Something feels like it’s missing.
You’ve rounded up all the contacts you need, you made a list of all the online solutions you need to research to take your event online, and you’ve checked with multiple team members on how to go forward. But what if you forgot to include a crucial aspect within your virtual event planning checklist?
Like you, many event organizers have been feeling these concerns whilst going through the process of turning their in-person events virtual. We received a surprising amount of requests from event organizers for a detailed list of things to do to prepare for the transition. They didn’t want to miss a single important factor in the new virtual event planning process. Most of these organizers had never organized a virtual event before and they wanted to make sure that their event would be as successful as an in-person event.
That’s why we created this virtual event planning checklist.
How could we create a virtual event planning checklist that would help every type of event go virtual?
Since virtual event planning is relatively new, there were limited resources we could use to create the list. More importantly, every event is different, some with 100 attendees, while others have 500 or more than 1000 attendees. Some of these events have only local participants, while others have participants all around the world. Some of the events are conferences with breakout sessions and lots of speakers, while others are expos that focus more on the exhibitors.
Fortunately, throughout the past month, Whova has worked with over 100 virtual events of various types and accumulated a lot of experience. We contacted the organizers of all the different types of events to ask for their successful experiences and lessons learned. With all this information, we were able to compile a comprehensive list of 45 items that cover the details of organizing a virtual event of any type.
Structure of the checklist
We divided the checklist into 3 major sections:
- Before the event
- During the event
- After the event
In each section, we cover different categories of items. For example, in the first section, we cover categories such as “how to choose software/hardware platforms”, “how to communicate with the participants”, “what to consider in registration”, and more.
In the second section, we include categories such as “during the session streaming”, “how to advocate your sponsors and exhibitors”, and others. In the last section, we describe “how to follow up with participants” and more things to consider after the event ends.
Here’s a sample of what you’ll see in the virtual event planning checklist:
Before the event day
- Event format planning
- Choose from live stream, pre-recorded videos, or a hybrid according to the event needs (this is important in deciding which software platform to use)
- Decide if the event should be extended a few more days
- Decide the content distribution strategy: whether to make all content public, or restrict to registrants only
- If attendees span over a large geographic area, consider recording sessions and allow on-demand replay
- Choose software/hardware platforms:
- Streaming software platform (e.g. Zoom, Webex)
- Attendee interaction software. Depending on your needs, you can choose a comprehensive platform such as Whova, or a chat-only solution such as Slack
- Miscellaneous tools: emailing service (e.g. Mailchimp), caption generation, and interpreter services (if needed)
- Decide if you need high-quality A/V devices such as recording devices to filter noise/echo
- Consider certain services may not be available in some areas (e.g. Google/Youtube/Facebook are not available in China)
During the event
- During session streaming
- Start every session 15 minutes earlier to check the device and network
- Prepare and react to any disruption (e.g. violation of code of conduct, streaming cut off due to technical issues)
- Mute/unmute and disable/enable video of participants accordingly
- Collect and moderate online Q&A
- Start and organize fun activities
- Coordinate online gamifications such as a photo contest
- Start virtual meet-ups
If you’d like to get a full copy of the downloadable virtual event planning checklist, please contact your Whova event consultant or account manager.
If you currently don’t have one yet and are interested in using Whova for your event, please place a price quote and our event consultant will contact you as soon as possible.