Planning Virtual Events
Well, it's no secret that this year our holiday parties, family gatherings and corporate events are all going to look a bit different.
This year more than ever, it's super important to show a bit more appreciation to your employees and loved ones. We are all in this together!
Here are a few tips to make sure your virtual event is the best that it can be!
1) Send gift boxes ahead of time. This is likely something your event planner will take on. Drop them off a day early so that all of the guests have them for the event. Include a fun snack (think branded cookies), a bottle of wine or some self-care products. This way even though you are apart, you can still be sharing the same treats & emotions. Level up by having food delivered to each of your guests for a cocktail hour. This can be something as simple as a charcuterie mini-box.
2) Keep in mind that you are not paying for a reception, dinner or dance this year so you may look at re-investing those funds in a creative way. Consider hiring a photographer to stop by each guest's doorstep that day and take a photo of your guests for a keepsake album or a slideshow that you can send to everyone.
3) Music is still important. Having a DJ take part in the virtual event can still set the mood. If guests arrive at the party a bit early, you will want some music greeting them in the waiting room.
4) Encourage a theme. It's hard to get people involved, especially in the comfort of their own home. It's important to get them to feel as though they are part of your event, and not sitting on the couch in their PJs.
5) Advertise early. This will allow your guests to figure out how to access the platform, create an account if necessary and potentially try it out before the event.
Pro Tip, here are a few platforms you can use for your next virtual event as seen on HootSuite:
6connex: Available on any browser or device, with no download required. Features include flexible registration, social media integration, and real-time analytics.
Crowdcast: Can be joined through a single URL. Tools include built-in registration forms, analytics, replays, and more.
Demio: Allows for pre-recorded or live webinars--or a mix of both. Includes private chat, interactive polls, call-to-action-buttons, and other features.
Livestorm: On-demand webinars from Livestorm include integrations with Google Analytics, Slack, and various engagement tools.
WebinarNinja: No need to download software for this platform, which offers paid and free events, 1,000+ app integrations, and even Facebook Pixel ad tracking.
Zoom: Can have one host, group chat--and even offers breakout rooms. Plans cover from 100 to 10,000 view-only attendees.
YouTube Livestream: A free and easy option for streaming live webinars.
It is also becoming more and more common to use social media platforms to host events. Keep in mind that not everyone has a Facebook or Instagram account so it may not be the most user-friendly option depending on your crowd.
Live Social Options:
6) Make it fun and engaging, your guests don't want to feel like it's another work meeting they are attending.
7) Have tech support nearby. Hosting a large scale virtual event can be a bit daunting. Don't let a technical issue ruin the vibe.
8) If you normally have prizes or giveaways as part of your event, do it! Perhaps do a live draw (social style) and call out the names of the winners as part of the event. You will need to offer to drop off the winnings at their homes though so be sure that you have planned for this aspect of it.
Just have fun. This year is one like no other. Try to make the best of it. Be silly. Laugh and remember that this is only temporary.
If you need a hand planning your next virtual event, preparing or delivering gift boxes, sourcing vendors, or anything else that pops up, feel free to email us!