Want to know how to host virtual events for your business?
As of now, about 73% of planners were able to integrate their events into digital platforms successfully. Don’t let your productivity fall by joining a virtual event platform. With that, you can still conduct regular team meetings and start talking to remote workers.
7 Tips on Hosting Virtual Events for Small Businesses
Start hosting virtual events to stay on top of your competition! Read on to discover seven tips that you should consider when hosting virtual events.
1. Establish Your Target Audience
Like with regular team meetings, hosting virtual events starts with knowing who will attend the event. It helps you determine the types of activities, duration, and platform you’ll use.
Before you start planning, ask yourself the following question:
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- Who do I want to talk to?
- What do they need the most?
- What can I share with them?
- What are the common behaviors of these groups of people?
- Who and how many will be attending?
Understanding your audience their characteristics will help you create a fitting virtual event. Youth audiences will mean tech-savvy attendees, so you can opt for a more advanced hosting server. On the other hand, a middle-aged audience will mean a less complex hosting partner.
Always come prepared for the different types of audience. Although having established a target audience does not mean that you should only limit your events to them. There might be curious visitors coming in to check on your company.
For instance, you’re planning an event for experienced marketers. Don’t expect that your audience will be as you’ve set. Aside from aspiring and first-time marketers, even business owners can join.
As such, set a limit to the number of audiences. If you have too many visitors, you’ll likely lack time and resources to accommodate everyone.
2. Set a Suitable Date, Time, and Duration
Virtual events that go beyond 90 minutes will likely lose the interest of their attendees. When scheduling virtual events, try not to go over an hour so the duration won’t be too much of a burden. However, try to add an extra 10 minutes to ensure that you’ll be able to wrap up the conversation.
It’s also best to set a date and time that’s most convenient for your audience. Go for the day and time where they’re the least busy, and if possible, avoid scheduling on weekends. Although weekends seem ideal, it’s the time when many people want to relax from work.
3. Pick a Suitable Virtual Event Host
Now that you’ve established the what, who, and when, it’s time to decide where to host your event. When looking for a virtual event platform, consider the pros and cons by checking out their reviews and ratings.
Take note of the features that the virtual event platform offer. Does it have survey and recording capability? How many people can attend an event when you opt for their services, and to what price?
Your attendees will likely be using their mobile smartphones to attend your event. Come prepared and choose a platform that supports interactive activities for mobile devices.
Once you’ve chosen, give it a test drive and try every feature available to ensure you’re getting what you paid for. If you need more information on virtual event platforms, especially about hybrid events, learn more here.
4. Set Engaging Activities when Hosting Virtual Events
The key to keeping your audience interested in creating an event with an engaging format. For instance, you can have a “Q and A” instead of the traditional one-person speaker. This will make your audience feel more involved piquing their interest to continue.
Make talking with remote workers fun by inserting a pop quiz or creating a poll into the event. If you have the extra budget, you can opt to use prices and giveaways to keep them engaged.
If your chosen platform has a chatbox, use it to interact with your audience and gain their attention. Ask your attendees to share their opinion and questions, especially during a presentation.
When using a slide show, it’s best not to cram the slide with texts and focus on the visuals such as photos or short videos. Make sure to use a readable font and size so even those using pocket-size screens will understand the presentation.
5. Break Long Events into Small Parts
No matter the type of event you’re planning, it’s best to keep your program short. In this regard, break down long events into small parts by scheduling. For instance, you can take chapters 1 and 2 within one hour of Thursday and the other parts the next day.
Select important points instead of broad topics when you choose topics for meetings. Avoid welling on topics that they can research and focus on interesting facts or topics.
For instance, if you’re audience is pet lovers, focus on one animal at a time. Share uncommon knowledge about it, as this will help you keep your audience attentive.
6. Use Digital World to Promote Your Event
The digital world offers endless opportunities that you can use to promote the virtual event you’re hosting. Create a virtual invitation that you can post on different social media platforms.
You can also opt to write a blog article and post it on your website to boost attendance. You can also opt to send email invites to organizations related to your topic.
For instance, you plan on discussing marketing strategies. You can send invites to a school that can share the information with their students.
7. Have at least 2 Dry Runs When Hosting Virtual Events
A dry run usually happens once before the event, but we recommend having a dry run at least two times. Why twice?
If you were to conduct a dry run before the event, you’d likely have to speed things up when fixing an issue because of the lack of time. What happens when the repair needed to fix an issue needs a day or two?
Running a dry run five days before the event will help give you enough time to fix issues. Running another dry run one day before the event will further ensure a smooth flow of the event.
During dry runs, ensure that your presentation slides and equipment are in order. Assess the background to make sure there will be no disturbing noises during the event.
When hosting virtual events, keep the event short, concise, and engaging for the audience. Be careful not to make the event too flashy.
Try to keep the program simple but interesting with icebreakers and other fun activities. Before the official virtual event, practice, practice, and practice!
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