Many event planners were compelled to learn how to simplify, systematize, and implement digital engagements as the world shifted to virtual events. But before launching any event, several logistics must be addressed, regardless of whether it's an in-person meeting or a virtual one.
It’s true. Even a tiny logistical blunder can ruin a virtual event. You're in the spotlight from the minute your event goes live, and any element (no matter how minor) can be instantly recognized, dissected, and shared on social media. This article will cover 15 event management best practices to ensure your virtual event runs smoothly and remains free from any unexpected hiccups.
But first, let’s take a look at what event logistics really entail.
The Role of Logistics in Event Management
In general, logistics refers to the meticulous planning and execution of a complex task. When it comes to event logistics, this refers to the rigorous process of bringing together participants, content, and resources.
Event logistics can include everything from choosing a venue (or virtual platform) and renting equipment to arranging transportation and hotel accommodations. Logistics are tricky to manage, whether you're hosting a luncheon fundraiser, business meeting, or multi-day virtual conference. To do so successfully demands meticulous planning, patience, the ability to adjust to change, and the constant juggling of multiple tasks.
In-Person vs. Virtual Event Logistics
When switching from in-person to virtual events, you'll need to rethink your strategy and determine which components of the logistics for a virtual event will be crucial to the production. Here are some examples of what can be kept or changed to achieve a smooth transition:
- Event equipment and technology: When shifting to virtual, any plans regarding the equipment and technology you had in place for your in-person event will need to be reworked to suit the change in format.
- Reservation of event stages and production management: If you don't plan on having your speakers live stream from their respective locations, you'll need an event stage. This could be an actual stage in a studio or venue where you can organize and broadcast your event live.
- Collection, retrieval, and management of event content: Presentation slides, videos, keynotes, and other planned content can be collected, retrieved, and managed using any method you like. Your content should always be accessible and able to be fed into your chosen virtual event platform.
- Registration and data management: Your registration database should be connected or moved to the virtual event platform to support seamless participation and optimal utilization of the data.
- Travel and accommodations for the event production crew: Given that the event is now online, this may appear irrelevant. However, when you need a venue to stage or stream an event and some or all of your speakers and staff are required to be on-site, they need to be accommodated for the duration of their services.
15 Virtual Event Management Best Practices
To achieve the maximum return on investment, you need to know how to organize a virtual event. You can ensure that you're doing everything possible to make your virtual event successful by adopting these 15 virtual event management best practices.
1. Check Your Technology Ahead of Time
Prior to the start of the online event, test the technology you'll be using — not once, but numerous times. The last thing you want is for your software, cameras, or microphones to malfunction. Participants will have a negative image of the event and will be less likely to join future virtual events.
2. Prepare a Plan or an Agenda
You don't want to launch your virtual event without a strategy. It's vital to have a direction for your virtual event to keep your attendees interested at all times. You can distribute the itinerary to participants so that they are aware of what to expect following each session. Additionally, make sure your speakers are informed of when they will go live so that nobody misses their scheduled time.
3. Use Project Management Tools
Whether for hundreds or thousands of people, event preparation demands a high level of coordination and management skills. Even if you have a team of people working for you or a specialist in a few core aspects, every event planner should take advantage of project management tools. With the right event management software, you can get a lot done in a short amount of time.
4. Lead Generation Should Be Started Early
To spread the news about your virtual event, you'll need to generate leads. You can accomplish this using different channels, including your blog, press releases, social media, and email marketing.
5. Utilize an Email Drip Campaign to Get People to Come to Your Event
Some people sign up for events but then fail to attend. It is possible for people to become distracted and forget. You can utilize an email drip campaign to help people recall and get ready for the event. The promotion will build interest up for the big day. Prepare these emails ahead of time, and make sure you include all important details (e.g., registration deadline, event date/time, etc.).
6. Don't Just Concentrate On Creating Demand
Although lead generation is critical to the success of your online event, don't go overboard. Make sure you spend just as much effort enhancing the event's value as you do promoting it.
7. Don’t Cram Too Much Into Your Virtual Event
It's easy to overcomplicate a virtual event by offering too much content. You must guarantee that the conference is thorough and informative. However, this can quickly become boring, causing your visitors to leave your live feed. As a result, keep in mind that presentations shouldn't be too long and contain a decent balance of text, visual material, and interactivity.
8. Choose the Appropriate Speakers
The appeal of virtual events is that they allow you to invite speakers from around the globe. However, this does not imply that you always should. If you want to select suitable virtual speakers, make sure they're comfortable presenting to an internet audience. Some people are excellent face to face but less so in front of the camera.
9. Select the Most Appropriate Virtual Meeting Platform
The platform you select for your virtual event is critical to making sure everything goes smoothly. Thoroughly evaluate and read reviews on various virtual meeting platforms. Find out what other successful virtual event planners are using.
10. Influencers Can Help You Generate Leads
Utilize the impact of your speakers if you intend to get the most people to attend your virtual event. If your speakers are well-known specialists in their fields, it will be much simpler to generate more leads. You can also enlist the services of affiliate marketers to raise awareness.
11. Prepare the Audience for the Event
Don't make the mistake of assuming that your event attendees are tech-savvy. To guarantee that participants get the most from your event, spend time preparing them. Show them how to use the platform, including communicating with other participants, rooms, virtual booths, and vendors.
12. Rather Than Pitching, Add Value
This is especially important if you indicated that your live event would be free of obligations. As a result, you should refrain from making any pitches in order to keep your word. Rather, concentrate on providing value by incorporating professional speakers, interviews, and more substance into your sessions.
13. Facilitate Ways for Networking
Keep in mind that your virtual event should be focused on networking as much as it is about your content. As a result, you should utilize a platform that allows guests to interact with each other through video or chat.
14. Breaks Should Be Scheduled During the Event
If your virtual event lasts more than an hour, regular breaks are recommended. Participants will have time to use the restroom, stretch, or grab a snack. Breaks are also helpful for keeping your audience interested. Hold games or conduct a quick workout together during the breaks.
15. Involve the Audience in the Discussion
Understanding how to connect with your audience will go a long way toward making your virtual event unforgettable. One way of achieving this is to invite the audience to participate in the discussion. If you use a platform with real-time messaging, you can ask them questions or see if they have any.
Virtual Event Logistics: How AMP Event Group Can Help
You'll need a seasoned partner to host a fantastic virtual event. AMP Event Group has the technological know-how and expertise your virtual events need, with the growing demand for high-quality productions that can bring an entire event to individuals' homes.
Just like how AMP was able to help the Industrial Asset Management Association with a highly engaging, well-organized virtual conference, your company can benefit from our services as well. From live broadcasts to online trade shows, we have the required knowledge to assure your success.
For more tips on virtual event management, contact the pros at AMP Event Group today.