How to Host a Virtual Event

How to Host a Virtual Event

While virtual events are definitely not a new concept, they saw renewed life in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic when in-person events were not allowed. Subsequently, many brands, in a multitude of industries, realized that hosting virtual events can not only be more cost-effective but also beneficial in several additional ways. From being able to reach a wider audience to advanced analytics to improved connectivity and networking capabilities, virtual events are here to stay. This also leaves many wondering how to host a virtual event.

If you are new to promoting and hosting virtual events, you must first learn the basics of how to be a good host. A successful event requires a carefully thought-out strategy consisting of marketing and promotion, reputable speakers or strong presentations, and the value that you will offer your attendees. Consider the following tips and guidelines when learning how to host a virtual event.

What Type of Event Will it Be?

You can't very well figure out how to host a virtual event without first deciding what type of event you want it to be. There are essentially three types of virtual events:

  1. Webinar. An event lasting anywhere from 30 minutes to 90 minutes, featuring one or more speakers. Attendees can join in from around the world to listen live, or watch the webinar at any time after it has been recorded and uploaded to your video hosting platform.
  2. Virtual Conference. Similar to a town hall meeting, a virtual conference features keynote speakers, multi-session content, and even tools for attendee engagement. It’s a great way to interact with your target audience in a more intimate yet effective manner.
  3. The Main Event. This is typically a much larger event meant featuring keynote speakers and entertainment. This large-scale virtual event can attract viewers globally and enable you to increase brand awareness.
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Planning Your Event Strategy

Once you know what type of event you will be hosting, the next step in learning how to host a virtual event is to develop your strategy. To begin, first define your goals. What do you hope to achieve from this event? Knowing this lays the groundwork for the rest of your strategy. Remember that you'll need to put together a panel of great speakers, and focus on providing value to your audience. Think about what you will do to initially attract your audience, as well as what you will do to hold their attention during the event.

Develop Your Content

Determining the content of your virtual event is just as important as learning how to host a virtual event. What will be discussed at the event? Who will be speaking? Will there be any presentations or demonstrations of a product or service? When developing your content, remember the needs and wants of your target audience. Will the information be of value to them? Your content must be relevant and valuable, or your event won't be as successful as it otherwise could be if it had a more specific focus.

Consider the Timing

Knowing how to host a virtual event successfully also entails making sure it isn't too long or too short. How long your event lasts depends on the amount of content that will be presented. However, as a general rule of thumb, an hour is a good amount of time, give or take.

Consider How Your Event Will Be Different

Many brands are now hosting virtual events. To ensure you know how to host a virtual event successfully, you want to also ensure that the event differentiates your brand, product, or services from others. Take the time to watch other virtual events from other brands in your industry. What works and what doesn’t? What can you do to make your event better?

Choose the Right Platform or Hosting Service

There are a lot of video sharing platforms out there, but many of them also have a few drawbacks, such as privacy issues or spotty functionality. That’s what many companies opt to utilize an enterprise-grade video management platform such as Viostream.

With Viostream, you can ensure security and high performance from your video management software. You’ll also benefit from advanced analytics, something many public video-sharing platforms don’t offer. Learning how to host a virtual event can be facilitated by using such a feature-rich platform. To find out more, sign up for your free trial and test drive the platform yourself for 14 days.

Engage Your Audience

Because this is a virtual event, you run the risk of attendees getting distracted by things happening in their more immediate vicinity and tuning out. Finding a way to get them involved improves your chances of keeping them for the full performance as well as converting them for a strong ROI. Based on the type of event you are posting, you could engage the audience with a Q & A session, invite them to submit their own input, conduct pre and live event polling, or even send virtual event bags.

Promote, Promote, Promote

Another very important part of learning how to host a virtual event is promotion. Promoting your event, of course, is key to gathering a large attendance. Utilize social media platforms to engage your target audience and start promoting early. There is also no reason internal events can’t be exciting either. Use your company intranet or messaging system to alert teams and employees of upcoming events and find ways to get them excited about them.

Regardless of whether the virtual event is internal or external, you will need to do more than send one email or post one update on social media. Keep up with pre- and post-event communication. Doing so will almost certainly improve the attendee experience and engagement levels.

In Conclusion

Of course, there’s a lot more involved in the planning, strategy, and creation when learning how to host a virtual event. But by following the tips and guidelines above you increase your chances of garnering a strong ROI.

For an effective way to manage your video and live streaming, as well as advanced tracking and analytics, try Viostream. This business-oriented video platform solves many of the problems inherent in other video streaming platforms and provides you with the tools to easily create, manage, distribute and stream video. Get starStart your 14-day trial today.

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Evan Parker
Evan Parker
Chief Executive Officer
Evan is the Chief Executive Officer, with over 15 years of leadership experience across technology, management consulting & military service.
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