An online events management checklist of everything you need for your next virtual event
Pre-event online events management checklist
- Establish your purpose
- Find out who your attendee is
- Create content
- Choose a suitable platform
- Set a budget
- Find partners and sponsors
- Pick a date and time for the event
- Prepare your attendees
- Train or brief your speakers
- Market the event
- Email engagement
Establish your purpose
Before you start making plans for your event, establish a clear purpose for your event. This answer is something that you will need to come back to from time to time.
You might need to remind yourself of this answer if you get stuck making decisions down the line. The clearer you are with this answer, the easier it will be to align your event with your overall purpose.
Find out who your attendee is
Understanding your audience means that you will have a definitive picture of who your attendees are and what they will appreciate. Find out what their pain points are and find a way to provide a solution, what types of information and resources will be valuable to them, and what types of activities they will enjoy.
This type of insight will go a long way to giving your attendees exactly what they want and need.
Once you know your target audience’s wants and needs, find a middle ground between what you can provide and your intended audience needs. Leverage this information to the point where your online event will simultaneously benefit both you and your attendees.
Choose a suitable platform
Once you know exactly what you want to offer your audience, now is the time to shop around for suitable platforms. Planning your content is a crucial prerequisite as it will determine what platform features will be necessary for your event.
Many platforms on the market offer elaborate features, and sometimes those may be impressive. Although, it might be a waste of money to invest in high-tech features if you have no intention of utilizing them.
Set a budget
Once you have a content plan, set a budget. You might come up with some out-of-this-world ideas, but execution might turn out to be more expensive than expected. Once you have a budget, it will be easier for you to prioritize certain aspects of your online event.
Find partners and sponsors
If your budget isn’t big enough for everything you want to include in your event, it might be good to collaborate with partners and sponsors.
Even if you have a budget covering all your costs, teaming up with other industry leaders could help give your event an added benefit of credibility and offer additional marketing opportunities.
Pick a date and time for the event
As simple as this might seem, picking a date ties in with understanding your audience. For instance, if you intend on hosting an industry event and it coincides with another industry event, like industry awards, that might not be the best idea.
Event times are crucial too, and since your event is online, you need to be meticulous about time management. Either ensure that your attendees are engaged and not dozing off or keep your event short and sweet.
Prepare your attendees
Don’t assume that your attendees are familiar with any software or platform. This is particularly true if you rely on your attendees using specific features for an activity at your event.
Prepare a guide on the features that you will require your attendees to use or create a short video tutorial that will help them easily navigate the platform. We would advise you to inform your attendees of the types of activities that they can expect.
Train or brief your speakers
As in the case of preparing your attendees, you will need to prepare your speakers too. It is advisable to have someone from the events management team mediating the session. You don’t want your speaker to be in a panic if there are any technical glitches.
Familiarise your speakers with the basic features of your chosen platform or with the features that will be necessary for their session.
It would also be good to brief your speakers. For example, let them know what type of language is acceptable and what phrases or topics they should steer clear of so that nothing will come as a surprise on the day of the event.
Market the event
It’s time to get the word out! Think about where and how you will reach your intended audience. Will it be via email? Social media? Former networking contacts? Will your sponsors and partners market your event too?
Compile a marketing plan that covers all of your bases.
Email engagement is most likely already part of your marketing plan. If so, you can leverage your email communication by providing your attendees with valuable information and resources that they may need before your event.
You can include tutorials, event reminders, calendar integration options, ticket information, etc.
In some cases, virtual event platforms offer ticketing systems that can be integrated directly onto your website. This means that attendees can purchase tickets to your event without leaving your website.
Platforms like InEvent offer a seamless end-to-end event marketing and attendee registration process.
Day of the online event management checklist
- Virtual event etiquette
- Encourage attendee engagement
- Record sessions for on-demand content
Virtual event etiquette
Be punctual. You want to be in the room waiting to welcome your guests as you would have someone at the door greeting your attendees at an in-person event. Your attendees shouldn’t be the first to arrive without any sense of direction.
If you are there first, it creates an opportunity for you to welcome them, warm them up and set the tone for the rest of the event.
Encourage attendee engagement
Ideally, you want your attendees to be active participants instead of passive audience members. More often than not, attendees will need a little nudge to engage with a virtual room full of strangers.
Record sessions for on-demand content
Offer your attendees the added benefit of recording your activities or sessions and making it available to them at a later time. Your attendee might have missed something along the way as we have many distractions throughout the day.
Later, you may choose to use this content as marketing material, especially if this is a recurring event.
Post-event online events management checklist
- Capture data
- Follow up
Make sure that you have a way to capture the data of your attendees. Inevent offers live analytics across various data sources to measure which aspects of your event were aligned with your initial objective.
Just because your event has ended doesn’t mean that your job is done. Continue building relationships by following up with your attendees, sponsors, and partners and show them your appreciation by thanking them for their time.
Send them access to on-demand content as an incentive. Ask them for their feedback. In addition, you can also offer to facilitate networking opportunities.
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