Virtual Event Planning: 1-2 Months Out [2/4]
The big event is fast approaching, and you and your team are getting more and more excited as the days go by. By now, all tasks that were outlined in our first blog, 3-6 months out, should have been considered and a plan should be well defined.
As you get closer to the event itself, you need to start garnering interest and continue to spread the word. That’s why 1-2 months out sees you focusing more on the conversations you will be having online with your target audience. Now is the time to tell your attendees exactly why your event is unmissable.
During this time, you should be getting more specific as you nail down most aspects of your event. Those early sign-ups will be expecting more information regarding both logistics and agenda and those sitting on the fence may be swayed by your speakers or your content.
2 Months Out
Promote Your Event
It’s time to put that marketing plan from part one to good use. You’re two months out now and need to start creating an online buzz around your event.
As we know, one of the benefits of an online event is the ability to have a global audience, however with this comes the challenge of added competition. Never before have your audience been able to attend so many events online, which means yours is going to have to stand out in order to drive attendance!
To do this, you need a strong promotional strategy. Start by creating great promotional material that can be instantly recognisable as your brand. These materials should be available through all channels that are significant to you and your audience, not forgetting to include them on your website!
Create social accounts for your event and be active on them! Really encourage interaction. Ask your audience questions; find out what they are most excited about for this year’s event, or who they are most looking forward to hearing from.
Ask your speakers and entertainers to join in the conversation and post about the event on their social media accounts. This will allow you to tap into their following, which – if you’ve chosen your speakers wisely – will be your target audience too!
Often, it’s best to have a dedicated team member to look after the event promotion to keep the conversations alive and to identify new promotional ideas.
If you’re starting an email marketing campaign, now is the time to fire off the initial introductory email!
Create an Agenda
By now, you should have a clear idea of what’s happening at your event and when. Therefore, a great way to encourage attendance is by creating an amazing event agenda and sharing this with your target audience. Make it visible on all platforms and try to encourage conversation. Make sure any updates or changes to the agenda are communicated to your audience, particularly updating your audience with latest additions to the speaker list.
Include scheduled breakout sessions and interactive Q&A’s so your audience know they will have an opportunity to network with other attendees.
1 month out
Film your pre-recorded content
If you’re using pre-recorded content (and we thoroughly suggest you do), now is the time to record it.
While recording pre-recorded content with your phone can achieve great results and most certainly has its place, an audience of a big event may expect something a little more polished. If you’re using an agency, they will be able to direct you and record your content on industry standard equipment. Not only this, but the expert postproduction team can work their magic and together you can produce content of real professional standard. A good events agency will have access to a greenscreen or a studio, achieving event better results.
Confirm joining information for your audience
With only one month to go, it’s important to give your audience all your joining instructions, an updated agenda, as well as the final date and time for the event. Some of your attendees may have never been to a virtual or hybrid event before, so it’s important to be clear and concise with your instructions. Include information on how to join the virtual event platform too, as this can be different for many different platforms.
Consult Your Budget
You’re a month out. Hopefully, you’ve been keeping an eye on your budget throughout which means there shouldn’t be any nasty surprises, but as we’re drawing closer to the date, it’s important to check back and make sure you are right where you want to be with both the money coming in and the money going out.
A month prior to the event is a good time to ensure all your payments are made.
Build Momentum Online
The promotional material you started pushing out a little over a month ago should ramp up now. Make sure people who haven’t signed up to attend know that their time is running out to get their tickets.
Your social media manager should be busy interacting with both your target audience and those who have signed up for your event. Don’t forget, just because attendees have signed up for your event, it doesn’t mean you can stop interacting with them. With online events it is important to continue to build that relationship as registration doesn’t always equate to attendance – particularly if your event is free. Therefore, you need to consider both audiences and ensure they are engaged.
Any last-minute changes to the agenda should be addressed, and new speakers should be talking about your event and sharing your marketing materials with their following. Now is the time to encourage last-minute registrations.
1-2 months out is all about showing where you will be providing value. Communication is key at this stage and you want to be having a two-way conversation with your audience and potential attendees.
If you’re finding it hard to keep on top of your promotional materials or find yourself still working on a lot of the points from part one, get in touch! UKSV are here to help.
Keep your eyes peeled for the next in this series, where we look at where your focus should be from 2 weeks out til just days before.
Have you seen our timeline infographic? Take a look here!