A Step-by-Step Handbook to Successful Online Event Planning
What is online event planning?
Online event planning is the process of conceptualising and realising a virtual event, which includes meetings, exhibitions, conferences, conventions and tradeshows.
Yet, we can define “online event planning” in two ways; first, the process of planning an online (or virtual) event and secondly, event planning that is carried out online. Whichever it is, both workloads can be eased with an event planner software in hand.
Online Event Planning Vs Conventional Event Planning
Just like conventional event planning, an online event planning team will go through all the workflows from choosing a venue to budgeting, deciding on a theme, obtaining permissions, developing Gantt charts and timelines, catering, scheduling activity flow, searching for speakers, inviting entertainment, confirming sponsors, fabrication of events, selecting mementos and making a contingency plan for all of these things.
The catch is online event planners are no longer required to visit the clients physically. All they need is a stable internet connection and work is done online. To enhance work efficiency and productivity, many have equipped themselves with a comprehensive online event planning system.
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Top 8 Skills to Succeed as an Event Planner
Facing problems to run events and don’t have ideas on how to manage them? Let’s discover the essential skills to be a successful and absolute perfectionist event planner!
- Be Versatile and Flexible
Flexibility and versatility are about being able to move freely and confidently from work to work, from task to task, from role to role, changing the way you think, you act and you behave, without any adherence to a set of internal or external rules. Versatility is about using your skills to maximum effect wherever you happen to be working.
Whether you plan to engage in full-service planning or specialising in a particular aspect of event planning (e.g. catering, florist, stewardship), it is necessary to get accounting/auditing skills, customer service skills, negotiation, and interpersonal skills and yes, first aid skills too. Also, be acquitted with your vendors, competitors, location, and clients. This will help you determine the type of event you wish to specialise in.
This is a vitally important aspect for all categories of event planners. See every event you attend as an opportunity to market yourself and your business. Talk to people about your job and don’t forget to get their contacts.
As regards the nature of your business, you need to have effective communication skills, of course, planning and organising skills, a welcoming manner of approach and a warm smile. The main goal of your events should be to create a formidable relationship with your clients and, why not, ask them for referrals!
- Understand Your Duty
Parties are merry but planning them is a whole lot of work and not as merrier. Know your responsibilities as an event planner; it starts from the invite list down to event decoration, catering, entertainment, etc.
You really need to be up and doing as an event planner, so don’t look out for drinks and goodies. Unlike the invited guests, you are there to work and not party, so don’t mess up business with pleasure, don’t be carried out by the event. You need to stay focused and be professional all the time.
- Work as a Team
Strong teamwork is extra credit for anyone working for event planning. When working together towards the actualisation of a particular goal, it is much likely to be successful. Teamwork enhances creativity, improves job satisfaction, offers a strong network, and increases productivity.
- Emergency Kit
Have you ever considered cases of ‘what ifs?’ What if someone had an excess drink and hurt himself or another guest at the event? What if one of the guests cut himself? What if someone forgets to use the ashtray thus getting someone else burnt? What if the fireworks go wrong?
Do not forget that as an event planner, you are in charge of the smooth operation of an event’s activities, but you also have to take care of all the unexpected events. Guests and the host of events will approach you to meet their needs and some emergencies. Most hosts can be good at mounting pressure on their event planners/managers; they expect everything to be in place without excuses, so they will likely come running to you in emergency cases.
Include a first aid kit as one of your planning kits. In line with being versatile, you might want to take basic first aid classes: this choice makes you appear very customer-oriented and well organised.
Try to thoroughly review/audit your financial account monthly, this will reveal how you are performing. After each audit makes budgets for the next month, prepare financial forecasts (how much you want to spend and how you anticipate gaining, etc).
Employ the services of an accountant to help reduce the stress, but if you want to get it done yourself, there are many apps and software that can make the work easier for you.
- Be Passionate about Your Job
Passion is the driving force of every business. It keeps you going against all odds especially when you have every reason to give up. Being passionate can be spirit-lifting; it gives you a sense of satisfaction, fulfilment and contentment.
Learn to be free and happy with what you do, let it flow from inside to the outside. Learn to forge ahead and smile at every new challenge that comes. Do not relent in backing up your dreams with hard work, because it makes you stronger, smarter and better.
- Use Technology
Technology gives unlimited opportunities to maximise the efficiency of your event and therefore, saves your time. The process of keying in data and gathering information can be faster with computers and technology. In most cases, it can reduce workload and manpower.
