Veronica Brundle - May 17 2021, 11:03:00 AM
The corporate events industry has faced unprecedented challenges thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. With bustling conference rooms no longer the norm, corporate event planners are embracing continually reinventing the wheel when it comes to organizing virtual meetings and conferences.
Research shows the virtual events industry will continue growing at an impressive compound annual growth rate of 23.2% between 2020 and 2027. As well as being cheaper to attend than traditional conferences, online events are more accessible and less time-consuming — important considerations for people who work remotely.
Of course, creating an enjoyable online event that enables attendees to network and learn new skills isn’t easy. To help you organize a virtual conference with ease, we’ve put together a few need-to-know hints and tips to get the planning process started.
Virtual events take just as long to plan as in-person events, so get started early. Answer the following questions with your target demographic in mind:
Considering these issues during the planning stages will ensure your event is delivered successfully and on time.
Hybrid events facilitate both in-person and virtual forms of engagement — great if you’re hoping to attract a combination of local delegates and professionals from across continents. The most common and logistically simple type of hybrid event takes place in a single venue while being broadcast to a virtual audience.
It's easy to forget many people attend conferences purely to discover new networking opportunities. To ensure the event is as valuable as possible for online attendees, it is worth finding innovative technologies to facilitate networking and engagement, such as Slack or Wonder.
Live-tweeting your event and posting updates across other channels will help keep delegates engaged and garner widespread interest. Use hashtags to help people follow relevant conversations and encourage users to ask speakers questions via Twitter.
Before the event takes place, test your internet connection, and encourage speakers to do the same to avoid any interruptions to your event. If your speakers have prepared videos or presentation slides, retain backups on the cloud and, if possible, rehearse the event proceedings beforehand. Even give your participants a brief tech rundown before the event takes place to ensure they know how to control their mic, webcam, and relevant applications.
Try to make your events as accessible as possible by offering closed captions and visuals for all presentations, particularly the keynote events. It is also worth double-checking your range of speakers is diverse and aligns with the host organization’s core branding.
Originally published at May 17 2021, 11:03:00 AM. Updated on Aug 31 2022.