18 Virtual Event Planning Best Practices

By: | Updated: April 25, 2024

You found our list of virtual event planning best practices.

Virtual event planning best practices are methods that help teams host online events. For example, tips include selecting the right platform and ensuring data security. The purpose of these strategies is to streamline the planning process and host fun events. These strategies are also known as “virtual event planning tips” and “strategies for online events.”

These virtual event strategies for teams are similar to virtual event ideas, virtual corporate events, and virtual events checklists.

This list includes:

  • virtual event planning tips
  • virtual event tactics
  • strategies for online events
  • online event coordination tips
  • engaging virtual event ideas
  • digital event management ideas

Let’s get to it!

List of virtual event planning best practices

From defining your goals to following up with attendees, here is our list of top-notch techniques to help you host fun online events.

1. Define Goals

Defining goals is a critical step in planning a successful virtual event. When planning this activity, try to set SMART goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. These goals can guide every stage of your event creation and execution. For instance, consider if your focus is on boosting sales or team building. Determining your objectives early can help you shape your event’s content. Further, these objectives can help you choose the right online platform and measure the success of your event.

2. Select Platform

To successfully host a virtual event, selecting the right platform is crucial. Your platform should be reliable, have user-friendly interfaces, and offer essential features. Useful features might include chatrooms, Q&As, and recording abilities. Some popular choices include Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and webinar-specific options like GoToWebinar. Ultimately, your choice should fit with the event’s scale and your team’s technical capacities.

Here is a list of the best virtual event software.

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3. Ensure Data Security

Data security protects both your company and your guests. Good digital event management ideas include considering important safety measures.

To keep data safe during virtual event planning:

  • Use strong encryption for sensitive information.
  • Use secure passwords and two-factor authentication.
  • Update software regularly to prevent vulnerabilities.
  • Limit access to confidential data to authorized team members.

This step ensures data security, building trust and credibility in your team’s operations.

4. Build a Team

When planning a virtual event, building a strong team is essential. Diverse talents and skills ensure your event will go over smoothly. For this step, split your team into groups with defined roles. Workers can do tasks from technical setup to content creation to audience engagement. Regular communication and progress updates are key to success. Teams who work well together and have technical skills will have a great time planning these parties.

Here are tips for building strong teams.

5. Create a Budget

Having a budget is one of the most essential virtual event planning tips. To create a budget for a virtual event, begin by listing all possible expenses. Examples include platform fees, speaker costs, and promotional materials. Then, estimate the total cost for each item. Be sure to have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses that may come up. To stay within spending limits, regularly review the budget. A well-thought-out budget is crucial for the success of any virtual event.

6. Gather Sponsors

To give the event a boost, try to find sponsors that want to work with you. This step helps with funding and improves viewership through the sponsor’s network. Be sure to carefully choose sponsors that align with your theme or purpose. In return, provide sponsors with benefits, like promoting their product during the event. Before approaching other companies, make a proposal that outlines the event structure.

7. Plan Activities

The point of a virtual event is to have fun, so be sure to plan fun activities! Exercises should be interactive and engaging to keep attendees interested throughout the event. Examples include quizzes, polls, or games that allow participants to contribute. Breakout sessions can also be an effective strategy. Smaller team groups will have an opportunity to engage and brainstorm together. Balancing out the program with lighter activities can boost the overall event experience.

Check out these breakout session ideas.

8. Hire Speakers

Speakers share valuable insights and knowledge with participants. When planning a virtual event, it is essential to choose speakers who can engage and inspire your audience. These guests should be subject-matter experts and have strong public speaking skills. In addition, consider hosting more than one speaker to offer multiple perspectives. Overall, choosing the right speakers is among the most engaging virtual event ideas.

Here are virtual keynote speakers.

9. Set Up Online Shops

Offering an online shop is a great strategy to monetize your virtual event. With this shop, you can advertise your products, services, or merch to attendees. User-friendly e-commerce platforms can make online shopping easy. Attractive and easy-to-navigate sites will encourage attendee purchases. This step will provide additional revenue and strengthen your brand presence.

10. Promote Event

Promoting an event is essential for its success, whether it is virtual or in person. Marketing the event effectively is one of the most imporant virtual event planning best practices. Using social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn can help reach a broader audience. Creating interesting posts with attractive visuals and relevant hashtags will capture guests’ attention. Collaborating with influencers or industry experts can also boost visibility.
To ensure maximum attendance, remember to use email marketing with personalized invites. Effectively promoting your event is the most important step for encouraging attendance.

Here is a list of marketing books for tips.

11. Create Content

Creating content is an important part of online event coordination tips. Content plays a big role in engaging attendees and sharing important information. When you create content, make sure it is relevant, informative, and supports the event’s goals. Examples include presentations, videos, or written materials. Each piece of content should add value to the event. By focusing on quality content, teams can communicate their message and make lasting impressions.

12. Set Up Technology

For a seamless virtual event, invest in high-quality technology. Once you choose your presentation platform, train your team how to use it. Further, it is important to understand how to troubleshoot common tech issues. Tech-savvy individuals should stand by to assist during the event. The quality of your virtual event depends on the technology you use and how well your team can manage it.

13. Test Technology

Testing technology is one of the most vital virtual event tactics. Making sure that all software, equipment, and platforms cooperate can help avoid technical issues. For this process, teams should run a mock event. Testers can check chat functions, microphone quality, streaming speed, and in-event games. Testing the technology helps teams solve any problems in advance. This step ensures a smooth experience for both organizers and attendees.

