There's no escaping virtual events. They are here to stay for good. If you've been avoiding them due to not feeling comfortable enough with handling all the technical aspects, then this ends now. Ruby Sweeney from The Events Hub has put together an incredible resource for business owners and marketers who are responsible for hosting virtual events.
Choosing the right virtual platform may be tricky. It's always wise to plan thoroughly and opt for a platform that covers all your needs, instead of finding out mid-event that something's missing. Here's what you need to consider:
- What are the objectives of your event? How can you bring the most value and how can you measure the success of my event?
- Who is your audience? Are they staff, prospects, existing clients? How will they interact with your chosen platform and how comfortable are they with using new technologies? Are they in a particular sector that may restrict their access to certain platforms or functionalities?
- What is the best format to achieve the objectives of the event? Is it a conference, summit, board meeting, business exhibition, awards event, celebration or gathering?
- What type of experience do you want to create? Does the event need to be immersive or educational? Are you providing updates or facilitating discussions and interactions?
- What are the expectations of your participants and stakeholders? How has your event been marketed and pitched? What do your attendees expect to see, hear and experience? What are your sponsors or speakers anticipating from the event and throughout the campaign? What are your post-event calls to action?
Getting clear on the aforementioned questions enables you to understand the type of functionality you need from the virtual event hosting platform (e.g. engaging with the audience vs hosting a lecture vs having a small meeting vs having a conference with thousands of participants).
You want your virtual event to be a success. This means that you may need to opt for some help along the way. Plan ahead how are you going to cover the following costs:
- Virtual platform licence
- Event management
- Technical and production support
Many virtual event platforms – like other software and apps – will give you the chance to demo their functionality for free. So, before you go all in, make yourself acquainted with what you need vs what is available.
Test out several platforms before making any commitment, so that you can experience first-hand how the platforms work, what technical support you need, what the event build looks like and what information needs to go into the system.
Better still, try and commit to your chosen software on a short-term or monthly basis – where you have the option. Several of the newer platforms are offering this flexibility to encourage users.
Long-term commitments to platforms might initially seem like a sensible idea, but with the pace at which virtual platforms have disrupted the events industry, you want to keep your options open so that you can switch between different platforms, allowing you to create different experiences for your participants for different events.
Would you prefer to hand your virtual event over, rather than go through the stress and challenges of muddling your way through a process that feels alien to you and your team? Then drop The Events Hub an email: at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This blog post is based on The Events Hub's original article HERE.