How To Host An Awesome Virtual Event



Considering how social distancing has completely changed the event landscape, virtual conferences and tradeshows represent the "new normal" – keyword being "new." So if the concept is new to you, here's a breakdown of the basics.

1. Pre-plan, Pre-plan, Pre-plan

Set an agenda and stick to it. Ensure every session has a skilled moderator to keep things on track.

2. Send out Relevant Materials in Advance

Build hype, encourage attendance, and get people thinking on the event topic by sending out the agenda, goals, and objectives well in advance. People are more likely to share event details with others if they see relevant and actionable pieces leading up to the event. And if you're talking with a client or prospect, send product if at all possible. Give them something to touch and hold.

 

3. Pick A Platform

Can't have an online event without an online hosting platform. A quick Google search turns up lots of options, but the most important thing is choosing one that allows you to provide the same value as an in-person event. That means offering valuable information mixed with a little fun to keep people engaged, all presented in a seamless, user-friendly way.

And don't forget about those networking opportunities – some platforms offer "speed-dating" sessions to help create the connections that are such a big part of traditional conferences.

 

4. Provide A Little Incentive

Awesome gifts (think retail brands) to incentivize early registration can be the difference between "I'm thinking about it" and "I'm in!" There are a couple of ways to approach it:

1. Offer an exclusive gift to everyone who signs up by a certain date.

2. Give the gift only to the first 100 (or whatever number you choose) people who register.

Gift Ideas

 

5. Encourage Participation

From the start, find new ways to encourage participation. Get participants participating in live polls and chatting immediately. Ensure a knowledgable person is moderating the chat and that they are different from the presenter and session moderator. If your group is small enough consider having everyone share something quickly. In-person, it's easy to spot people who aren't participating. In a virtual meeting, you need to create a structure than ensures everybody has an opportunity to engage.

6. Make It Feel 'Official'

Moderators and presenters are at home, so stylish branded apparel is crucial to reinforcing your event's identity. Along with the event host's logo, sponsors will appreciate the extra visibility too.

(Pro tip: Imprint the shoulder or collar for maximum on-camera logo visibility. QRG offers these as standard locations on a lot of styles, so it doesn't cost you extra.)

 

7. Create Some Social #Buzz

People love posting pics of their cool new swag, so sending participants an awesome swag bag can take brand impressions for hosts and sponsors to a whole new level.

Mix and match items, and we'll bundle them together! Then we'll deliver the entire thing straight to people's doorsteps.

You take care of the event #hashtag, QRG will take care of the swag.

 

8. Set Up A Pop-Up Shop

Fun fact: Virtual events can actually boost merch sales! You can not only open it up to more attendees (no space limitations!), but you can offer greater merch selection, too, since there's no need to carry inventory. All you need is an online shop. Let QRG show you how.

 

9. Get Engaged

OK, we should clarify. Since people are at home and can be easily distracted, it's extra important to keep them engaged with fun contests and cool prizes.

 

10. Last But Not Least

Have fun! Interesting presenters, creative presentations, and, like we said, a contest or two. And be sure to take the conversation outside the conference with an event #hashtag, and tell everyone to post pics and comments on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

 

Looking for more ideas? Contact your QRG Account Executive or call 800.999.3468 to speak with one of our virtual events specialists.

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