Discover our comprehensive guide to producing a successful online event in 2023.
With the production and delivery of online events advancing with the technology available to us, the experience of virtual and hybrid events has transformed incredibly. Now, digital-first events are a popular choice for businesses and organisations. With many now producing a range of online events such as; conferences, product launches, webinars, team training activities, and networking events. Virtual and hybrid events offer solutions to all kinds of event types and event goals.
Notably, virtual and hybrid events highly deliver when targeting a global audience, enhancing attendee participation, and cutting down on expenses without reducing the quality of your event.
Our guide below includes a break-down of the steps it takes to produce a successful online event. This guide has been put together by our team of event management experts and perfected over the years into our full-proof plan to event success.
If you're interested in finding out more, or working with us on an upcoming event, please get in touch to book a call with one of our event management experts.
1. Platform Development
In today's digital age, there are numerous platforms available that offer a wide range of features and capabilities to support your event needs. But with so many options, it can be a daunting task to choose the right platform for your event. That's where our event planning guide comes in. We break down how to choose the correct event platform for you in our event planning guide here.
Once you've selected the right platform, the next step is to build it out with all the necessary features and elements. This includes designing and developing digital assets and graphics, such as pre-recorded videos and on-screen collateral, to enhance the attendee experience. Additionally, you'll need to create ticketing, speaker, sponsor, and exhibitor features on the platform to support your event logistics.
Social media integration and a mobile experience are also important factors to consider when building out your event platform. With the majority of people going online and accessing social media on their phones, ensuring that your platform is mobile-friendly and integrates with popular social media platforms can greatly enhance engagement and reach.
At Vievma, we support our clients with platform selection, and give them the choice to have a fully bespoke event platform built for them to their requirements.
2. Event Technology
Event technology plays a critical role in the success of any online event. Whether it's a virtual, in-person, or hybrid event, the right technology can elevate the attendee experience and make your event stand out. As mentioned earlier, designing a platform and selecting streaming technology is part of it, but you also need to invest in other essential technologies such as graphic design, video editing, and presentation templates, to name a few.
On top of this, to keep your attendees engaged and ensure the event is interactive, consider the used of interactive tools like polls, quizzes, and feedback features.
When it comes to hybrid events, the technology requirements increase significantly. On top of the above technologies, you need to utilise onsite AV requirements, strong internet connections at the venue, ticketing, and badge management. It's important to take care of both onsite and virtual requirements and elements for every stakeholder.
Developing an event platform and delivering the event technology can be a complex and time-consuming task. To deliver a successful event, it's recommended to use a specialist partner who have the experience and expertise to get the most out of every platform and the event technology. Get in touch with our team of virtual event management experts here.
3. Sponsors, Exhibitors, Speakers & Attendees
Managing your stakeholders is a key aspect of event production. This includes managing their event participation and integrating them into the event platform. As well as providing tickets, training, and onboarding.
For the exhibitors or sponsors of your event, you need to plan and provide an area where they can showcase their products or services. Additionally, providing specialist training for speaking or presenting in your event sessions can help speakers to deliver effective presentations and engage attendees. To ensure that everyone has a positive experience at your event, clear processes need to be in place for managing their participation and providing the necessary support and resources.
4. Branding, Design & Graphics
Now is the time to create your cohesive and visually appealing digital assets. This includes fully branded virtual backgrounds, graphics and animations, on-screen elements such as pre-recorded videos, and other digital assets such as presentation templates.
You will need a specialist team or skills to handle this to create a professional look and feel in line with your event goals. They must be cohesive, visually appealing, and accurately represent your brand and your event's objectives. Moreover, these assets should be designed to keep your audience engaged and interested throughout the event.
This is where we come in. We have our own in-house team that can provide all marketing, design and graphical elements including video and images. We take your existing branding guidelines and build out all the elements required, ensuring your event is engaging, memorable, and successful. This makes it easy for you to focus on more important aspects of your event.