14. Make Backup Plans

When organizing virtual events, it is crucial to create backup plans. Despite careful planning, unexpected problems can arise. For instance, technical issues can happen, or speakers may cancel at the last minute. By having contingency plans in place, teams can ensure a smooth execution and maintain professionalism. Being prepared for potential hiccups shows adaptability and resourcefulness. This preparation leads to successful virtual events that leave a positive impression on attendees.

15. Host Event

After careful planning and testing, it is time to host your virtual event! During the session, be sure to follow your agenda carefully. Attendees will appreciate knowing what is happening and when. Further, staying on schedule shows professionalism. You can host speeches, play games, and run raffles as planned. Throughout the day, keep an eye on any technology issues. You can even open a chat line for attendees to ask for technical help.

16. Interact with Participants

One of the best strategies for online events is interacting with your guests. During the party, ensure two-way communication. Live chat rooms, Q&A sessions, polls, and breakout rooms are a great way to engage guests. Your team can use online tools to watch and respond to comments, questions, or concerns in real time. Further, social media platforms are a great way to host pre- and post-event discussions. Interacting with guests keeps participants connected and encourages valuable feedback.

17. Measure Metrics

Metrics are a great way to learn how successful your events are. These figures can include attendee engagement, registration numbers, and feedback responses. By analyzing this info, teams can look for areas of improvement for future events. Party planners can adjust their strategies to enhance participants’ experience. This process refines future events by making them more interesting and engaging.

18. Follow Up with Attendees

Following up with attendees maintains engagement and fosters relationships. Examples of following up include sending thank-you emails or feedback surveys. You can also share relevant resources or recordings from the event to provide added value. Plus, this strategy keeps members engaged with your team’s content. Using a follow-up strategy enhances attendee experiences while building a loyal audience.

List of virtual event examples

You can run a virtual event for nearly any purpose.

Here are some types of virtual events that companies might host:

  • Product Launch Webinars: Companies can organize webinars to introduce new products or services to their audience. These events typically include presentations showing the features and benefits of the product, demonstrations, and Q&A sessions.
  • Industry Panel Discussions: Companies can host virtual panel discussions featuring experts from their industry. Topics could range from trends and challenges in the industry to best practices and emerging technologies.
  • Employee Training Workshops: Firms can run virtual workshops to train employees on various topics. Examples include leadership development, communication skills, sales techniques, or software proficiency. These workshops can be interactive and include breakout sessions for group activities and discussions.
  • Virtual Town Hall Meetings: Virtual town hall meetings provide a chance for company leaders to talk to the whole company. Leaders can communicate updates, share insights, and address questions and concerns from employees or stakeholders. These events can help foster transparency and engagement.
  • Customer Success Webinars: Companies can host webinars focused on helping customers get the most value out of their products or services. These sessions may include tips and tricks, case studies, and customer success stories.
  • Thought Leadership Webinars: Businesses can showcase their expertise by hosting webinars on industry-related topics. These events can help establish the company as a trusted authority in its field and attract new customers.
  • Virtual Team Building Activities: Virtual team building activities can strengthen relationships and morale among remote teams. Activities could include virtual escape rooms, trivia contests, or collaborative challenges.
  • Virtual Career Fairs: Teams looking to recruit new talent can host virtual career fairs to connect with job seekers. These events allow recruiters to showcase job opportunities, conduct interviews, and meet potential candidates.
  • Customer Appreciation Events: Virtual events show appreciation for customers and build loyalty. These events could include exclusive product previews, discounts, giveaways, and interactive activities.
  • Virtual Investor Relations Meetings: Publicly traded companies can host these meetings to update shareholders and analysts. Discussions can cover financial performance, business strategy, and upcoming initiatives. These meetings can help maintain transparency and investor confidence.

These themes are just a few examples of the types of virtual events you can host to engage with your audience. The specific topics and formats can vary depending on your goals and target audience.

Final Thoughts

Planning a successful virtual event requires a well-thought-out strategy and thoughtful execution. These virtual event planning best practices provide valuable insights into various aspects of planning. These tips cover budgeting, technology setup, and participant engagement. By using these strategies, teams can ensure a smooth-running event that meets its objectives. Plus, these parties will provide an engaging experience for attendees.

Next, check out our posts on virtual event companies, virtual team events, and virtual networking ideas. You can also browse this list of event planning books.

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FAQ: Virtual event planning best practices

Here are frequently asked questions about virtual event planning best practices.

What are some good platforms to host virtual events?

Some good platforms to host virtual events include Zoom for webinars or meetings, Hopin for conferences or expos, WebEx for corporate meetings or training sessions.

What are the best activities for a virtual event?

Interactive activities like quizzes or polls work well in a virtual setting. Virtual workshops or breakout sessions can also be effective in engaging participants.

What should be on a virtual event planning checklist?

A checklist should include setting clear goals for the event, choosing an appropriate platform, and ensuring data security measures are in place.

What kinds of events work well online?

Webinars, online conferences, or expos work well online due to their interactive nature.

How do you promote a virtual event?

You can promote events through various channels, such as social media platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook. Other options include email marketing or paid advertising on search engines.

Author avatar


CEO at teambuilding.com.
I write about my experience working with and leading remote teams since 2010.


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