient. You don’t have to hunt for a venue or plan travelling. And book accommodation.
- Time friendly: Since the event is digital, you don’t have to travel anywhere. And this saves time required for travelling to the event venue.
- No geographical barrier: With virtual events, you can make the geographical barrier irrelevant. So anyone from any part of the world can attend your event.
- Broader audience: Often, people face constraints like the time and cost required to attend the event. However, with virtual events, these constraints become oblivious. Thus making your event accessible for a broader audience.
- Higher returns: Virtual events are better valued for money propositions. You save a lot of money by opting for a virtual event. And can host more people at your event, including an international audience. Thus you get higher returns on your investment.
These are some of the reasons behind the growing popularity of virtual events. And if you are also considering hosting one yourself, then you are at the right place. We will show you to plan a virtual event.
Steps to Host a Virtual Event
- Deciding goals
The first step to host an event is by determining the goals. But how can you identify your goals? Simple, ask yourself some questions. Like why are you hosting this event? Or what do you want to achieve from this event? And so on. The answers to these questions will help you in realising your goals.
2. Making the strategy
Now that you know your goals, it’s time to create a strategy for achieving these goals. You need to decide various basic things about your event. To begin with, you need to select the date, timings and duration of the event. Apart from this, you need to decide the features and service required for your event. Also, you should estimate the number of attendees at your event.
3. Preparing the budget
After laying down the strategy for your event, you need to prepare the budget for your event. So you need to decide the total amount of money you can spend on your event. And allocating this fund for several arrangements. For instance, you need to bifurcate funds in getting the virtual event platform, equipment and marketing of the event.
Usually, people make mistakes in preparing the budget. They either end up with a surplus budget or run out of funds. But why does this happen? The reason for this is the mismanagement of funds. So be careful while allocating the funds.
4. Selecting the appropriate platform
In any virtual event, the success of the event relies on the platform used for the event. Also, the audience experience is determined by the platform. So you cannot ignore the importance of the virtual event platform.
Often people get puzzled while selecting the platform for their event. And most wonder which is the best platform for their event? Or how to choose the right virtual event platform?
You can effortlessly determine which platform is best for your event. All you have to do is create a list of features and services needed for the event. And compare it with the various platforms. The platform which checks all the boxes is the best one for your event.
Apart from this, you need to look for several other factors. These are –
- Interface and navigation of the platform
- Audience engagement features
- Networking tools
- Security measures available
- Support from the platform provider
5. Marketing your event
Apart from the arrangements, you also need to promote your event. If you don’t market your event, people won’t be able to discover your event. Hence, they won’t be able to attend the event. So promoting the event is as crucial as getting the platform for your event.
The fastest and most effective way to spread the word about anything is by promoting it on social media. For this, you need compelling content and an impactful strategy to make that content viral on social media. Also, you can use other online and offline marketing channels.
6. Pitching the event to sponsors
Having sponsors for your event gives you lots of benefits. Apart from the finances, you can use sponsors to promote your event. You can ask your sponsors to promote your event on their social media handles. So that their audience can discover your event.
Also, the event’s reputation is linked with the quality of sponsors. If you get famous and respected brands as sponsors for your event, your event will be seen as a high-end event.
7. Rehearsals and backup
It is highly advised to rehearse your event before the D-day. As it will help you to test event arrangements. And you will be able to check the event schedule.
Also, you can test the platform. Is it working fine? Or Is it having problems? You can identify possible issues and work on them. Also, you can examine the technical support from the platform provider.
These are steps to organise a virtual event. You follow these steps to host your first virtual event. We hope that this article will prove helpful. So tell us about your thoughts on virtual events.