Published May 4, 2020
Can I Organise a Virtual Event?
Anyone can organise a virtual event. The key is acquiring relevant content and having the time that is needed, to organise the delivery of a digital gathering.
Providing you have an internet connection, anyone around the world can organise a virtual event of some kind. Like any form of online business, so long as you have or have access to a computer, mobile or android device, any company can set up a virtual gateway in which to do business. Before putting a virtual event together, you will initially need to consider three main points;
- Whether to do it yourself or to use a third party.
- Decide what platform you are going to use.
- Sourcing the relevant equipment.
Similar to any onsite event, a virtual one requires a lot of planning. It can take months of emailing and planning to gather high-level executives together at one time. Having a third party on board to do this for you can be cost and time effective. A third party can put a virtual event together in weeks, offering many online channels and being able to;
- Drive your event marketing.
- Attain more senior-level executives as attendees.
- Have a focus for the content.
- Structure the delivery of the event.
- Access the appropriate streaming platform.
- Provide event feedback.
If you choose to put together and host a virtual event yourself, you will need to consider the format you want to use.
Virtual gatherings can be presented through webinars, roundtables, meetings, conferences and internal or external hybrid events. Whichever form you choose, you will need to decide what streaming platform you are going to use. During a virtual event, Executives will be receiving on-going content in real-time so it is essential to have the right video conferencing technology. Your platform needs to allow you access to market your event, drive the content and control how it is executed. For all online streaming, you will need to consider whether your content will be live or on-demand, how long your event will last and how you will gather a set number of business executives together. And most important of all, you will need to check that your online platform allows prospective attendees to access the event through their mobile devices. A virtual event offers the chance for high-level executives who may not have been able to attend a face-to-face meeting, the opportunity to participate. However, if your platform does not allow for mobile access, then you risk your event being inaccessible to these executives.
Once you have sourced the appropriate format and platform, you need to think about your end result and what you want to achieve. Business networking is a key element to online gatherings, as well as, in-person events. The virtual event will allow for C-suite level executives to link in with contacts and to schedule the engagement around other commitments. This accessibility makes business networking possible when it may otherwise not be.
Achieving the right level of engagement is critical.
Aside from b2b networking, you will need to digitally engage with your attendees and collaborators. There needs to be value for all executives attending the virtual event. So you may want to consider the organisation of some live streaming services. For example, will you want to offer live streams and live chats taking place at the same time? Will you want to offer business executives the chance to dip in and out of these conversations? These ideas can provide great networking strategies but will require thought for organising the content alongside the digital experience.
It’s important to remember here, that a virtual event is not a presentation or a series of monologues. It is an engaging experience that can be delivered virtually through seminars, Q&A sessions, workshops and even pre-recorded deliberation between entrepreneurs.
The content will be integral to your virtual success.
Possibly, the biggest consideration will need to be given to the content of your virtual event. It will be an online forum for thought leadership in a particular business area. The content created can be used for future business marketing and as a social media tool. You will want to encourage the participants to engage fully and to share their knowledge at each stage of the virtual event. In our current economic climate, it is arguably more vital than ever, for executives to stay ahead of industry trends. You will want to encourage high-level discussions that will lead to industry solutions. Executives and businesses still need to connect with each other. Products still need to be marketed and business relationships still need to be established and developed.
Ultimately, the content of your virtual event will drive the level of engagement and lead to you achieving your end goal.
So, taking the time to organise a virtual event is essential. If a third party can assist you to successfully bring these elements together, then it’s likely to be more cost and time-effective. But anyone can organise a virtual event, so long as they have access to the correct media technology to distribute the relevant content.
Learn more about hosting a virtual event with our virtual roundtables here: