Creating an effective agenda for your virtual event can be a challenge. With the right planning and thought, however, you can create an agenda that will maximize attendee engagement and help ensure the success of your event.
What is a Virtual Event Agenda?
A virtual event agenda is a comprehensive plan that outlines the activities of an online event. It typically includes the schedule of sessions, topics to be discussed, speakers, and other vital information. The agenda helps attendees and organizers alike stay organized and ensure that the event is productive and successful.
When it comes to the actual event, having a well-crafted agenda is essential. It should list all the topics, speakers, and activities in the order they will occur. It should also include any technical information, such as how to join the event, what equipment is needed, and what the agenda timeline looks like.
Finally, be sure to include information about how to contact the event organizers and how to submit questions or comments. This will help ensure that everyone is able to get the most out of the event and can stay informed throughout the process.
Why Are Virtual Event Agendas so Important?
There are two major differences between an in-person event and a virtual event:
- Attendees will likely be joining from different time zones than yours
- They have an endless number of distractions going on during your event
Because of this, your virtual event agenda must be planned out in a strategic way that allows guests to easy access content, the sessions have to be short and entertaining, and they need some breathing room for those with other distractions going on simultaneously.
Think about what you want your attendees to do. Do you want them to attend sessions? Do you want them to ask questions, connect with sponsors, or network with each other? What actions should be taken by the audience to make you reach your overall program goal?
This is where your agenda should reflect every point mentioned above, to give attendees the opportunity to engage throughout the event in different activities and make the most of the virtual platform.
Virtual Event Agenda Best Practices
When creating a virtual event agenda, there are a few key components to consider. First and foremost, determine the goal of the event and create an agenda that will help achieve this goal. This includes deciding what topics to cover, who will be speaking, and what activities will be included. Additionally, decide how long the event will last and if there will be any breaks or activities during the event.
Pre-event surveys can help you understand attendee needs and expectations, and help you customize your agenda to meet those needs.
Before you schedule sessions, review your expectations. How much time can you reasonably expect your audience to spend online attending your event (four hours or less per day is recommended)? How many sessions do you expect them to watch?
Now think about what else you want them to do. Network with each other, visit sponsor booths? What actions can attendees take that will help you meet your overall program goals?
Your agenda should reflect all the above, giving attendees the opportunity to engage in different activities throughout the live day(s) and making the most of the virtual platform.
- Keep your content sessions under 45 minutes. Be sure to build in time for Q&A.
- If you have a lot of sessions, consider breaking them into tracks by topic or persona in order to keep your virtual event shorter.
- If your attendees are more than eight hours apart in time tones, consider hosting multiple “live events” by region (e.g., EMEA, North America, APAC, etc.). Record the early sessions and play them as simulive for the later audiences.
- Schedule breaks between sessions, even if it’s only 5 minutes. Everyone needs a little transition time.
- During longer breaks, tell attendees what you want them to do, whether that’s network with peers, visit sponsor booths or browse the resource library.
- Keep the day’s full agenda in the main auditorium listing. Include a specific time to “visit the exhibit hall” or “join the moderated chat” for example. Remember to make it easy for attendees by linking directly to the specified room or space.
- Plan your most critical content for the start of the day when your attendees are fresh and average attendance is at its highest.
- Encourage attendees to stay longer —or to come back if they’ve left —by closing out your program with a high-value session or entertainment (e.g., a live concert).
- Use add-ons to support your objectives such as a photo booth, scavenger hunt, gamification, team building exercise, etc.
Bonus Tip: Plan your broadcast messages in advance of the live day. Use them liberally to make announcements and let attendees know what to do and when.
By following these virtual event agenda tips, you can create an engaging and successful event. With the right planning and execution, you can create a memorable event that attendees will be talking about for days to come.
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