How to Plan a Virtual Event: Creating a Strategy and Goals

Read on to learn how to plan a virtual event, starting with the event strategy and goals.  

Peter Kidd

December 02, 2021

When it comes to how to plan a virtual event, you must start by creating an event strategy and goals. As with any marketing activity or campaign, your event will be judged internally on whether it achieved its desired result.

To do that, you must create a written business plan that details measurable business goals – not just pass/fail metrics. After sharing the plan with your entire team, you’ll need to get buy-in and approval from the executives who are funding the program.

Here’s how to plan a virtual event, starting with the event strategy and goals.
 

Why Should You Establish a Virtual Event Strategy and Goals?

Before getting into the nuts and bolts of virtual event planning, it’s important for your entire team to agree on the event’s strategy and goals. Only after doing so can you align on your audience, format and content.

First, you must establish and document business goals:
 

  • Are you looking to generate net-new sales leads? Move existing prospects further down the sales cycle? Educate re-sellers on your latest products?
     
  • Create a written business plan that details measurable business goals.
     
  • Share the plan with your entire team, solicit feedback and get buy-in and approval from the executives who are funding the virtual event.
     
  • At the conclusion of the virtual event, you’ll report on the measurable business goals to determine its overall success.
     

Next, you must identify your target audience:
 

  • What type of audience are you looking to attract? What are their demographics and psychographics?
     

  • Is your audience ready to participate in an online event, or are there technological barriers? How does that influence your decision regarding the format of your event? What can you do to prepare them for the move to an online platform?
     

  • It’s important to clearly document your target audience personas and plan for their needs.
     

After that, you must define your format, style and personality:
 

  • Consider the style and personality of your virtual event.
     

  • Does your technology platform provide any pre-existing event templates? If so, you can choose from their library and apply a certain amount of customization.
     

  • While the option above is efficient for both time and cost, you may decide that you want a distinctive and 100% custom-developed design – like what our client Self Esteem Brands went with (below).

 

Self Esteem Brands virtual event lobby

 

  • Determine how many days and/or sessions you want to host.
     

  • Map out the topics and speakers and think about how you’ll sequence them.
     

  • Finalize the format of your sessions, along with their interactive tools. These tools are the basic virtual event engagement tactics you’re probably already familiar with.
     

Some examples of formats and virtual event interactive tools include keynote presentations, break-out sessions, training sessions, scheduled chats, quizzes and games.
 

Events Interactive Tools

 

How to Create Your Virtual Event Team

Now that you’ve established your event strategy and goals, identified your target audience, defined your format/style/personality and outlined your content, to execute your virtual event you’ll need to properly staff your team.

Just as an in-person event has one or more people assigned to specific functions, you must cover all the essential roles for your virtual event.

The typical roles for a virtual event team include:
 

  • Event Lead: A decision-maker with ultimate responsibility for the success of the event. Manages all aspects across all teams. Responsible for logistics and working with technology vendors.
     
  • Virtual Host: The “event emcee” who welcomes attendees and gives them an overview of the day’s schedule.
     
  • Sponsorship Management: The individual who manages the sales and marketing of virtual event sponsorship packages.
     
  • Content Management: The person who manages the event’s content, including session topics, session schedule and speakers.
     
  • Marketing and Promotion: The individual responsible for generating awareness and registrations of the virtual event.
     
  • Social Media Marketing: The person responsible for promoting the event on social media channels.

     

Get a Demo of Our End-to-End Event Platform

Whether you’re hosting virtual or hybrid events to reach customers, employees, investors, or partners, Notified is here to help bring your vision to life.

We host over 100,000 events annually on behalf of thousands of customers around the world while providing dedicated support with a focus on data.

Our event solutions include:
 

  • Dedicated project manager

  • Interactive environments with live & on-demand programming

  • Flexible branding and personalization options

  • Accessibility – anytime, anywhere, and from any device

  • Robust analytics and reporting


Contact us today to set up a free demo.