Whether you're seeking to launch a successful event or level up your professional association—you're in the right place for stress-free service.
You’ve been tasked with leading your organization’s virtual event. And it’s more than an internal team meeting—you need to consider clients, VIPs, or paid attendees.
Not sure where to start?
Take a deep breath and consider these important questions:
1. What’s the goal of this event?
Are you mainly sharing information with a few key speakers? Consider a webinar platform. However, If you need input from multiple participants or want to include a networking element, you’ll need a meeting-type scenario.
2. How many participants will be involved?
The number of people will also determine whether a webinar or meeting platform is the best way forward. If it's fewer than 50, a meeting platform will work, especially if you need to hear input from others. Any more than 50, a webinar is usually the way to go, unless you're having breakout sessions.
3. What software tool do you have in mind?
I’ve learned people are most comfortable with Zoom. If you’re on a mission to make your virtual meeting more visually appealing, check out StreamYard. They offer a behind-the-scenes “on deck” area that allows you to bring presenters on and off stage. Very cool.
4. When will you attract the most attendees?
If it’s a business event, you’ll want to schedule during working hours on a weekday. If it’s more social, consider calendering near the close of the workday toward the end of the week.
5. Are you charging admission?
If so, you’ll need a more robust registration platform for collecting money and locking down access to paid attendees. EventLeaf is an affordable registration tool that tackles all of the above. You can also create a custom website for your event to feature speakers, sponsors, and other important information.
5. Do you have visuals to share?
If you’re planning to share slides, videos, or photos, I highly recommend running a rehearsal with the key people involved in your event. Identifying blips and pain points behind-the-scenes when you still have time to fix them is seriously preferable to troubleshooting on the fly! A practice run will make your event much more polished and your presenters more relaxed. Zoom has an "enable practice session" feature in the webinar platform, allowing presenters and hosts to meet before allowing attendees into the meeting.
Another key tip: Zoom has a very important check box when sharing your screen to allow for your computer’s sound to be heard by attendees. Learn more here.
6. Are you recording the event?
If so, will you need editing done afterward to make it more user-friendly for on-demand viewing? Be sure to include that expense in your budget! A daylong or multi-session recording can be broken down into shorter segments of content for highlighting on your website and could even serve as an additional revenue stream for your organization.
7. Do you need attendance reports?
Continuing education credits, mandatory meetings, and other scenarios might call for the need to pull this data after the event. Be sure you know the steps to access this information along with how to set up your registration to track accurate attendance.
8. Do you need unique log-ins for each attendee?
Paid events or continuing education tracking could require this feature. Setting up your meeting correctly in advance is key. Learn how to authenticate users on Zoom.
9. Are you using breakout rooms?
Breakout rooms are an excellent way to offer networking space, brainstorming time, or as an arena for Q&A. They can also be pre-assigned by uploading your registration list in advance or you can randomly assign breakouts. Think about your purpose for the meeting and what scenario will work best. This is also an important element to practice in advance. Be sure you understand how they work and the steps involved for them to be successful.
Even equipped with all these questions, you might still be feeling overwhelmed. If that’s the case, know that you’re not alone! Coordinating a successful event is hard work. There’s a long list of details to consider and action steps to coordinate.
I’m here to help you every step of the way. Let’s work together!