The ongoing pandemic, the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), has severely affected companies, organizations, and businesses across the world. With efforts to stop the new virus strain from exponentially spreading from one continent to another, and eventually the whole world, social distancing and prohibiting people from gathering together is highly encouraged, if not enforced in some places around the world.As safety measures have been taken up by world leaders to ensure the safety of everyone, the business industry, in particular, is taking a hit. The initial main purpose of the event industry, which is bringing people together and optimizing that process has been reconsidered due to the severity of the pandemic and the safety measures that have been put in place in order to further prevent COVID-19 from spreading.
Many businesses in the event industry have been forced to cancel or postpone planned events with no real expectations of when the dust will clear. No one really knows when it will be deemed safe for people to finally gather around and attend events again. As a result, organizations involved in the event industry have no choice but to accept the situation, explore new opportunities to overcome the current challenges, asses their options, and move forward. A solution that has become widely popular for the event industry is the use of virtual event platforms to host large online events.
In a world where almost everything could be done online, from ordering groceries to getting an education, events can now be held online. While it may be difficult for many to grasp the idea of converting a physical event into a virtual event, we are here to help you discover the possibility of doing just that with a step by step guide to inform event organizers how to manage big events online.
What is a Large Online Event?
A large online event is in actuality a large online virtual event where people interact in a virtual environment on the web instead of meeting and interacting in a physical location. Normally, online events feature webinars and webcasts. However, virtual online events have also now been known to cover tradeshows, job fairs, conferences, meetings, and even company-wide gatherings. Large companies have made good use of virtual platforms to host large online events to deliver presentations, training, and expos. In general, a large online event can recreate the aspects of an actual large event to users through an online experience. A virtual event can enable real-time networking between users, organizers, speakers, and administrators. The kind of features that are available for large online events vary depending on the provider you choose.
The Challenges of Managing Large Events Online.
Managing large events on their own present enough challenges for organizers, planners, and personnel. Location layout and details need to be sorted out, event preparations, scheduling, logistics, and all else related to hosting an event create challenges for an event planner. However, in the case of managing large scale events online, many more pressing challenges emerge. Especially if the online event is intended for an international audience, the needs and standards are beyond those of any conventional large event. Organizing, tracking, and managing the number of participants, attendees, and presenters is a challenge of its own. And from where in the world everyone will be connecting to the online event is another challenge.
In general, it is quite a challenge to set up, plan, organize and host big virtual events. The needs of such events are rather unique and challenging to realize. To begin with, an effective and competent support team led by a dedicated manager is essential to provide assistance where and when needed. The team would also need to be proficient in operating the platform for the virtual event. The planning, organizing, and training for the presenters and everyone involved in the online event are tasks that require time, patience and devotion. Additionally, both, a remote and on-site support team during the online event must be ready and prepared to perform.
The Fundamentals of Planning Big Online Events.
The rise and popularity of virtual events have been heightened since the recent outbreak of COVID-19. The pandemic has led more and more companies to rely heavily on tech tools to communicate with partners, employees, and clients across the globe. The event industry, in general, has been making a transition from planning and hosting regular events to planning and hosting virtual events. Nonetheless, just as conventional events, virtual events also require diligent preparation, planning, and professionalism. Consider the following fundamentals to effectively plan an online event.
- Remain calm, not much will be different. In terms of preparation, planning, and production, a conventional event does not differ as much from a virtual event. A crucial difference is that a virtual event will not only require but rely more on the use of important online event managing software.
- Your audience is everything. A major consequence of having an online event, especially a big one, is that your audience will have the option to log-off, work on something else, or simply walk away from their computer whenever they lose interest. Your audience needs a strong reason or incentive to stay connected, and remain fully engaged. Use your imagination and creativity to create accountability, a reason or incentive to keep your audience engaged. Also, consider the size and distribution of your audience. Knowing from where they will be connecting is crucial to understand online event planning.
- Find a proper technical supplier. Today you can find a number of reputable technical suppliers to help you with the software to market the event, conduct registrations online, host and orchestrate the event online, create a powerful event video content to impress your attendees.
- Rehearse and test the operation of the online event. It is prudent to be ready by rehearsing and testing the whole event with all the staff beforehand. Catch any problems that might arise during the event, especially if it is going to be live-streamed. Play out how you expect the whole online event to run. Know what to expect, and anticipate the possibility of any problems by being smart.
- Consider having a host to bring the online event to life. Having a host can give an online event a persona, a theme, or an essence that can entice the engagement of the audience to stay interested in the online event. After all, a host can make an event more enjoyable to be a part of.
The Key Essentials to Manage Large Online Events.
Managing large online events such as conferences, ceremonies, or conventions, can be a stressful and overwhelming process. However, it does not have to be this way. The following key essentials on how to manage large events online can help you to adequately manage a memorable and effective event online.
- Start early. Plan big online events months in advance. Take fewer chances of making any errors on the day of the event by making sure everything is ready to go weeks before the event. A large scale event should be taken seriously, and contingency plans should be set in place before going forth with the event.
- Remain open for any changes. Many things can change during the planning of an online event and during the event itself. Be flexible and open to deal with any unpredictable changes. It is important to have a support team capable of improvising and finding quick solutions to any problems that may arise.
- Delegate responsibilities. Divide the various elements of online events into sections. From registration to real-time support, assign a different section to sub-groups or individuals in the team. As sole respondents for the efficacy and performance of their work, they will be more careful and conscientious of their tasks.
- Create a shared source of reference. Keep everyone in the team updated and informed by creating a shared online folder where everyone involved in planning the online event can find important details on everything to do with the online event.
- Follow up after the event. Learn from the experience of your online event. Analyze the data collected, discover insights, and follow up with the attendees to learn about their experience of the event. All this will help you understand the success of how well you managed a large online event.
