Virtual events are organized online gatherings that bring speakers, presenters, and audiences together. The only difference to physical events is that virtual events are held entirely online.
Because it’s possible to host large gatherings in a virtual space, virtual events have become a powerful tool for enabling event organizers to connect with their audience despite the ongoing pandemic forcing everyone to social distance.
There are a lot of tasks you need to do, so here are a few of the tools you should have in your arsenal to pull off a successful virtual event.
Event and Registration Ticketing
Event and registration ticketing is more involved than selling concert tickets, where the organizers don’t need to know much about their customers other than payment and contact details.
An event organizer usually needs a lot more information about their attendees than the basics, which might include details like:
- Their industry
- Company details
- Job title or position
You can arrange event registration and ticketing for a virtual event in a couple of different ways. Microsites are a popular option, consisting of a single page outlining aspects of the event, such as speakers and FAQs.
Or you could opt for a basic registration form where users can enter their details and purchase tickets.
Whichever design you go for will depend on the type of virtual event you are hosting and your goals.
Paper Submission and Review System
Every virtual event tool should reduce your workload and automate processes as much as possible to prevent mistakes. The paper submission and review system allows you to stay on top of abstracts and talks your speakers submit.
You can then review the submission and accept or reject it. The system will automatically notify the author about the status of their proposal, which gives you less to do.
The logistics for a virtual event are a little different from a physically hosted one, but all the challenges are still there for getting all the moving pieces in sync. Event scheduling tools ensure you stay on top of your to-do list and don’t miss any critical pieces of the puzzle.
You’re not hosting a crowd of people, but you will likely still be bringing a group of speakers together and will need to get the timelines locked in and ensure they have the resources they need to do their presentation.
Virtual events also require specialized equipment to broadcast the presentations and the professionals to make it all work. An event scheduling tool will be a fantastic resource for precise timing, making sure resources are available when you need them, and ensuring everyone shows up when they are required.
Virtual Meeting Platform
You have many options for virtual meeting platforms, and they all have their pros and cons. Here are some of the critical features of virtual meeting platforms that will help you improve the quality of your virtual events.
Engagement options – The best virtual events are when the audience can engage with the speakers and other audience members.
Easy to use – Many of your attendees will not be familiar with the platform, so it must be easy to set up and operate.
Analytics – It’s always good to get the numbers that help you understand how your audience reacted to the event, including how many stayed to the end versus how many dropped off partway through.
The best types of events are ones where the audience can actively engage. Virtual event tools with live polling features help your presenters get instant feedback from the audience. Use live polling forms to get detailed information about your audience’s opinions and beliefs.
The data you collect can provide you with analytics that will help you improve subsequent events or provide inspiration for targeted marketing material to grow your audience.
Attendee Interaction Tools
Attendee interaction tools like live chat and virtual whiteboards make virtual events more engaging and dynamic. Give your audience the ability to post questions and keep the discussion dynamic, rather than just another online lecture.
Other virtual event tools that can improve attendee engagement include voting tools, polls, surveys, quizzes, and Q & A sessions.
Virtual Sponsor Lounge
Sponsorships provide fantastic opportunities for creating a healthy cash flow. Fortunately, sponsorships are not exclusive to live-person events because they can also work well with virtual versions.
A virtual sponsor lounge enables online networking and collaboration. Attendees, speakers, sponsors, and business partners can mingle online and exchange ideas, promote offers and share contact details without time constraints.
Sponsors will also appreciate the ability for attendees to download videos, catalogs, and brochures directly from your site.
Participants can see each other in the virtual lounge and engage with one-to-one live video chat, which is the next best thing to chatting at a physical location, but without the risk of fuelling the pandemic.
Email Broadcast System
Event organizers of both virtual and physical events need to communicate critical information related to the event, which is why any collection of virtual event tools will need to include an email broadcast system.
A good email broadcast system will make your email communications streamlined and efficient. All new emails should be automatically entered into the email broadcast system when attendees sign up or purchase a ticket.
Once the emails are in the system, you can easily communicate essential details about the event or create a drip-feed email marketing campaign to keep the event at the top of your attendees’ minds and get them excited for what they are about to see.
Participation Certificate Builder
A great way to show your appreciation for your attendees’ support is to issue a participation certificate. It’s a small gesture that can have a big impact, but it can take a lot of time and resources when you’ve got hundreds or possibly thousands to produce.
Fortunately, a participation certificate builder is one of those virtual event tools that promise to make your job a lot easier. You design the form in the builder using your logo, event name, and whatever else you need to include. Let the software pull the relevant information out of the CRM to personalize the certificate before sending it off to your attendees.
Post-Event Evaluation Survey
When the final speaker signs off, your work is not yet done because you still need to gather information about how well your virtual event performed. This is where the post-event evaluation survey becomes a valuable part of your virtual event tools collection.
Ask your guests questions to give you a feel for how much value your audience received. Here are just a few of the questions you can include in your evaluation survey:
- Do you think the event achieved its goals (yes, no, and why)?
- Where did you hear about the event?
- Would you recommend this event to a friend or colleague?
- Why did you attend our event?
- Is this your first time at one of our events?
Is There an All-In-One Solution?
As you can imagine, pulling so many different virtual event tools together and getting (hoping?) they can all connect and work together is a big ask. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a tool that did all of the above from the one convenient interface? Fortunately, there is. Dryfta is your one-stop virtual event tool that can do all of the tasks mentioned above and more.
You’ll reduce your learning curve because you won’t have to learn many different tools, and your attendees will be happy because of the straightforward registration and the ease and reliability of the online connection. Learn more about how Dryfta can take over all the roles of your current collection of virtual event tools.