William Law - Mar 1, 2021
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As the world battles against the COVID-19 pandemic, major events worldwide are being organized online. Take a look and find out how to plan large and small virtual events and make them successful. Every event demands planning and organization, but also a well-thought and appealing execution. Tourism Review prepared 5 useful tips to host a successful virtual event.

Virtual Event Planning

If planning an event without an ongoing pandemic is already hard, doing it online turns this process into a more complicated matter since its success will be determined by how different, original and innovative the event is. To host a successful virtual event, the methodology and planning must have a detailed-oriented approach and an adequate distribution of the tasks that the team of people behind it will perform. Every person on the team must be informed about the theme of the event, the goals and what will need to be accomplished in order to meet those goals.

Logistics Planning

Nowadays there are several platforms and sites that are used to host small online meetings and events, such as Skype, Meet, Microsoft Teams, among others. For larger events, Zoom and Pathable can be used, which let people join the event by installing the software or through desktops or smart devices, allowing them to simultaneously attend the event. When planning the logistics for a virtual event, we must gather, analyze and test existing platforms to find the most adequate one.

Logistics planning should take into account the design that the event will have. The methodological design of the event will depend on the content and activities that we want to carry out. For this, one has to identify the topic that the audience wants to engage with, how long the participation of the speaker will last, time for questions, videos, music, among others.

It is also important to highlight if participants can work together or individually, so one can consider the technological resources that will be needed, the degree of knowledge of the participants, and the interest regarding the type of areas they want to learn, practice, improve and know.

Lastly, when planning logistics, remember that the entire process is tied to the budget of the event.

Know the Target Audience

Knowing well the target audience is essential to establish how the event should be advertised. What this means is how the message we are going to send will be like, the format, type of platforms, media to be used (videos, audios, images, etc.).

There are two types of target audience: internal and external. If the virtual event is planned for an internal audience, the message can be communicated, for example, using the company’s own messaging platforms (organization emails, internal platforms).

If the event is for an external audience, platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube or Instagram are the way to go, and if the budget allows it, we could even design our own app to advertise and host the event.

Hosting the Virtual Event

It is recommended to have a list of the event’s different activities, what the rules will be for the virtual event to be successful. For example, if the event has a main speaker, it is important to highlight what the audience should do if they have questions, the jargon to use, the order of questions and how they will ask them.

This also requires paying attention to the way in which people will access the event: type of password, online messaging, WhatsApp, QR code, Kahoot, among others. At this point, we will also have to analyze contingency plans so that there are no interruptions or cuts, and, in case of any, provide another link so that the experience is not affected.

Evaluating the Virtual Event

For a correct evaluation of the event, that is, to know if the goals set have been met, it is necessary to have an updated list of all the attendees. This list will help us to gather data on attendee experience as well as event aspects that need to be improved, corrected or removed altogether.

Having a list with the names and emails will help you welcome, see off and thank every attendee. Earning the loyalty of attendees is essential if you want to commit to the planning of virtual events.

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