As the live events industry is coming to a standstill, the virtual events space is BOOMING. Personally, I’m super excited to explore this world of online events simply because the potential for reach and impact is limitless!
If you are thinking of organising one, here’s some tips to help you plan your very own online event.
Choose Your Event Format
While there are many online events with one main speaker, here’s what I notice for virtual summits or conferences:
The number of speakers are very high, from 20 to 30 speakers per event
Attendees average around 1,000 and up (which makes sense since you can invite people from all over the world!)
Online events are usually multi-days from 2 to 5 days to engage audience
I love attending virtual events but out of 10 events that I signed up for, I only showed up for 1. “Live” virtual events are my least favourite type as attendees have to show up at a specific time. This means that with the time conversion, the events are during ungodly hours in Asia. I prefer events that have flexible access where I can log in anytime within 24 hours of a specific day. Unlike a live event, virtual events seem to play with a different set of rules. So the programme, event access and speaker presentation formats are completely up to you.
Select Your Platform (Instead of a Venue)
The platform that you choose to host your online event will depend on your needs and preferences when it comes to:
How you decide to profit from the event (paid event tickets or through affiliate sales)?
The amount of engagement you want from your audience (interactive chat box, live Q & A etc)
The number of attendees
If it’s a series of pre-recorded videos or a live stream format
The type of features you want from marketing support, registration webpage and payment processing
If you are on a tight budget, you can consider hosting your event on a private Facebook group by posting a series of videos which is available for a limited time (it's completely free)!. Other popular platforms include:
ClickFunnels If you are hosting a summit or conference style event, ClickFunnels has one of the most extensive features to help your event succeed. This is a paid platform of $97 per month and can host up to 20,000 attendees. It gives you a complete website, registration and email services.
Zoom Webinar If you are looking to host a live webinar style without any interaction from the audience, Zoom offers a $15 per month package for up to 100 participants which is one of the most affordable options
For a professional looking event, the top 2 logistics you will need are a professional camera or webcam that captures 1080p videos and a high quality microphone. As your event is held online, you may want to subscribe to other online services to support your event such as email reminder services.
Decide on your income streams
To ensure that your virtual events are profitable, you can use one or more of the following strategies to increase your income:
Affiliate commissions for digital products or services
Monetary sponsorships in exchange for marketing, promotion & visibility
Selling ad spaces on your event website
It seems that a lead time of 3 months is usually sufficient to organise a virtual conference so if your event is smaller than that, you can consider planning one to two months in advance. While some formats are different, other aspects of event planning are still the same from event budgeting, to getting speakers and sponsors, and having a marketing plan to achieve your attendee goals.
If it’s your first time organising events, click here to download a free copy of my event roadmap to get you started. If you are ready to dive deep into your event planning and want time saving resources and money generating templates (like sponsorship proposals that had delivered ACTUAl results!), you can check out my Event Planning Kickstarter Kit here.
Wishing you huge success in your event!