Updated: Oct 21, 2021
You’ve decided to host a virtual event. What’s next?
So you’ve read about all the advantages of hosting a virtual event. Intrigued by the time saving benefits, the potential audience reach, and the cost savings, you’ve decided to give online events a try.
Feeling primed, you start by researching virtual platforms and the right virtual event producer for your event, but you’re flooded with hundreds of pages claiming that their platform and their service is the best! We’ve been there, and that’s why we want to share with you some helpful tips to pick the right platform for your online event and an experienced virtual event coordinator to guide you throughout the entire online event creating process.
Determine your goals
The first place to start is with your big picture. Determining your goals is a crucial first step. Ask yourself why you’re hosting a virtual event. Do you want to increase your brand awareness, generate leads, or show appreciation to your customers or employees? Once you know your motives for hosting a digital event, then you can decide on what type of event to host. Conferences, parties, and even Happy Hours can all be done online.
If you know your goals - what you want to achieve and what you want to give your audience - and the type of event you want to host, then it will be easier for you to establish a theme and create your material. As soon as you’ve determined your goals, your event type, your theme, and your content, then you can focus on a virtual event platform that will help you achieve your vision.
Choose a fully featured virtual event platform
The best part about hosting a digital event is that if you’re used to planning or hosting in-person events, you can take your vision and apply it to your virtual layout. With today’s advances in technology, virtual event platforms now come fully featured and event managers are constantly adding more perks to their platforms to make events more intriguing.
Instead of defaulting to the cheapest platform with limited features, look for a platform that offers everything you want in an event - one that is customizable, easy to use, and engaging.
Find an experienced virtual event producer
Once you have envisioned the details of your online event and you have chosen the right virtual event platform to encompass your ideas, you can move on to choosing the best online event coordinator to bring your event to life and to take care of all the details so you can focus on your audience.
A sophisticated platform requires an event manager with technical understanding who can use and run the platform properly. Because the potential for technical issues are heightened with online events, you’ll need an expert on your side. Your entire event infrastructure is based on your event tech working properly. Unless you want to invest extra time, money, and energy learning the ins and outs of the virtual platform yourself, we highly recommend hiring a professional to do it for you.
Just as an event planner contributes to the success of an in-person event, virtual event producers can help you do all the work on the back end so you can give your full attention to your guests and have a successful event. This includes knowing the platform and being able to show you and your participants how to use it.
What does a virtual event producer do?
Virtual event producers are in charge of coordinating and configuring the key elements of a virtual event. They can handle anything from creating your content to designing the layout of your virtual event. If you’re hosting a larger online event or you’re catering to hundreds of people, it makes sense to have someone who can take more than a few things off your plate.
In addition to content creation and layout design, virtual event organizers provide clients with technical support and customer service throughout the entire production process. Here are a few ways that hiring a virtual event producer can help make your virtual event a success.
1. Design a Virtual Layout
Since virtual event producers know the virtual platform well, they can help you create a virtual layout that expresses your event goals and theme. Designing a floor plan is no easy task. However, an experienced event planner will be patient and take the time to understand what you are describing.
They will essentially fill the role of a production partner and include you in the building process, as well as communicate with you any progress or setbacks and provide a visual representation of your plan before launching. They will happily make changes to suit your needs.
2. Plan Sessions and Content
Virtual event planners know that they are competing with other distractions from home for your audience’s attention. This is why they do their best to create amazing material and pack it into shorter sessions. They offer frequent breaks so attendees can rest or deal with other responsibilities. They also make use of interactive tools, such as networking sessions, trivia, and Q&A to make the audience feel like they are contributing as well. Their show flow will certainly leave your guests impressed.
Additionally, based on your sessions and content, a production partner can help you decide if you want to project live streamed content, pre-recorded material or a combination of both. They will also help you choose a live stream production company or work with the existing tools of your platform of choice.
3. Speaker Onboarding
Whomever you hire should know the platform like the back of their hand and they should have no trouble onboarding your speakers before they go live. Your event producer will go over specifications about type of device, mic, camera, speaker, browser, and firewall, to name a few. Live streaming should look real-time, without any buffering.
Doing multiple dry runs is the best way to get your speakers comfortable with the platform and address any challenges before the event. A few rehearsals will also ensure that all on-screen talent is ready for primetime.
4. User Onboarding
Ideally, the platform you choose to use should be user friendly. In any case, it’s still a good idea to have your event coordinator set up a day and time for your guests to log in and get accustomed to the platform prior to the main day of the event.
They will help guests set up their profiles and learn how to navigate the platform. They will ensure that attendees’ mics, cameras, and speakers are working, so they can enjoy the sessions and network with each other. Your event coordinator should also have a trained staff and tech support team present during the event to troubleshoot any issues that arise on the spot.
5. Schedule Rehearsals
We want to stress the importance of not skimping on your rehearsal. Schedule as many dry runs as needed to ensure a successful event. You can prepare education material before the event and share it with your attendees. Perhaps you can ask your event planner for a recorded video giving a virtual tour of the space; this is a good way to help your participants feel more confident. Sharing highlights of your agenda will also let your attendees know what to expect.
6. Respond to any questions
Your production partner should be responsive to any questions you have along the way. Believe that there are no wrong questions. Communicate to your producer anything that is troubling you, or let them know of anything that could go wrong. This will help them cover every nook and cranny. It will also set your mind at ease and allow you to worry about more important details. A responsive producer will be present at all meetings and keep up to date with any changes in the agenda.
7. Customer Service
Aside from answering your questions, your virtual event producer should be able to offer that excellent service to your speakers and your attendees as well. What’s more, their entire team should be on the same page as you and be attentive to your requests. On the day of the event, your producer and their tech team should be on the lookout for any speakers or guests experiencing tech issues and be able to resolve it immediately. This will guarantee you a smooth run of show.
8. Day of Event
On the day of the event, your producer will be liaising with you, with the speakers, with the live stream production company, and with the tech support team to make sure everyone’s gear is working soundly and that your final production is of superb quality.
They will also set up an effective communication channel, whereby the right people are notified in case of any mishaps. Providing that support is crucial to help keep attendees on track, avoid delays, and promote event participation.
9. Post event follow up
Your event organizer will ensure that live streamed sessions are recorded and that the recordings are made available to you. You can share this link with guests or registrants that weren’t able to attend the event so they can access the recordings later. Once the event is over, your virtual event producer will fill you in on what worked and what didn’t, so you will be better prepared for your next event.
The key to hosting a successful virtual event lies in planning and preparation. A virtual event producer can make it infinitely easier for you to host a seamless production. Since virtual platforms are constantly being updated, it’s important to find someone who can keep up with the advances and on-demand specs. Having a production partner who knows the particulars of the platform and of virtual events in general will guarantee you a win every time.
If you’re looking to host an exceptional event, then we highly recommend you get in touch with ACE Virtual Events. We work with one of the most advanced platforms available, the Remo Interactive Virtual Event platform, and we can easily integrate any features and tools of your choice to bring your vision and design to life. Let us show you how Ace can supercharge your next online event.