3 min read
Stagedge Team

All I Want for Christmas is You! And 8-Tips on How to Host an IMPACTFUL ONLINE EVENT

All I Want for Christmas is You! And 8-Tips on How to Host an IMPACTFUL ONLINE EVENT

Don't be a Scrooge . . . Be a Virtual Event Virtuoso!

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Can you imagine if Santa brought kids battery sets labeled “toys not included” for Christmas? It would be like saying that “virtual events will be an integral part of our event strategy planning” before COVID.

Not to beat a dead horse here, but if we hopped in the time machine and went back to the early days of the pandemic, few people suspected that virtual events would become a permanent fixture in our lives. But as the pandemic waned, more and more organizations discovered that virtual events are not just a quick, band-aid fix during a public health crisis – they can also drive innovation, improve access, and expand your geographical reach. And, if there was ever an argument about their validity, it’s over. Most would agree that virtual events are here to stay and are a big part of their event strategy repertoire.

 With virtual events becoming a more permanent part of the marketing arsenal, organizations need to ensure they’re making the biggest impact possible via this digital channel. To help you get the most out of your virtual events, we’ve compiled our top eight (holiday-themed) tips:

Ho, Ho, Who, What and Why

Just like planning an in-person engagement, you need to start with the three W’s: who your audience is, why you’re hosting the virtual event, and what you want to communicate to them. Remember: it’s not about how much content you create—it’s about what your audience needs. Your content should always flow from the three W’s.

It’s not about how much content you create—it’s about what your audience needs. Your content should always flow from the three W’s.

Just Like Santa’s Workshop Make Sure to Pick a Reliable Platform

With a virtual event, your platform is your venue, and it should be functional, accessible, and cost-effective. Your platform should support all the tools required to keep your audience engaged—you don’t want viewers to have to struggle with multiple windows and apps. You also need to consider more technical specifications, like security, uptime, and performance, so you can guarantee your event won’t be interrupted by technical difficulties or a security breach.

Spice Up Your Holiday Get-Together: Make an Engagement Plan

Just because your event is online doesn’t mean your attendees should play a passive role. Consider mixing up your delivery to include discussions, breakout rooms, videos, and more to boost engagement. Implementing interactive components like surveys, polls, Q&A sessions with noteworthy speakers, gamification, and calls to action can also increase engagement and keep your audience interested.

Consider mixing up your delivery to include discussions, breakout rooms, videos, and more to boost engagement.

Santa’s Watching - Hone your Production Timeline

Just like in-person events, virtual programming takes time to prepare. You may need to create and publish pre-recorded content, troubleshoot technical issues with speakers and attendees, run a few practice sessions, and more. We recommend a production timeline of eight weeks or more, depending on the complexity of your event.

Stagedge is Always on the “Nice List”- Choose the Right Production Partner

If you aren’t sure where to begin—or want to ensure a high production value for your event—consider working with an experienced production partner. Production partners can help you design and prepare content, choose a platform, create marketing materials to help you spread the word, and run all the technical aspects of the event on the day itself.

Educate Your Audience on your Offerings and Good Tidings of Great Joy

How will your attendees know what’s in store during your event? Developing a detailed Run-of-Show, or a comprehensive list of activities that will happen during your event, can help audiences tune into the programming that most excites them. Your Run-of-Show should include a detailed schedule of everything your attendees can see or hear during your event, not just the headliners.

Put Up the Holiday Lights and Promote, Promote, Promote

You can spend months designing a fantastic event, but if no one knows about it, it’s a wasted effort. For this reason, every event should have its comprehensive marketing plan with detailed instructions on how people will learn about the event, whether that’s via a paid social campaign, a series of emails, or even direct mail. Marketing collateral—including social posts—should employ sophisticated graphics designed to draw attendees in and paint your brand in a strong light.

Batteries Not Included - Always Have a Backup Plan

If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, emergencies happen—and virtual events are no exception. Make sure you have contingency plans in place if a speaker backs out at the last minute or your technology doesn’t perform exactly how you’d hoped. For the same reason, have a help desk or information available for attendees who experience technical difficulties, and tell them about it at the event's start.

I’ve used Stagedge for both in-person live events as well as virtual events. They are truly amazing, and I can’t say enough about the quality and professionalism                of their work.  

- C-Level Executive, Dynatrace

Nobody said that virtual event planning is easy, and it’s ok to feel overwhelmed. But when you put your audience at the heart of your efforts, you can simplify the planning process and keep your priorities—and your attendees’ needs—top of mind. Remember: every event is a chance to delight your audience. Investing time upfront and partnering with an experienced vendor are worthy investments because they guarantee that your next virtual event will be unforgettable.

This is the Stagedge difference! Need I say more? Get connected with the event production experts and bring your virtual event to life today!

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