5. Marketing, Sales & Tickets
It's time to implement your marketing strategy, generating leads and ticketing attendees. Create marketing materials such as flyers, posters, and social media posts, and reach out to potential attendees through email campaigns, advertising, and other promotional efforts.
The sales and ticketing process includes setting up a ticketing system for virtual or in-person ticket-related issues. Some platforms will handle this for you - some will not. Find the right solution for your event. In all cases, they will need to be integrated into the platform and/or the venue depending on the event. The Vievma platform can handle all of these issues! Get in touch here for details. 6. Content & Pre-Recording Sessions
Producing captivating and educational content is essential for audience engagement. A technique to achieve this is by incorporating video during live sessions. For instance, speakers can utilise video to amplify and elevate their sessions. Alternatively, speakers can pre-record sessions and broadcast them as "as-live" sessions, maintaining the feeling of a live event while ensuring high-quality content. Video content guarantees high-end quality and refined content, while still providing a live and interactive experience for the audience.
Additionally, audience interaction can be incorporated into live sessions by allowing live video, audio or chat questions. This will help to keep the audience (of virtual, hybrid and in-person events) engaged and improve their overall experience. By carefully planning and executing the content, you can ensure that it is engaging, informative and effective.
7. Schedule and Timeline
You will need a clear schedule or agenda as soon as possible. It is often better to release draft versions early as this will assist in ticket sales or signups. This involves determining the start and end times of the event, as well as the details of sessions and other activities.
For larger online events, consider creating different tracks that focus on different topics or themes and to schedule sessions in different formats such as keynote presentations, panel discussions, and breakout sessions.
Furthermore, take into account the time zone differences for virtual events, and check that the schedule is as convenient as possible for all attendees. Creating a detailed schedule and timeline allows for a smooth and well-organised online event, as well as making it easy for attendees to plan their time and make the most of their experience.
Production of the event schedule is possibly one of the most important elements as it can be a difficult task juggling every ball. All too often, we see event schedules crammed with content and few breaks. This doesn't consider the habits and preferences of a virtual audience. This is where experience counts and it's why we provide a dedicated project manager for every event we manage. This ensures that all the event tasks and timelines are designed perfectly. 8. Dedicated Technical Resource
At virtual or hybrid events, the technical support team is responsible for managing all technical aspects of the production. They handle tasks such as setting up and testing the platform and streaming software, along with setting up and testing audio and video equipment. In the event of any technical issues, they are on hand to provide troubleshooting support. The team also provide assistance to both presenters and attendees, and may manage the event's virtual platform, ensuring that all presentations and videos run smoothly, while monitoring the chat feature. Furthermore, they collaborate with the event team to guarantee that the event is accessible and inclusive for all attendees.
9. Contingency Plan & FAQs
A contingency plan is a necessary measure to ensure that the event runs smoothly even in the event of any unexpected issues. It should include steps to address technical difficulties, such as alternative methods for accessing the event or troubleshooting steps for attendees. To manage attendees' questions and concerns, an FAQ section on the event website should be created. This should include information about the event schedule, technical requirements, and any other relevant details that attendees may need to know. It should also provide answers to common questions such as how to access the event platform, how to troubleshoot technical issues, and what to do if an attendee experiences problems. Providing some contact information for the event team so attendees can reach out for assistance if they have any further questions or concerns is essential.
We can simplify and help you navigate the production process. We make sure that your event is fully equipped with all the necessary features and elements to make your event a success. We have years of experience working alongside existing teams or handling all the elements on our own. As your partners, we work hard and take a consultative approach ensuring every idea and aspect of the event is designed and delivered to perfection.
If this feels overwhelming or if you simply need advice, please be in contact and we will happily discuss these issues with you. We understand the challenges that come with producing both in-person and virtual events. With 25 years of experience in the industry, we've learned firsthand what it takes to deliver a successful online event. Our goal is to support you in any way we can, and we hope this guide will be a helpful resource in achieving your event goals.
To learn more about our services and how we deliver successful online events, book a call with our team of event experts.