Friday, July 10, 2020

5 Steps for Creating Virtual Events

Creating Virtual Events

Even before COVID-19 kept us "safer at home," virtual events were an important part of your business' networking strategy. You could meet new people, learn new things, and develop relationships with others from anywhere in the world.

Now more than ever, virtual events are essential for staying connected, generating business, and having some semblance of a social life. While it's fun and often educational to attend events, organizing virtual gatherings is an even better way to up your visibility, showcase your authority in your industry or niche, and make new friends.   

Here are the basics of producing a successful virtual event:

1. Determine the Purpose. Before you jump ahead to planning the event itself, decide your reason for having it. Is it a mixer to reconnect with friends, family, or colleagues? Do you want to host a webinar to share your expertise and promote your product or  service? Is it a party to celebrate your book's release, a holiday, or other significant event?

2. Decide the Details. Once you know the "why," the rest of the details will fall into place. Choose a date, time, and platform. The top choices are Zoom (for activity and interaction), a webinar solution (like WebEx), or Facebook, where you broadcast a livestream to a group or business page. Another option is to do a virtual party on Facebook and mix up short videos with conversation-starter posts and interactive activities.

You may want to create a panel or conference, and invite other speakers. Or start an ongoing podcast or video show. I will go into that in a later post.

3. Plan and Invite. Once you have your concept, plan it out. Make a short outline of what will happen and when. If you need a script for your event itself, that's fine, but remember to stick with bullet points. When presenting, casual is much more effective. 

Create a Facebook event, a meeting in Zoom, and/or an Eventbrite invite, whatever is appropriate. Then, write up your event and post it on your blog, which you - and others - can share via social media. Invite your friends, community, etc., via Facebook, through email, and in social media posts. 

4. Produce. If you've done all the planning, your event itself should be a snap.  Show up a little early. Greet your guests. And - especially in those mixer situations - keep the conversation going. And remember to have fun!

5. Follow Up. After your event, send a follow-up email to all of your attendees. Thank them for joining you, and also share a little more about who you are, what you do, and how they can connect with you to follow up and/or be notified for future events.

One more thing: After your event, take some time to review what went right and what could have been done better. That way, you can make changes accordingly and plan an even better event in the future.

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Are virtual events one of your 2020 goals? Have you already planned virtual events? Please share your thoughts and experience in the comments.

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Join  my virtual half-birthday party for Your Goal Guide on July 14 on Facebook. Details are here.


Debra Eckerling is the author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals. A writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of the D*E*B METHOD and Write On Online, Deb works with individuals and businesses to set goals and manage their projects through one-on-one coaching, workshops, and online support. She is also the author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages, host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat and #GoalChatLive on Facebook, and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

11 comments:

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

I would love a step by step for Zoom; maybe you could link from it back here and from here to it , “ should you decide to accept this task! “😊❤️👍📚🖊

Debra Eckerling said...

Looks like I have next month's topic. Thanks, Carolyn!

Karen Cioffi said...

Debra, this is a great topic to talk about. I've been on a few Zoom meetings but never presented or hosted. I'm sure a lot of writers / marketers would love to know how to prepare and host a Zoom event. Thanks for sharing!

Terry Whalin said...

Debra,

Thanks for these details about virtual meetings. With actual events being cancelled this information is critical for writers to learn and execute.

Terry

Debra Eckerling said...

Thanks for your comments, Karen and Terry.

Absolutely. A well-balanced networking mix helps any business.

And I have another vote for a post on hosting Zooms. :)

deborah lyn said...

Excellent plan set-up Debra! Thank you.
Also looking forward to your future posts---creating a panel or conference, inviting speakers, starting podcasts and videos. You are a wealth of virtual event expertise, sharing to help us grow!

lastpg said...

Hi Debra, I, too, have found your post very helpful, and would love to know more, such as the suggestions made in the comments.Thank you for sharing your expertise.

Debra Eckerling said...

Thanks so much! Stay tuned for more on this topic~

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've done four webinars using EZTalks. I split my two 3-hour book seminars in two and charged $10 a session. It was a great way to bring in extra income since I couldn't do my seminars in the real world.

Unknown said...

I've led 15-minute writing sprints on Facebook Live and have hosted writing groups and live co-writing sessions on Zoom. Those are usually approx. 2-hour events. But I have two virtual writing retreats coming up (1 in Oct, 1 in Nov) and these will be my first multi-day events on Zoom. I'm excited but also a little nervous about the longer days. I want to hold the participants' interest in the event/activities while also maintaining my own energy level. Wish me luck!

Karen Cioffi said...

Hi, Unknown. We could wish you luck if we knew who you were! We'd love to know how you make out.

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