With virtual gatherings at an all-time high, preparing a virtual event checklist can help to keep things running smoothly and successfully.
By hosting an event online there are unique challenges that can arise such as technical difficulties, registration issues, and unorganised schedules, that can cause people to lose interest, or worse leave the video call.
The key to preventing these issues is planning ahead of time and knowing everything there is to know about your tools, technology and audience.
In this post we have created a virtual event checklist starting from before the event, to following up with attendees after the event, to ensure you’re providing a positive and engaging experience.
So, let’s get started with what to do before your event begins…
Virtual Event Checklist: Before the Event
Before your event has started there are steps you can include within your checklist to ensure everything is set up and ready to begin.
Much like an in-person event, preparation and planning starts weeks, or sometimes months before your virtual conference or occasion is due to take place.
So with that, let’s get into the specifics of what you can do in the run-up to your event to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible.
First thing’s first, providing a link to your event is essential if you want people to attend, as without one, attendees and participants won’t be able to gain access to the platform itself.
Both speakers and attendees need to be given easy access to the event and this can be done by sending over an event link the day before the event is set to begin.
The easier this process is the better, as attendees will have a more positive start to their experience if they can find the event link quickly and without digging through their inbox.
There are a few ways you can send an event link through to attendees such as:
- Attaching the link to an event ticket
- Sending an email containing the link
- Sending a calendar invite
The easier the link is to find, the clearer the reminder communication is, meaning there is a better chance of your event being attended in larger numbers!
The next priority on your list should be your virtual event schedule.
Without an itinerary your attendees will not be aware of what your event includes, and when each section begins and ends.
Providing a schedule including information such as speaker changes, introductions, and breaks helps to highlight the big moments of the event so attendees can plan accordingly and the event can continue to run smoothly.
Therefore, creating an event schedule and posting it to your events landing page lets your audience know what is happening at every stage of your event, as there may be a variety of speakers, or several meeting or breakout rooms in use for different presentations or discussions.
Equally, this clear event itinerary allows you to prepare the correct timings for each section of your event, as you may know that a Q&A segment may run over due to the popularity of the topic being discussed, or a certain speaker may finish their presentation with 5 minutes to spare.
It’s vital to remember that attendees may have other commitments on the day of your event, so will appreciate when everything stays on track with the schedule provided.
Conduct Technology Testing
Technology is central to your virtual event, so we will get into more detail in the section below, however technology checks should be included in the ‘Before the event’ segment of your checklist.
This is to ensure everyone involved in the event, from speakers to attendees, know exactly how the webcams, microphones and software works.
Simple checks such as ensuring your screen share works, setting up waiting rooms and testing audio and video before the event, ensure you are ready for the event to begin.
Technical difficulties can be the top reason why people click off a virtual event, as this can cause events to run over or look unprofessional and unprepared.
Virtual Event Checklist: Technology
As we have mentioned above, technology is one of your top priorities when it comes to hosting your virtual event.
Think of technology on the same level as booking your venue and prepping it ready for guests to arrive, if it isn’t accommodating and reliable, your event will suffer
Therefore, prioritising your video, audio, and software quality will set you up for smooth sailing.
There is a range of webcams that can be used for virtual events, but high-quality video will hold your audience’s attention for the duration.
Depending on the number of people attending, a built-in webcam, whether that be a laptop or desktop, can work well at providing a good quality video.
If your event is larger, hosting a bigger amount of attendees from all over the world, an external webcam may be a better choice for providing a good quality video across the board.
Along with this external webcam, make sure you have the correct cords and plenty of spares in case of any broken equipment or technology emergencies.
Tech checks are still a must for every piece of equipment and it’s important not to leave it until the day of the event to find out the video is pixelated, blurry or worse still lagging behind the audio.
Microphone and Audio Checks
As we have mentioned with webcam quality, technology checks are essential for sound quality too, as without it the event will struggle to succeed.
Again for smaller events, laptop or desktop microphones work well, but if more attendees arrive for the occasion a high-quality stand-alone microphone is best, to ensure everyone can be heard and is aware of exactly what is happening.
Poor audio quality can equally result in attendees leaving your virtual event, whether that is due to the sound being too loud or too soft, audio cutting in and out, or not being in time with the video on-screen.
Alongside microphones, headphones can be included within this part of the checklist, as echo can become a sound issue if microphones are left on when listening to a speaker or host.
It is a good idea to recommend the use of headphones, if possible, to your attendees and participants to avoid this echo and feedback noise, so that the event experience is a positive one.
