Veronica Brundle - Jul 12 2021, 4:36:22 PM
Virtual events are all the rage this year thanks to the widespread shift toward remote working. The number of organizations that considered hosting online events doubled in 2020, as business leaders sought to keep employees and stakeholders productive and engaged.
While virtual corporate events represent a safe and cost-effective alternative to in-person conferences, they require time and effort to set up. Failure to conduct thorough virtual event planning could result in technical issues, lack of participant engagement, and potential reputational damage to your brand.
Fortunately, we’ve put together a basic event timeline to ensure your strategic planning covers all the necessary bases.
Setting a date at least three months before your online event will maximize attendance numbers. Remember that your stakeholders and employees are likely to have hectic personal and professional lives. Whether you’re planning to host the event during work hours or in the evening, ask prospective attendees to save the date to avoid timetable clashes.
Encourage people to attend your event via personally addressed e-invitations and promotions on LinkedIn and Twitter. Almost 90% of event planners use social media to generate a buzz around upcoming events as it facilitates discussion and allows delegates to meet each other in advance.
Try to secure an impressive keynote speaker or a compelling form of entertainment well in advance. Leaving it to the last minute could force you to settle for a second-rate option.
Organizing goodie bags for attendees? Send them out at least two weeks prior to your event. This will ensure they reach mailboxes on time and reduce the chances of no-shows.
Rehearsing your event with key speakers and technicians will reduce the likelihood of mistakes and embarrassment on the big day. Make sure everyone involved knows what tasks they need to carry out.
Tech is notoriously unpredictable, and failure to test vital systems could result in glitches on the day. If something seems amiss, make sure you fix it immediately.
Virtual events are all too easy to forget. Send a couple of reminders to participants in the weeks leading up to your event.
Remember to post highlights on social media and encourage audience members to get involved with live chats, surveys, competitions, and any other participatory initiatives. After the event is over, you should maintain these engagement efforts and send out feedback surveys to participants. The results will help you to build even better events in future.
Originally published at Jul 12 2021, 4:36:22 PM. Updated on Sep 27 2022.