9 Tips on How to Plan a Virtual Event—A Guide to Event Planning
As Thomas Edison said, “Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning.” There is nothing lucky about a well-run event, and top event planners would agree that the key to an excellent event is proper event management.
Indeed, the very phrase event management means the application of project management skills to the organizing and running of a successful event.
Planning a virtual event is no different. Whereas the manpower to get a venue set up might be less, the need for proper planning to correctly design the venue and organize the speakers and presenters for the day is the same.
In this article, we will show you some of the most important aspects of planning a virtual event, and provide some tips to ensure that planning results in a highly successful event.
Tip #1: Pick your project management software
Beautiful events happen because they are organized within an inch of their lives. Project management software is the key to doing this.
It doesn’t matter if you use an Excel spreadsheet or something like Monday.com or AirTable to plan the event, but Google Sheets and Excel shouldn’t be used. You need something that will allow you to:
- Assign people to a task
- Set a deadline for the task to be completed
- Assign a status to a task
- Send emails/reminders/notifications on task updates to those who need to be informed
Google Sheets and Excel don’t have the tagging/notification features built-in. It is possible to create some sort of workaround to alert people, but this gets clunky and detracts from the project itself. You want a tool that doesn’t require you to waste time tinkering with it.
Tip #2: Pick the right virtual events platform
You'll be halfway there if you pick the right virtual events platform. Event management is made much easier with a platform that is designed to walk you through the creation of the event, as well as the pre-event marketing and preparations. A large part of successfully planning virtual events is the selection of an excellent virtual events platform.
Tip #3: Set the date far enough in the future
One of the most important aspects of successful event planning is choosing the correct date! For virtual events, selecting the correct time is also important because you will likely need to account for visitors from different time zones.
When selecting the date, keep the following in mind:
- Choose it far enough in the future to allow for proper planning. Six months ahead is a good starting point. Twelve months is better.
- Pick a date that does not conflict with public or religious holidays. Again, this is more difficult with virtual event planning because virtual events can receive visitors from a much broader social and ethnic spectrum. Use a multi-faith religious calendar combined with a worldwide public holidays calendar to select an appropriate date.
Tip #4: Arrange sponsors and partners
Sponsors and partners will help you get the word out about the event, and they should be selected early enough to be able to do so.
Tip #5: Organize speakers and/or exhibitors
Depending on the type of event you’ll be holding, you’ll need to arrange speakers and/or exhibitors for the event. EventsX can accommodate both at the same event, with stages set up for speakers, and a virtual expo hall for exhibitors to have their virtual booths.
Tip #6: Choose the right ticket-sales tool
Ticket sales are the primary method by which you can monetize your event. Choosing the right ticket sales software is imperative to ensure a smooth ticket sales process, as well as simple access at the event itself.
Your ticket sales software should integrate with the event platform you’re using so that ticket purchasers can use the ticket to gain access to the event. Also, it should be possible to sell differently tiered tickets so that some ticket holders get access to more premium areas at the event. It should also be possible to upgrade the ticket at the event itself.
Tip #7: Create a marketing plan
Once you’ve got all the nuts and bolts out of the way, you need to create a comprehensive marketing plan that promotes:
- Your sponsors
- Your partners
- The speakers
- The event itself
This marketing campaign should include promotion on the following channels:
- Social media
- Influencer campaigns
- Email marketing
- Excellent landing pages
Marketing tools and features are built right into the EventsX platform.
Tip #8: Design the event space
So long as you have your speakers and sponsors sorted out early on, you only need to design the virtual event space much later.
One of the benefits of holding a virtual event is that designing the space is much easier compared with physical events. It’s as simple as logging in to the virtual events dashboard and configuring:
- The virtual venue
- Expo booths
Tip #9: Get help from the event platform success manager
One of the services that EventsX offers is a dedicated success manager to ensure that your event runs smoothly. The success manager helps with all the necessary pre-event planning as well as on-the-day support should anything go wrong.
Experienced event planners might know exactly what to do in event planning because it’s their profession, but the beauty of virtual events is that it opens up the possibility of everyone being able to organize virtual events.
That’s why the position of Event Success Manager is so important. It empowers people of all backgrounds and experiences to run successful events and get their message out there.