Exactly What Do Virtual Event Planners Do?
Virtual events were an unfamiliar concept to many before the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, both hybrid and virtual events have gained popularity for the various benefits they bring to the table. By going virtual, even partially, organizations can expand their outreach, access relevant data and analytics, and increase their ROI. However, successfully executing a virtual event is just as demanding as pulling off a live one, if not more. Because of the complexities involved in organizing and managing a virtual event, many organizations hire an experienced virtual event planner to help meet their goals.
But do you need a planner’s assistance? Let’s take a look at what they can do for you.
What Does a Virtual Event Planner Do?
A virtual event planner helps you organize, manage, and execute virtual events successfully, in addition to measuring the event’s success. Skilled virtual event planners help organizations overcome technical challenges and create experiences that connect with your audience.
Here’s a closer look at what their responsibilities include.
Organizing Your Virtual Event
For a virtual event to be considered successful, it must:
- Engage your audience and maintain their interest
- Run smoothly, without any technical disruptions
Of course, these are just a couple of success indicators – others include your ROI, how many leads were generated, etc. A virtual event planner helps guarantee your event goals are met. Unlike traditional event planners, virtual organizers possess the technical knowledge required to ensure your digital event runs without any hiccups. Given that around 38% of marketers facing technical issues during virtual events, a virtual organizer’s technical expertise can significantly improve your event’s performance.
Maintaining your audience’s interest throughout a virtual event is more difficult than during a live event. Your virtual audience isn’t physically present, so organizers need to keep viewers mentally immersed.
A virtual event planner helps create immersive experiences for attendees, to increase viewer engagement and maintain their interest. In addition, virtual organizers assist in tasks responsibilities like scheduling sessions to avoid conflicts, conducting events with high production value, and increasing the opportunity for user engagement with the help of networking lounges and breakout rooms.
Moreover, virtual planners also help organizations determine the most effective way to schedule and conduct the event. Nearly half of all event organizers choose to conduct multi-day events with shorter timeframes to reduce virtual fatigue and encourage user engagement. A virtual event planner helps determine how many days your event should span, which discussion formats are best suited to the event (e.g., should you include a poster session?), and more.
Managing and Executing the Event
Planning a virtual event is demanding enough, but ensuring it runs smoothly come showtime is perhaps even more challenging. During the event, virtual planners are responsible for:
- Overseeing the support team to ensure the main sessions and keynote discussions take place without any hiccups.
- Guiding your audience progressively through the virtual experience, ensuring frictionless transitions at each stage from the moment attendees join the main sessions till they engage in breakout rooms for networking.
- Resolving any technical problems that arise, although pre-emptive measures are best for preventing these issues. For example, you can avoid lag and downtime by picking a premium virtual events platform like BuzzCast. Moreover, ensuring speakers have good microphones is vital to a virtual event’s success.
Networking is the second most significant reason for attendees joining a virtual event, and a virtual planner helps facilitate relevant opportunities for your audience. Creating networking opportunities is crucial because it encourages lead generation and increases user engagement, contributing to a more successful event. But how do virtual event planners help you out here?
Well, a virtual planner works to provide your audience with the same, or greater, networking value that they’d receive from a traditional event. In a virtual event, networking opportunities are made available through virtual lounges and breakout rooms. These are small-scale virtual meetings, independent of the main sessions and keynote talks.
Virtual organizers also help attendees network with professionals that share their interests or professional goals, ensuring your audience receives the most value and driving attendee satisfaction.
Measuring the Success of Your Event
Granted 74% B2B virtual event organizers don’t see a positive ROI until at least six months down the line, it can be challenging to measure your event’s success in the early stages reliably. However, a virtual event planner can sort through the data and analytics pertaining to your event, and offer insight into its success.
Premium virtual events solutions provide you with data and analytics that are indicative of attendee engagement. For example, BuzzCast tracks:
- user and chat engagement for individual keynote conferences,
- sessions, lounges, and meeting rooms,
- sponsor booths and posts,
- and even on-demand videos
You can also export trackable user data, view downloads and video plays data, gain insights into leads, and more.
Virtual planners can use these insights to determine your event’s success and identify areas of improvement. For example, if the average viewing time for a live session is low, this data may indicate that the conference wasn’t interactive enough.
However, if the video on-demand engagement and download statistics are high, attendees may have engaged less in the live session for other factors. These reasons could include poor internet connection or stark time zone differences. A virtual event planner assesses your event’s analytics collectively and accurately determines how successful it was.
Virtual event planners clearly have a lot to offer, but should you take the initiative and actually hire one? Well, it depends on how experienced your in-house team is with virtual events.
If your team is new to the virtual events landscape, then hiring a virtual organizer may be the best strategic decision. Conducting a virtual event requires significant investment, both in resources and time, so getting things right the first time is vital.
A virtual events planner can guide your team through the planning and management stages and help ensure your organization sees a positive ROI. Thus, hiring an experienced planner can greatly benefit your business in the long run.