6 Steps For Putting On A Virtual Event That Works

You’ve been thinking about putting on a virtual event for a while now, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. 

Putting on a virtual event can seem really daunting if you’ve never done it before. The technology to learn, the different platforms, how to advertise to an online audience…there are a lot of questions and new things to learn that surround a virtual event. Even if you’re an experienced event planner, putting on a 100 percent virtual event presents a whole new set of issues and problems to troubleshoot and solve.

With current events keeping almost everyone at home to do most of their work and leisure activities online, now is the time to put on your first virtual event.

So, how does one actually put on a virtual event? If you go step by step, it’s not as complicated as you think. 

We’ve broken it down into steps for you, to help you put on your first virtual event without a hitch. 

Ten Event Planning Tips for Absolute Beginners

Special Announcement:  
With all of the unrest and uncertainty in the world because of Covid-19, we chose to publish this article on event planning burnout to help you. Event planners and speakers alike, are facing a huge downturn because of canceled or postponed events, and here at eSpeakers we are no different. If you are struggling with how to approach the coming months, you should also read our article about how to move your speaking career to the virtual sphere.

New to planning? Read on for some event planning tips for planning newbies!

Five Tips to Prevent Burnout for You and Your Event Planning Team

Special Announcement:  
With all of the unrest and uncertainty in the world because of Covid-19, we chose to publish this article on event planning burnout to help you. Event planners and speakers alike, are facing a huge downturn because of canceled or postponed events, and here at eSpeakers we are no different. Preventing Burnout during these times will be important as you work to keep yourself afloat. If you are struggling with how to approach the coming months, you should also read our article about how to move your speaking career to the virtual sphere.

How do you prevent burnout as an event planner?

Did you know that event planning is one of the most stressful jobs there is? That’s right; right after firefighters, police officers, and airplane pilots come the unsung heroes of the event industry—the planners!  

Let The World Know You Can Present Virtually

All of us here at eSpeakers want to send our best wishes to all of you in the speaking industry during this challenging time. These are these unprecedented times in this industry, but there’s something you can do right now

When we see a challenge, we also see opportunity. Many companies are instituting work-from-home policies and social distancing. This new work environment is challenging for many employees, creating a more fragmented workforce and straining company morale.

45 Event Industry Terms That Every Planner Should Know

The event industry is growing fast. That’s great for planners! But can make it hard to keep up with all the new industry terms and trends that are constantly popping up all over the internet and social media.

With new trends come lots of new industry terms and lingo to go with them! Add to that the tried and true terminology that every experienced planner knows, and someone new to the field can be left scrambling to keep themselves informed.

With so much competition in this field and so much new technology and standards of practice coming into play, it’s vitally important to sound professional and relevant. Especially when you’re pitching to new clients and meeting with colleagues.

What’s Your Plan B? What to Do If Your Keynote Speaker Canceled Last Minute

So you’ve spent months and months planning an event. It’s the biggest ever, you’ve pulled out all the stops and covered all your bases. You’ve planned for every single possible contingency. Especially the biggest one. Your keynote speaker canceled at the last minute.

A nightmare, right? You’ve printed all the programs and posters with that person’s face all over them. Attendees have bought tickets with the promise of hearing an awesome keynote speech from this particular speaker. And the—admittedly, rare—unthinkable has happened. One of the worst things that could happen, really.

7 Tips to Save Money When You’re Planning an Event

Event planning has always been a tough industry. And now with our ever more competitive economy and smaller and smaller budgets, planning an event is more challenging than ever. 

Gone are the days of sky’s the limit budgets. Now, clients are expecting their planners to pull off the same events they always have but at greatly reduced budgets. 

Everyone is trying to save money. And if you want to succeed in today’s planning industry, this means you, too.

How To Book a Celebrity: Ten Things You Need to Know to Bag a Big Name

Hiring a speaker is a challenge in itself. Hiring a celebrity speaker is a whole different ballgame!

A celebrity speaker will drive lots of traffic and attention to your event; the free buzz that this person will create for you can pay for itself, it’s true. 

If you decide you want to book a celebrity for an upcoming event, you need to consider that there are two sides to this coin. 

But if you book a celebrity, you also need to be on a level of professionalism that you may not have achieved before. You have to have all your ducks in a row before you even consider contacting a celebrity to appear at your event.

Bring your “A” game.

If you appear in any way unprepared when you reach out to a celebrity’s PR team, they will not even consider your proposal because it will smell like a “waste of time”.

Celebrities don’t have time to waste. They also have their public reputations to consider. Most of them won’t appear at an event that won’t make them look good. If you come off as unprofessional at the get-go, they won’t sign on. 

The way to successfully book a celebrity is to approach their PR person with all the information they need in a concise document that allows them to assess your event, what it has to offer and make a quick yes or no decision. If your proposal is incomplete or messy, it will much more likely be a “no”. 

You don’t want that.

For them, time is money, so you need to have all your expectations set and ready to present up-front. With that in mind, we put together a list to help you present a strong proposal. 

How to book a celebrity: Ten things you need to know to bag a big name.

Your budget. 

Big surprise: celebrities cost a lot. Be prepared to pay a minimum of $50,000 all the way up to a six-figure number. 

Why you want to book a celebrity.

Don’t just choose celebrities at random, just for the sake of having a big name. Your celebrity’s presence at your event should make sense. So know the purpose and theme of your event, and choose a celebrity who fits in with that idea. An appropriate person will have a much stronger effect than someone who is there just for the sake of their celebrity status. 

How you want your celebrity to fit into your event.

Curate your celebrity speaker into your event for the greatest effect. Consider who they are and what they have to offer your attendees—would a full 60 or 90-minute keynote speech be appropriate, or a moderated Q & A session? Every speaker brings something unique to an event, even celebrities. Remember that when you are proposing your event to them.

