Virtual events are a cost-effective way to attract customers and grow your audience. Use this 10-step checklist to improve the quality of your virtual events.
September 13, 2021
Offering virtual events is a cost-effective way to attract customers and grow your audience. However, it is not the Spring of 2020 anymore. Poorly produced virtual events are no longer good enough. Use this 10-step checklist to improve the quality of your virtual events.
A checklist is a standard series of steps you use every time to increase performance and reduce mistakes. As Atul Gawande points out in his book “The Checklist Manifesto”, checklists are one of the easiest ways to reduce mistakes in surgery, flights, and other situations. By working from a checklist, you can avoid making the same mistakes in your virtual events. Use this audit checklist on each event you hold, and you will start to see engagement increase on your live chat, live blog, and videos.
Start by writing out a short answer to the question: “What is the goal of this virtual event?
Common goals for virtual events include:
Knowing your goal is a good starting point, but it is only half of the equation. You also need to spend a few minutes covering the needs of your audience. Discuss the following questions with your virtual events team to get ready.
There are several choices to make in selecting technology for virtual events.
Make a plan to promote your virtual event several days before the event. For example, you might ask your three special guests to post that they will be joining your event on social media.
Make sure you complete one or more of the following promotion events to maximize attendance and engagement at your live event.
In less than 24 hours, you will be running your live event. This is your opportunity to practice and gain confidence with your tools and content.
Taking 30 minutes to test your virtual events technology is an intelligent decision. For example, schedule a live blog or live chat session with a few colleagues. Start by asking everybody to make posts. Once that is done, experiment with advanced features like using polls and using a custom avatar.
Practicing your presentation is an easy way to become more confident. The exact details of your practice will vary depending on the format of your event.
Tip: Keep asking yourself if your content encourages engagement. This means asking questions of your audience and taking the time to respond to them.
Remind everybody participating on your virtual events team to review their settings. In particular, check the following settings 30 minutes before the event.
Let’s say your virtual events team has scheduled the event to run from 7 pm to 9 pm. In that case, launch your live chat or live blog by 6:45 pm. This will give you time to post a few messages before the audience appears. If your audience sees a blank page or an empty chat room, your audience engagement may be slow to build.
Within 24 hours of running the event, collect feedback from your audience. Start by collecting numbers, like how many people attended the event or how many people posted messages in the live chat. If possible, search on social media for a few minutes to see what people posted about your events.
Your final step is to have a short debriefing meeting with your virtual events team. Like any post-project effort, the focus is on improvement. To start the discussion, ask your team what went well (e.g., the audience loved asking questions to the fashion influencer in our live chat). Next, make a list of what didn’t go well (e.g., attendance was below expectations)
For more tips on organizing a successful live event, download a copy of our “Virtual Event Power Script” ebook.