event planning

Hosting Virtual Business Events: 8 Tips for Success

virtual business events

The pandemic has affected just about every aspect of our lives, both personal and professional. And on the latter front, one of the biggest changes has been a nearly total move away from business travel — and toward virtual business events.

We’re back to being cautious when it comes to travel, hesitant to gather in large groups, and downright terrified to visit Mee-maw and Gramps, lest we accidentally pass on a deadly virus we don’t yet know we have. This means that for many small businesses, in-person events are back to being a no-go.

And since most of us can’t afford to hunker down and wait for less germy times, it also means that the focus needs to shift to virtual events.

But what does a successful virtual event look like, and how can you make the best of it? These tips will help you plan your next online symposium.

8 Tips for Hosting a Successful Virtual Business Event

Find Your Purpose

What’s the main point of your event? Are you going to host a webinar? Open up the airwaves for a Q&A? Unveil your newest product or service?

Having a clear definition of what you want to share with your audience will keep you on the right track and set the tone for the event.

Spark Interest Early and Often

If an event happens on the internet and no one is there to see it, does it help your small business?

Since online events tend to be seen as less “important” than their in-person counterparts, you need to create hype early on. Regularly promote your event via email and your social channels, and don’t forget to send a reminder to registered participants the night before or the morning of the big day.

Dress for Success

Just because many of your attendees will probably be in their PJs doesn’t mean you can get away with looking unprofessional.

We’re not suggesting you break out the tux, tails and top hat. But it’s important to represent your brand virtually just as you would if you were speaking at an IRL event.

Timing Matters!

A 9 a.m. Tuesday morning webinar sounds reasonable for people in Portland, Maine – but that means attendees in Portland, Oregon, are going to have to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 6 a.m. That might not be ideal.

Keep time zones in mind and allow your participants the chance to be sufficiently caffeinated before the event starts. Do you have an international audience? Keep holiday schedules in mind, too!

Make Replays Available

No matter how carefully you schedule your event, some people who want to attend won’t be able to make it. Record the webinar and send out replay links to those who missed it the first go-round.

Enlist a Few Helping Hands

Whether it’s answering questions in the background, helping people who are having a hard time joining or just keeping the conversation civil and moving forward, you can’t go wrong with having a few moderators on hand to assist!

Stick to an Agenda

You don’t necessarily need your entire event scripted down to the last word. But having an agenda will help you stay on track so you don’t miss important talking points or pontificate too much on one subject and run over your allotted time.

Don’t forget to share your agenda with your participants so they know what to expect, too.

Follow Up!

A day or two after your event, follow up with your attendees and solicit their feedback. You’ll find out what you did well and what could be better. As always, don’t be afraid to sweeten the pot with discount codes or promotional items for those who take the time to share their thoughts with you.

Make Your Next Virtual Event a Real-Life Success!

The world isn’t as open as we’d like it to be, but for your small business, the show must go on. When you put best practices in place, there’s no reason your next virtual event can’t be just as successful as your last in-person event!

Are you struggling to connect with your audience in these challenging times? Mischa Communications can help you find common ground. Let’s talk!