- Understand Your Audience
Before you plan anything, answer the following questions:
- Who will be attending?
- What challenges and problems are they facing?
- What are their goals?
Understanding who your attendees are, what they’re struggling with, and what they want will create a strong foundation for a successful virtual event.
- Be Consistent with Visual Branding
It’s important to align your online event’s materials with your brand’s aesthetic. You might be thinking of your online events as separate from everything else you do — don’t make that mistake!
Use the same logo, colors, fonts, and other graphics or elements that match your brand’s overall style. By doing so, you’ll create a consistent experience for your attendees, and you’ll make your brand more recognizable too.
- Think Mobile
Many of your attendees may attend your event on their phones, so it’s important to optimize for mobile experience when creating your materials.
If you’re using slides, keep the text on each slide to a minimum, and increase the font size so it’s readable from a pocket-sized screen. Select a platform that supports mobile devices with their interactive features, so attendees can chime in no matter where they are.
- Monetize, If Possible
In-person events may have come to a halt, but that doesn’t mean you don’t bring the same value online. If it fits your online strategy, see where you can raise money, opt for donation tickets, or charge a small fee for a curated experience.
If you decide to, you should look for a ticketing partner or payment processor that makes it easy to track who has paid so you can gate your event accordingly. Even if it’s free, you may still want to consider allowing donations, or requesting people register for a spot so it’s easier to communicate with attendees, track registrations, and more.
Virtual Event Planning
- Get Help
Sure, you’ve got the smarts to create a virtual event by yourself, but do you really want to? With so many moving parts and different strategies to consider, it’s worth dedicating time to research and asking peers what has and hasn’t worked for them. Carve out time to attend virtual events and take actionable notes to reflect back on when it’s your turn to be in the driver’s seat.
If you have access to a team, find out who is the most tech-savvy and ask for their assistance. They can help you troubleshoot and moderate attendee interactions while you’re focused on what you do best – presenting. If you don’t have access to a team, picking the right platform is critical.
- Pick a Stellar Topic
When choosing your topic, it’s important to remember that content is king. Your attendees are showing up to learn something, so prioritize what you believe they’ll find most interesting (see tip #1).
Stay away from going too broad or vague, and hone in on one specific area. For example, if you’re targeting dog-lovers and want to showcase your knowledge, don’t just pick “dogs” as your topic. Instead, zoom in on one breed you’re particularly knowledgeable about. Then, break down your knowledge about that breed into smaller pieces that may not be well-known. This will help you stay focused and keep your audience interested.
- Choose Your Format
Once you know your topic, it’s time to plan the virtual format you’re going to use. Test out the formats you’re drawn to — or even try out a combination — until you find the one that’s most successful with your audience and easiest for you to implement.