When you decide to take your live event virtual, it's hard to know where to start. Follow these ten steps to transition as smooth as possible to a fully online event.
1. Communicate the switch clearly
Don’t leave your guests wondering what’s happening with the event - make the switch clear.
Communicate with your guests via email, text, through various social media channels, etc. Be sure you also update the event registration page to clarify that you are going virtual. You’ll also want to be as quick as possible in responding to guest questions, concerns, etc.
If your rule is normally to answer guests within 24 hours, try to answer them within 12 instead.
Use SMS messaging to stay in touch!
With Purplepass' SMS feature, users can
2. Make registration simple
One bonus of taking an event virtually is that you can take registrants up until the moment the event starts.
Have multiple places for guests to register (links on Facebook and Instagram, links through email, website and text) and require as little information as possible during the registration process.
3. Research like crazy
It’s key that your software and streaming platform can create the type of show you want. If you’re not sure of the best platform for you to stream through, start your research.
It may help to write down everything you want from a live streaming platform and then getting to work finding the platform that comes closest to hitting your wishlist.
Popular streaming platforms:
- YouTube Live
- Facebook Live
4. Prep your talent
Whether your event features a host, or you have multiple live performers, chat with them about the change that you’re making, and listen to their concerns.
Talk with them about your expectations for how they’ll interact with the audience and let them know that they must be present for your test run throughout the planning process.
5. Practice makes perfect
Go through multiple test runs of the full show and find the glitches that happen before you start live streaming.
Moving to an online format is a huge change, and it’s normal for there to be some issues to work through. You want to work through these issues long before the show starts, not while you’re live with your audience.
Schedule at least two to three test runs with your full crew where you can go through the show in real time, from start to finish. Note any issues that pop up and get to work on fixing them before your next run through.
6. Tease the show
Short live streams from the event organizer and/ or the host, snapshots of performers on your social media, and talking about special surprises that will happen during the show are all great ways to get your guests excited about your virtual event.
As you tease the show, pay attention (and respond to) comments left by guests.
See what they’re excited about and use this information to continue promoting the show.
7. Allow comments while live streaming the event
You want your guests to interact with one another, just as they would if they were sitting at the same table at your live event.
A streaming comments feature allows your guests to chat with each other about what’s going on, and can allow you to keep your thumb on the pulse of the event, making changes if necessary.
8. Think about your host
Ask them if they’re comfortable working online and provide them with an out if they don’t feel ok with this type of hosting.
Use the time before your event to either prepare your host or to find a new host comfortable doing a virtual event. Be sure to remind your host that this will be very different for them if they typically thrive off of audience interaction.
9. Create a countdown
Get people excited!
Use the countdown feature in Instagram stories, post a countdown on your organization’s Facebook page, and install a countdown tool on your event website.
10. Change the contract
Be sure to update the terms and conditions for your event contract to reflect the change. Update guests on this change, and if necessary, require them to sign off on the changes before they log in to view your virtual event.
Create your own terms and conditions
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