Vital Software for Planners & Event Management.
With the latest online event management software, you can increase attendance, productivity, and even profit margin. A big online event management system can allow planners to recreate the experience of an actual event in a virtual event. Nowadays, the use of event management software is vital for the making of any large scale events, especially for big virtual events.
Currently, there are many event management tools for free for planners to choose from. Knowing how to choose the right event management software for your next online event is crucial. Look for peer reviews for credible accounts on the software available out there. Look into the interface design of the software you are considering. If the tool is easy to use, you will be able to comfortably navigate and implement the tool and its features.
Online event management software should be used to enhance the experience of online events by enabling event planners and organizers to effectively perform their jobs. Event management software can optimize the performance of everything from registration, check-in, design, marketing, to the management of attendees and staff. In addition, event management software helps event planners plan, organize and manage an entire event from a single platform. This is essential for online events.
How to Manage Large Online Events With Gevme.
GEVME is a certified and reliable event management software to manage and enhance your large online event with the newest event marketing technology. Recently launched GEVME live allows you to run secure big virtual events.
With GEVME you can plan and prepare your event, build your registration forms, customize your landing page, send out invitations, and keep track of communication.
During the event, you can conduct check-ins, streamline your event, coordinate, and correspond. And after the event, you can review and analyze the event data, discover insights, and learn about what to improve on for your next event. Therefore, take the opportunity to manage your large online events with software that simplifies and streamlines your event planning experience.
Streamline the Check-in and Registration Process
You can streamline the check-in and registration process with GEVME. By using their comprehensive online event registration and ticketing system, you will be able to simplify the entire event planning process that is aimed to provide your registrants with a user-friendly registration experience. Reduce the registration time for attendees and collect their data before events through mobile-responsive forms. You can set up your own event registration rules with Gevme’s online registration for events. And lastly, Gevme also allows you to maximize event attendance with their most secure, easy-to-use, event registration platform.
Video Stream your Event
Despite everything going on now due to the coronavirus outbreak, potential event attendees would still like to attend events, except they can’t because most events, if not all, have been canceled to prevent the pandemic from spreading. Fortunately, for all the potential attendees that are eager to attend events, the recent advances in technology in event software can make it possible. Event planners and organizers can video stream events over the internet. Multiple tools or platforms are available online for free. Event planners can take full advantage of exceptional platforms such as Facebook and youtube to video stream their event online with a large audience.
Tips and Practices for Managing a Successful Online Event.
Whether your goal is to reach a larger audience, increase brand awareness, attract more customers, or simply hold a successful online event, it is important to take into consideration the quality of your online event by knowing the best tips for organizing a successful online event.
The following tips and practices can help you manage a successful, engaging and impactful online event.
- Accessibility is essential. You want to make sure to choose an online platform that provides your potential attendees with easy access to register, sign-in, and attend your online events.
- The quality of production is key to building a reputation for your online events and attracting more attendees for future online events. Test the online platform you decide to work with, and rehearse your online event to improve quality and reduce the margin of error.
- Capture the attention of the audience. Keeping the audience engaged is not easy, but it is very important if you plan to have a successful online event. Use visual aids and platform features to captivate the interests’ of your audience. For example, use Q&A’s, chat pods, polling, breakout sessions online
- Go mobile to reach more potential attendees. A lot of people prefer to use their smartphones or tablets to complete online tasks. By considering a mobile audience, many more will be able to join a live stream of your online event.
- Follow-up and report after the event. You will find it beneficial to review the data collected from your audience as you can gain valuable insights that can be used to improve on future online events. Also, follow up with attendees to learn more about the impact of your event.
Find more actionable insights and tips on how to run digital events in our digital event series of webinars with digital event planners from around the world.
How to Measure the Success of Online Events.
To gain a better idea of how well your online event concluded, consider the following key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your online event.
- Review the online event check-in to compare it with the total number of registrations. If any discrepancies exist between the two numbers, look for the underlying reason of why it occurred. Perhaps the registration process was more accessible than the checking-in process, or maybe the attendees were discouraged to sign-in.
- Have the attendees take satisfaction surveys. The best way to attain feedback on the success of your event is to directly ask your attendees about their experience with the online event. The survey responses can help you understand what your attendees found satisfying and unsatisfying. The data will surely help you to ensure that your future online events meet the satisfaction of the audience.
- Use the Net Promoter Score (NPS) to obtain a satisfactory score from your attendees. NPS asks the attendees a simple question and allows the attendees to respond with a satisfactory score ranging from 1-10. Ultimately, the score is a key indicator of how much value your event brought to attendees.
- Conduct live polling. You can get your attendees to vote in live polls during your online event. Their rate of response serves as an indicator of how well engaged they are with the online event.
- Use social media to your advantage. Create content, or more specifically, a hashtag that attendees can use and share on social media platforms. Keep track of how many times your content is mentioned to better understand how well your online event is succeeding.
Measuring the success of online events is a particular and personalized process. What key performance indicators you choose to use to measure the success of your online events depend on the goals you are seeking to accomplish. Aside from the five aforementioned KPIs, you can also find several more specialized KPIs online to help you understand the success of your event.
In times when a pandemic is causing all sorts of changes around the world, businesses in the event industry need to learn how to adapt in order to survive. As public gatherings are not allowed, and events have been forced to be canceled, it has become favorable for the event industry to make the switch to the virtual world. The main challenges most organizations have faced during this transition to virtual platforms is time management and access to the right guidance in preparing and setting up a virtual event. In other words, a virtual event requires time, planning, and knowledge of the tools available to plan and organize an online event. Nevertheless, making the transition to online events is the best option most organizations in the event industry have to make up for the events canceled. So it is better to make the best of it and learn all the essentials to adapt to these changing times.