How To Run Online Events

Posted on June 3, 2020 at 10:55 am

Organising an online event sounds like it should be an easy task compared to a typical physical event. However, there are many pitfalls and potential obstacles to be wary of when planning an online event.

From deciding on the type of event you want to run to tricky tech issues, we have put together a bunch of tips and tricks to help ensure your online event doesn’t turn into one huge glitch.

What is an online event?

An online event is a gathering of people through a digital platform. Online or virtual events can vary in both the type and scale of gathering, from large online conferences to smaller webinars. The scope of online events is dependent on the desired outcome of the organiser. However, what they all have in common is the ability to reach a potentially global audience with little to no physical infrastructure.

Types of online events

The first task an organiser has, is to decide upon the type of event they want to run and the advantages which that may bring. Some of the most common virtual events include;

Interviews & Talks

Organising an event using interviews or live talks and presentations is a great way to engage with users and showcase industry experts. This can be especially useful for organisations that want to highlight their in-house talent, or for events which offer a platform to industry leaders to share their knowledge.

Online Training Courses

Online training courses can give organisations an opportunity to present how best to use a product or service. By inviting existing and potential customers to an online workshop or webinar, it is possible to educate a large audience about how a service or product can best be utilised to solve a problem that that audience is facing.

Virtual Conferences

Virtual conferences are becoming more and more popular, with many physical conferences now also simultaneously streaming live online. By doing this, it is possible to reach a much wider and often international audience. Users can also participate by asking questions online, allowing them to take part in a similar fashion as they would at a physical event.

Know Your Audience

Now you are aware of the different types of virtual events you can potentially host, the next thing to look at is the type of audience you want to attract. Conducting some audience research prior to creating an online event through surveys and questionnaires can be a really helpful starting point.

By doing this you will be able to tailor your content towards the audience through recognising what they are interested in and what they are not likely to respond well to. It is also important to understand if the audience is likely to be tech-savvy or not, which could impact how likely they would be to attend the event.

Time & Location

One of the advantages of promoting your event online is that people can potentially attend from across the globe. This will therefore influence what time an organiser would opt to start the event. For instance, if you are based in the UK but have a larger audience tuning in from the US, it would make sense to make the start time at a time that is sociable for both audiences. However, if this is not possible, take comfort in the fact that the event could be recorded for the entire audience to watch at a time that suits them better.

The location of the event is also something that should be considered. This may seem less relevant for an online event, however it is important to portray the right kind of image for the audience who are watching. For example, if you are looking to livestream an interview or talk with an expert speaker it might be worth conducting it in a setting outside of the office to make it appear more professional.

How to promote events online

Now you have covered the basics and have an event ready to go, you need to tell the world about it to make sure its a success. Promoting your event online through platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn can be extremely powerful. By utilising their targeting options it is possible to reach people based on job titles, industries and interests to help find potential attendees that fit the profile you want.

Whilst these are powerful tools to use, it’s also important to recognise that organisations could already have a pool of people to contact already stored in their CRM. These people are typically ideal candidates to attend an event as they will have already shown some interest in the past and may be warmer leads than brand new prospects.

Tech Trouble

The last thing to take into consideration is that technology can sometimes be unreliable and you may encounter problems. Our advice is to make sure you keep the setup as simple as possible. By using platforms that people are familiar with you will minimise any problems with accessing the event or interacting throughout. However, by far the most important thing to do is to test the setup several times before going live on the day. This will not only give the organiser more confidence but can also help iron out any unforeseen problems

Happy organising!