With the current state of our working conditions, a lot of changes in how we work are happening. Although some of these changes can be positive, the most difficult change that may affect some is the inability to meet together as a team in person for a company event, so it’s vital to know how to host your next virtual event.
From Team Days, annual holiday parties to external events, a lot of these events are now turned to online! But the question remains: “How can we be sure these events are just as effective as those in person?”
Some steps that can be highlighted when organizing a virtual event include:
- Having A Game Plan including a clear strategy and purpose.
- Choosing the right time.
- Marketing around the event.
- Prepare for the worst.
- Encourage participation.
With these steps it’s hard to fail, so read on to catch in-depth explanations on my five tips for a successful virtual event!
1. Having A Game Plan
Before hosting a virtual event a few important questions much be asked: What is the purpose of this event? Who will this event include? and How will I get participants to this event?
Hosting a virtual event can have several purposes such as, celebrating a special occasion such as a holiday party, a Team Day or it can be an event such as a Webinar which attracts participants outside of your organization. Should your virtual event be like such as our #ValoTeamCamp, the purpose may include having all team members gather to one specific event that includes team-building activities and feedback sessions.
To further explore your event planning, it is best to note down what kind of building activities and feedback sessions will be presented? And equally important, how will I introduce these activities in a virtual event and in what timeframe, e.g. half a day, a full-day, or span of a few days?
A great tool to use when planning your event is our very own product Valo Ideas which can be used to share team members ideas on what they would like to see during the event with a bit of gamification effect on the tasks.
One tool you can use to organize your ideas and track your progress with your event planning is Microsoft Planner, which is a great tool to document your To-Do’s and strategize realistic deadlines for tasks.
2. Choosing the right time
As the saying goes: “Timing is everything!” Therefore, this is also true when hosting virtual events. In the #ValoTeam we cater to a team from different time zones. From Europe, to North America, and Australia, the different time zones can often hinder an inclusive experience.
In the past, we organized the Valo Team Camp Days by holding different sessions at different times. Each session spoke to a specific audience and those who were interested in that session would simply sign up beforehand! This allowed our team to not only participate in something they enjoyed, but also have the ability to participate in their convenience.
Should you be hosting a virtual event for those outside of your organization, again it’s always best to go back to your purpose statement. Reflect on questions such as: “Is this an event focused in my region or outside of my region”? Keep in mind, you can have the option in recording your live event, for those who cannot participate at the time given!
3. Marketing Around the Event
Whether you are planning an internal or external event, Marketing is key to attract participants. Social media is one way to promote your event by consistently posting, re-posting, and sharing your event details! Creating unique and eye-catching content can get your event noticed.
Canva is one great tool to create social media graphics, and guess what!? You don’t need to be an expert in graphic design to use this fun, easy tool! If you follow us on social media, (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn ) you will know at Valo, we are all about spreading the #ValoLove with our vibrant and fun content!
One of our most recent events, #ValoDevKitchen is an event catered to our Valo Partners that share and distribute our latest products from a technical perspective. We really played off of the theme of culinary, and used this theme to promote our event. A fun, relatable theme is something everyone is looking for!
Of course, posting a short and sweet website blog post can also be the way to spread the word! In this 2 session event, we asked our Valo Partners to come up with a ten-minute demo, which we will announce the winner on December 8th, 2020!
We also spread the word about our virtual events through our Monthly Partner newsletters via HubSpot and advertised through our Partner Hub (which is our Extranet for our Valo Partners) and included reminders in our monthly Co-Webinars with the Valo Partners!
Check out below the Pre-Event video we did to promote the Valo Dev Kitchen to our partner network!
If you are interested in having an Extranet with your network, don’t shy away from taking a look at our Valo Extranet offering.
4. Prepare for the Worst
Expect everything and anything! When hosting a virtual event, often things may not go the way you planned. From technical issues to lack of participation, it’s always best to come together in a team (at least 3 team members) to discuss possible outcomes, and what can be done if anything should happen.
In the earlier days of the pandemic, going completely virtual was a process. Our main platform to host our event was on Microsoft Teams, however, if anything would have had happened we made a backup link to another webinar provider platform. Fortunately, all went fine in our event, but it is comforting to know we had a back up in case of anything.
5. Encourage Participation
Having your participants participate can often be challenging, especially if your event is virtual. One way of encouraging participation is having everyone turn on their camera when speaking. Having your camera on while speaking not only increases those to listen more actively but encourages engagement. Also, much like most of our online events, we have a moderator controlling the ongoing chat through Microsoft Teams (where we usually hold on our events).
Another great tip to encourage participation to add a fun twist to your event: In our events, we make sure to schedule our days with breaks that include games and engaging content. During our breaks in Valo Dev Kitchen, we kept it interesting by including a game of trying weird food combinations and a 5-minute guided stretch by our very own #ValoTeam!
Check out a recap of Valo Dev Kitchen from November 17th, 2020!
Until we can meet again in person, we are all about hosting fun, and informative virtual events! Some of these tips and tricks can get you started in hosting your very own virtual event! Whether you are a first-timer or a virtual event pro, having a plan and a clear idea of what you expect out of your virtual event can get you started on the right path!
When hosting virtual events, communication is key. Make sure your organization has the best intranet to make sure you have the best features your team will need! Stay updated with all our newest virtual events, and get all the latest news about everything #Valo!
Take advantage of easier, more effective internal communications and information management now & get in touch and we can show you how!