Your event location.

The location of your event will affect which celebrity you will be able to book, because of two factors: 

  • Flying a celebrity from afar will cost more on your end.
  • You will need more time to book a celebrity speaker the farther you are from where they live. 

Your speaker may not want to fly thousands of miles. So the farther you are from city centers, allow more time to find someone who can.

Your timeline.

You need to know the exact dates and times that your celebrity will be speaking, down to the minute, before you contact them with your proposal. Most celebrities want to spend as little time as possible at your event (no offense, it’s a time thing) so they will arrive shortly before their allotted time and leave shortly afterward. Provide this information upfront.

Your team.

Your celebrity needs to know that there is a solid team ready to receive them. If they don’t know who to contact or your team seems to change on a daily basis, you will seem unprofessional and they won’t want to be involved. Make it clear who on your team does what, and how they should contact them.

Your speakers bureau.

Using a speakers bureau can cut down on a lot of back-and-forth and guesswork for you. It is a speakers bureau’s business to know which celebrities are available for speaking engagements, what they charge, and what their special expectations are. Engaging a speakers bureau to do all this legwork for you can save you a ton of time.

Not sure where to start? Check out our directory of celebrity speakers!

Who they are speaking to.

It’s important to know who your audience is, so your celebrity can know what to expect if they accept your offer. Also, they can curate their speech appropriately so they can have a greater impact, which is better for them and for your audience.

Your marketing plan.

All of your promotional material will need to be okayed by the celebrity’s PR team before it is distributed. To avoid wasted resources when they reject something you’ve already paid for, make sure you know how you plan to promote the event so you can get their approval as soon as possible.

Your Plan B.

This doesn’t go on your proposal. But it’s important to have a strong Plan B, because most celebrities will have a cancellation clause written into their contracts in case they are offered a film or other such engagement and need to back out suddenly. If this happens, you need to be ready to deploy your second-best speaker at a moment’s notice!

This list will help you get everything you need in line to book a celebrity for your event. We hope you enjoyed it. If you think we missed anything important, let us know!

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Your Ultimate Event Planning Checklist!

So you’ve done the hustle, you’ve sold your skills and pitched like crazy. And you did it—you landed that next big contract!

Well done…now what?

This one’s bigger than any event you’ve organized before and you’re feeling ever-so-slightly in over your head—you’re more nervous than excited! And you’re not sure where to start.

What you need is an event planning checklist that will ease your fears. 

With all the moving parts involved in planning an event, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But don’t panic—you’re at the very start. The perfect place to be to plan an unforgettable event from the ground up.

But first, you need to get organized.

With this event planning checklist, you can keep track of all those little details and make sure you don’t forget anything.

eSpeakers Ultimate Event Planning Checklist

14 to 18 months prior to the event:

  • Write your event planning checklist!
  • Select and hire your planning committee
  • Delegate tasks and responsibilities
  • Create a preliminary budget
  • Establish objectives, goals, and theme of the event
  • Create a website 
  • Put together a mailing list
  • Create a marketing plan
  • Send an email blast: save the date
  • Venue search/site visits
  • Begin soliciting sponsorship
  • Outline event agenda
  • If you are using one, hire a decorator 
  • Establish satellite events 
  • Establish logistical parameters:
    • Space requirements
    • Number of attendees
  • Send out RFPs for ancillary services (transportation, equipment rentals)

Looking for the perfect speakers for your next event? Search our speaker marketplace here!

10 – 16 months before the event:

  • Contract ancillary services
  • Establish rates and pricing/early bird pricing
  • Begin promotion!
  • Launch social media campaign and platforms
  • Build registration platform on the website
  • Finalize contracts with venues and pay deposits
  • Seek out and secure speakers and facilitators
  • Arrange transportation and accommodation for speakers and guests
  • Be sure your website(s) can handle increasing traffic

6 – 10 months before the event:

  • Open registration 
  • Finalize sessions
  • Layout program
  • Plan event logistics with vendors (travel, menus, etc.)
  • Print and send out brochures

3 – 6 months before the event:

  • Confirm menus and ancillary venues
  • Review audio-visual requirements
  • Begin your “Event Day Master List”
  • Determine the final print date
  • Keep the website updated with new information
  • Finalize speakers and agenda

1 – 3 months before the event:

  • Hire and train event staff
  • Order attendee materials and swag (nametags, t-shirts, notebooks etc.)

As a professional in the event planning industry, you’re in the perfect position to help your colleagues find the right speakers to make their meetings great! Connect with our SpeakerShare program to learn how you can make a commission from referring speakers!

6 weeks – 2 months before the event:

  • Finalize decorative details
  • Prepare post-event survey
  • Email and snail mail reminders to speakers

2 – 6 weeks before the event:

  • Print signage, programs, and other literature
  • Finalize attendance numbers
  • Troubleshoot digital/online apps and technologies

1 week before the event:

  • Review Master Plan
  • A/V run-throughs
  • Troubleshoot equipment
  • Event walk-throughs with key personnel
  • Email updates to speakers and other participants
  • Familiarize personnel with logistical details of venues
  • Collect all presentations on USB sticks
  • Prepare check-in materials
  • Close registration, provide final numbers to venues and hotels
  • Prepare gifts for speakers and participants
  • Train event support staff

Day of the event:

  • Meet and greet
  • Oversee smooth functioning, monitor safety and cleanliness put out fires

Week after the event:

  • Email post-event questionnaires
  • Send thank-you letters to VIPs and speakers
  • Post-event breakdown meeting with key personnel
  • Begin planning the next event!

An event planning checklist is essential to keeping organized whether you’re a veteran planner or are brand new to the industry. Is there anything we missed? Let us know in the comments.

Now, get planning!

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