Your Essential Meeting and Event Planning Guide: 5 Tips

Are you running a non-profit or professional association? In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, many events and meetings are now taking place online.

What does this mean for your planning efforts? How can you ensure success?

You don't have to worry anymore. In this article, we'll provide a helpful event planning guide so you can avoid any mistakes that might derail your virtual event.

Your Successful Event Planning Guideh3

The backbone of every successful event has always been planning and coordination, both before and during the pandemic. However, the remote business model and the social distancing rules have changed the ingredients for a successful event.h3

With the right tips and tricks, you can pull off any event - even online.

TIP 1: RE-THINK EVENT GOALS AND KPIS

If the majority of your events are going to be online, you may need to re-think your goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPIs are the critical, measurable metrics used to evaluate the event’s success.

If you want to measure how well your event went (based on your primary goal), here are some important KPIs for online events:

  • Online event check-ins
  • Net promoter score
  • Number of active membersh3
  • Number of viewsh3
  • Live polling response rate

TIP 2: CHOOSE THE RIGHT TOOLS

For any online event to go smoothly, you must have the right tools. No one wants to attend a botched Zoom call.

There are some great tools out there for online events. This includes the platform you use to produce or stream your event, the project management tool used to organize it, a smart ticketing or registration tool to help with attendee management and financial tasks, and a survey tool to collect feedback. However, it is important to clearly understand the event goals first so that the decisions you make regarding platforms and tools will be informed based on your goals and objectives.h3h3

TIP 3: CREATE AN EVENT CHECKLISTh3

Just like any other event, you need a checklist for before, during and after the event. Just because it's online, doesn't mean there is less to do or to organize. In fact, chances are, with an online event, there will actually be more to do, so you’ll need to factor in enough time to complete the necessary tasks and ensure you have enough staff to help manage all the event elements.h3

The checklist is your master plan with timelines, tasks and budget. Here are a few tasks you should consider for digital events:h3

  • Create promotion messages leading up to the eventh3
  • Assign different roles for during the event (e.g., someone to mute attendees, someone to manage the chat box, etc.)
  • Make sure your speakers are prepared and comfortable with the platform
  • Perform multiple rehearsals to test out the technology and tools, as well as the speakers environments (adequate lighting, not sitting in front of a window, microphone and camera working well and placed correctly, etc.)
  • Provide different online payment options
  • Collect feedback from members
  • Ensure engagement

TIP 4: MARKET YOUR EVENT

Make sure your event captures the attention of your chosen audience. You can find the channels your audience is on, communicate the value of your event and create a variety of messages.h3

We also highly recommend you invest in digital advertising. The digital marketing tactics that many find most helpful are SEO, paid ads, and influencer shout-outs from your field.

TIP 5: CONSIDER HYBRID EVENTS

Even though the pandemic has resulted in many virtual experiences, we eventually expect the social distancing rules and quarantines to loosen enough to move forward with hybrid events.h3 Be ready to consider how to combine online and in-person events to take advantage of both methods. Many in the industry believe that digital events aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, so chances are good that in the future you’ll need to factor in online audiences along with in-person attendees.h3

Start Organizing Successful Events

This event planning guide will help you get ready for your online event or meeting. But if you're looking for more help to host an event or meeting, then make sure to check out everything we can do for you!

Manifest Creative is ready to support your efforts every step along the way as you plan and execute your next meeting or event. Contact us today with any questions you might have!