5 Tips for Hosting a Virtual Event for Your Business

With the outbreak of COVID-19, there are many businesses who have pivoted their marketing efforts to include new digital strategies. With quarantine and self-isolation in full effect, many businesses can no longer turn to their tried-and-true tactics—particularly brick and mortar retailers. Because of this, they are using a variety of different ways to increase engagement, and one of those methods is virtual events. If you’re considering a virtual event, here’s what you need to know: 

Choose an Event Type

There are several different types of events you can choose from, but choosing an event type early on can help set the foundation and mission for the event. For instance, do you have a product that could benefit from some educational awareness? Why not host a live tutorial? Webinars and workshops might also be a good fit if your business is based around a specific field like marketing or writing. 

For example, Paragraph, a coworking space for writers, has announced several types of virtual writing workshops in hopes of keeping engagement among members while the physical space is closed. You might also choose to gather a group of individuals for a virtual conference; many large-scale conferences were already doing some form of digital viewing in conjunction with the event. Behind-the-scenes tours, interviews, and online shows are all also great options. 

Promote Your Event

One of the most important tips for promoting your event is to start early. Begin by determining your key selling points and value propositions. Why should people attend your events? Make a list of those selling points, and think of ways to market each of those points over the course of several weeks, bearing in mind that statistics show ticket sales are most often sold two to three weeks in advance—which is when you should ramp up your promotional and marketing efforts. Use social media to promote the event with statuses and with countdowns. For instance, create a Facebook event page, and on Instagram, create a countdown time. 

Dress the Part

On camera, you become a representation of your business and the products or services you offer. For this reason, it’s crucial that you dress the part and that your surrounding area in camera view is also up to par. Invest in union made clothing that includes your brand logo, use a color scheme in the camera frame that aligns with your brand image, and ensure any other hosts do the same. 

Virtual Event Tools

There are many tools available at your disposal for virtual events. Zoom remains one of the most popular options for ease of use, but you should explore other channels as well. The tools you choose all depend on what type of event you’re hosting and what your goals. For example, if you have a strong audience on Facebook and want to host a webinar, a tool like WebinarNinja might be better for you than Zoom. 

WebinarNinga offers hundreds of app integrations, as well as Facebook tracking pixels. Most major platforms, like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, all also offer live streaming audiences. If you have a primarily mobile audience or an audience that’s stronger on a specific platform, you might use one of those options instead. For more formal conference and networking events, tools like HeySummit and Run the World are good. 

What’s especially important is that no matter what tool you use, you test and troubleshoot ahead of time. The last thing you want is to run into tech issues during your event, where every precious minute counts. 

Record Your Event

It’s important for you to record your event so you can continue to use the footage in other areas of your marketing efforts. For instance, if you hosted a live tutorial, you could send the material via an email marketing campaign to subscribers who didn’t attend, include it in a blog post, and post it on YouTube. As you can see, this offers multiple different touch points for content. At the very least, you can re-watch your event to analyze your efforts and search for areas where you can improve. 

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.