Living in the information age means that organizing conferences can be done more practically, rather than renting a huge venue and staff at huge expenses and having to manage all the little details on what rooms host what events, and the like. Nowadays, online events and conferences are much more popular and more easily organized. However, there are still some considerations to be made to make sure the operation runs smoothly.
If you’re new to organizing online events, or if you’re looking to freshen up on the latest trends, here are a few tips essential for running a smooth and engaging online event.
1. Plan a Budget and Organise a Team
The first and the most essential step to organizing online events (or any events, for that matter) is getting together a team and planning your budget. One of the upsides of organizing online conferences is that they’re much cheaper than organizing traditional events. You don’t need a monstrous venue, and you don’t need a staff of a hundred people to keep operations running – all you need is a small venue capable of housing your team and equipment.
As for the team, you can’t do it all yourself, especially if you’re inexperienced. A simple matter of fact is that you simply don’t possess all the required knowledge when it comes to running the show and marketing it, so it’s always a good move to hire some professionals to help you in your endeavor. In fact, there are whole companies, like Redback Connect, that specialize in organizing such events, and, if you’re a newcomer, you should definitely such companies a try.
2. Confirm the Participation
Though online events are more convenient to organize and attend, you still need to pay attention to engaging your attendees. An online event doesn’t elicit the same sense of urgency as a real-time event, so your future audience may feel like they can skip out on the show. However, there are ways to engage your attendees and you must find a way to make your audience feel like they’ll be missing on something if they chose not to attend.
One of the best ways to make sure they’ll show up is to them buy a ticket for tuning in for the stream. This doesn’t have to be an outrageous sum of money, but just a token payment, as people are most inclined to attend if they feel like they’ve wasted money, and those that really don’t want to attend will simply not pay the entry fee.
Finally, don’t fall back on confirmation of attendance on social media, as people tend to click “Going” just because, and then forget all about the event.
Naturally, to get anyone to attend your event you’ll need to make yourself heard. People won’t know about your event, and won’t feel like it’s worth tuning in on if you don’t advertise it.
With that being said, you’ll probably advertise your event online. Considering the nature of your event, you’ll probably have to invest in some shrewd social media marketing strategies, but you shouldn’t neglect more traditional marketing channels. Investing in some flyers and brochures might prove a nice little boost if they’re engaging enough and are delivered to interested parties. Not only that, but you can try some email marketing as well, as email reminders that your event is coming up might prompt people who forgot or weren’t planning on attending to actually attend.
4. Quality is King
Always remember one thing – you’re organizing this even to provide quality content to your audience. No matter the marketing, no matter your budget, no matter the level of professionalism of your team, if you cannot deliver quality content, your event will fail.
Now, you don’t have to dish out an enormous amount of money to bring in the most respected speakers in their fields, but you do have to provide content that is engaging and informative. This is what matters most with webinars like these – the quality and relevance of the information presented.
Of course, you’ll also invest in quality equipment too. Your camera and sound equipment should be, if not top of the line, of respectable quality to make sure the content is being transmitted to your audience without major problems. Your attendees will surely be less than impressed with video cutting out every 10 seconds, with 240p quality and with the sound not being in sync with the video.
5. Make Necessary Safety Considerations
Though you won’t have hundreds of attendees in a large venue that might provide a good target for a stray meteor, you’ll still have to consider some health and safety risks. After all, you’ll be working with a lot of electronics, and all it sometimes takes is for one short circuit to occur, and you’ve got a fire hazard on your hands that might cut your event short.
The best thing to do here is to first get insurance against loss of life and property. Then, have your team assess potential hazards to make sure nothing goes wrong with the electrical system, and what you can do if disaster strikes.
Since your event is online, you’ll also need to invest in cybersecurity. Make sure you’re using secure channels for transmission to prevent cyber theft, as events with several dozen participants tuning in at the same time might make a prime target for experienced hackers to invade and steal personal data.
All in all, organizing a webinar is much easier and much less stressful than organizing a real-life conference. Whether you’re new at this or a veteran, if you adhere to these five rules, you can rest assured that you’ll have a fun, informative and successful event on your hands.