Our top 5 virtual event tips for event coordinators
July 09, 2020

If you’re an event coordinator, your job has changed drastically over the past few months. One change that we anticipate is here to stay is the rise of the virtual event. Coordinators and clients alike are looking at virtual events as a lower-risk way of gathering and sharing ideas in a physically-distanced world. As an event coordinator, you’re an adapter. You thrive under the pressure of changes and deadlines. Instead of tapping out and giving up on events, we know you, like us, are excited to learn how to wrap your mind around going virtual. Here are our top tips from our experiences so far:

1. This is still an event

At its core, a virtual event is still an event. You are working with your client to engage a group of people, spread awareness about a topic or product, or celebrate an occasion. All of the tools in your finely-honed event toolkit still come into play. You need to develop a budget. Instead of paying for a venue and rentals, now you’re probably looking at a virtual event platform and audio-visual equipment. You still need a registration platform, engaging speakers (now arguably more important than ever), and if you have exhibitors or sponsors involved with your event, you still have to decide the best way to expose event attendees to what these organizations have to offer. You’ve done this all before. Now, it’s in a virtual auditorium, on a landing page, or through social media.

writing in a day planner

2. Give yourself the gift of time

There’s a rumour going around that planning a virtual event takes less time than planning an in-person one. Sure, there are no catering deadlines to adhere to and there’s less competition for venue space. But that doesn’t mean it won’t take time to book speakers, liaise with your audio-visual team, set up, troubleshoot, and practice with your online platform, and of course market the event so people actually attend. In many cases, planning a virtual event should have just as much, if not more, lead-time than an in-person one, especially when we’re all still learning the ropes.

3. Ask for help

You don’t have to do this on your own! In fact, we highly recommend not doing this on your own. For an event as seemingly simple as a webinar, you might still want 3-4 staff members there with you – virtually or in person at a safe distance – to ensure everything goes according to plan. You’ll want someone there to produce the event, someone to provide technical support for the presenters, someone to engage with attendees in the chat box, and maybe even someone to provide technical support for the attendees if that’s a road you wish to go down. And this is just for a single-stream webinar. The more aspects you include in your event, the more help you’ll need to ensure all of these important tasks aren’t falling to you.

team working around a table

4. Become the subject-matter expert

Regardless of the event, there will always be someone you need to brief on the ins and outs, whether it’s your manager, your client, or other stakeholders that are essential to the event’s success. These groups are going to have loads of questions and will look to you to help answer them. They trust you and your expertise, so the best thing you can do for them, and for yourself, work closely with experts in the field, practice your heart out with the platform you’re using, and be the unflappable leader you were for your in-person events. This will help you prepare and feel more comfortable prior to the event, and help you explain aspects of the plans to those stakeholders that may be less event or tech-savvy. Your confidence and know-how will also quell any fears those relying on you may have. We’re all still learning as we go, but it’s your job as an event coordinator to lead the way.

5. Keep learning

Speaking of learning, this part never ends. If you’re like us, you’ve watched more webinars and read more trend reports in the last three months than you have in maybe your whole career. The virtual side of the event industry is ever-evolving, so more information and insights are being released every day. If you’re just starting out with virtual events, watch some webinars or read some blogs on the basics. Get your head wrapped around the concept to make it less intimidating. If you’re already a seasoned webinar-production master, look into how to expand your virtual horizons – there’s more to virtual events than a single webinar. Interactive landing pages, polling, watch parties, live-tweeting and memory walls are just small examples of how you can increase engagement with attendees and wow your clients.

a stack of books

Stay tuned for other blogs coming your way on a variety of topics relating to virtual events, such as attendee engagement, virtual speaker tips, and sponsorship. We’re forever learning new and exciting ways to make virtual events successful, and we hope you are, too.

Don’t forget, if you need help hosting your virtual meeting, we can help with that too!