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The Ultimate Guide to Planning Virtual Events in 2022

Virtual events have become increasingly popular, offering a convenient and accessible way to connect with audiences from the comfort of your own home. However, organizing a successful virtual event requires careful planning and implementation. In...

Virtual events have become increasingly popular, offering a convenient and accessible way to connect with audiences from the comfort of your own home. However, organizing a successful virtual event requires careful planning and implementation. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with a virtual event planning checklist to ensure your online event is a resounding success.

Define Your Event Strategy

A solid event strategy is the foundation for a successful virtual event. Before diving into the planning process, it's essential to determine the purpose and goals of your event. Consider the following questions:

Why are you hosting this event? What's your goal?

Understanding the "why" behind your event will help you develop a clear and effective event strategy. Whether you aim to build a community, advance a specific agenda, or increase ticket sales, defining your goals will guide your decision-making process.

Who is the event for?

Identifying your target audience is crucial for tailoring your event to their interests and needs. Think about their preferences and how they will engage with the event. This understanding will shape the entire attendee/customer journey.

What will people be doing when they attend?

Determine the content and format of your event. Are you aiming to provide educational workshops, networking opportunities, or simply a platform for socializing? Creating a focused and engaging event program is key to delivering a meaningful experience.

Why will they choose this event over others?

Differentiate your event from competitors by highlighting its unique value proposition. Craft a compelling event listing that not only includes essential details but also captivates prospective attendees.

Decide on a virtual venue.

Choose the appropriate virtual platform for your event, whether it's a webinar, livestream, or interactive Zoom call. Consider the nature of your event and the tools needed for seamless execution. Additionally, explore the potential of using supplementary platforms like Slack or private Facebook groups for attendee networking.

The Ultimate Virtual Event Planning Checklist for 2022 Caption: The Ultimate Virtual Event Planning Checklist for 2022

Start Promoting Your Event

Now that you have laid the groundwork for your virtual event, it's time to spread the word and attract attendees. Implement a comprehensive marketing strategy utilizing the following approaches:

Optimize your website's calendar

If you host a variety of events, including in-person, hybrid, and virtual, optimize your website's calendar to differentiate between online and physical events. Create a category specifically for virtual events and embed livestreams into your event listings.

Organic promotion

Leverage social media platforms, event listings on your website calendar, and third-party calendar sites to promote your event. Utilize search engine optimization (SEO) to increase visibility and attract prospective attendees. If you are looking for a reliable calendar for your website, we're here to help.

Paid promotion

Consider allocating a budget for paid promotions such as sponsored social media posts, sponsorships at similar events, or ads on relevant websites or media outlets.

Send a "thanks for registering" email

Upon registration or RSVP, promptly send a confirmation email to attendees. Include essential details such as the event date, time, and instructions for accessing the virtual event. Inform them of any specific requirements or preparations they need to make.

Plan a series of "get ready" touchpoints

Engage attendees through automated emails leading up to the event. Tools like Promoter offer pre-written email templates, saving you time and effort. Include a link to the event and clear instructions on how to connect.

Send event reminders

As the event approaches, send friendly reminders via email and social media to keep attendees engaged and informed. Provide detailed instructions on accessing the virtual event, whether it's a direct link to the livestream or an embedded livestream on a dedicated webpage.

Consider creating an event companion page

Consolidate all relevant information on a dedicated event companion page. This can include speaker bios, embedded livestreams, and a list of tools or supplies attendees will need during the event. A comprehensive companion page enhances the attendee experience and streamlines event logistics.

Sales and Ticketing

If your event requires ticket sales, follow these tips for a seamless experience:

Decide on ticket tiers

Determine if you will offer multiple ticket types with varying access or VIP perks. Assign each tier specific benefits and pricing.

Utilize a ticket distribution system

Manage ticket sales and distribution effortlessly with tools like Event Tickets or Event Tickets Plus. These tools provide customization options and streamline the ticketing process.

Day-of Logistics

Ensure a smooth virtual event experience with careful preparation:

Test your tools in advance

Avoid technical difficulties by ensuring that all your virtual tools are working properly. Test your microphone, camera, and software to guarantee a seamless event. Stay updated with the latest versions of your apps and software.

Follow good virtual event etiquette

Before the event, send a final communication with all the necessary information for attendees to join the virtual event. Wait a few minutes before starting to allow attendees to log on and settle in. Be an attentive moderator, addressing questions and comments promptly.

Post-event Audience Engagement

The work doesn't end with the event itself. Engage attendees and gather valuable feedback for future events through the following:

Send a "thank-you" message

Express gratitude to attendees and encourage them to provide feedback. A thank-you email is an excellent opportunity to gather insights and evaluate your event's success.

Reach out to those who couldn't attend

Send a message to individuals who were unable to attend, sharing highlights and generating interest for future events.

Conduct a post-event survey

Send a survey to all attendees shortly after the event. Capitalize on the fresh memory of their experience to gather honest feedback and valuable insights.

Learn and improve

Reflect on the event's outcomes and identify areas for improvement. Take note of what worked well and apply these learnings to future events.

No matter what stage you are at in the event planning process, The Events Calendar family of WordPress tools is here to support you. Have questions about our products or need assistance in choosing the right tools? Contact us, and our team will be happy to help you.

Planning a successful virtual event requires careful consideration and organization. By following this ultimate virtual event planning checklist, you can ensure a memorable and engaging experience for your attendees.

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