Moving to virtual event options amid the Coronavirus Outbreak
Event organizers worldwide are facing a tough period of uncertainty amid the coronavirus outbreak. Most are now making difficult decisions about postponing or cancelling live events. Many event organizers are also now exploring the option to pivot to an online virtual event. While this isn’t a viable option for everyone, it’s definitely worth consideration for those that can.
This is an unprecedented time in our history for online events, and those that move quickly will benefit the most. With more people around the world each day facing the new reality of home isolation, they are looking online to connect and engage with each other. If you’re in a position to adapt and move content online, now is the time to consider this option. You have never had a better chance to capture an online audience than now.
Types of events that can be moved online
While big conferences such as the Adobe Summit and Facebook F8 are going digital, there are plenty of other event types that can also consider this option. The most viable event candidates for moving online are educational events and conferences, Q&A and panel sessions, speaker tours and podcasting events. There are also entertainers looking at bringing their live shows online. People are getting creative, you can too.
If you had a live event scheduled, don’t waste all the work that went into it if that content can be repurposed and shared online. If you have an audience of people already interested, keep that interest and take your event online. You also have the potential to reach a wider audience, with attendees able to participate from anywhere.
Benefits of online events
The usual benefits of an online event still hold true and may be particularly appealing given the current climate.
- Online events generally cost less, both for organizers and attendees.
- Anyone with an internet connection can participate, no need to travel.
- Less scheduling factors to consider, including no need for a venue.
- Real-time engagement with an audience. An opportunity for some to ask questions and engage more confidently than they otherwise might.
- Online registrations provide valuable contact information for you to lead nurture immediately.
Start with value and be authentic
The emphasis should be on good content that provides value, whether that be educational or entertainment. You can live-stream or create interactive sessions from your home office and connect with people anywhere via the internet. Shift your thinking toward what will work for a virtual event. You don’t have to have polished video assets ready to go to run a successful online event. But this also isn’t a time for boring PowerPoint presentations and long speeches. This is an opportunity for authentic engagement with your audience.
Steps to get started planning your online experience
- GOALS: Clearly define the goals for your event. What do you hope to achieve?
- TARGET MARKET: Be clear about your target market. Who is the event for?
- VALUE TO AUDIENCE: What do you want your audience to gain from this event experience?
- TOPICS/CONTENT: What topics will appeal to this audience? Choose an overarching event topic, a content structure and schedule.
- FORMAT: What formats will best facilitate engagement among your target audience? (Live-stream, interactive, smaller groups or session selections).
- TOOLS & TECH: Identify the right tools and technology to run an online event. Simple cost effective options are available. Zoom has a great range of video conferencing options for various event types.
- HOSTS: Depending on your event you will need to organize hosts, speakers, moderators or performers.
- SPONSORS: Do you have existing sponsors for which you can still offer value? How can your sponsor packages be adapted? Are there now new sponsor opportunities that would make sense for an online event?
- EVENT LANDING PAGE: Create a landing page where you will direct all promotion and highlight all your event details. (You can create a free event landing page with Ticketbud or add our ticket widget directly onto your own website).
- TICKETING: Set up a secure ticketing and registration option. Ticketbud offers low fees, unlimited ticket types and a range of helpful inbuilt tools for event management, communication and promotion.
- PROMOTION: Promote your event across digital channels and networks.
Promoting your online event with Ticketbud
- Create a free event webpage on Ticketbud to sell tickets or take registrations.
- Our ticketing and event calendar widgets are easy to add to your own website.
- Advanced social advertising tools made easy for event organizers with our Ticketbud Ad Engine. Get your event in front of the right people fast, using the most powerful social advertising networks.
- Promotional tools include social share buttons, facebook pixel integration, custom link tracking, options for incentivized pricing, referral and promotional codes.
- Inbuilt communication tools allow you to send invites to contact lists and communicate with attendees (including post-event surveys).
Benefits of event ticketing and registration with Ticketbud
- Our mobile optimized event pages and checkouts to help you sell more tickets by ensuring a frictionless purchase process on mobile.
- All-inclusive low flat rate fees. Get started for free with no payment needed until you start selling tickets.
- Get paid early! Flexible payout options (daily, weekly or monthly) ensure you can get paid before the event to help cover costs. If you use a service like PayPal for example, you would have to wait until after your event to access funds.
- No account needed for ticket buyers. Less barriers and steps for attendees leads to more ticket sales.
- No additional cost for unlimited ticket types. The flexibility to create good ticket programming with various ticket offerings, packages and sale tickets.
- Powerful built in features and real human customer support included.
Five fast tips for your online event
- Record any live streamed sessions for later use.
- Create an event hashtag and share this widely among participants, before, during and after your event.
- Encourage presenters to help promote the event by discussing and sharing it online with their networks.
- Ensure everyone understands the event format, their role and the flow of the event. Especially hosts or moderators.
- Test, test, test! Leading up to the event, test that tools and technology are working and key players know how to use them.
You can do it!
There is going to be a huge gap left by the immediate loss of live events. This void will need to be filled and you have a chance to create a unique online event experience that’s right for your audience. Ticketbud is here to help you set up your online event ticketing and registration for your virtual event.