How to Plan and Host a Successful Virtual Event?

What is a Virtual Event?

Unlike personal or hybrid events, virtual events only happen online. Speakers and audience members meet digitally to share a short session or a real multi-day experience. If you’ve signed up and attended a recent event, you’ve probably seen keyboards, panel discussions, live polls, Slack communities – all happening on desktop, tablet, or mobile phone.

How to Plan and Host a Successful Virtual Event

The beauty of the event is that the organizers have full licenses to create a diving experience. You are not restricted from body parts or budgets with heavy cables for food and drink.

In addition, attendees of the event can tune in from anywhere in the world, lowering the entry bar for those who have not been able to attend before.

Six cases of use in Visual Events

Event space is increasing – it’s not just broadcasters. With so many events insights, let’s take a look at a few ways Vimeo customers have taken people’s events online.

Internal Events

These events are for employees within the organization. Scheduling varies between a quick, 30-minute meeting at a day-to-day event. Regular indoor events include hands-on meetings, staff training, outsourcing, or general company events such as holiday organizations (BYOB!).

Because internal meetings are held by internal attendees, gate registration or ticket registration is less important than privacy features such as SSO.

Conferences

Conferences are a very common event. They can last for one day or several days. They usually include a manager or MC, multiple speakers and keywords, relaxation meetings, communication activities, and other experiences to keep attendees engaged.

The conferences attract prominent attendees who are interested in shared sector topics, network experiences, and educational opportunities. Lead production is important here, so expect to see free and paid events with a variety of access.

Webinars

Webinars are real-virtual events. They last between 30 minutes to an hour and often serve as a necessary production station or think tank for leadership. When you go to a webinar, you can find housekeeping notes (aka “this webinar will be recorded”), speakers, desktop, data, and a few tools – such as Q&A or live surveys – to engage audience members.

Webinars focus on content. Organizations and creators who want to grow their audience can use webinars to increase imaginative leadership, product awareness, and education around their services.

Celebrations and Awards Ceremonies

The fast-growing categories of visual events include performing arts programs, music festivals, and award ceremonies (such as the upcoming VFA VFA). Organizations are transforming their content into an online audience only and discovering new ways to attract attention.

Performing arts events can feature live talent, special interviews, or other live entertainment to keep the audience engaged. They also attract a wide audience that comes together to celebrate an artist, genre, film, or entertainment.

Sports Events

Over the past few months, sporting events have evolved to keep pace with the times, meaning that sports content covers everything from live streaming games, popular games, live chat, and other content to keep the entertainment alive.

Events Based on Faith

Local regions are discovering new opportunities through video. Faith-based communities experience greater flexibility through live broadcasts of their sermons and community events. Whether those events are services, classes, community workshops, or just a real gathering – live streaming helps the congregation stay connected even when they are divided.

How to Plan and Host a Visual Event?

There is a common misconception that visual events require less planning than human-generated events. The fact is that visual events require a lot of time and attention in order to have a good experience.

To help you get started on foot, we have nine tips on how to handle a visual event.

1. Find your event objectives.

Before you can plan your visual event, you will need to identify the objectives of the event. Pro tip: This will also help you decide what kind of event to broadcast.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are the objectives of my visual event?
  • Is this an indoor event or an outdoor event?
  • How many events do you plan to have?
  • Will event registration be free, paid, or dual?

2. Identify your audience.

Any professional event specialist will tell you that the most important KPI is the experience of the attendees. Make sure your visual event reaches the mark by clearly identifying your audience in advance.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who are you trying to reach?
  • How do you need to reach them?
  • How will your audience communicate?

3. Create content to stream.

Content describes everything when a live event is produced – how you shoot it, what kind of cameras you will use, how you turn it on, and some of your coding and technology.

Four Featured Content Items:

Relevance: Make sure the live streaming stream is in line with the interests of the target audience, and that the content matches your brand’s voice and targeted customer expectations.

Engagement: Keep viewers on their toes by promoting communication and streaming (we like to keep things entertaining with the live chat feature). Keeping the audience happy will ensure that those who attend benefit greatly from the day.

