Online Event Management
ONLINE EVENT MANAGEMENT
4 Tips for Getting your events online
Online events have been embraced wholeheartedly by the business community with the many benefits of webinars winning over sceptics with the right online event management. Webinars and online events have been around for years but the acceleration of their rise to prominence in recent months could have scarcely been predicted this time last year. With benefits such as time efficiency, ease of use, focussed quality content and feeling connect to peers it is easy to see online events taking up a huge place in the new normal.
Technology has enabled the transition to online events to be smoothly executed by event professionals throughout the country creating a pleasant experience for most attendees who have largely been forgiving of the odd customary zoom mishap or interruption along the way. Having supported our online event management and consultancy clients bring their events online we have put together some helpful tips and considerations for you to implement practically and ensure a professional experience for your attendees.
Before you plan any event there are lots of things to consider, from the size of the event to the available budget and what you can realistically arrange below we have outlined some tips we hope you will find helpful to get your event online.
- Select your Topic – Event planning 101 is selecting an area of interest that is going to captivate your audience’s attention. Once you have made the decision to host an online event, choosing the right topic for your audience is critical, what is going to engage them and grab their interest? Unsurprisingly topical headlines such as ‘Adjusting to the New Normal in Finance’, ‘How the Construction Industry can Bounceback from Covid’ and ‘How the Technology Sector can work together’ have all been performing well. At any time of crisis, the future appears uncertain and facilitating progressive thinking online events with messages of hope and optimism can really bring your community together. Grabbing their attention with a topic that is relevant and interesting to your audience will put your event on a path to success.
- Chose a Platform – Similar to selecting the perfect venue for your conference, breakfast briefing or any live event picking the right online event management platform for your organisation is crucial. Each platform has different benefits with some offering a more comprehensive service to fit your budget. Zoom, Teams, Webex, Zoho Meeting, Join.Me, HeySummit, ClickMeeting, Brella and Google Meet are all worth considering depending on the size and scope of your event plans. Understand the capabilities and limitations of the platform you chose and practise using these features in advance to ensure a seamless professional experience for attendees. When deciding which platform to use, pick one that is familiar to both you and your audience, simplicity can make smaller less complex events run smoother. Consider the practical delivery of the event like how long will it last, what technical support does it require, how will attendees access the event, does it have screen sharing capabilities, will it accommodate multiple speakers, have the capacity for your number of attendees etc. The technology is out there to support your event and choosing the right platform to fit your needs will create a smooth experience.
- Define your event audience – Starting off with a clear vision of your ideal attendees will allow you to tailor both your event content and key messaging to appeal to your specific audience. Once you have described your ideal attendees you will be able to form a clear picture of what content they would like, make assumptions based on what time will suit them best, how long should the event last and how sophisticated the technology need to be. You may know your target audience already from past events or from your current client base, prospect list etc but if not determining this will allow you to plan your event with confidence. Think about what your audience will want to achieve from attending and be clear how your event will facilitate this. You may need to design innovative ways of online networking if this is a goal of your attendees or consider what speakers will attract your ideal attendee.
- Outline your Marketing Strategy – Once you have a clear picture of your ideal attendees you can start to target them through your event marketing plan. You may have contact lists from previous events you have hosted and they are a brilliant starting point for your marketing efforts. You may want to attract an entirely new audience in which case you will have to consider how your marketing efforts are going to reach out to them. You can consider leveraging the network of key speakers you have onboard or key influencers within your own network or industry who may be able to promote the event on your behalf. Creating a professional infographic outlining the key information, what, when, where and for who can get your event noticed online. Use a content planner to schedule social media posts, related blog post or content marketing and consider what marketing budget you would like to allocate to event promotion. Armed with a clear understanding of who you would like to attract you can build a picture of what social media channels they will likely use. You can manage sign-ups through an established platform like Eventbrite which auto generates a landing page for your event which can get your event noticed organically, create a landing page on your website, through social media event pages like Facebook or LinkedIn’s event functionalities is also useful.
Online event management
Perhaps historically you have held a monthly client briefing or quarterly round table with key industry figures the evidence is clear to make at least a temporary transition to online events and who knows your attendees may love the experience and turn it into a new normal activity. There is a plethora of online event setups from webinars, how-to, tutorials, interviews, behind-the-scenes tours, social media live streams, each with their own merits. Some are more professional, whilst others are more dynamic and innovative depending on your audience. This digital shift can feel a bit overwhelming in the beginning and we would be happy to have a chat with anyone who might like an event brainstorming session or would like a quote for our online event management consultancy services.