Need to have a Virtual Event Strategy

It’s time to talk about strategy – and virtual event strategy, then! So at Endless, we helped planners create very exciting digital experiences. And our lovely hostess today, Sarah Christl, is one of the great people who makes phone calls with people to find out more about their events. And she noticed something during these discussions. She noticed that most people seem to completely forget about the strategic side of virtual events!

So, on this week’s whiteboard Wednesday, we want to revisit the concept of virtual event strategy. And most importantly, why you absolutely need it. So get on board for another exciting webinar and learn more about this awesome – and necessary – aspect of digital experiences-you know you want to!

“What we talked about on another whiteboard on Wednesday a while ago were the three elements of an event. So basically you need strategy, design and execution every time. But a lot of people, especially planners, get too excited and jump right into the design part,” says Sarah.

“Especially with virtual events, we saw that the deadlines were shorter. These events happened very quickly, and people said: I need to start designing now. But we really wanted to tell people to take a step back, slow down a bit and focus on this virtual event strategy first.”

Virtual Event Strategy: Taking The Right Steps
“So the first part is to find your why. Before embarking on something, you must first understand why you are doing it. What is the objective? Why are you organizing this virtual event? Instead of just recouping the cost of your personal event that you couldn’t recoup.”

“We need to know why this event is important for your visitors. And why you are going on this journey to learn a whole new thing that you are not necessarily familiar with. That’s what your strategy does. It is, in a way, your guiding north star. When you experience a challenge or you don’t know which direction to go, you can simply use this strategy as a north star. It will always be your decision-maker. And it will always help you find the answers to those really important questions that you ask yourself. In addition, it also gives you more time for creativity. A lot of people think that the virtual event strategy part is going to take a lot longer and they don’t have time for that,” says Sarah.

“But in fact, if you take a few steps back, you can have more time, in the long run, to focus on the design, execution and creativity that you are so excited to achieve,” she adds.

The advantages of a virtual event strategy
“Many of the people with whom I received these calls did not necessarily understand that a virtual event strategy has so many advantages. The first is that it prepares you for meetings with stakeholders and with so many other people. So we, a public relations and event production company, let people jump on the phone with us and start talking about their event needs. And we often find that people don’t necessarily think about their strategy and that different team members have different ideas, and they’re not all on the same page,” says Sarah.

“So if you have the strategy first, it really prepares you for these meetings. When an event production team asks you what you think about this or that, the strategy is there to answer that question for you. Or maybe when you meet with sponsors and they ask you about the purpose of the event, this strategy is really there to support you and support that.”

TIMELINE
“The last part is how this virtual event strategy can affect your calendar. So, like I said, a lot of people want to get straight into design and execution because it’s exciting. And this is the part that seems to take a lot of work. But the strategy also requires a lot of work. It really takes time. You really have to find your game face these days where you talk about strategy. So this is really going to affect your calendar. You will have to budget for this, allocate this time and not just skip this really important step,” she adds.

“So the sooner you can think about it, the better and long before your event takes place. We’re really trying to get people to think about next year’s event. So you’re not two weeks before the event trying to think of a strategy, trying to design and implement everything and launch it. This is what we often see with virtual events, people think that they can do everything in a very fast time. And that’s just not true,” Sarah warns.

Conclusion
“Many people are afraid. Oh no, I have to spend all this time on the virtual event strategy and everything else! Affirmative. But you also now have a clear path for your event. So, your strategy can be the place where you implement this schedule and plan this schedule in the future. If you don’t know exactly where to start or when to contact certain sponsors, this could well be discussed in your strategy and you just have a clearer path to follow.”

“So that’s all we have for your virtual event strategy. I really hope this is helpful and really shows you the benefits of starting with the strategy instead of jumping straight in. Be sure to join us for more exciting content coming soon!”.