How to Host Virtual Events
Interested in learning how to host virtual events? UNATION has several tips for you to consider to ensure your new venture is a success.
Virtual events are becoming more popular. Traditional events can take months of planning, thousands of dollars, and a ton of coordinating to pull off. On top of that, we are now all too aware that they can be suddenly canceled due to non-related circumstances.
Instead of scrapping the event completely, many organizers are shifting gears and offering a virtual version to their patrons.
Obviously not all events will translate, but there have been so many well-executed virtual events. We’re truly excited by the possibilities this new option offers.
What Type of Event are You Planning?
First thing’s first, before you can hit the ground running, you need to decide which direction to run.
Do you have a certain skill you want to share with your audience? Maybe you’re an excellent chef and want to create a cooking class experience. If websites like Reddit have taught us anything…there’s an audience for everything. You just need to pin down exactly what you want to share.
Virtual classes are typically an easy way to take your business online or increase brand awareness. Since this is something you already know how to do, you probably have all the necessary supplies ready to go.
You know the techniques, and you’re comfortable talking the audience through the steps. This is one of the simpler events to execute, and it can typically be set up in a small space you already have.
Over the last several years we have seen more concerts pop up on streaming services. It’s fun to watch some of your favorite singers from your own living room. Turn up the volume, dim the lights, and pretend you have front row seats. All without the hassle of parking or having beer spilled on you!
Recently, smaller artists and local favorites have also started to stream concerts. This has potential for both the artist and anyone who wants to collaborate with them as a media/ production sponsor.
Whether you’re the talent or you have the skills to produce the show, this is a great opportunity to build relationships in your community.
The spirit of competition is not gone just because we can’t physically be around our competition. People love a good challenge, and it is pretty easy to set up a virtual version.
Running, fishing, art, whatever type of competition you want to set up can be established with pretty minimal effort. Just make sure you have a way for participants to submit a valid entry. Photos, videos, health tracking, etc all work great!
You may decide to charge a registration fee to cover any of your expenses (such as prizes), or as a way to raise money. If this is the case, make sure to have a way for participants to securely submit payments.
Organizing a virtual conference is probably the most challenging, logistically speaking.
You could just schedule a lineup of speakers to go one after the other on a video platform. It is effective. It gets the message across. However, to make it a more authentic experience, you’ll need to select a platform that allows for multiple video sessions to stream at once.
This way the audience can then pick which presentations they want to attend like at a regular conference.
If possible, utilize a platform that allows for people within a certain session to be broken down into smaller groups to work together and share ideas on a given topic.
Chat rooms and access to resource folders would also be beneficial in helping participants get the most out of your virtual conference.
Since networking and sharing insights are such an integral part of these gatherings, you don’t want to omit the opportunity for your audience!
Many charity events have been canceled or rescheduled lately, but that doesn’t mean that the need for aid has subsided. If you’re hoping to fundraise for your favorite cause, you can definitely take your campaign online. Most of the virtual events mentioned above can be used to raise awareness and funds!
You already know how to get the word out, organize speakers or performers, and create a way for people to donate. Most of this is going to be the same as before. Just make sure to film the main event or choose a platform that allows the audience to participate from home.
You may even save some on the overhead, leaving you extra funds to donate to the cause!
Stick to a Budget
Virtual events can cost considerably less than traditional events since you won’t actually be hosting any guests. Still, a budget is crucial.
Supplies, software, equipment, promotion, staff, etc. should all be accounted for in the budget–even if it’s only $100. And more importantly, stick to it! Having a budget makes you more aware of what you’re spending and helps you determine if it’s ultimately worth it.
There are some great resources out there like Hello Endless that can help you build your budget if you are new to the process. Utilize them to make sure nothing is being left out.