We could start this blog post out any number of ways. “So, your physical event got the boot?” or “Who needs an in-person event when you could have a successful virtual event?”
But let’s face it. The only honest way for us to open this blog post is this: Okay, omicron, we get it.
We get that in-person events are having to take a halt once more. We get that virtual event platforms are where it’s at.
We get that we jumped the ball too soon and maybe dived in head first. But you know what?
We’re no longer going to be down in the dumps over lost physical events. Instead, we’re going to rise up from the ashes and make virtual events the one thing you can’t touch!
See Related: How To Become A Meeting Planner
Why transition to a virtual event?
No, we don’t mean for you to answer with: “Because we’re in the middle of a global pandemic?” What we mean to say is that virtual events have plenty of benefits to offer.
For starters, transitioning your live event to a virtual one will greatly reduce your budget. No more travel costs or renting out event spaces.
And with an online format, you can welcome more people to attend than you previously thought. Not to mention your choice of host, speakers, and performers broadens greatly.
And last but certainly not least, your transition to a virtual event will greatly decrease your carbon footprint. There’s no question that live events require a lot of resources and in turn produce a lot of unnecessary waste.
But with an event website, you can offer information, tickets, and any other paper goods that would otherwise be trashed. And they won’t even get lost because they’re virtually preserved!
Steps to make for a smooth transition
What’s that? We’re having to switch to a virtual format from our in-person event?
Even though we hired event planners to help us come up with hybrid events so we could keep the in-person element alive? But that plan’s all going down the drain?
And it’s a completely online event now? Okay, then… online events it is!
#1. Don’t panic
It’s easy to do this, but we’ll just offer you a quick reminder not to. Virtual events are nothing to fear.
You’ve done them before. They’re familiar to you. But maybe you haven’t had to transition from an in-person event to a virtual platform in a matter of days.
But hey, what’s a challenge if not a chance to grow? (Don’t worry, our optimism will grow on you.)
#2. Inform speakers and registered attendees
While this seems rather obvious, you should probably tell the audience and those hosting that the in-person event is a no-go. But hey, we’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.
You’ve got a lot on your mind. Either way, you’ll want to make sure that everyone across the board knows that you are now switching over to virtual events.
But don’t worry. We feel confident that you’ve got a great support team who can still make the event experience a memorable one. (Hint: we’re in your corner.)
#3. Modify the event registration process
At this point, you’ll want your target audience to know how they can still attend your virtual event. So start by offering an online registration which includes the date, time, and location of the virtual event.
If you’re in the middle of planning virtual conferences, be sure to offer schedules up on your website. And that means time for networking opportunities, breakout sessions, presentations, and more.
You might be in the middle of scheduling everything out in your virtual conferences. But with interactive features in many virtual event platforms, you should be able to put as much information as you can out there.
#4. Find the right virtual event platform for you
With plenty of folks switching over to a new format, there’s plenty of options for you to choose from. YouTube Live and Facebook Live offer a familiar attendee experience since audiences know these platforms.
Or you can find an online platform with the right tools that will engage your attendees in other ways. If it’s a more corporate event, think about networking or how to connect folks in between sessions.
This way, you can offer an online hub in which speakers, audience members, and team members alike can convene. And maybe they can have the chance to talk throughout the course of the pre-recorded live sessions and breakout rooms.
#5. Provide additional online content
The process of transitioning online actually offers a lot of cool opportunities. Like coming up with content!
Many live events may have a photo booth on site. So why not create a virtual photo booth to boost audience engagement?
Even create a room where attendees can access brochures or readable information to keep them engaged even outside of sessions. And – are you ready for the best idea yet when it comes to additional content?
Hire a virtual comedian! Sure, things might not have gone as originally planned but a comedian can sure help you laugh about it.
Not to mention that attendees will love the online interaction they get when laughing is involved. You could even go so far as to hire a virtual event host to take over hosting duties.
Because let’s be honest. You’ve got quite a lot on your plate.
#6. Set up your digital event schedule
As the Clean Comedians® entertain attendees during the pre-event, you can focus on other things like the schedule. Work out how each event will follow one another.
And always be sure to update your website with any new changes. We know that handling a bunch of event changes all at once can be intimidating.
So let us help you out! Not to toot our own horn, but it’s a great idea to take us up on our offer to help.
#7. Set up virtual booths for sponsors
You most likely had sponsors for your events, so what now? Well, set up a virtual booth for them and make sure that you keep them at the forefront of event marketing!
They may even have some videos or demonstrations of their own that they want to advertise. And just because the event has gone virtual doesn’t mean that those opportunities don’t still exist.
Besides, this will give attendees yet another place to explore within the virtual space. You’d be surprised at just how much you can access at the click of a button.
#8. Test everything out
We absolutely cannot stress this enough. There’s no question that technology can be a little fickle sometimes.
And technical difficulties are almost guaranteed to happen. But that doesn’t mean you can’t troubleshoot beforehand and test out all of your features first!
So take the time to iron out any rough edges. Double check with sponsors, corporate entertainers, and speakers.
Oh, and don’t forget to enjoy yourself. You’ve put a lot of hard work into this that others will surely recognize!
Pivot! Pivot!! Pivot!!!
Okay, that one is for the Friends fans out there. But if you think about it, Ross had a point.
Sometimes, plans change. Like when you’re transitioning an in-person event to a virtual event.
Or when you’re trying to fit a ginormous sofa up a narrow flight of stairs. Either situation requires that you pivot.
Not just your angle, but your strategy. So hopefully, these tips have shown you that it is possible to pivot.
And it’s always best to pivot when you’re laughing. (If you haven’t seen those bloopers, we highly recommend you check them out.)
Keep Reading: 27 Entertainment Ideas For Virtual Events
Adam Christing is a professional comedy magician, virtual MC, and the founder of CleanComedians.com. He is a member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and a popular corporate entertainer, magician, and virtual speaker.