As restrictions and guidance around large-scale gatherings like conferences and trade shows remain in place for the foreseeable future, associations continue to look at how they can best transition events online – either in full or by offering certain elements in a virtual format. Here are nine steps to make sure that the shift to online events goes smoothly, along with a quick reference sheet that details the functionality and limitations of a variety of online content delivery and event software tools.
- Create a priority order for your events, and identify which elements are the most important to replicate.
- Start with the No. 1 priority and determine the most appropriate technology to help you achieve that goal first.
- Establish which components of your previously planned content can be used as is or modified slightly for the new event.
- Identify how you will engage with your attendees online.
- Think about opportunities for exhibitors and sponsors to achieve their visibility and lead generation goals.
- Look for ways to integrate this event and its contents throughout your association’s communications and content delivery platforms – in your magazine, newsletter, social media, website, career center, learning platform, and online community.
- Identify creative revenue generating opportunities from the online event.
- Evaluate whether any of your secondary priorities can also be achieved with your new online event, and incorporate those into the event accordingly.
- Move down the original event’s priority list, and determine if there is an opportunity to meet each objective through some form of digital delivery.