Before you can host a virtual event, you need an audience of attendees.
And to get an audience, you need a way to collect attendee registrations and payments.
In this article, we’ll talk about the challenge of how to organize an online event from your home and share five specific recommendations for making it a success.
1. Sell Event Registrations With a WordPress Event Manager Plugin
A WordPress event manager plugin can help you sell event registrations to your next virtual event from your website.
Let’s say you are teaching a workshop on gratitude. Here are some of the items that an event manager plugin can check off your to-do list.
- Create an event page for the gratitude workshop on your WP website.
- Collect a name and email address from each attendee.
- Securely process a credit card payment.
- Send an email confirmation to you and an attendee after the booking has been made.
The power of an event manager plugin for WordPress is in automation.
It saves you time by taking over tasks that you would otherwise have to do yourself manually.
What if you wanted to collect custom information or offer different payment options like PayPal and credit card payments?
With a flexible event manager plugin, the answer is yes and yes!
An agenda is like a map to discover the buried treasure on a tropical island. It helps an attendee 1) understand where they are headed and 2) the path to follow to get there.
In the words of the author’s Dan Heath and Chip Heath: “Destination postcard: a vivid picture from the near-term future that shows what could be possible.”
An agenda serves as a destination postcard for your upcoming virtual event. So how should you share a plan with your attendees? Here are some ideas:
- Compose an email to your attendees from your email inbox.
- Use your event plugin to set up a custom registration email that will deliver it after a successful email.
- Send a reminder email to your attendees through your event manager plugin.
Ask for feedback from attendees to be prepared for and anticipate any questions or changes of direction that they need.
3. Choose a dedicated space in your home
Hosting a virtual event doesn’t require renting a studio or high-end equipment.
It’s likely that you already have the basics in your home. Use what you have.
The essentials are:
- A desk with your computer
- A comfortable chair
- A power outlet nearby
Notice there isn’t anything fancy in the list. The items you need are equivalent to what you would use if you work remotely from home.
Next, you need a quiet area that is free of distractions.
How Can This Work if You Have a Spouse or Roommates?
The best piece of advice is two-fold.
First, give them a heads up at least a day in advance, and be sure to tell them why the virtual event is important to you.
Then gently remind them the day of. They may even offer to help you prepare, bringing you closer to making your online event a success.
4. Use Natural Light to Your Advantage
Natural light can lift your mood. If you are presenting where attendees can see you on video, then lighting is also critical.
Your attendees will be able to connect with you when they can see you.
Ambient lighting that faces you onward will work best to illuminate your face.
Think of ambient lighting as the bright indirect light that flows in from a room window.
It’s enough to light up your workspace without the blinding effect of direct sunlight.
Here are some other lighting tips:
- Place your desk in a bright area of a room directly in front of a window that gets ambient light.
- Use window blinds to control the intensity of the light.
- Use a floor lamp to the left or right of your desk to supplement the light from a window.
Test these ideas by opening your virtual meeting app and see how you appear on camera.
Remember to check when you’ll host your virtual event and have a backup plan.
For instance, if it’s a sunny day when you test, then the lighting may be just right.
However, if it’s raining on the day of your virtual event, then a floor lamp can still make you look good by providing extra lighting.
5. Use a “Good Enough” Microphone
Hearing your presentation is vital. Your computer likely has a built-in microphone.
However, there is a simple upgrade that you can make without spending extra money.
A simple pair of headphones like those that came with your mobile phone will be a significant improvement over your computer’s built-in microphone.
Your computer’s mic can capture your voice, but it may also pick up surrounding sound. That can make it difficult for your attendees to hear you.
The sound is improved with headphones because the microphone is closer to you and can better capture your voice.
Get started now by using what you already have.
Then upgrade your microphone later as you continue to organize more virtual events from your home.
6. Take Notes and Send Notes After the Event for Followup
As you prepare for the virtual event from your home, you will have your agenda and other presentation materials.
Also take notes during your virtual event of any changes, questions or requests along the way.
Leverage your notes. Once your event is over, send the attendees your materials so they can have your notes.
Use the notes you derive during the meeting as a way to continue to engage with your audience after the event.
You can use these discussion items to initiate another event or stay in the minds of your attendees.
Six recommendations for organizing a virtual event from your home are:
1. Sell event registrations with a WordPress event manager plugin
2. Share an agenda, so your attendees know what to expect
3. Choose a dedicated space in your home
4. Use natural light to your advantage
5. Use a “good enough” microphone
6. Takes notes and send to attendees for followup
Being connected to others is essential to human nature. With a virtual event, you can help your audience of attendees feel connected from their homes. Start planning your next virtual event today!