🚀 The Event Playbook: Proven strategies to level up your next event!

🚀 The Event Playbook:
Proven strategies to level up your next event!

online community events

5 Tips for Hosting Successful Online Community Events

Online community events are a great way to connect with others and engage in shared interests. From virtual workshops and webinars to online festivals and networking events, there is something for everyone. Joining these events allows you to learn, socialize, and be part of a vibrant online community.

The Virtual Event Landscape

The age of virtual events is upon us. 

In today’s digitally connected world, online community events unite people globally with shared interests, topics, and causes. 

There are endless possibilities for meaningful virtual interactions, from webinars and virtual conferences to online networking events and workshops.

 

What are 4 Benefits of Community Events?

  1. Eliminate geographic barriers, allowing participation from anywhere with internet access. 
  2. Access thought leaders and subject matter experts with attendees may not typically meet.
  3. Virtual events are more budget-friendly and time-efficient to attend. 
  4. Encourage attendees to join a community centered around their passions.

With careful planning and execution, your online event will captivate audiences, spark conversation, and build community. 

Read on for tips and best practices for hosting engaging virtual get-togethers.

1. Set Clear Goals and Choose the Right Event Type

Defining your event’s purpose and choosing the right format are foundational steps. Consider these key factors:

Define Your Goals

Before planning any details, do you know what you want to achieve? 

Is the purpose to educate, entertain, raise awareness, or generate revenue? 

Outlining goals informs decisions around format, content, attendees, and features.

For example, an online music festival to entertain and delight fans differs a lot from a virtual conference focused on educating professionals. 

Pinpointing desired outcomes sets the direction for producing an impactful event.

Choose an Event Format

With your goals defined, now it’s time to target the right community to reach your goals. 

From webinars to virtual conferences and beyond, what are the most popular event types?

  • Webinars: Webinars have focused, topic-driven events centered around thought leaders. They usually involve 1-3 expert speakers presenting with Q&A sessions. Webinars work well for specialized education and training.
  • Online Conferences: Virtual conferences mimic large in-person conferences with keynote speakers, breakout sessions, virtual exhibit halls, and networking opportunities. They allow attendees to learn from many experts across a field.
  • Online Festivals: Virtual festivals gather communities around shared interests like music, film, food, or culture. They feature live-streamed entertainment, classes, celebrity appearances, contests, and interactive elements.
  • Virtual Networking Events: These online get-togethers enable attendees to connect around professional or personal interests. From virtual happy hours to topic-focused mixers, they promote engaging conversations.
  • Online Workshops: Virtual workshops feature hands-on learning and collaboration in a specific skill or discipline. Cooking classes, writing workshops, and professional development training are common examples.
  • Hybrid Events: Hybrid events blend virtual and in-person experiences, often with local hub events alongside an online program. Expand access for remote participants.
  • Selecting a format that aligns with your goals sets you up for an effective online community event from the start.

    2. Build a Dynamic Event Website

    An event website is the digital hub connecting organizers, speakers, sponsors, and attendees. 

    Investing in a polished, feature-rich website builds credibility, discoverability, accessibility, and the wow-factor.

    But how do you design a successful online community event website?

    Vibrant Visual Design

    First impressions matter. 

    Greet site visitors with eye-catching graphics, videos, animations, and photos that speak to your event’s personality. 

    A vibrant aesthetic immediately captures interest.

    Intuitive Navigation

    From menus to search bars and sitemaps, make it effortless for visitors to find information quickly. 

    Logical and consistent navigation is a must-have for user-friendly websites.

    Complete Event Program Details

    Showcase what your event entails, including schedules, session topics, speaker bios, special events, contest details, and more. 

    Help visitors envision the experience from start to finish.

    Easy Registration Process

    Simplify event registration with seamless ticketing integrations, package options, discounts, and automated confirmations. 

    Frictionless sign-up encourages conversions.

    Sponsor Spotlights

    Put sponsors front and center. 

    Showcase partnership benefits with logos, videos, ads, and exhibitor information. 

    Always deliver impressive value for event supporters.

    Speaker Profiles

    Get your attendees pumped for your event! 

    Share the presenter’s short bios, headshots, social media links, and session details to introduce speakers in an engaging way.

    Let visitors connect with experts.

    FAQs

    Anticipate frequently asked questions with clear answers on event logistics like technology requirements, schedules, pricing, cancellation policies, etc. 

    Proactively inform visitors.

    Contact Information

    Make it easy for visitors to get personalized help by listing phone numbers, live chat, email addresses, and social media. 

    Quick access to contact options provides peace of mind.

    With a design-forward, content-rich event website outfitted with the elements above, make stellar first impressions and equip visitors with the information needed to attend your online community event.

    3. Promote, Promote, Promote

    Spread awareness of your online community event through multi-channel promotion. 

    Drive interest and sign-ups. 

    Start promoting early and keep it going until and during the event.

    How Do You Promote an Event Successfully?

    Email Marketing

    Email campaigns equip you to reach segmented lists with personalized messages about your event. 

    Send emails announcing the event, highlighting speakers, offering discounts, and sharing reminders.

