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How to Host A Virtual Event – 7 Tips from Katala

Written by Jolanda Konarska

We at Katala want to make sure that your virtual event is a success. These seven tips will help you on your way!

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Make it relevant​

There are many other businesses hosting virtual events during this time, so you need to make sure that your event is relevant and that it grabs your audience’s attention.

During your event, although it may already be evident, acknowledging the current climate we are in is a must. This will make you relatable and will build a rapport with your audience. 

A great example of a Non-profit that had to change their physical event to a virtual event Is Active Suffolk’s ‘Lockdown Hero’s’ which replaced their Suffolk Sports awards.

Get the timing right

Getting people to sign up to your virtual event is one challenge, but convincing them to sign on when the event goes live is another. Our tip would be to make sure you choose a suitable time for your event so that more people are likely to attend. Hosting your virtual event on a Friday afternoon might not be the best idea as people are focused on winding their work down ready for the weekend, and hosting your event on a Monday morning might not be a great idea either as meetings for the week ahead usually take place at this time. So make sure you pick a suitable time.

Keep it short and to the point

Following on from our first point would be to keep your virtual event short to maintain your audience’s attention. The longer you host an event for the harder it can be to maintain engagement. Our suggestion is to keep your virtual event to one hour. If it has to be longer than this time frame, then make sure you include a break in between so that your attendees don’t lose interest. Including guest speakers is also a great way to mix things up and surprise your audience.

Brief your speakers carefully​

If your event is based around giving talks, make sure you give full details of the brief to your speakers to make sure the event remains relevant to the message you’re trying to deliver.

Asking your speakers to brief or even present their talk to you beforehand is a great way to be sure that your speakers stay on topic throughout your event. 

Another tip we have would be to script some questions ready for your guest speakers to answer for the Q&A session at the end. This will ensure they are fully prepared. With your audience being behind the computer screen, they may be more critical than they would be in person, so rehearsing some questions beforehand will ensure you’re prepared.

Choose your platform wisely​

There are many platforms available that you can choose from to host your event. If you are looking for free platforms then you may not need to look far as you can use ‘YouTube Live’, ‘Instagram Stories’ and ‘Facebook Live’. If you want your event to contain more user engagement or polls for an example, then there are other platforms you can use but they may come at a cost. We suggest that you prioritise the goals of your event and how you want your audience to engage with you. Once you have decided on what this is, head over to Capterra to take a look at the platforms that are available to you.

Make your attendees feels included​

Once you have encouraged your attendees to sign on to your event, you need to keep them online, because it’s really easy for them to click off if they are feeling disengaged. 

A great way to keep your audience interested can be to hold virtual polls, a live chat and ice breaker activities. All of which which will make your audience feel engaged and keep them online.

Remind people it’s happening​

When a user signs up for your virtual event, make sure that they receive a confirmation email so they have something to refer back too.

Sending your users another reminder email either the day before or the morning of the event will make sure that they remember to sign on. But be sure to remember not to bombard them with too many emails either!

We hope these 7 tips have helped you on your way to achieving a successful virtual event!

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