By clearly defining the goals of your virtual event, you can narrow your platform choices and better select the right partner to produce your virtual event.

By Chris Schriever

Many of us are evaluating the different options when it comes to hosting vital events now and in the future. Due to safety precautions and state guidelines limiting the size of public gatherings, many of our nonprofit association clients have pivoted their current upcoming events to host them virtually in order to deliver education, connect their industries and secure revenue to continue their programs.

With events scheduled in 2021, most of our clients are planning for a hybrid of in person and virtual. A virtual event is any organized meeting that takes place solely online. A hybrid of the two allows both speakers and attendees alike to choose how they participate – in person or online via the virtual platform. Either event type can range from single-day seminars and annual fundraising galas to full-blown multi-day conferences and expos. There are major benefits of hosting a virtual event, including allowing attendees to join from the comfort of their homes and associations to reach a larger portion of their membership.

Even if you’re an experienced pro in the event space, making the shift to virtual isn’t easy. It requires careful planning – and that starts with picking the right platform partner.

Here are some tips to help you select the platform that is best aimed to meet your associations goals.

At Blue House Sales Group, we always recognize the value of selecting the right partner. Selecting the best virtual event partner is key to ensuring success. But before you make your decision, it’s important to first step back and clearly define the reasons for hosting the event, along with its goals. Pinning down these details will help you make sure you’re teaming up with the right platform partner for your specific needs.

In defining the reasons for your event, you can start to determine the features and opportunities you are offering attendees. Will there be educational sessions? If so, are these sessions going to be presented live or pre-recorded?

Is networking an important aspect of your event? How will you facilitate these interactions in a virtual space?

Will there be sponsors and exhibitors at this event? A virtual Exhibit Hall can help you connect attendees to exhibitors—and serve as a valuable lead-generation tool as well. How will you offer sponsors the added visibility they would get from an in-person event?

Does everyone you admit into the conference have the same access? Oftentimes, conferences will organize their attendance into tiers—with certain registrations offering more access to specialty programs or events.

By addressing each of these questions you will create a clearer picture of what sort of services and functionality you will need from your platform partner.

Once these decisions have been made, follow these tips to build-out the virtual event:
  1. Develop a theme that aligns with your association style.
  2. Create compelling content to keep attendees engaged.
  3. Make it easy to register and even easier to connect with sponsors and exhibitors.
  4. Execute a strong marketing campaign to attract a broader attendee base.

Want to learn more? Get in touch today.