Who doesn’t want a successful virtual event?
Most businesses, big or small, want their events to be successful especially when they’re taking the plunge and shifting to virtual.
Before the pandemic, when many parts of the world were exploring virtual events, a report by Grand View Research valued the global virtual events market at nearly $78 billion. And that was in 2019.
Now that being at home or remote is the new norm, you can expect this industry to grow even more – and fast.
With this growth, many businesses are experimenting what works for them and what doesn’t. But not all businesses have the time or budget to experiment.
That’s why, we’ve created this list of 18 tips to make your virtual event successful.
Do you have to follow all of them? We recommend following as many of the tips as you can.
And before you wonder “How am I going to carry out all 16 tips?!” We’re here to tell you, many of them are quite simple.
Let’s get started.
Quick Virtual Event Success Stats
It’s important to determine what “success” means to you and your business. It’s also good to look at some statistics based on what other marketers and businesses virtual events.
Looking at virtual event statistics, you can see what other businesses have experimented with and what their experience has shown them.
Data by Markletic shows that around “60% of virtual event organizers use social media to drive significant registrations.”
Similarly, their survey shows that 76% of marketers find email marketing to be “the single most effective way to drive registrations.”
Looking at these stats, you can decide on what to use when it comes to marketing for your virtual event. More on that below.
Preparing for your virtual event
To create a virtual event, you need to prepare for it.
Markletic statistics show that marketers and organizers of small virtual events need 3 to 6 weeks to promote for their event.
On the other hand, large virtual events, like virtual conferences, need more than 6 weeks to ensure successful promotion and reach their desired registration numbers, according to 65% of surveyed marketers.
Let’s get into the tips to prepare for your virtual event
- Clear audio: It’s no secret that having clear audio is a key to success for virtual events. After all, attendees aren’t going to meet you for real so their main focus is what you’re saying.
Whether your sessions are pre-recorded or live-streamed, your audio needs to be great. So test out your speakers’ audio beforehand.
- Clear video: Having a good camera and internet connection to ensure that your face isn’t warped is a close second to clear audio.
Again, attendees aren’t seeing you in-person, which means they need to see you as best they can.
- Have an agenda: Your event agenda is what attracts attendees, and speakers, to your event. If the topics tackled are cliché or aren’t catchy, no one will come.
So you’ll need to research what are the trending topics in your industry, see which speakers you’re going to invite, and set your agenda.
How you arrange and divide the topics doesn’t have to be a top priority when you begin preparing. You just need to know the main theme and sub-topics you’re going to tackle.
Then you can focus on rearranging them based on speakers’ schedules and your event dates.
The nitty-gritty of event success
We’ve tackled the top must-do’s. Let’s dive into the deets that make your virtual event a success.
4. Be on time: Both you, the event organizer, and your speakers need to be on-time for the sessions. In fact, we recommend that speakers pop in and test their audio and camera beforehand. This also helps attendees connect the moment they join.
As an organizer, your support team needs be present and ready.
5. Easy registration process: Even though your event is in a virtual setting, having an easy-to-use registration form and process is essential.
At Eventtus, for example, we offer organizers ticketing and registration options. Make sure your registration form covers the basics but also gives you enough information about your attendees to build a mailing list and connect with them after the event.
6. Strong customer support: Your support team are the warriors in a virtual event. They need to be available before, during, and after the event, offering support to attendees, speakers, and sponsors.
They need to keep up with everything that’s happening in the event.
7. Make it mobile friendly: Mobile the way to go. For everything. Your virtual event is no exception.
At Eventtus, we’ve created the Eventtus Virtual Mobile App to ensure that all your virtual events are available on mobile for your attendees. This means they can attend from anywhere at any time and don’t even need to attend from their laptops.
8. Have focused speaker line-up: Speakers are an important factor in your virtual event. In fact, the speaker line-up is a determining factor for many attendees.
So make sure you plan your topics, create a speakers-list, begin contacting them, and have a Plan B.
Having a Plan B helps you to manage speakers who can’t attend, and of course cancellations.
Virtual event must-haves
Let’s now focus on the various types of content for your event and how to engage attendees.
9. Have a main theme: Does your virtual event have a theme? If not, you’re in trouble!
Without one, you’ll find it very hard to attract either speakers or attendees.
