If you want to know what makes a virtual event successful, there’s no one right answer. However, there’s one thing that all event planners can be sure of – careful and meticulous planning is the foundation of a great event. Below, you will find 10 critical virtual event planning checklist items that can help you make your next event a resounding success. 

#1 – Define the Strategy for Your Event

Defining your strategy involves answering the following questions:

  • What is your goal? What is it that you want to accomplish with this event? Do you want to create connections, get the word out about a new product or brand, or perhaps even advance an agenda? 
  • Who will attend? Don’t start planning your event without first defining your audience. Who are they? What are they interested in? How are they most likely to share the information you provide with others?
  • What will people be doing during the event? Will they be learning in a classroom-like setting? Will they be encouraged to connect and socialize? Will they be asked to answer poll questions? The possibilities are virtually endless. 
  • Why will your event stand out above the others? What are you going to offer that will bring people to your event despite their full calendars? 
  • How will you host your event? You have numerous options available, including livestreams, webinars, interactive meetings, and more. Let your needs determine what kind of tools you’ll need to make your event a success. 

#2 – Start Promoting Early On

Now that you’ve defined the strategy for your event, it’s time to start getting the word out. You’ll need to optimize the calendar on your website to accurately reflect the dates, times, and links for your event. Although paid promotion can be beneficial in some cases, organic promotion will drive the most traffic. When people register for your virtual or hybrid event, make sure they receive a thank-you email that includes all the pertinent information they might need. Finally, make sure that you send out reminders as the event date approaches and consider adding an event page to your website that covers FAQs and more. 

#3 – Decide if You will Sell Tickets

Not all events will require a purchase to attend, but if yours will, there are a few things to consider. You’ll need to decide on ticket tiers (if you will use them) and choose which perks each tier will include. You’ll also need to determine how you will distribute the tickets to purchasers, but there are plenty of online tools designed for this purpose. 

#4 – Get Ready the Day of the Event

The morning of (or even the night before) your event, make sure that you check all of your tools and platforms for seamless performance. Check your internet connection, determine whether any of your apps require updates, and consider a “rehearsal run” that includes all of the tools you’ll use during the real thing. Just before the event begins, send an email that includes all the information so that attendees can connect more easily, and make sure that you give everyone time to show up and settle in before you start. 

#5 – Consider Post-Event Engagement 

Your event doesn’t end as soon as the presentation is over. In fact, the minutes, hours, and days after the event is one of the best times to truly engage with your audience, so make sure you take advantage of it. Steps to follow for post-event audience engagement include:

  • Sending a thank-you email to help those who were in attendance feel appreciated. You can even use the opportunity to ask for feedback or provide links to additional information. 
  • Reaching out to those who couldn’t or didn’t attend. This communication should include some highlights from your event to help build some excitement for the next one. 
  • Utilize post-event surveys. If you really want to know how your event went over, you should combine your event analytics with information directly from the attendees themselves. Send out a survey to everyone who attended and ask them to provide genuine feedback. 

Following these checklist items will help you create, execute, and follow up on some amazing events, regardless of your industry or business. It’s important that you learn from the information you glean, both from your analytics and your attendee surveys, so that you can reflect and improve on future events.