    Social Media

    Leverage your organization’s and event’s social media accounts. 

    Consistently share event details, speaker spotlights, registration links, contests, and visual content across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, X (Twitter), and TikTok.

    Paid Ads

    Running paid ads across Google, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn reaches highly targeted audiences interested in your event topic. 

    Boost registrations through optimized click-through messaging.

    Media Relations

    Proactively pitching your online community event to relevant blogs, magazines, and websites. 

    Open up opportunities for earned media coverage and expand your reach.

    Influencer Marketing

    Recruit influencer ambassadors in your industry to share event promotions across their channels. 

    Greatly expand awareness to new audiences. 

    Offer influencers special perks for bonuses.

    Affiliate Partnerships

    Collaborate with complementary brands and organizations to cross-promote each other’s offerings. 

    Share event info to expand your collective reach worldwide.

    Website Pop-ups

    Website pop-ups with eye-catching messaging grab visitors’ attention.

    Quickly collect emails for future event promotion.

    Always offer perks for signing up on the spot.

    With creative, multi-channel tactics, maximize awareness for your online community event.

    Drive impactful registration numbers. 

    Stay nimble, and don’t be afraid to test out innovative ideas too!

    4. Curate Engaging Content

    Compelling content keeps your virtual attendees tuned in, engaged, and returning for more. 

    Demos, and interactive elements, creative programming make or break the event experience.

    Consider these tips for curating can’t-miss content:

  • Recruit notable, in-demand speakers: Research who your attendees are eager to hear from and pursue the shortlist of experts capable of delivering buzzworthy presentations.
  • Keep sessions concise: Less is more with virtual event attention spans. Trim sessions to 15-30 minutes to keep things lively, and focused and retain viewer interest.
  • Mix up session formats: Beyond standard presentations, incorporate demos, interviews, debates, and interactive workshops for variety.
  • Include audience participation: Crowdsource questions beforehand, monitor live chats and polls to give attendees a voice during sessions.
  • Add multimedia: Incorporate relevant photos, videos, animations and screenshares to amplify visual appeal and clarity of sessions.
  • Build in breaks: Allow time between sessions for quick breaks to recharge attendee focus and visit virtual exhibit areas.
  • Entertain with extras: Consider virtual receptions, live concerts, games, contests and giveaways to cultivate community and fun.
  • Purposefully curating sessions and extras with diverse formats, special guests, interactive elements, and surprises results in an online community event that engages from start to finish.

    5. Optimize the Virtual Event Platform

    A glitchy, confusing virtual event platform quickly derails your online community event. 

    Partnering with an experienced provider guarantees intuitive, reliable technology.

    Look for these hallmarks of user-friendly virtual event platforms:

    Seamless Video Streaming

    High-quality video and clear audio with minimal lag or buffering issues guarantee a successful event. 

    Look for platforms with reliable, glitch-free live streaming.

    Intuitive Navigation

    Attendees should easily navigate the platform interface to access sessions, exhibits, networking, and resources. 

    Add intuitive menus and layouts.

    Interactive Features

    Look for built-in tools to drive attendee engagement, like live polling, Q&A, chats, surveys, downloads, gamification, and easy social media integrations.

    Networking Functions

    Accurate matchmaking, 1:1 video chatting, topic-based networking rooms, and more encourage attendees to connect before, during, and after the live event program.

    Sponsor Spotlights

    Custom sponsor profiles, digital booths, lead retrieval tools, product demos, and analytics help sponsors achieve their participation goals.

    Flawless Mobile Experience

    Design a fully optimized platform ideal for mobile viewing and engagement.

    Attendee Support

    Proactive technical support via live chat, phone, and messaging assists quickly when issues crop up during the live event.

    Partner with virtual event platform experts and gain peace of mind. 

    Always deliver a top-tier experience. Inspire lasting global community action and belonging.

    Online community events unlock tremendous opportunities to unite people across the digital landscape. 

    With clear goals, compelling programming, savvy promotion, seamless technology, and ongoing community care, your virtual event is bound for success. 

    Create an Unforgettable Virtual Event Experience

    Hosting a stellar online community event is no small feat. 

    While the tips in this article set helpful direction, flawless execution requires seasoned experts. 

    Enter We & Goliath – veteran virtual event pros dedicated to co-creating experiences that rock expectations and deliver results!

    Our secret sauce? 

    Smart strategy, riveting content, and innovative technology that engages attendees from start to finish. 

    Let’s unite to make your next online gathering the most talked-about event of the year! 

    Schedule a complimentary virtual event strategy session now to brainstorm winning ideas tailored to your goals. 

    With 20+ years of digital event success backing us, we guarantee an unforgettable experience that inspires community and achieves your vision. 

    This is your invitation to think bigger and make your online event dreams a reality!

    We & Goliath

    We & Goliath is an award-winning, top 100 worldwide event agency known for increasing conference attendance by 7X and profits by 3X through beautifully designed virtual, hybrid, and in-person events. Since 1999, their team of innovative strategists and creative designers has worked with global enterprises, SMBs, non-profits, and other organizations to engage audiences and exceed expectations.

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