What are the key elements on an event?

15 planning considerations to make an event successful?

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1.     Length of Event

Webinars are generally short and content specific with most lasting less than 1 hour. Surveys have indicated that audience attention drops off significantly after 40 minutes.

Virtual conferences are generally longer and can span many hours and days creating a challenge for planners to engage their audience. Structure of the topics, speakers, breaks and sponsor connection opportunities are important, and, in some cases, it may be beneficial to schedule content release dates over days or weeks with interspersed live presenter and Q&A sessions.

2.     Team management and communication

A good event takes teamwork and the software platform you choose should make it is to appoint and manage team members as well as communicate with sponsors and presenters.

3.     Pre-event marketing

  • Targeted marketing is required to attract the maximum number of registrations. Generally there is an immediate response that tends to drop off after 3 or 4 days so email campaigns should be planned and include follow up emails to potential registrants.
  • Interesting virtual sessions and keynote speakers are essential in creating interest.
  • The email campaign should contain a direct link to the event landing page.

4.     Event Landing Page

Your event landing page should be integrated with the event planning and management platform and showcase your event, speakers, and content leading viewers to the ‘register now’ area.

5.     Ticketing options

Your event management platform should allow you to create multiple ticketing options to maximise sales. These options should include the ability to package individual speakers, sessions, days, blocks and to allow ticket purchasers to create custom packages.

6.     Event registration

Registration should be an easy process and the event management platform you choose should have an inbuilt payment processing capability.

On payment registrants should be issued a code or invitation to log on to your platform where they can view the sessions purchased and download tax receipts.

7.     Sponsor Options

Attracting and satisfying sponsor needs are critical parts of most conferences. Your event will be more successful if you can offer different levels of sponsorship, presentation of featured products and material and the ability to connect with attendees.

8.     Keep everyone informed

Look for an event management platform where everyone including organisers, team members, sponsors presenters and attendees have their own dashboard that provide real-time pertinent information to

Look for an event management platform where everyone including organisers, team members, sponsors presenters and attendees have their own dashboard that provides real-time pertinent information to their function.

9.     Efficient Presenter/Speaker recording

The ease and costs of recording of speakers can determine the success of your conference. The ideal system enables speakers to simply self-record content and upload video, presentations, photos and documents with a single click. All content should be automatically placed in the program slot predetermined by the conference organiser.

10.     Poster Gallery

Professional and academic conferences often include the option for individuals to post technical articles. The same functionality available to speakers and presenters should be accessible to poster presenters.

11.     Live presentation on the day

Many virtual conferences have a set day on which content is streamed live to the audience. This can be made up of;

  • Sessions with speakers recorded and streamed live;
  • Sessions with speakers recorded and streamed live during which they may play pre-recorded content;
  • Pre-recorded sessions;
  • Live Q&A sessions.

Caution:

Live streaming costs can be considerable and be charged on a cost per viewer per hour. E.g. for a 500-person conference over 8 hours you could be charged for 40,000 hours of ‘streamed’ content.

12.     Live Q&A functionality

The minimum functionality required to ensure attendee/viewer satisfaction is;

  • Screen sharing
  • Polls and surveys
  • Live chats
  • Q&A tools

13.     Feedback surveys

Attendee feedback and presenter/speaker rating options can provide valuable information that will be useful in constructing future events.

 

14     Post-event storage and on-demand viewing

Conferences and events that have valuable content can be popular with new attendees long after the event date. When selecting an event management platform ensure that the post-event storage is long enough for you to derive additional income and that it does not cost more that it produces in ticket sales.

15.     Analytics

Analytics are not only important after the event the system you choose should have real-time analytics commencing when you start to plan for all the components of your event.

In conclusion

Virtual events have been the go-to solution for 2020 and look like being a fundamental part of events and conferences into the future given the global uncertainties and restrictions on travel and gatherings.

The workplace has changed for many people and working remotely has become the norm. It is likely that future conferences will see less in-person attendees and more virtual attendees reducing costs for event and conference organisers and saving time and money for participants.

Virtual Reality was an emerging technology now the reality is virtual!!

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