The idea of virtual events still sounds a little futuristic for some freelance event managers in Dubai, even though live streaming has been happening since the early 90s. The progressive upgrades on technology and social media have opened new doors for people to communicate online, in real-time.
2020 has been a slow year, with numerous health concerns and travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of events worldwide have either been postponed or entirely canceled. Event organizers have had to quickly adapt to the reality and device ways in which they can plan and manage different types of online meetings.
The value of face-to-face interaction during conferences and other events will never fade away. However, there are times when hosting a virtual event is a necessity. Apart from getting you moving despite circumstances such as the COVID-19 pandemic, hosting an event online should be something worth exploring if you need to include attendees beyond your local demographic.
The Main Types of Virtual Events
Depending on what your goals are, there are different types of events that can be hosted differently. The following are the two main types of virtual events that are worth checking out:
Webinars technically last about an hour and allows attendees to join and listen as one or two speakers make a presentation at a time. Companies mainly use them for in-house meetings and to get their things done. They can also be used for external training thanks to its educational nature.
The video conferencing tools used can allow for a Q & A session, presentation formats, and it provides one the ability to either present live or have a pre-recorded video shown. The hosts can decide either to allow the attendees to join freely or by paying via the numerous online payment methods available.
2. Virtual conferences
Virtual conferences are no different from the standard face-to-face conferences that you might be accustomed to. They are built around the same complex agenda, such as the involvement of keynote speakers, different sessions, breaks, etc.
Freelance event managers in Dubai have always tried to organize such events with the same attention and care as in-person meetings. They have made it possible for improved networking among the attendees, relevant community engagement tools, on-demand content, and many more.
Tips for Hosting Virtual Events
Planning an event is not an easy task, and they all come with logistical challenges. Here are some powerful tips that will help you to get around hosting a successful virtual event:
1. Creating a game plan
Every good freelance event organizer in the UAE can affirm that any event, whether online or offline, needs to begin with a game plan. You ought to understand your goals and the key concept of the event before you continue.
While there are many factors that you need to consider before going any further, here are a few questions whose answers you must have before you host a virtual meeting:
- Is the event going to be live or on-demand?
- What time will it be held?
- What type of experience do you seek to create for both the hosts and the attendees?
- Will the attendees gain access to the event freely, or they’ll have to pay for it?
- Is registration required?
- How will you promote the event?
- Do you have any KPIs in mind, and is there data you plan to track in the long run?
Getting the right answers to these simple questions will go a long way to ensuring that your virtual event becomes successful.
2. Choose a platform
There are many communication tools that you can use for your virtual event. Many companies have used platforms such as YouTube, Instagram & Facebook, Zoom, Periscope, etc. to host virtual meetings. However, as you could have imagined, not all platforms are right for you.
A lot has to be considered before you pick the right channel for your event. How familiar are you with the platform? Does it have useful features that can come in handy during the meeting? Is your target audience familiar with the preferred channel?
3. Prepare for tech troubles
If in-person events can have technical hitches, what about virtual ones? You’re not 100% safe. You have to always be ready for any technicalities that might arise during the event. Try going for a dry run by testing all your equipment, internet stability, and strength, etc. You may also have to ask other presenters to do the same.
To be on the safe side, since not all the attendees are guaranteed to be tech-savvy, you should prepare some resources to provide support in case they run into problems. Moreover, prepare backup documents and other visuals just in case one file gets missing or has issues.
Finally, always encourage engagement throughout the event. If the budget allows for it, you can hire an emcee that will run the entire program while keeping the attendees entertained. Ensure that you run thorough event marketing before the D-day and make it all a success by having some of the best freelance event managers in Dubai by your side.