Understanding How We Will Plan and Host Your Virtual Event in 2020

Has your company ever considered hosting a virtual event?

As the COVID-19 crisis canceled a lot of conferences and other large events, many people have started turning to the idea of hosting these events in a new way. Massive companies like Microsoft are canceling their in-person events and opting to host them virtually. Not only are large corporations facing this issue but Non-Profit organizations, Trade and Professional Associations, and Chambers of Commerce are having to shift to virtual events.

A virtual event might not be your first option, but many companies have been hosting them for years, and there are a lot of benefits to taking conferences and meetings entirely online (or doing a hybrid event, which we can certainly discuss with you, as well!).

Keep reading to learn more about how a virtual event works and how Manifest Creative goes above and beyond to make sure it's just as successful as an in-person event.

How We Plan and Host a Virtual Event

Hosting an event online for the first time might seem intimidating, but the team at Manifest Creative is here to help you every step of the way. There are a lot of benefits to hosting an event online.

First, you will save a lot of money on a venue, food, beverages, technology, and other supplies you no longer need to provide participants. A virtual event is also more accessible to people since they do not have to pay to travel or book lodging near your event.

If you're unclear on how virtual conference or another event will work, here are four key elements that make online events a success:

1. SELECT THE RIGHT HOSTING PLATFORM

Every virtual event will need a hosting platform. This platform is the online space where attendees will get information and be able to watch speakers. There are many different platforms you can choose from that allow you to host events with ease.

Facebook is a popular option because it's easily accessible to a lot of people. You can create an event page or group on Facebook and go live to allow speakers to present information. Another great platform is Zoom with several features to keep participants engaged including polling, Q&A, and screen sharing. Additionally, Zoom offers a webinar version and meeting version, so we can work together to identify the option that makes the most sense for you.

2. CREATE NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES

Networking is one of the main reasons people attend conferences, so you don't want them to miss out on these valuable connections just because your event is virtual. We recommend hosting online chat rooms or forums that allow people to engage with each other and make connections. There are lots of fun, creative ways to do virtual networking and our team can help generate ideas. We will plan something that makes the most sense for you and the event, in addition to what has already been mentioned above.

3. HOST ACTIVITIES AND GUEST SPEAKERS

There's no reason that your virtual event should be any less engaging than an in-person one. You can still host activities that require audience participation and guest speakers. Your Manifest Creative team will help you plan unique events and make sure that they go smoothly even when participants are thousands of miles away from each other. We are experts at finding inventive ways to engage with attendees in your virtual space. Our team brings top-level professionalism to ensure the execution of your event is smooth, seamless, and successful.

In some cases, we recommend "pre-recording" sessions. It frees up speakers to engage with attendees in the chat during a session and answer more questions than they might have been able to if they were having to do their presentation live. The Manifest Creative team brings a slew of best practices to the table. Together, we will figure out the best way to proceed.

4. COMMUNICATE CLEAR EXPECTATIONS

A virtual event might be confusing to people who aren't used to attending them or who aren't internet savvy. To accommodate everyone, you need to keep consistent communications with registrants, so they always know exactly what's going on and when and how they should sign on remotely.

In addition to clear communications with registrants, Manifest Creative engages with and manages speakers to ensure a successful virtual session. Since many speakers are not experienced or comfortable with virtual events, we do extra hand-holding to make sure they have what they need to succeed with an online event.

Our customer support teams are there to help attendees and speakers get online if they aren't sure where to go.

Bonus: Event Sponsors

Not only can Manifest Creative help your team with the logistics of the event, but they can also help engage sponsors. Let our team of experts design valuable benefits to attract sponsors to your virtual space. When it comes to sponsors, our team can help with defining the sponsorship levels and benefits and then manage the fulfillment of benefits with sponsors.

Learn More About Planning The Perfect Meeting or Conference

It might feel like you're losing something when you plan a virtual event, but there are a lot of benefits, and your attendees will still have a memorable experience and make valuable connections.

Manifest Creative is here to make sure your meeting or conference is always a success, whether it's in-person or a virtual event. Click here to learn more about our services or contact us today if you're ready to get started planning your next event.