How to Host a Virtual Event

How to Host a Virtual Event

Today, virtual events are everywhere, in and out of the workplace. Going beyond conferences, virtual events are now held for nearly every type of event, including HR training events, networking meetups, hiring sessions, town halls, product promotions, tutorials, and more.

But, while virtual events are a part of daily life, there’s still a lot that can go wrong in a virtual event. A few problems that might pop up during your virtual? Disengaged viewers, feedback delays, fuzzy picture, compromised security, stressed out operators and hosts, lack of analytics post-event… Simply put, hosting a great virtual event is not an easy task.

If you’re ready to host a virtual event, check out our helpful tips to ensure your event goes as better than planned, from start to finish.

1. Set objectives

To host a successful virtual event, first set clear goals. What is the overarching purpose of the virtual event? Consider the experience you want participants of your virtual event to have and consider the goals of all key stakeholders.

Be sure to answer the questions about your virtual event:

  • Why do you want to host the virtual event?
  • What are the goals of the virtual event?
  • What key information needs to be shared during the virtual event?
  • What key sessions, breakouts, or presentations must occur during the virtual event?
  • Who needs to attend this virtual event?
  • How will this virtual event improve or enhance the participants’s comprehension or engagement level with the distributed content?

2. Consider the timing

Next, in order to host a virtual event you must consider the timing. Apart from the speakers and content of the event, one of the most significant factors in determining a virtual event’s success is the timing. What day of the week will people be most receptive and available to a virtual event? If this is a small event for your office or department, consider a poll. For larger virtual events, consider other major events already on the calendar, to avoid competition.

Next, consider the best time of your event. For an in-house virtual event, choose a time of day that’s not already inundated with meetings. For a broader audience, pick a time of day where most can attend: mornings, evenings, or weekends.

Additionally, if your virtual event covers a lot of ground, consider breaking the virtual event into several hour-long chunks, over the course of several days. No one wants to sit and look at a screen for hours on end, and attention spans inevitably begin to wane. Breaking up your virtual event over the span of a few days can make the event more pleasurable for all – and boost your participant engagement levels.

In that vein, also always make sure your virtual event content is available online after the event, so participants can return to the material as needed, for further note-taking, re-watching, and interaction. 

3. Set the agenda

Now that the goals and time of your virtual event have been nailed down, it’s time to develop a clear agenda for your event. To craft an engaging agenda that hits your key goals and ensures participant engagement, consider the main objectives of the virtual event, as well as what you want participants to take away.

For example, if onboarding new employees is the goal of the virtual event, presentations on company expectations and policies could be mixed with ice-breaker activities and virtual networking, to ensure new employees also gain a feel for the company culture and meet other new hires.

4. Choose the right partner

With your event goals, time, and agenda locked, you’re on to the last step of your virtual event: choosing the right platform to partner with.

StreamShark is an end-to-end live streaming and video on demand platform. StreamShark offers virtual event hosts five key benefits, including reliability, security, the ability to pre-record and distribute content, live streaming help, and analytics reports.

To start, StreamShark can make your virtual event a success, thanks to our unparalleled reliability. With StreamShark, you can expect beautiful, crystal-clear picture during your virtual event, thanks to our low-latency streaming platform that reduces the data to video delay to the sub-five-second range.

Another benefit of using StreamShark for your next virtual event is our uncompromising security standards, for even the most sensitive of events. StreamShark has been externally audited and is certified to the ISO/IEC27001 (ISO 27001) 2013 Information Security Management System standard. StreamShark also offers several levels of privacy protection, like Single Sign-On and Viewer Management, and encrypted live and on-demand streaming to the AES-128 standard, in transit and at rest.

Additionally, in order to make your virtual events a success, StreamShark also offers Live Scheduler. Live Scheduler allows teams to create a playlist for their event, populated with pre-recorded video content. Think of it like a schedule for a live TV program. Live Scheduler reduces the stress and pressure of a live stream event, by allowing communications and A/V teams to avoid uploading the event in real-time. All of that hard work is done in advance, but viewers still experience the virtual event as “live.”

Fourth, StreamShark ensures your virtual event will go off without a hitch thanks to our Health and Logging feature. With Health and Logging, virtual event hosts can easily address and correct the four most common live-streaming issues:

  • Feedback delay – easily assess the current conditions of a stream, receive a lightning fast diagnosis on issues, and then quickly resolve the problem.
  • Real-time monitoring – real time warning messages and alerts let hosts know about potential issues during a live stream. 
  • Troubleshooting – a highlighted view of the raw information from the encoder allows StreamShark to alert the operator to any problems, for fast fixing during a stream.
  • Post-event analysis – capture data on attendees and your event to see what worked and what didn’t.

Finally, StreamShark ensures your virtual event will be a success with Analytics Reporting. StreamShark analytic reports deliver a deep dive into user attendance and engagement during an event with four key insights:

  • Account-wide metrics – parse account data by time period and assess metrics like events run, viewership, and peak viewership for particular stretches of time.
  • Single Sign On Reports  – see which users have been viewing content, which viewers have had multiple viewing sessions, what devices were used for content consumption, and more. You can even segment data by department.
  • Viewer Management Reports – provides a robust level of insight on a per user basis.
  • Quality of Experience (QoE) Insights – our technology partner Hive delivers comprehensive QoE insights on engagement and viewing experience.

With analytics reports delivered after your event, measuring and analyzing the impact of your virtual event becomes simple. Even better? Improving your next event becomes easier than ever, thanks to the power of StreamShark’s analytics.

Get started on your virtual event with StreamShark

If you’re ready to host a virtual event, it’s time to try StreamShark.

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