In the past year, the word ‘event’ has taken on a whole new meaning. While in-person events have, in recent years, offered virtual access for attendees hindered by distance and other complications, they have only gotten more popular as a means of seminar, conference and/or celebration among friends, families, and colleagues who can’t physically be together.
Thanks to video streaming services, virtual event planning can be achieved without the geographical and space constraints that often pose a challenge with in-person events; the entire event can be virtual, or the virtual component can accompany a live event.
Here are a few step-by-step tips on how to throw a virtual event that people will actually want to attend:
There are many services out there – some popular options include Periscope, Facebook Livestream, Zoom, Google Meets, and YouTube Live. Most also offer a free trial, so you can familiarize yourself with the basic functionalities in advance of the event. Remember that in the digital age, your attendees may possess varying levels of tech skill – it’s a good idea to provide them with clear instructions for logging on.
Who will be the main face of your event? You can hire a professional speaker, recruit someone noteworthy from your industry, or it can even be someone from in-house who is charismatic and comfortable enough to present before a live or remote audience. You may want to have a panel of two or more hosts that can take turns at the helm and support each other in keeping the conversation, and the event, moving along.
A hashtag helps spread the word in the days and weeks leading up to the event, and helps to identify event photos posted on social media afterwards. Come up with a catchy one and use it frequently, while urging followers to do the same. If you have email subscribers, use your newsletters as a promotional tool with links to the event signup page.
It isn’t an event if nobody shows up, or in this case, logs on! To ensure good attendance, social media is the top choice for creating a buzz and getting people to commit. Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat are great for sharing teasers. Social media posts can also include links to other content, such as speaker bios, vlogs, or a tutorial video on how to log into the livestream.
Sure, you can hold it at your office and save money in the process, but you don’t want your event to look cheap and thrown together, so investing in a unique space to serve as the backdrop for your event could make all the difference. Ample space to comfortably accommodate the live speaker, workshops and/or trade shows will be of great benefit and will read better to your audience. Remember that you’re creating a virtual experience for your guests and attendees – it doesn’t have to be overly lavish, but it should offer the basics like a stage with a podium and audio/visual equipment.
While geographical concerns are a nonissue when it comes to virtual events, the time slot you choose is as important as ever. Make sure that your event time doesn’t coincide with high-profile sports games and popular TV shows, and consider your invitees and the commitments they may have, like partners, children, or work. If you have international attendees, try and pick a time that will work with their time zone. Put out a survey asking your intended audience for time and date suggestions, and select the one that most people respond with availability for. However, it’s important to understand that you can’t win ‘em all, and that no date and time will be perfect for all parties involved. What you can do after the event is to upload the video on YouTube for anyone who misses it.
If the event is work-related, it may be a good idea to have it kick-off at Happy Hour (5pm) on a weekday and run for a max of 3 hours – keeping it short and focused is better for keeping the audience engaged through to the finale!
Anyone who has ever logged on to attend a virtual event will tell you that aside from the excitement of the group interaction, the best part is, without a doubt, receiving the event kit!
In order to ensure the success of any event, the kit is not something that should be overlooked.
Often filled with a curation of on-theme foods and items, the event kit represents a thoughtfully-prepared care package that is sent out to each attendee, serving as an important connector, helping to make the event unforgettable.
Many local Ontario restaurants and catering companies offer unique (and tasty!) event kits that you can purchase in bulk for your event, tailored to your attendees and their dietary preferences. Here at GOFR Courier, we’ve seen it all!
Some popular event kits have included:
– prepared foods and snacks like charcuterie boards, bento boxes, fruit platters;
– baked goods and sweets like cupcakes, cookies, and pastries;
– DIY kits like build-your-own tacos, hand-pies, pizzas etc;
– Cocktail kits containing everything you need to create your own masterpiece of mixology;
– games and trivia kits for some fun, virtual competition;
– customized or branded promotional items;
…or a kit containing any combination of the above! The possibilities are endless – as long as they contain something that everyone can un-box and enjoy during the event, your kits will be a hit. Some virtual events only send out kits to VIP attendees, but we strongly suggest sending a little something out to all attendees because it just makes the event, and the experience, that much more special and worth tuning in for.
Once the kits have been decided upon, it’s time to book the deliveries! Giving your courier service as much advance notice as possible will go a long way towards ensuring that they have the availability and the man-power to fulfill your request in a timely fashion. It’s usually best to establish a 3-5 hour time window for the deliveries, so that all attendees are receiving theirs at roughly the same time. Depending on the number of event kits going out, coordinating this often requires several drivers on pre-planned delivery routes, so having the kits prepared, properly packaged, and labelled at the pre-established pick-up time is crucial. If the kits are taking longer than expected to assemble, communicate this to the courier’s dispatch as soon as possible, to avoid driver waiting fees and potentially throwing the delivery time window off course.
Contact GOFR Courier today for a cost estimate on the delivery of your virtual event kits! Bulk discounts are offered when there are 50+ deliveries going out in a single order. You can email [email protected] to learn more, or to set up a phone call to discuss your event’s unique needs.
Ready to experience GOFR Courier for yourself?