Social Media

How to Host a Successful Virtual Event

min read
How to Host a Successful Virtual Event

Virtual events and livestream have taken the world by storm in the past few months.  With the rise of COVID-19, more and more social media users are turning to live events to engage with and entertain their audiences.  We’ve outlined a simple guide describing how to host a virtual event, event ideas, and tips and tricks to help you master the art of live streaming.

STEP 1: Decide what type of event you’re going to host.

There are so many options to choose from when it comes to hosting a virtual event… the virtual world is your oyster!  Some ideas include:

  • How-To’s, Tutorials, Classes, & Webinars
  • Behind-the-Scenes
  • Q&As
  • Interviews
  • Performances

STEP 2: Identify which platform will provide you with the most potential for success

Platforms include:

  • Instagram Live
  • Facebook Live
  • LinkedIn Live
  • TikTok Live
  • Twitter Live
  • YouTube Livestream

STEP 3: Develop your game plan & strategy.

Ask yourself these questions to help you better identify your goals & strategies:

  • What type of experience are you hoping to deliver?
  • Will the event be live or pre-recorded?
  • How will you promote & advertise your event?
  • Do you plan on collaborating with others?
  • When is the best time/date to host it?
  • Who is your target audience? Where are they primarily located?
  • What type(s) of content is your audience most likely to tune into?
  • Will your event be available for viewing after its initial date/time?
  • What metrics do you hope to track?

STEP 4: Advertise your event on Twitter, Instagram Stories, and more!

Take advantage of all of your social media tools.  Some ideas for this are:

  • share an Instagram countdown on Stories
  • send out an email announcement
  • a Facebook event page with all the necessary info your audience will need
  • consider including event ambassadors (i.e. influencers & brand advocates)
  • create an event hashtag and promote it on Twitter

STEP 5: Prepare for the worst.

Tech troubles, app crashes, glitches? While they’re rare, they still happen, so be sure to identify potential problems and outline simple solutions.

STEP 6: Make it inclusive & engaging.

When hosting virtual events, you want them to be as accessible as possible.  If you plan to make the event accessible after its initial hosting, consider including captions.

If you want to engage your audience (which you should), you’ve got to create opportunities for engagement.  Maybe, in the days prior to your event, you ask your followers on Twitter what type of content they hope to see? Maybe you ask your viewers to submit questions? Maybe you incorporate polls, quizzes, or other interactive features?

Whatever you do, try to focus on providing opportunities for your audience to engage with.

STEP 7: Include a Call To Action (early on).

A large chunk of users tend to drop off of livestreams and virtual events within the first few minutes, so it’s important to include a call-to-action to either a) keep them engaged, or b) get them to engage with you/your account in another way.

For example, say you’re hosting an event to teach your audience how you edit your photos.  In the beginning of the live, you may say “by the end of this, you’ll know how I edit my photos to get that perfect vintage film effect.” That’s where you include your CTA - following up with “DM me if you can’t stay for the whole live session and I’ll send you my step-by-step guide and exclusive preset package!”

Boom! You’ve not only engaged and enticed your audience, but you’ve also hooked those who maybe can’t stay (for whatever reason) to still engage with you and what you have to offer.

Use this guide as a checklist when planning your next virtual event and sign up for UNUM emails to gain access to exclusive guides and new StoryTimes notifications!

May 22, 2020

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