Imagine sitting in a closed meeting room with 15 people touching each other shoulder to shoulder, and then this happens… *cough, cough!* — Yeah! We can’t either. At least not before a full-proof vaccine is discovered!
So, when the world was put under lockdown, everyone was inside – conferences canceled, meetings suspended, and we felt that we would never see another soul for a long time. The event industry was thrashed. Or so it seemed.
*enters virtual meetings*
We embraced the internet and all its superpowers. And before we knew it, the biggest conferences of the world’s largest companies went online with their events. The event industry was back with a bang — and how! Ever since it has been soaring higher with the digital realm and its innovations.
But, we know it can be challenging to host virtual event. Some even think it’s not possible, or that they aren’t meant for the “virtual”. But, whosoever says that hasn’t come on Hubilo! Educational events, music festivals, or even your business’s monthly conferences — the core to host virtual events remains the same.
And we will guide you through this event planning and management journey. All we ask of you is to keep patience and read on… and take notes if you want!
Let’s start with the basics first —
- Laying Out Event Agenda
The first step of planning an event starts with zeroing in your event agenda i.e. WHAT do you want the event to be about?
Is it an event about improving marketing skills? Do you want to discuss an ongoing trend and bring in experts to speak about that? Or do you need an event to celebrate your company’s achievements?
You can ask these questions:
- What is the event about? (The Topic of the event)
- When do you want the event to happen (Holiday season? Or weekends?)
- Time Zones involved?
- Why and how is the event relevant?
Pro Tip: Brainstorm, make a mind map, and lay out all possible angles for your agenda!
This would also help you with the next step —
- Finalizing the Speakers
For any sub-agenda or topics that you decide, make a list of the best people who can speak on that subject. They can be CEOs, CMOs, Marketing Managers, or even, Heads of Department – based on your requirements for the particular niche.
Your speakers are the central points of your events — physical, virtual, or hybrid. You can bank on these experts to market your event, attract sponsors, and attendees. And obviously, the treasure-trove of knowledge that comes with them boosts your events!
Tip: Go for someone who is influencing the field with their ideas or vision and has the know-how of the event subject. Approach famous people, who are carving a niche in their field to attract their audiences to the event.
- Bringing in Sponsors & Exhibitors
Simple Truth you need to invest money for organizing any event. So, you may need sponsorship for that. And for sponsors, you need amazing exhibitors.
Exhibitors, they showcase their services or products — essentially, they are lead magnets (so crucial for your event success!) — Sponsors support your event by providing funds for running the event, in return for something — can be a special promotional space, data, or profit share. Like producers of a movie Who are we kidding?! Of course, you know who sponsors are and what they do!
As an event organizer, what you can do is give back recognition by enlisting your sponsors and exhibitors and promoting them on different channels. You can also come up with a few programs to engage attendees with them, even after the event.
Another great tip is let your exhibitors be sponsors for the event — which gives their brand exposure, as well as leads too.
Sneaky tip: This also helps promote your event because of the exhibitor/sponsor brand value.
- Calling the Attendees
What’s an event without people attending it? You need to bring in people (loads of them!) to label it as an event. Otherwise, it’d be more of a 1-to-1 session or a group meeting! — and this also makes it the most tricky part.
How do you attract people to join your event? Through smart marketing.
Be ready with a marketing pipeline, taking care of outreach emails, content strategy, sending reminders, run ads, and utilize digital media to promote your event. And above all, make sure you select a kickass subject/agenda, so people are automatically attracted to attend your virtual event.
So, summing up, organizing a virtual event is all interlinked. Okay, we’ll make it easy for you. It looks something like this:
While virtual events dominated 2020, scenarios have changed today. In 2021, as the world opens up, HYBRID EVENTS are the future of events.
Hosting an online event can be daunting, especially when you haven’t done it before and don’t have a set plan, or don’t know the essentials. But, can we tell you, it isn’t that difficult.
With the right strategy and simple tips, host virtual conference and events — ranging from meetings, dance workshops, job fairs, hackathons, employee and member engagement events, and more.