11 Key Mistakes To Avoid When Hosting Virtual Events

Virtual Events have surely made the planning & organizing process a lot easier for event organizers.

They no longer need to worry about attendee accommodation, comfort, travel, & physical venue issues. 

They also don’t need to go all out for extravagant venue decorations, experiential technology installations, next-level creative & fun activities, & more.

Event organizers now simply have to choose the right topic, the appropriate speakers/MCs, the right virtual event platform, tech support teams, date & time, & they are all set to go.

Owing to this ease of planning & designing, most people might get the impression that planning virtual events is a cakewalk.

However, that’s not the case. At least, not completely.

Virtual Events require the same amount & precision in planning that is consistent with physical, in-person events.

The most pressing planning concerns in virtual events are usually reserved for ensuring attendee engagement & ease-of-access.

In addition, a lot of virtual event planning process consists of selecting the right audience niche, & marketing the event to them.

Usually, having the right technical knowledge, marketing expertise, & a thorough focus on providing exciting, relevant, & fresh content to your audience. This is what ensures virtual event success. 

However, industry experts & professional event planners understand that no matter how perfect the event planning is, mistakes are bound to happen.

And these mistakes are sometimes what cause virtual events to lose out on their precious attendees, engagement, & conversion rates. 

So what exactly are these mistakes that event planners must stay away from in the process of planning? We list the 11 key mistakes you must avoid ensuring your virtual event is a full-blown success!

Having a weak show flow

One of the biggest mistakes event planners make is to leave gaps & issues in their event schedule.

Not having a solid plan or agenda when it comes to having a strong show flow is something that is likely to infuriate your attendees.

It’s key to remember that your virtual event attendees have very limited attention spans. This causes them to only pay attention to something that’s worth watching. If your event has an unplanned structure or a weak, unoriginal showflow, you’ll find that your attendees are quick to sign out & look elsewhere.

Event streams that buffer a lot or keep stalling because of poor internet connectivity & other audio-visual issues will also face such audience boredom.

Trying too hard to resemble a physical event

Trying too hard to make your virtual event turn into a digital version of a physical, in-person event is another way to lose your audiences’ interest.

It’s important to remember that human needs are different when attending a virtual event, & when attending a physical event.

What your virtual audience needs is not an exact replica of a physical event. But an event that gives them the opportunity to interact with other attendees, check out various products/services on display, & listen to the speakers/sessions of the event. 

Beyond this, they need to feel involved with your event, since it’s easy for virtual attendees to zone out. 

What your physical attendees need is constant excitement, a flurry of activity, & thumping excitement.

They are not at the event to learn something new per se, but to be a part of new ‘experiences’. 

Giving your virtual attendees what your physical attendees need, is not the way to get in their good books!

Focusing too much on numbers

Giving excessive importance to event numbers is another mistake event organizers should steer clear of. 

While event ROIs are undoubtedly important, and provide insightful information about how the event performed overall. They are also highly quantifiable & subjective to instant, dynamic changes.

Also, your event numbers may not necessarily reflect the true value & impact of your virtual event.

So focus more on providing value & new experiences to your attendees rather than the numbers that make up your virtual event.

Shabby, uninspired event design

Shabby, uninspired, & monotone event designs are another way to lose your attendees. 

Virtual Events, even though they are held digitally, should be as engaging & exciting to your attendees as their physical counterparts.

While it’s not necessary for them to have all the components of a physical event, they should be designed in a way that attracts & draws the attention of your attendees towards it.

Try to include modern, creative, & eye-catching elements in your virtual event design to make your attendees want to be a part of the event.

Not giving your attendees networking opportunities

Networking is one of the primary reasons why people attend events, both physical & virtual.

And while in-person events have designated physical spaces to allow such networking along with multiple other features. Virtual Events, due to their nature, lack such natural networking capabilities.

Thus virtual events need to have the same networking capabilities that physical events provide.

You can try including networking options like live chats, one-on-one video conferencing, networking tables, designated networking lounges, chat rooms, & more. 

Not providing seamless, easy-to-access networking features to your event attendees is the surest way to get them to log out of your event quickly.

Not giving breaks in between sessions

Sticking to a tight event schedule & not providing breaks to your audience in-between sessions, is another mistake you can make.

Devoid of breaks & entertainment opportunities in-between sessions, your attendees can easily become disgruntled & bored with your virtual event.

Provide adequate break time between your event sessions, & include fun activities like games, dynamic leaderboards, & audience interaction elements. This will help your attendees feel engaged with the event, thus warding off the boredom.

Not providing easily understandable walkthrough videos

Walkthrough videos, also known as tutorial videos, are important to help your attendees understand how to access & navigate your event.

These videos help your attendees navigate the event easily, & explain to them the various touchpoints you’ve created for them.

A well-designed, thorough walkthrough video helps your attendees feel at ease in your virtual event. It also helps those attendees that aren’t very familiar with technology, navigate their way easily through the virtual event.

Not introducing key speakers & MCs to your audience

Assuming that your audience will naturally know who is who in your event is another mistake you should avoid.

Introduce every speaker, session presenter, & MC to your audience members so they can easily understand & enjoy the event in a better way. 

Along with their names, you should also include their letterheads & titles to the attendees. This helps them understand how those speakers are relevant to the event, & allows them to engage with the event in a more meaningful way.

Not designing the event keeping audience experience in mind

Audience experience is one of the most important metrics that you should consider while designing your virtual event.

Neglecting it in favor of more commercial, hyped-up installations & features is a sure way to lose the attention of your attendees.

Being part of a new experience is what drives most people to attend events in the first place. Robbing them of it, whether the event is physical or virtual, is not a mistake you would want to make while planning your virtual event.

Not leveraging your sponsors in your event marketing

If you manage to get some big-name sponsors for your event, it’s important that you utilize their names & industrial aura while marketing your event.

Associating huge brands with your event will help your attendees understand just how impactful your event is to them.

This will help them understand the true impact of your virtual event in a better way. It is also important to make your attendees want to attend your event, being driven by the prospect of your event sponsors.

Not performing pre-event testing

Pre-event testing is key to ensuring a successful virtual event. It helps you identify your weaknesses and helps you rectify them well in time for the event. 

Pre-event testing also helps you understand the possible contingencies that could occur during your virtual event run. In this way, you can better prepare for any issues that could arise during the event itself.

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