Top Tips and Best Practices for Launching Virtual Events

If you’re interested in creating your own virtual events and experiences, here are some crucial tips to get you started.

Ramona Jean, March 26, 2021

Many elements of virtual events are here to stay. From luminary tech giants like Google to innovative startups like OLIO and Eastnine, virtual events are allowing different enterprises to stay connected with their audiences.

Design an engaging and industry-relevant event idea

The key to designing an engaging, relevant, and timely event is to pinpoint exactly what you want to achieve. In short, what’s your goal?

In the case of the recently concluded Media+Tech Innovation Challenge, the goal was to develop new case studies for using Comcast technology in adapting communication strategies for consumers in the COVID era. Following previous virtual competitions to determine the finalists, the culminating event in the challenge pitted case studies from student teams from three different universities. In the end, the judges determined that the case study from the team under the University of Denver's College of Business was the best of the three. Apart from a total of $4,500 in prizes, the members of the winning team will also receive a SeriesFest fellowship, alongside new opportunities to work for various prominent media companies.

This shows how virtual competitions can be highly engaging. But more importantly, it also underscores the growing demand for young and innovative business experts in the increasingly digitized new normal. Indeed, Maryville University’s overview of careers in business administration reveals that the demand for tech-inclined operations managers and business analysts is on the rise. Driven by worldwide digital transformation, enterprises are increasingly looking to these specialists to help them pivot to new consumer behaviors. And through its virtual Innovation Challenge, Media+Tech developed a truly engaging way to find solutions to these new challenges. This doesn’t necessarily mean that a competition is the right format for your virtual event. Rather, this shows how proper market research and goal-setting can pave the way for effective, engaging, and industry-relevant event design.

Allocate ample time for logistics and pre-production work

While you can arrange everything you need online, you shouldn’t underestimate the time requirements of launching a proper event. Based on your predetermined goals, available resources, and market research, how much time will you need to properly implement every element in your overall event design?

These time considerations are why major industry events like the Black Hat Asia virtual conference offer invites months ahead of time. This gives organizers ample time to hash out the details of their in-depth IT security training courses, coordinate with speakers, and adequately share Black Hat’s overview of cybersecurity research in 2021 and beyond. The wider the scope of your event, the more time you’ll need to do it right.

Adopt a virtual mindset today, a hybrid mindset tomorrow

Today, virtual events are still all the rage. Tomorrow, blended events that combine in-person and online experiences will further define audience engagement. This is why adopting a hybrid mindset for the future is essential for any enterprise – a fact which is best observed in the new normal for concerts.

In 2021, New Orleans’ annual Essence Festival which celebrates Black empowerment will be held as a hybrid concert for the first time. Live performances for a small number of invited guests in Louisiana will be recorded for broadcasting during the actual event date. And in the process, organizers from Essence and the city of New Orleans will be juggling the logistics for the festival’s physical and online components. This underscores how both the public and private sectors are developing virtual events with a hybrid mindset. And by adopting this perspective, your enterprise can more easily adapt to whatever the next normal will be.

Pinpoint your goals based on market research to establish your event concept and design. Don’t underestimate the time and resources necessary to achieve those goals. Develop your virtual experiences with a perspective for hybrid events. For more tips and best practices on creating engaging events in the virtual era, check out our 2021 Event Planner's Guide.

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