Event organizers are still reeling from the abrupt and forced transition to online networking, hangouts, and work. So much of what used to take place in person now happens online. We all know that streaming requires good internet, but a high-quality and effective virtual event requires an entirely different approach, and other customers require a different strategy to achieve retention. Organizing a virtual party or conference requires fewer financial resources than an offline one. However, to make an event truly successful, you definitely need to invest some resources. First of all, it is important to choose a platform for holding your online party, decide on the event's format, and settle on an agenda.
Table of Contents
What is a virtual event?
First, let’s define what a virtual event means. In general, a virtual event is any online gathering that doesn’t have a physical location. That is, a meeting in Zoom can also be considered a virtual event.
However, the term has taken on a broader meaning. Now a virtual or metaverse party is an interactive online event that provides attendees with an immersive experience. In addition to all the usual communication tools, the metaverse gathering allows attendees to create their own avatars and interact with the avatars of others.
The virtual event basically creates a whole space, which is divided into rooms like a physical venue. For example, you can create a conference room, dance floor, café, and more. And to move between these spaces, you do not even need to leave the room.
Here are some options for virtual events:
Webinars, lectures and workshops. These are educational events. Their main goal is to provide information in an accessible and understandable way. Although visitors seem to be passive listeners, this is far from the case. With online tools, attendees can ask questions, ask for advice, and create online notes.
Conferences, exhibitions and trade shows. Business events are focused more on networking. Online meetings help people make new acquaintances, discuss their products, and even get to know other markets better.
Team building, corporate parties and retreats. Corporate events are a way for remote teams to get together from different parts of the world. These events help strengthen team communication and understand that all members, along with the management, are on the same page. However, this type requires a lot of activities and a virtual event planning checklist is a must.
The benefits of holding a virtual event
Holding corporate meetings and large conferences in an online format has many advantages:
The geographical question is no longer a problem as the cities that attendees reside in most likely offer high-speed internet. This allows you to save on business trips for employees and speakers or involving new partners who previously could not get to a conference venue due to lack of time, high costs, or significant distance.
What’s more, “online” dramatically facilitates the event’s format: all participants can attend on time from their computers. There is no need to follow a strict dress code either and, most importantly, the content does not suffer.
Thanks to the use of different audio and video modes, your audience is able to absorb the broadcast material easily. Many platforms allow you to save the desired content automatically, eliminating any extra fuss about sharing information with everyone after the fact.
Of course, the advantages listed above should work for you, assuming you’ve taken a competent approach to organize and host an online event. We highly recommend writing down a virtual event checklist so as not to miss any important points. Here you can find a printable virtual event planning template for free.
The preparation process can take more time and effort than you might expect at first glance. So you might need some help in creating a virtual event planning checklist.
Why do you need a virtual events planner?
So, if you’re thinking about planning a virtual party, you’re definitely on the right track. But where do you start? And how do you make sure your event is a success?
That’s where virtual events planners come in. A virtual events planner is a professional who specializes in planning and executing virtual events. They can help you with everything from choosing the right platform to promoting your event.
There are a few key reasons why you might need virtual events planners:
They have experience planning and executing great events.
They help you navigate through the strategy of virtual events, which can be tricky.
They can provide valuable insights and advice on how to make your event more successful.
Do you need virtual event planning services? The answer is: it depends. If you have a small, low-key event in mind, you might be able to get away with doing most of the planning yourself.
But if you’re planning virtual events for huge groups, more complex event, it’s definitely worth considering hiring a professional with a ready-made virtual event planning checklist.
How much does a virtual party planning service cost?
The price of your event depends on many factors. Roughly speaking, you can give both up to 10 thousand dollars and pay more than 50.
For example, the more people participate, the higher the price. However, compared to offline events, you don’t have to pay for restaurants, tickets, and other logistics, so you’ll still save money in the end. If you want to calculate the budget for your event personally, contact us, and we will help you.
How to plan a virtual event: example of the virtual event planning template
If you want to host a successful event, you need at least 9 months. Here are our tips on where to start.
Create a virtual event planning timeline template
Before you start preparing for the party, set deadlines for each item that needs to be done. If you have too strict a time frame to schedule an event, think about what tasks should be delegated. Prepare your virtual event checklist template and stick to it.
Phase 1: Preparation of virtual conference checklist
If you’re thinking of hosting a virtual event, there are a few things about your virtual event project plan you need to keep in mind to make sure it’s a success.
Define the purpose of the virtual event
Do you want to host a useful webinar? Host an event for one customer? Or implement it for several sponsors? In any case, the goal and objectives must be determined in advance. The purpose of your virtual event should be clear for everyone interested and invited to it. It’s better to write it down so that it can guide you through your planning process.
Calculate a budget for your virtual party or conference
Your biggest expense when organizing a virtual event will be technology needs. Do not skimp on this point since it affects almost everything. And keep in mind that virtual parties do not include expenses that in-person meetings usually require. So, in the end, you will save money.
Set time frames
The duration of an attendee’s stay will vary from 30 minutes to several hours. Please note that online participants’ attention spans are much lower than those attending an event in person. So focus on shorter time intervals.