10. Offer clear supporting content:
When it comes to a virtual event and conference, you’ll need to produce different types of content. However, the most important will be what you include in your agenda.
The most important content bits you need to consider are:
- The main topic of your event
- The sub-topics included in each track (if you have multiple tracks)
- The description that follows each topic
- A short biography for each speaker
- Your company’s about section
Not all content is written. If any of your team is moderating any sessions, they’ll need to research and give a concise introduction about the speakers.
11. Have a place for networking: The core of any event, virtual, physical or hybrid, is networking.
Many businesses and attendees worry about how they’re going to network during virtual events.
At Eventtus, we have Circles, our networking feature for attendees to network together and with exhibitors and sponsors.
12. Leave room for Q&A: Attendees look forward to the Q&A sessions after a panel discussion, session, or fireside chat.
They not only help people connect, but also allow attendees to engage, ask questions, and raise ideas.
You can allow attendees to submit questions in advance and during the session. The in-advance questions help the speaker save time and answer these questions during their presentation.
Did you know that there are 13 different types of virtual events?
Your event isn’t complete without these!
In addition to focusing on what makes your virtual event a success, here are tips and ideas, originally inspired by physical events but useful for virtual ones as well.
13. Sponsors: No event is complete without sponsors.
You’ll want to pinpoint sponsors you’re interested in early on and begin contacting them once you have an idea about what your virtual event is about.
It’s good to have sponsors that fit with the general theme of the event. For example, if your event is about Online Banking, having local banks and Fintech businesses act as your sponsors will reinforce your overall theme.
That said, it’s quite common to have sponsors that don’t fall under the general topic you’re tackling during your event.
14. Exhibitors: Another must-have regardless of event type is exhibitors.
It’s good to have exhibitors from various segments or sectors. But try to focus on exhibitors whose main business is in-line with your event theme.
For example, if your event is about Education, having businesses and startups that operate in the same industry or related industries (such as Ed-tech) will better support your event.
It’s worth noting that if you’re using Eventtus as your virtual platform, we offer two types of virtual booths for sponsors and exhibitors. As an organizer, you get to decide the size of the virtual booth for each.
15. Try to mix in some live video: Your virtual event can be all live-streamed videos, recorded videos, or a combination of both.
Even with the recorded videos, having a Q&A session at the end with the speaker present gives the feel of a ‘live event’ and offers many benefits to your audience.
Audience engagement tips
16. Running an event competition: Many businesses aren’t aware of this but running a competition during your event offers incentives to attendees and keeps them engaged.
Of course, if you’re running a competition, you’ll need to offer a reward. You can work with one or more of your sponsors on this. You can even run multiple competitions with multiple rewards by collaborating with several sponsors and/or exhibitors.
Just don’t overdo it! At the end of the day, you want to be successful not overwhelmed.
17. Stay top of mind with reminders: Reminders can be a great way to keep attendees excited about your event.
As with any virtual event, you’ll send your attendees a confirmation email with relevant links when they pay for their ticket. However, if the event is a few days or a week away, it’s good to send an email to remind them of the start of the event a day before.
Encourage them to go through the Agenda beforehand and offer some tips so they can get the most of their experience.
If attendees are attending workshops, a one-hour reminder email is a great idea so they can finish up what they are doing and be ready for their workshop.
A tip: Reminders can be good and they can be really bad. The latter is when they’re overdone. Like when you send multiple emails each day and clog your attendees’ inboxes.
18. Offer free resources: This can include a survey you did about your industry or a free ebook. It can be any kind of handout that offers value to your customers, audience, and attendees.
Making the shift from a physical event to a virtual one has been a highlight and process throughout 2020. This trend is likely to continue growing, despite many businesses going back to physical events.
The pandemic has changed the way both people and businesses think. Businesses have realized that they can save time, effort, and money when they move their events to a virtual venue.
Similarly, attendees have come to enjoy the benefits of attending events from the comfort of their homes, from their mobile phones, and without having to drive, travel, or pay tons of money to attend an event.
Will there be more changes and developments along the way? Absolutely. The virtual event will keep growing, improving, and evolving.
You can keep up with these changes by subscribing to the Eventtus newsletter, where you’ll get a monthly product update and news about the latest features and tips.
But more importantly, are you ready to start applying this list of tips to your next virtual event?
Book a personalized demo with Eventtus today and grill our team with questions 🙂