Platform of Choice
Finally, to end the technology section of the virtual event checklist, it’s essential that you are familiar with the software you will be using for your event.
Most software packages will include features that are fun and useful, so take the time to explore which one works best for you.
At iVent, we offer more than video calls behind a login page, providing a platform to create engaging and inclusive experiences for attendees all over the globe.
Therefore, it is important that the software you choose is customisable to your needs, for example breakout rooms and polls may be features that are essential for your event.
It is important that you are confident in your choice of platform and that it has all of the features you are looking for in order to impress your attendees, as well as providing a reliable way to host your event.
Virtual Event Checklist: Promotion
Promoting your event to your audience can be done in the run up to your event on a dedicated landing page, but this should be regularly updated throughout your event too!
This includes everything from creating an easy registration process, to video links, and helps to attract your target audience to sign-up and attend.
There are some aspects of promotion that are important to prioritise so your attendees can access relevant event information easily, and sign-up hassle free!
Whether your event is big or small, paid or free, a registration process can help you to understand how many people are attending and therefore how many people you need to cater for.
This is important to know as the larger the event, the more likely technical or registration issues may occur, so keeping on top of who is attending can help you to plan for every eventuality.
Having a streamlined process for registration means you can not only keep track of attendees, but stay in touch with them if there are any new updates or issues they need to be informed of.
Equally, having a register of those who signed up allows you to send an email reminder out to everyone who has expressed interest, as it is likely some potential attendees signed up months ago.
Map Out Your Event Posts
Promoting your event involves posting event-based content that will increase interest among your target audience.
Using anything from hashtags to location-based promotion will help to get all eyes on your event, and encourage sign-ups.
Most importantly, you should be mapping out these posts and aiming them to where your audience is, for example LinkedIn and Instagram, rather than on Facebook or via email marketing.
This helps you to drive audience attention and get people interested in your event, leading them to sign-up
Ultimately, you need to ensure your virtual event is viewable well in advance of the start date, as this gives potential attendees enough time to access the event information and put it into their calendars.
Create an Event Landing Page
The landing page you create will be the centralised place to get all of the important information about your event.
This doesn’t necessarily have to be on your company website, but it could be part of your most popular social media channel or on the event platform site itself.
This landing page should provide your attendees with a description of the event, ticket info, video links, a schedule and of course, a good design!
Incorporating all of this information onto one handy page, means your attendees don’t have to hunt through your pages to find event information, as they may just need to know the start time of the event or know where to access the correct event link.
By highlighting this page as the hub of event information, your audience will know exactly where to go if they have any queries.
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Virtual Event Checklist: After the Event
It is important to show you care about your attendees after your event, as this is how relationships are built sustainably.
Whether your goal is to build up your customer base or provide company training it is important that all attendees have had a positive experience and feel valued.
Follow-Up With Attendees
One way to check in after an event is to follow-up with your attendees by sending thank you emails or feedback surveys.
Although your event is over, the attendees are still a vital part of your target audience and likely to become potential customers, leads, or partners in the future.
When sending a thank you email, it can be useful to include event content such as recordings of presentations, as attendees can then catch up on parts of the event they missed, or rewatch specific parts they enjoyed most.
With this follow-up, whether it is a thank you email, or a quick questionnaire, you can mention future events to plant a seed into attendees’ heads of what to expect from your next event.
Send this follow-up to everyone who registered, not just to those who attended as even those who missed the event will appreciate the content and it may persuade them to sign up for the next one!
Take Note of the Successes
Finally, your checklist should include a section for celebrating the successes of your event and identifying the improvements for next time.
Your virtual event may have run exactly to schedule, keeping perfect time and keeping attendees engaged throughout. However there may have been aspects of the event that could have run smoother.
Make a note of things such as audio issues, buffering videos and poor use of breakout rooms and use them to your advantage by implementing them into your next event checklist.
Equally, you can use data from the event such as registration numbers vs actual attendee numbers or identifying which section of the event had the largest audience, in order to understand exactly where attendees were dropping off the call.
By using data and a list of improvements you know what your top priority is for your next event.
Virtual Event Checklist: Everything to Remember When Running a Successful Event
Following this checklist will help to ensure the success of your virtual event from start to finish.
By considering key factors before, during and after your event, this will allow you to feel prepared and confident that your event will run smoothly and is unlikely to run into issues along the way.
We are qualified in the area of virtual and hybrid events therefore we can help by providing a strong and suitable platform for you to host anything from conferences, to training days.
If you’d like to find out more about what we do here at iVent, or you are interested in using our platform to host your own virtual event, don’t hesitate to contact us!