Virtual Event Planning 101 — Pre-Event Checklist

Virtual events have taken on significantly more importance over the past two years. Not only have they become the go-to option for reaching audiences who are unable to attend in person, they’ve helped reduce costs while increasing accessibility for others as well.

About Virtual Events

There are typically four types of virtual events – webinars, virtual conferences, internal hybrid events (think sales kick-off or company-wide meetings) and external hybrid events such as an industry conference.

As with in-person events, virtual events start with a strategy. Generally, this includes event type, purpose (such as drive leads, deliver information to employees, etc.), creation (which includes the topic, host, and content), promotion (email, social media, or whichever way you reach your audience) as well as how to track and measure success. Other details will also need to be addressed like deciding on production set-up and hosting platforms.

Pre-Virtual Event Essentials

Event Landing Page or Website
All event information can be housed in one place. This site will be your core promotional asset, where you direct all potential attendees. Ensure you highlight all event information such as key topics, speakers, timing, and more. Ultimately this page will help to entice people to register for your event.

Registration & Email
An effective registration tool can be critical for any successful virtual event. This is the first point of data collection, where attendees provide information, such as contact details and preferences.

While email marketing can drive traffic to registration as well as engage with participants prior to the live virtual event. Email is a great way to communicate with attendees at all stages of event planning and execution.

Integrations & Tools
Especially in the case of large-scale events, event guides and mobile apps are a necessity for attendees during the event. These tools act as a home base, where attendees can find all event information and navigate through all their sessions —everything at their fingertips.

To ensure content is shared smoothly you will also need to implement tools like an eCDN to optimize your network at scale. As many virtual events are delivered to a large audience, this puts a strain on the corporate network and can cause major issues in terms of viewer experience and the performance of other applications.

Some questions to consider during the planning stage:

  • What’s your content delivery method – live, on-demand or a mix of both?
  • Will all your tools and tactics be ready in time? This includes the website, emails, social media content, mobile app and other important pieces.
  • How will you track measurement? Define your KPIs so you have an idea of how you will measure event success. What will your data look like beyond total registration numbers and the number of leads?
  • Will you make the content or recorded video session available after the event?
  • Have you created a registration process that’s easy to complete?

Pre-Virtual Event Checklist

To help you plan your next virtual event here’s a quick and simple-to-follow pre-production checklist:

  1. Event Registration
  2. Broadcast Design
  3. Broadcast Testing
  4. Pre-Show Rundown
  5. Day of Preparation