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How do I start planning for my first virtual event?

As with any project having clear objectives and a well-defined timeline is essential, and planning a virtual event is no different. Below is a step-by-step guide of the most important processes to ensure a successful event: 

1. Create a plan 

This step includes defining the objectives, demographics, success metrics, theme or topics for the event, and the ultimate goal. It should be clear to all those involved why you are planning this event and who the target audience will be. The initial plan should include the budget for the event. Deciding on a budget at this stage will allow you to correctly plan for the overall event, and determine what features, activities or marketing strategies you can actually afford to deploy at your event. 

2. Define a timeline 

This step will define a timeline and overall planning strategy. It must be clear what needs to be done before, during, and after the event, and who is responsible for each specific task. This should include the format of the event, time & date of the event, interactive & engagement tools, how many sessions you will host, staffing schedules and deliverable deadlines. And remember content is king! Unique, informative and well-produced content will keep your audiences interested and hooked throughout your event. Ensure that you identify what content you will have at your event as soon as possible and set realistic timelines that factor in post-production timeframes. 

3. Identify and allocate your resources 

This is one of the most crucial parts of event planning and includes identifying the resources you have available, what resources you need and allocating responsibilities. You will need to analyze your team individually, and assign responsibilities accordingly. Communication is key. Making sure all those involved, both internal and external, are aware of their roles and expectations is essential. You should also consider your technological resources and requirements. To be successful you will need seamless integration between the human and technical resources. 

Once you have these initial steps established you will then need to consider your marketing strategies, which should include email and social media marketing, website listings and even paid marketing. You will also need to set up a system for reminders for those who have shown interest in your event.