Making a successful online event
Whether we like it or not, most of our big events are happening online now. For some, it's awkward and troublesome, but for others, it can be really great. So, how do you take your event from feeling like a failure to feeling AND being successful?
Step #1: Define your goal
Identify the goal of your event. Whether you are trying to bring in some revenue or trying to get your business's name out there, having a clearly defined goal in mind will be beneficial.
Step #2: Create an event team
Once you have your goal solidified, think of who you will need by your side to help see this event through and through. Whether it's your in-house event team or a group of dedicated customers, get them involved. If you are searching for a crew, think of those who excel in planning, promoting, and executing in a timely manner. Once you have these people locked in, it's time to plan the event itself.
Some successful events we have seen over the past few months:
Webinars (ask the expert)
Virtual tastings (send out your fan favorites)
Trivia and game nights
Cooking/drink making tutorials (with your staff)
A successful event doesn't have to just be one of the above. It can be whatever best serves your community –that's for you to decide.
Step #3: Decide your target audience
Are you looking to get in front of your clients/customers, or are you looking to recruit new clients/customers? Some events can work for both, but in our opinion, it is best to separate the two groups. The date and time of the event are also really based on what works best for your community as well as the event itself.
Step #4: Work on logistics
With your team, determine the following logistics:
The day of the event
The time of the event
The price of your event and how you will collect RSVP's (if you are)
The virtual platform you will be using (be sure it holds the maximum capacity)
The format of the event (how will you get goods to people)
Security – although we hate talking about it, we'd hate for your big event to be ‘Zoom bombed.' Be smart about where you are posting your link. We suggest not posting your link and emailing to guests only if you plan to be on an interactive platform.
Be sure when planning your event, you cover every relevant logistic – not all logistics are listed above.
Step #5: Promote! Promote! Promote!
One of the great things about being online is that anyone from anywhere can attend your event – as long as your platform can handle it. So, use social media. Create a Facebook event to help widely promote. Post regularly about your event, and encourage your current clients/customers, as well as your event team to help spread the word. Also, email your current list of contacts regularly to publicize. Remember: although we are saying regularly, that does not mean every day. We suggest once a week, until the two weeks before your events. Two weeks before your event, we'd say email twice a week and post on social media three times a week. Less is more!
Step #6: Run through your event
The biggest mistake you can make is not running through your event beforehand. In the beginning of our “new lives” online, it was okay for simple mistakes to happen because we were all getting used to this new way. However, if there are any glitches now, it looks pretty bad and can turn people away. Request your event team to meet a week before for a run-through. This allows time in between the run-through and the event, to work out any kinks. If you are using a speaker, comedian, or any other guest, have one of your team members act as your guest so you can at least get comfortable with any needed tech. On the day of your event, request your guest for 30 minutes before your event starts when you book them, so you can run through quickly with them.
Other helpful tips to keep in mind:
Send out a survey asking what type of online events people are looking for. You can even send out a survey after your event to collect feedback on how guests think it went.
Network with your peers and see what worked and didn't for them while hosting virtual events if they've tried. Their feedback helps your success.
When people RSVP to your event, always require that they give their email. This helps your organization grow your email list, and future event attendance. It also creates a layer of security.
Make sure your video platform has the most current upgrade to avoid any last minute tech issue.
Cheers to successful online events ahead! 🥂