3 Tips to Help You Plan a Virtual Event
What do you imagine when you think about virtual events? Do you imagine someone sitting behind a computer screen trying to pay attention and not nod off during a video? Or do you imagine people running by themselves against other virtual runners?
A virtual event isn’t simply an in-person event delivered electronically. Technologists haven’t yet figured out how to send a meal over the internet. So, what is a virtual event supposed to be? What activities can make a virtual event engaging and successful?
Whether you’re planning a virtual event from scratch, or are figuring out how to flip your planned in-person event to a virtual event, proper planning is key. Here are a few planning tips to get you started.
Is virtual the best modality for your event?
Before planning your event, take a moment to think through the pros and cons of a virtual event. You may be thinking “virtual event” because someone had the idea months ago or because of an act of nature or a pandemic. The saying, “Take a step back,” always jumps into my brain when I’m trying to plan something. Many of us are moving in fast-forward mode—but consider pushing the pause button and ask yourself, “Is a virtual event the right thing for us to do at this time?” Really apply a critical eye and be brutally honest with yourself and your event team. Virtual events can be great with proper planning, understanding, and goals.
What is your event goal?
Every event needs a goal. If you’re changing your in-person event to a virtual event, you may want to revisit and tweak your event goal. Are you trying to raise money, get the word out about your organization or mission, celebrate something or someone? Or do you have a mix of a few goals? Think of your event goal as the target you’re moving toward in every step of your planning. Make sure your event supports and ties into your organization’s mission.
How will you select your event activities?
Every event should include activities which support your event goal and your organization’s mission. Your event activities also need to be something that will interest and engage your target event attendees. Will your event be only for tech-savvy attendees? Will they be interested in listening to a virtual presentation? Will they want and be able to join a social media discussion or virtual competition? Think about your activities and your target attendees.
There’s so much more that goes into executing a successful virtual event. Hopefully, your creative juices are starting to flow, and you want to know more about planning and hosting a virtual event. Blackbaud University is here to help you figure out your virtual event plan, in our new Organizational Best Practices: Events - Virtual Events workshop. Connect with peers and discuss virtual event ideas, activities, marketing, engagement, and more.