Virtual Events 101

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many of us have had to move our in-person events to virtual to adhere to social distancing recommendations. Here are some tools and tips to consider when planning your virtual events. 

During this time, the top two things nonprofits are focusing on are donor engagement and using creative techniques to recruit new supporters. 

What is a Virtual Event? 

This is a term that has become very familiar to people around the world, for both personal and professional reasons. A virtual event is an online-only event where attendees are able to connect remotely from wherever they are in the world. The event can be prerecorded or it can be live-streamed so that the audience can engage in real-time. Either way, you can record the event so that you can promote the content after the fact.  

Benefits of Virtual Events 

  • It gives you the opportunity to create a virtual fundraiser where your supporters can donate to your cause.
  • It simplifies the planning process. 
  • Cost-effective.
  • Technology like video and message boards during the event make attendees feel connected.
  • Broadens your reach with the ability to engage with a wider range of supporters from around the globe.
  • This may be an opportunity for your organization to pivot and utilize the power of virtual events effectively.
  • Take advantage of integrated tools like live leaderboards, donor scrolls, campaign updates, and videos to engage with your audience at all stages of the event/fundraiser. 

Plan & Host Virtual Events 

Planning a virtual event is far less time consuming than prepping for an in-person event, which allows your team to make an easier pivot. Here are a few tips to consider when hosting a virtual event: 

  • Create a well thought out a campaign landing page that includes clear information about the virtual event and where supporters can fundraise, donate and interact with one another.
  • Develop a clear and consistent communication strategy that drives traffic to your campaign page.
  • Customize your campaign story and make sure you highlight and promote the fact that your event is now virtual.
  • Add video! Video is proven to raise awareness and increase engagement. 
  • For fundraisers make sure you promote your goal, update progress, and announce milestones to keep your supporters motivated.
  • Keep the momentum going by engaging on social media. 
  • Make sure supporters feel appreciated by giving shout-outs to top fundraisers and donors.  

Tools to Consider 

You may want to consider virtual conferencing tools like Hopin, Whova, or Run the World

Although, if you do not have the budget or need for a virtual conference we have some simple video call tools to consider like: Zoom, Google Hangouts, or EZTalks

LiveStream on Social Media 

The number one thing to consider when doing a live stream is where your audience is most active online. Is your audience on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Youtube? Find out where they spend their time and then start your live stream! 

Examples of Virtual Events

  • Virtual auction 
  • Virtual food drive 
  • Virtual adoption event 
  • Virtual bike ride 
  • Virtual race (run or walk) 

Now get out there and start planning your virtual event today! 

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