Evenesis is one of the technologies that an event organiser and online event planning team can utilise. It has exciting features such as online registration, ticketing, database management, on-site check-in, and survey/polling. Visit www.evenesis.com to know more about Evenesis’ event planner software.
How Do You Organise An Online Event? (Step by Step)
With physical events being temporarily sidelined and movement control order being applied, people feel more of a drive than ever before to meet, socialise and network with one another. Hence, embrace virtual events since people are not going anywhere but online. Here we have separated the procedures into 5 main parts.
Step 1: Online Event Strategy
Understanding who your target audiences are, what challenges they’re struggling with and what they desire will lay a strong foundation for successful online event planning.
Next, ensure consistent visual branding in making your brand more recognisable. It is also at this stage whereby you decide whether to monetise the event. If yes, you ought to look out for a ticketing partner or payment processor later to manage the online event registration process.
Step 2: Online Event Planning
Once the direction of the event has been identified, get help from a reliable event planning company Malaysia. Professional event planners will be able to assist you in picking an engaging theme, guide you to choosing the most suitable format, date and time.
Apart from that, it is important to note that many of your attendees will be joining your event via mobile phones. So, do not forget to optimise your event to the mobile version, making it easily accessible to your attendees, even the not-so-tech-savvy ones.
Step 3: Online Event Marketing
An attractive event landing page or microsite with juicy details can help get your audience to be excited about your event.
To promote your event to a wider audience, embed the event link in your blog posts. Write about your inspiration for the event, why it is relevant to your audience and what they will learn from this event.
Sharing your blog post on social media channels can greatly boost registration and attendance. Remember to utilise creative hashtags so that other social media users can follow your event updates when they catch their eyes.
Also, use the email list to market your event to your subscribers and send email reminders to those who have already signed up.
Step 4: Online Event Execution
Beginning your event on time gives off a sense of professionalism. Hence, get your team ready 10-15 minutes before your event goes live. Welcome your audience with warm greetings and make them feel appreciated.
Stay alert while monitoring attendees’ reaction and engagement rate so that you and your crews can make prompt action deemed necessary. Make use of the engagement tools such as live chat, poll and games to communicate and interact with the attendees. This will foster a closer connection even though the attendees are miles away from one another.
Project visually appealing slides while your speakers are doing presentations. If you’re selling a product or service, sell while you teach. Do not leave the selling to the last part of the event. In fact, your entire event can be centred on educating your audience about the benefits and importance of buying your products or services.
Then, make a clear call to action before the closing. Inform them what’s the next step to take, for instance, a limited time offer or a free e-booklet to download.
Step 5: After Event Follow-Ups
Distribute survey forms to your attendees and crowdsource for your next topic. Let them speak up their mind as the feedback gathered can offer invaluable insights to your business.
Last but not least, track and analyse the event metrics to make your upcoming online events even more awesome.
What Makes An Online Event Successful?
Turning on a camera or downloading a live streaming app plays just a very small part in hosting an online event. In fact, it takes more than that to plan and execute a meaningful and successful online event. Here we’ve compiled 4 actionable tips to help you catch up your way to delivering an extraordinary online event experience.
Finding the right partner and platform
Understand that not all virtual event platforms or systems are built the same. Selecting the one that can help you achieve your brand’s objectives and vision makes organising a virtual event easier. Identify what techs and tools you need to realise your dream event and compare them to what each platform can provide. Tools that allow attendees to connect and network are key.
Developing the right story via the right format
The right platform itself is not sufficient as content is the king and context is the queen in today’s world. Telling a story that resonates with your target audience and making it exciting enough to entice them into joining your online event. Also, go creative beyond videos and presentations. Perhaps, you can hire a professional online event planning team to help you with content strategy and virtual event engagement.
Repurposing the event content
Leverage your event content in different channels after the event is over can help you extend your virtual event investment. Repurpose your event into bite-sized content such as 600-word blog posts and 30-second videos is ideal as they’re more eye-catching, topic-specific and less stressful to follow. People will also be more willing to pay if they find them informative and valuable.
Gain brand credibility by obtaining sponsorships from big corporates. Not only will big corporates offer you financial support for your event, but they can also help you build brand awareness by bringing your brand to a wider audience. Subsequently, you can observe more interest and revenue coming to your business.
The Best Event Planning Company Malaysia You Shouldn’t Miss
Need a partner for your online events? Evenesis is here for you. Maximise your success by checking out our all-in-one online event planning system. Feel free to leave your query in this form and we’ll get back to you within a business day.