One of the toughest challenges during COVID times has been the lack of human interactions. We are social beings and we like to meet friends and family. Over the years, social events like parties and gatherings have become a part and parcel of our lives and it is difficult to do without them! And, so since 2020, we are trying to accomplish our desire of socializing with virtual social events!
Virtual events have become the safest way for people to interact since the onset of the pandemic. Whether it is corporate meetings, team events, charity auctions, or even birthday parties or baby showers, they are all done virtually
Although virtual events cannot replace the thrill of face-to-face meetings, they have created an alternate means of interaction. Many families even host regular virtual meetings without any event to celebrate just so that they can have all members together and spend quality time.
The toughest challenge in a virtual event is keeping the audience engaged throughout the event. This is because when people are not physically present at the event, they tend to get bored and try to leave the event. Sometimes technological glitches also mar the event experience. Therefore, event hosts need to spend some time planning and organizing the logistics before the event is hosted. They need to ensure that they have things like technology, agenda of the event, sequence of activities, etc. planned well in advance before the event is hosted so that the event proceeds seamlessl.
Here Are Some Tips to Host a Virtual Event Successfully
1. Nature of the Event:
What you do at a virtual party depends on the nature of the event being celebrated. For instance, the planning for a kid’s birthday party will be quite different from that of a corporate event. All aspects of the party like the number of guests, who your guests will be, the theme of the party, will depend totally on the type of event being celebrate
2. Decide on the Date and Time of the Event
that you host the virtual event during the weekend or on a day that is convenient for attendees. Not just the date even the time of the event must be selected that it is convenient for most people to attend. Sometimes it is difficult to organize events to suit the convenience of all attendees especially when they are located in different time zones. In such cases, it is best to choose a timing that suits the majority of the group.
Also, while deciding the time of the event it is better to be a little flexible and offer 2-3 options so that your guests can choose the timing best suited for them. You can schedule the event based on the time slot preferred by the maximum number of potential guests.
3. Choose the Best Technology
There are several virtual event platforms to choose from for organizing the event. It is recommended that you compare different platforms available and choose one that best meets your needs. While selecting the platform for your event make sure that as a host you are comfortable using the platform. It is a good idea to select a user-friendly platform that your guests can use easily. Try to avoid choosing platforms that are technologically complicated and difficult for a layman to use. Also, use technology that works without a hassle.
It is a good idea to check the working of the platform well in advance so that you are comfortable using it. Also, you can have sessions with those attendees who might find it difficult to use the platform before the event. These could be people in the higher age bracket, etc
4. Prepare the Guest List
Just like in a physical event venue, you need to restrict the number of guests according to the size of the venue, in a virtual event, you need to decide the number of attendees based on how many your event hosting platform will allow. Once you have prepared your guest list, inform your guests about the date and time of the event. If you find that the time you have fixed does not suit most of the attendees, try to suggest an alternative time slot that is convenient for most of the guests.
5. Host the Event
Make sure that all your systems are working perfectly before the event. As a host, you need to ensure that your Wifi works without any interruption so that your guests can enjoy the event.
Keep a feedback form ready for your guests. This is valuable data that can help you enhance the event experience for your guests for future events.
While these are the basic steps on how to host virtual events, you need to work a little extra hard if you want your event to stand out!
Engaging the audience for the entire duration of the event is more difficult in a virtual event than in a physical event because in a physical event there is face-to-face interaction, there are food and drinks breaks, etc. to make the event interesting. Therefore, as a host, you need to put on your thinking hats and come up with innovative event ideas to make your virtual event successful.
Best practices to host virtual events that stand out:
A theme party is something that attendees always enjoy. Think of a theme that is aligned with the dynamics of the group of attendees. You could have a theme color and ask the guests to dress accordingly.
2. Dressing Up:
Make sure that you ask your guests to dress up as if they were attending a physical event. Staying indoors in pajamas makes life dull and monotonous. So, when the attendees are asked to dress up for the event, they feel special and they look forward to the event. The excitement builds up even before the event as they discuss among themselves how they are going to dress for the event.
You might wonder what food has got to do in a virtual event? Well! food is an important part of any event. You can decide on a specific menu and ask all guests to prepare and everyone can eat at the same time as they were having dinner together. This would be a great idea for events like family functions or birthdays, etc. For events where guests do not know each other personally, or a formal event you could organize takeaways to be delivered to all your guests.
Organizing online games like trivia or quizzes, bingo, etc. works well to engage your audience.
You could hold a competition for decorating the home/background for the event. You could announce the contest beforehand and reward the winners.
Break rooms are good for formal events as they give the attendees to interact with each other and network.
7. Karaoke Singing
Karaoke singing has become very popular in virtual events. Including karaoke singing in virtual events helps break the monotony and makes the event interesting. These are some suggestions on what you can do at a virtual party. While these are general recommendations, you can create the best virtual event experience for your guests when you tailor the event according to their needs. However, there are certain aspects of virtual events when you are planning to host one. Make sure to adhere to them so that your audience enjoys the event
Do’s and Dont’s for Virtual Events:
- Inform your guests well in advance.
- Send reminders to your guests so that they do not forget about it.
- Make sure that you choose a virtual event platform that offers all features you require for your event so that you do not require too many add-ons.
- Find out about the interests of your audience beforehand so that you can tailor the event according to their expectations.
- Create the event based on the data collected about the interests of your audience.
- Make sure to include polls, surveys, etc. to keep your attendees active during the event.
- Irrespective of the type of event make sure that you have some light moments and offer breaks to your guests.
- Ensure that all the members are conversant with the technology used and have good Wi-fi so that there is no break in the event.
- Do not make the event of very long duration. Based on the agenda, restrict the timing of your event to ensure that all guests attend the entire event.
- Events that lack guest interaction usually have the audience leaving in between. So, don’t create events in which there are just guest speakers without any audience participation.
- Not all guests may be tech-savvy. So, don’t make it difficult for those guests who may lack technical know-how by just sharing the link for the support website. Make sure that you take care of all your guests and explain to them how to use the platform.
With all this information, are you ready to host your next virtual event? So, plan your next event with the best virtual event hosting platform, WeInvite! WeInvite is a platform that offers all the features you require to host any type of virtual event!