Consistency: If possible, change the live event series (either annually or otherwise). “Keeping your events consistent is a proven way to increase brand awareness and product equity, while engaging loudly with your audience,” said Vimeo Live Production Leader Tom Gott.

Performance: What is the action call at the end of a visual event? If you want to convert audiences, be sure to simplify viewer communication after the end of the event.

4. Registration of Gate event with tickets.

If you are broadcasting an event that you would like to sell tickets for – or just control access to it – you will want to use an event tool like Eventbrite that seamlessly integrates with your live platform. With a dedicated event platform, you can easily set up live streaming events and sell tickets or you need to register. (Don’t forget: even if you don’t plan to charge tickets, encouraging people to register is always a good idea.)

5 Optimize your attendee experience

By using a dedicated tool to sell tickets or register for your visual event, you will gain access to many features that will enhance your sense of attendance.

Must have three good experiences for attendees:

Online events page

When planning your virtual event, you will want to create a page for your event. Think of this as your visual space. This page will be where visitors can access the link that will take them to your live experience. You can even embed your live Vimeo stream directly to this page!

To create a VIP ticket management experience, you can add custom text, photos, or PDFs to create an immersive event experience, and upload horizontal content unlocked with different ticket levels.

Attendance Reminder Emails

A pre-event communication strategy is important to drive attendees. When you publish your visual event to Eventbrite, for example, a series of reminder emails will be created automatically. This is set to be posted two days, two hours, and 10 minutes before the event, and contains key details on how and when to join the event. Most importantly, they include a CTA to go to the events page – where attendees will find your live stream link.

Also, the time, title line, sender name, reply address, and physical copy of the email address of these emails can be customized to help give all parts of the event a combined look and feel. Make sure you customize each field to make sure your attendees know where to go when it’s time to show up!

Post-event library

Ideally, the post-event experience will include subscribers and visitors long after the end of the event. Consider creating a web page or event timeline and making them accessible to subscribers.

6. Make it interactive

Your job is to make viewers feel as if they are real – even if they are watching on their PJs. To impress your online audience, make your digital experience match the quality level you would expect at an event within you. Create an attractive feeling with tools like Q&A, live surveys, and live drawings.

The Ann Arbor Film Festival team used the live chat feature in their Q&As – and it served as a charm. “I was amazed at how sensitive that community was and how much I felt knowing that everyone was watching it together,” Leslie said. “The discussion has brought a lot of impetus to online information.”

7. Check everything.

The first rule of live streaming? Test. EVERYTHING.

How to Plan and Host a Successful Virtual Event

The best thing you can do to prevent an accident during your online event is to check everything, but most importantly, your stream. Key machine performance tests, backup workflow, audio quality, video quality, internet connection, or any other malfunction Perhaps most importantly, verify your upload speed by checking your connection to a website like Speedtest.net. You should set a time to test all of your video production equipment both on site and on-site.

8. Create a Remote Broadcast Checklist.

It may be (in the short term) your need to work with the deployed staff at your visible event. Here is a quick list of things you will need:

How to Plan and Host a Successful Virtual Event
Five-point broadcast checklist:

Communication: Your company’s office wifi is probably better than what you have at home. Check your speed and, where possible, use a wired connection.

Download: How will your audience enjoy your content? Think about which cameras and mics you will use, and how you will bring distant guests to your visual event.

Encode: What software do you use to bring your event to the internet ether? We’re committed to Livestream Studio 6, but there are other options out there, too.

Distribute: Where will your visual event take place? Think about whether you want to protect the content (like SSO), or spread it too far (consider copying).

Get Involved: A good sense of perspective is part of what makes a great visual event. Audience engagement tools such as live Q&A, voting, and chat can create an unforgettable event.

9. Prepare “Murphy’s Law.”

How to Plan and Host a Successful Virtual Event

“Anything that goes wrong, it’s going to go wrong,” Tom said. But do not let that scare you! If you identify potential problems, you can create a plan for how to handle them. Come in with a plan, solid technology, a high ticket platform, and the right support, and you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way.

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