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  • Mary Windham

The 5 Biggest Virtual Event Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

From the Desk of Mary

Event Manager - Entrepreneur - Adventurer

Virtual events are becoming the new norm! There’s no doubt this in-person alternative has many benefits - like reduced costs and increased audience reach - but like any successful event, it requires planning, planning, and more planning! If they’re not careful, first time virtual event planners could face some show-stopping obstacles, but you can avoid these 5 most common pitfalls with our tips below.

Mistake 1: Too Much Technology

Avoid it by:

  • Identifying your goal

  • Exploring your options

  • Educating your attendees as needed

The virtual event environment is dependent on technology, but that doesn’t mean you should go after everything available. Hone in on what your event goals are, who your target audience is, and what you already have available to you. It’s likely you’ll need to use some platforms or software you haven’t before, so educate yourself on your options. Your audience should also be familiar with your platform, otherwise you’ll want to include some simple attendee education during promotions or event onboarding.

Mistake 2: In-Person Indecision

Avoid it by:

  • Not trying to copy an in-person event

  • Exploring new opportunities

  • Listening to what your audience wants

There are some elements of in-person events that just can’t be replicated. Once again, revisit your goals and get a feel for what your audience expects. If some in-person aspects are absolutely needed, consider a hybrid event style. If you’re going all virtual, craft a new, exciting event that explores some fun engagement options, rather than trying to replicate what you’ve done in the past. If your event generates revenue, remember it may take a few virtual events before you reach that same level of income.

Mistake 3: Lackluster Engagement

Avoid it by:

  • Knowing your platforms

  • Offering creative engagement opportunities

  • Providing awesome content

A boring event can easily turn into an unremarkable webinar. Quality virtual events use engagement strategies that include breakout sessions, online quizzes or polls, chat box questions and answers, feedback, engaging audience questions, and more. The exact options will depend on the style and content of your event, but participation opportunities should pop up frequently so attendees don’t get distracted or bored. In addition, ensure you’re creating quality content and have an engaging, energetic presenter.

Mistake 4: Understaffed on Event Day

Avoid it by:

  • Get experts on board early

  • Plan for problems

  • Cover every base

Don’t underestimate the need for savvy staff on the day of your event! Set up your star-studded virtual event team from the beginning and include roles like promotions, tech support, presenter aide, and more depending on your event needs. On the day of, have at least one person in charge of promoting the event while it’s happening. Set up another person who’s tech savvy to manage the inevitable tech issues. Have someone look at metrics and feedback during the event so real-time programming changes can improve the event. Assign someone else to help each presenter monitor chat questions or other engagement methods. Don’t stop until all your bases are covered!

Mistake 4: Wasted Content & Post-Event Promotions

Avoid it by:

  • Capturing content during the event

  • Posting and maintaining momentum

  • Planning your next event ASAP

All this hard work has a payoff - don’t let it go to waste! During the event, capture screenshots, record workshops, snap photos, and note quiz or game results. All this great content can be used long after the event is over through social media, newsletters, or websites to showcase the day, offer ongoing resources, and continue to promote your brand. In addition, seek feedback about what people want to see next. Use metrics from the last event to improve your planning and get going on your next event right away. Even if it’s a year in the future, set a date and start your prep now. Keeping that energy visible to your following will help build attendance and excitement for next time!

Any leader can explore this exciting new arena, but you might not have the time to check all the boxes needed for a great virtual event. Occasions, Inc. has provided virtual event services for years and is passionate about helping businesses excel in all their event planning!

Click here to view our current Virtual Event Management Package promotion!

You can also find Occasions, Inc. on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.


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