In the ToucanTech webinar, ‘Events are evolving: Virtual engagement’, Sara Eastwood, community management expert with over 10 years experience shared great tips for hosting engaging events, plus examples of successful virtual events from ToucanTech school and nonprofit customers. Whether you’re just getting started with virtual events, considering a hybrid for your future events programme, or just looking for new ideas, here are the key takeaways:
“We are here to facilitate opportunities to allow our community members to make meaningful connections in their social, academic, career, and business lives, to inspire them enough to want to give back their time, talent and treasure.”
Whether your goal is to recruit more volunteers, to fundraise for a new capital project, or simply to get back in touch with non-engaged members of your community, see your event as an important step in a wider engagement journey. Ensure there are plenty of opportunities for attendees to take the next step by following up with a post-event email, with links to donate (if this is your purpose) or an invitation to sign up to your online community.
“Strive to be something to someone rather than trying to be everything to everyone.”
While virtual events can make it seem easy to involve a large group of people, without in-person limits on attendees, you should still focus on targeting your virtual events to ensure that you can tailor as much as possible. This can be achieved through your speaker or activity choice, the channels you choose to promote your events, your communications. Focus on your demographic, their previous interactions with your school, nonprofit or other charitable organisation, and the reason they would be suitable for the event.
Often, the purpose for your event will be different from the reason people decide to sign up. Therefore, even with your purpose in mind, consider from the attendee perspective what they will be looking to gain from this event: this could be networking with those in a similar industry, catching up with old school friends, or promoting their own business. Make these reasons to join explicit in your comms and event promotion, to help prospects see the value in attending from their perspective.
For a full step-by-step guide on how to plan your next virtual event, check out our guide ‘Virtual reality: 7 steps to deliver events online’.
Find creative virtual event ideas below:
ToucanTech can support your virtual events programme by providing an events, comms and data management system, an online community portal, and email engine, all-in-one. Find out how you can maximise engagement with your community by speaking to a member of our team.
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