Here’s How to Host a Virtual Event Successfully

Wondering how to host a virtual event but don’t know how to go about it?

We’ll tell you how-to in this article but before we do, let’s first polish up on our understanding of this space.

Several terms have been bandied around –virtual space, cyber space and online space. What do they all mean?

  • Virtual Space: is described as a 3D computer-generated space.
  • Cyber Space: is a concept describing a widespread, interconnected digital technology.
  • Online (Digital) Space:  is something connected to, served by, or available through a system and especially a computer or telecommunications system (such as the internet).

That said, we’ll go with virtual space for the purpose of this post.

The virtual space has always existed but technology and the pandemic made it widely accessible and intensified our uptake of it.

How to host a virtual event

Notably, there are different types of events which all vary in design and detail, meaning that each one requires different tactics to go online. Here are some of the proven steps to hosting a virtual event.

#1. Use accurate, verifiable data

Before you go online, have a detailed plan backed by accurate, verifiable data.

Figure out viable timings for high traffic and audience availability.

For broadcast, work with what’s viable for everyone.

There’s no point live streaming on YouTube when most of your audience prefers Facebook. 

#2. Select the right applications & audio-visual partners 

Get the best-suited applications for your event. If skeptical, do some research to understand them and how they work.

If at first it seems daunting, don’t give up. Keep at it until it becomes second nature to you.

The popular social network apps in Kenya are: TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook. For meetings, ZOOM or GoToMeeting are mainstays.

Remember, just because an event is online doesn’t mean people will show up. Market it on all your networks and share access details in good time. 

Another thing: Identify a credible audio-visual partner, one who understands these productions.

Share details with them about the type of event you’re planning.

A concert is different from a wedding, which is different from a football tournament or an awards ceremony. 

The venue, decor, catering, technical equipment, could be easy to work out.

#3. Plan for contingencies

While online events aren’t new, this is still cutting edge for most people. Use a detailed checklist to track issues.

  • Do you have stable WI-FI connection OR, adequate data bundles?
  • If the power goes off, do you have a backup plan?
  • If there’s a presentation, are the slides visible and legible?
  • Is the lighting and coloring, OK?
  • Are the mics tested?
  • Have you done run-throughs?
  • Do you have enough recording material?

Troubleshoot and inform those actively involved, of their role (s) if a ‘situation’ arises.

Why are events important to people?

Events have been there since the times of African, Greek, and Roman civilizations. 

Africans celebrated rites of passage, births, weddings, battle victories and dances.

Capoeira, a popular sport combining dance, music and martial arts has roots in Angola.

Greeks had The Olympics which is centuries old and still on, while the Romans had the gladiator games.

TODAY, events are considered vital tools for business and entertainment. They drive the creation of social capital and the exchange of information.

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If you internalize these details, you’ll never wonder how to host a virtual event successfully anymore. Whether in-person or online (more so, online), you can’t negate the value of people hence the reason you should master this valuable skill.

Most important: Don’t lose focus on the experience you want to deliver.

The nature of the planned interaction must be authentic because your audience is at the center of the experience, and it is for them that the space has been created.

Start simple by obtaining accurate, verifiable data, selecting the right applications and partners, and planning for contingencies. 

If you need help with this, we’re event planners in Nairobi, ready to help you host your virtual event successfully. Call us on 0721771185 or email; [email protected]