How to go virtual with your events: webinar recap
People across the world are staying home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
With guests unable to attend large gatherings, there’s never been a more important time to create virtual events. Meet this demand by continuing to sell tickets and keep your customers engaged by moving your event online.
5 benefits of hosting a virtual event
There are many benefits to running an online event. In fact, with the right setup you can create a rich, enjoyable and innovative experience for your guests. Here are five perks to moving your event online:
It’s what your customers want. While people are at home, they want to connect to other people, learn and watch entertainment. By bringing your event online you can continue to provide your guests with what they’re seeking. Creating an online event is also a great way to connect with your customers and let them know you’re there for them.
It offers more opportunities for engagement. Oftentimes, guests feel more relaxed and open at virtual events. Create a forum for guests to write-in their questions and comments. Sort through them and respond to as many as you can during your event or in a blog post.
It’s easier to manage. Creating an event has never been cheaper or simpler. There’s no complex logistics, no hiring costs and no distractions. Let your content take center stage and find creative ways to engage your attendees. Direct messages straight to your audience and make them impactful.
It’s limitless. Forget about scouting locations or worrying about the capacity of your venue. Invite as many people as you want. Use the opportunity to reach out to people you otherwise wouldn’t have invited. Widen your reach, get more brand awareness or expand your contact list.
It lives on. Draw in new viewers and attract future customers. Keep a recording of your event on your site or YouTube channel. Create libraries or members-only pages and charge people to view your content.
Choose your online event format
Some types of events can work really well in an online format. Here are some examples of events that can easily go virtual:
Before you make the move online, determine the type of event you’re hosting. Ask yourself the following questions:
Will there be one presenter or more?
Do you want the audience to be seen and heard?
Is the event occurring live or will it be pre-recorded?
How will you interact with attendees?
What do you want your attendees to get from the event? Information? A sense of togetherness? A visual or auditory experience?
Then choose the format that will work best for your event. Don’t forget to gather all the equipment you’ll need.
Provide information in a slideshow presentation. This is an ideal option for seminars and classes.
What you’ll need: You can usually set up a webinar with just your computer. Prepare your slideshow or a script beforehand. If you intend to do a live Q&A session, consider having someone on-hand to sort through questions and comments.
Use this option for an appointment, class, workshop or social gathering. Think of ways to encourage audience participation.
What you’ll need: Depending on the type of event you’re hosting, this may require more technical equipment. Let’s say you’re teaching a cooking class. You may want birds-eye angled cameras to film your cutting board and stovetop.
This works well for large events, like a comedy show, concert or sporting match. While the audience can't be seen or heard, your goal is to create the feeling of being there.
What you’ll need: Depending on the scale of your event, this may require professional technology and some extra staff. If you’re hosting a concert, you’ll want to ensure your sound quality is top-notch.
If you already planned an event and are now shifting to a virtual space, think which elements can still work in an online format and which you’ll need to adapt.
How to set up your online event
Once you know what type of event you’re hosting, it’s time to set it up. Here's a step-by-step guide to creating your virtual event.
01. Gather basic equipment
You’ll need a reliable computer that can run video streaming software without glitching, a solid wifi connection/cable line, webcam/camera, microphone and headset.
02. Pick your solution
There are many different software options that meet different needs. Do your research to make sure you’re using the best application for your event. Here are some options:
You can quickly and easily bring your events online with Wix and Zoom. Simply follow these steps:
Create your event. Add your event name and details and choose “Online” for the location.
Connect your Zoom account. When you connect Zoom to your Wix site, you can automatically create a Zoom link for your online events and send them to your guests in the confirmation and reminder emails.
Manage online event registration. Sell tickets, collect RSVPs, view and edit guest lists and send automated email confirmations, reminders and more.
Record your event. Make sure to capture a live recording of your event so you can share and even monetize the content on your site.
Get more information on connecting Zoom to your Wix website.
03. Do a test run
You can never be too ready. Have at least one test run to make sure all equipment and your programs work. Ask team members, colleagues or friends to join the event to verify that they’re able to participate and check that everything is working.
04. Promote your event
Let your guests know your event is happening. Direct them to purchase tickets on your website.
Advertise on social media. Use social media to attract new guests. Create beautiful social posts to let people know what you’ll offer.
Send out a newsletter. Use email marketing to target previous attendees. Write catchy subject lines to get recipients to open the email.
05. Stay in touch with your guests
Once people sign up, send them a confirmation email with a link to the event. Let them know ahead of time the software they’ll need to access your virtual event and step-by-step instructions on how to attend. Provide some troubleshooting tips and community guidelines to make sure everyone can participate and feels welcome.
If you need to update your customers about changes, you can reach out to them using the Wix mobile app. Create a forum so your guests can network with each other. You can also follow-up with your guests after the event to request feedback.
06. Add your video to your site
Once the event is over, it’s not really over. Host the videos on your website as a resource for your community and future site visitors. Use Wix Video to create libraries of video content for your users. Easily upload your recorded events. You can even charge people to access specific videos or offer paid subscriptions for your media content.
Marketing Writer, Wix eCommerce
Brielle is a Colorado native with a passion for innovation and helping to mobilize entrepreneurs. Brielle is a marketing writer for Wix eCommerce, which powers over 700k online stores worldwide.