Create a website for the event
The website is the face of your virtual event. Through it, you attract participants and sponsors and communicate with them. A quick glance at the site header should motivate the visitor to register. Otherwise, they may leave forever. Place detailed information on the date and time of the event, virtual event plan, and list of experts on the website.
Organize convenient ways for attendees to register
Decide how you will register for the event: on the event’s website, on social networks, on TimePad, etc. Think about what information you need to receive from participants, but do not make the registration form too cumbersome.
Choose a platform for your virtual party
Analyze the available platforms and service packages that different services offer. Check how many users you have and whether the platform can handle it.
Another big issue is conference duration because many free software limits using their service to an hour only. Find out whether participants need to install additional programs and plug-ins or whether there is an option to record video, audio, and other technical necessities.
If your virtual party somehow involves the presence of sponsors, come up with integrations that will be useful for them: an online exhibition, placement of banners and logos, online rooms for communication with participants, and so on.
Engagement is a sensitive topic you should take care of. Create a list of activities to include in your event. This will help you discuss ideas with your team and conduct your research on your target audience. Depending on the type of your event, you can use a virtual conference planning template or any other one.
Phase 2: The start of the event
Check the audio and video broadcast
At the start of the video conference, be sure to verify that participants aren’t experiencing any problems with the audio and video broadcast. Checking will help you avoid technical issues and your audience will not have to be distracted during the event.
Track audience activity
We would recommend involving two observer-moderators per virtual party or conference. One will be responsible for the technical aspects, while the other will monitor the involvement of the participants and the questions coming from them.
Remember the importance of communication
After each block of information, be sure to check with the guests to confirm that everything is clear and answer any questions that may have come up. Participants with the most interesting questions will be useful to connect to the broadcast and let them speak.
Encourage guests to share their thoughts, address attendees by name, and allow yourself to be interrupted. In a word, do everything so that the conference remains a conference and does not turn into an online lecture.
Help guests access the content during the virtual event
Explain to guests how and where they can access the content they need after the conference is over. Will it be the usual email distribution, use of cloud services, or direct download from the conference platform?
Pay attention to networking
Event participants want to communicate. Create a comfortable atmosphere in a messenger or other special service. Don’t let chatting take its course: engage participants with polls, suggest topics for discussion, set communication rules, define taboo topics, and enter hashtags.
Phase 3: Debrief
Prepare and collect feedback
Collecting the attendees’ impressions and thoughts will help you measure virtual event success and improve further meetings. Prepare and send a survey to the attendees so they can easily share their thoughts. It is also recommended to conduct an anonymous survey.
Analyze the data from your virtual event
Once you gather the data, it’s time to dive deeper into it. Analyze the goals of your virtual event plan and consider how many of them were implemented successfully. Analyze the pitfalls and mistakes using your virtual conference planning checklist so as not to repeat them in the future.
Present the results
Defining the result, even if it was a virtual party and not a scientific conference, is essential. Present the event’s successes, areas of improvement, attendee testimonials, and other important points. This way, you will collect third-party opinions and ideas which you can implement in the future in the next virtual event planning checklist.
In a nutshell
One thing that has become clear is that the future of offline events is still evolving. No one knows what to expect tomorrow, in a week, a month, or a year. The only thing that seems clear is that the demand for digital, hybrid, and online events will only continue to grow.
We hope this article and the virtual event checklist will help you prepare for your virtual event in the best way possible!
How to plan a virtual team-building event?
First, you need to choose a venue that can host your event. There are many different options, but if you want to save time, try Party.Space. Creating a budget for your virtual event plan is another important step in the planning process. There are several things to consider when budgeting, such as the cost of an event platform or virtual event hosting services. Last but not least, there are a number of activities that you should include in your team building.
How to plan a successful virtual event?
When it comes to virtual events planning a successful virtual event, there are a few key things you need to keep in mind. First and foremost, you need to find reputable and experienced virtual events planners who can help you navigate the ins and outs of digital event planning. Plus, you’ll need to choose a date and time that works for everyone involved, and send out invitations. Of course, the most integral part is to create event content. Make sure to promote your event ahead of time, so people have time to clear their schedules.
How long does it take to plan a virtual conference?
Many start planning a virtual event a year before launch. There is no clear answer to this question; the earlier you start, the smoother your event will go. Our recommendations are to plan the event for at least 9 months.
How long should virtual events be?
Naturally, it all depends on how many activities you want to include into a virtual events planning checklist. On average, an event session should last no more than an hour, because people will not sit glued to their computers. However, we understand that this time is not enough for large conferences. Therefore, we advise you to take “virtual coffee breaks” at least once an hour.
How do you plan an online event checklist?
1. Use the virtual event checklist above or design your own. 2. Decide on the type of event and indicate for what purposes you want to arrange it. 3. Think about the strategic objectives to achieve the desired results. 4. Set a budget. 5. Find an online platform. 6. Come up with various activities. 7. Send invitations to everyone. 8. Put a deadline for each step of your virtual events checklist.
Published Mar 30, 2022
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