If you are event planner, organizer or a company wondering how to execute your events today, I do know the big question you have is; are virtual summits or events going to work for me? I recently hosted a virtual summit for the oil and gas industry, and would be glad to share with you my experience.
Yes, virtual summits or events are going to work for you. However, you will need to think through the idea and plan how everything will run. This includes the format of the event, technology, the platform and the online tools you will need to execute the event. A virtual summit can work for you and your brand, even better than a physical event.
I am no stranger to oil and gas events. I have managed a range of event formats including conferences, summits, trade shows, field events and more. But this time around, approaching the planning and preparation process for this new virtual norm was very foreign to me. For so long in-person events were my speciality and I needed to personally pivot to the new normal fast.
Have a Clear Virtual Event Agenda
Similar to an in-person event, I began the process of pivoting to a virtual event by designing a clear event agenda and programming. I knew keeping the sessions and speakers as relevant as possible was a must to provide thoughtful content to our audience. To do this, I worked with our team to carve out an agenda that reflected the most pressing topics that event organizers have top-of-mind.
The next challenge was around timing. I had to take into account the time of the virtual event and when live sessions could occur with the highest number of attendees. After evaluating where across the globe our attendees were coming from and the availability of speakers, we decided a 1pm ET start time with half a day of content would be best.
When it came to recruiting speakers, I wanted to give them the best experience possible. We took a very intentional approach to delivering an exceptional speaker experience. In our outreach, we recommended specific sessions that prospective speakers would be a great fit for based on their interests, expertise, and feedback.