Virtual events are on the rise. If you’re planning on having one or already have one, then keep reading to find out how you can do it right!
First off, virtual events are online gatherings of people, usually at a conference-like setting, consisting of keynotes and presentations by industry experts who share their knowledge with attendees over several hours (or sometimes even days).
These events feature everything from webinars to panel discussions to workshops. And due to the popularity of virtual events among entrepreneurs and marketers, using them as lead generation tools is also becoming more popular.
Nowadays, they’re not just for gurus – anyone who wants to host their virtual event might want to follow this guide so they don’t miss out on any crucial steps along the way.
Virtual Event Planning Checklist
Webinars are quickly becoming an effective way to (virtually) bring together professionals for knowledge sharing. If you’re thinking about hosting your webinar or want to make sure it’s successful, then look at the virtual event planning checklist below. It has everything you need to know about organising and running virtual events!
Webinars can (and should!) be used as lead generation tools by marketers while also providing benefits like networking opportunities, better relations with clients, improving SEO rankings, gaining relevant industry insight, and establishing thought leadership in the eyes of potential customers.
Here’s what you’ll need to consider when planning a webinar:
When would be most appropriate to have the event? Is there a particular time of day when people are most likely to join? How long should the event be? Will it be one session, or will different sessions lead to a central presentation throughout the week?
What is your objective of having this webinar? For example, do you want to attract new leads/customers, get more exposure for your product or business, generate buzz about something you’re releasing soon, get people registered on your email list, etc.?
Are any other webinars being held on similar topics at around the same time as yours? If so, what will make yours stand out from all others, and how will you benefit from holding a virtual event instead of just an online seminar or a simple webinar?
How will people sign up and participate in the webinar? Will they have to RSVP before being accepted, or will attendance be open to anyone who wants to join?
Make sure you’ll be allowing time for Q&A, which is a common part of any virtual event. It gives attendees a chance to voice their opinions and ask questions while allowing presenters to receive live feedback from people participating in the session.
Where should this webinar take place? Should it be on your website or a 3rd party platform? Whichever one you choose, make sure that it offers the features you’re looking for so that your virtual event can run smoothly.
Besides using this webinar to share knowledge with your target audience, you should also use it as a lead generation tool. Just make sure that people interested in joining realize that their information will be used to contact them about relevant topics in the future!
This is where you’ll need lead magnets or giveaways to get attendees to submit their contact information, whether it’s an email address, phone number, Twitter handle, etc.
What type of technology will be needed for this virtual event? For example, if you’re holding it on your website, then have some speakers and microphones ready so that attendees can listen/participate via computer.
However, if you’re hosting the event on a 3rd party platform, you might want to use a virtual event management platform or tool that allows you to create an eye-catching interface with various tools for managing attendees, polls, videos, and screen sharing, recording sessions, etc.
What type of topic will the webinars be based around? Will they be centered on your products/services, or will they attract leads by discussing industry trends or something else? Whatever you decide to talk about will depend on your company’s industry and what its target market would enjoy learning more about.
How should the speakers be selected? You could choose one person as your main presenter while also having some other people participate via video chat so that there’s variety throughout the event.
Another idea would be to have all speakers share different points of view on the same topic so that you’ll come up with a holistic perspective from those participating.
Who is your target audience? You can’t make a significant virtual event without having them in mind as the ones who will be joining you. Think about their particular needs and what they could gain from attending this webinar instead of holding a live event where everyone is gathered in the same place at once.
When should registration open to join this webinar? Ensure that interested parties have enough time to learn more about it before deciding whether or not to register, especially if there’s a cost involved in doing so (which means that people will want sufficient notice).
Also, don’t forget to remind attendees when the date/time draws near so that they don’t forget to log in!
Are there any experts related to your industry you can reach out to for help with the webinar? This includes people who have a large social media following and big companies. If you’re not sure how to get in touch with them, look through LinkedIn and see if any of your connections might know someone who would be willing.
What kind of special rewards or incentives will attendees receive for participating? You could offer discounts on products/services, free access/trial periods, firm giveaways (e.g., pens, lanyards), swag bags filled with stuff related to your company, etc. As long as the reward is relevant, it should attract more people to sign up for this virtual event.
What is the overall goal of your webinar? Are you using it to attract new business from potential clients by showing off the expertise of your speakers/company, getting current customers more involved with your brand, or making a profit? Whatever result you desire will impact how you promote and market the virtual event for people to attend these sessions.
What does success look like for this virtual event? This means thinking about what metrics you’ll want to have recorded to determine whether or not it was a success. You might find that you need a certain number of attendees who interact with one another while watching the presentations if the webinar is meant to generate leads.
If you want to make a successful virtual event, be sure to take the time and thought necessary to ensure that everyone will enjoy it! This means making sure that all logistics are worked out ahead of time and having a good plan for getting potential attendees involved with the webinar.