While it's true that in-person events are ramping back up, virtual and hybrid events aren't going away. They've become a vital part of the events landscape and are still on track to continue their growth. According to recent research conducted by Vimeo, 72% of survey respondents indicated they plan to attend at least the same number of online events as they did during lockdown.
Maintaining on-going strategy, technical management, and delivering a consistent brand experience for your attendees while developing high-quality content consistently is daunting. Is it time to consider hiring a virtual event program services provider? Learn the essential elements to effective program management and how EventBuilder helps create and design managed programs, from first contact to implementation and beyond.
What is Virtual Event Program Management?
Since you may not know what professional virtual event program management entails, let's take a few minutes to give you an idea of how EventBuilder handles managed services for our customers. While this information is unique to our methods, it does provide a general overview of what it is and how it's implemented.
When managing virtual events and webinars there are many moving parts; competent coordination, staffing, on-going strategy, support, and program maintenance are key elements to making the program successful and positioned to calculate ROI. By engaging a professional event management services team, the building, managing, tech support, presenter coordination, and reporting duties are taken care of to your specifications, allowing you to focus on content development and delivery.
The Essential Elements
There are three essential elements to virtual event and webinar program management:
- Strategic Planning - develop your goals, objectives, and metrics for your program
- Implement the Plan - create processes for how events will be managed
- The Big Launch - produce events that run smoothly and predictably
Program Management: Getting Started
1. Strategic Planning
To get started, we work closely with you and other key stakeholders to flesh out your goals, priorities, and how you ultimately want your virtual event program to look. We use this information to develop a package tailored to your specifications. Once you are satisfied with the plan for your events, we start the next step in the process: implementation.
2. Implementing Your Plan
Now that you have a plan in place, a program manager will step in and become your single point of contact to get things underway and ultimately launched. Your dedicated program manager is also responsible for maintaining and servicing your program needs while you work with us. Your program manager partners with you to illustrate your vision, help define your program needs, make recommendations, and fully understand the details of your program requirements.
As part of your onboarding process, program managers:
- Create and document your standards for event requests
- Encourage high quality event descriptions
- Track down missing information from stakeholders
- Work closely with your team to create a unified branding experience
- Review and implement image updates, demographic collection, survey administration, polling, and other items you may want integrated into your event programs
- Create and maintain templates and landing pages for program efficiency and consistency
To help provide all parties involved with information and updates about your events, program managers build and maintain a resource page on your company portal that includes:
- Information for new employees who wish to order services
- Links to personalized trainings recorded for your team
Next, we provide onboarding for your organizers and/or sponsors. We introduce them to our software and services, guiding them through the standards, processes, options, and features. This training is also provided on an as-needed basis throughout our engagement.
Cumulative registration and attendance reports—formatted to your team's design—are also included in your service. You select the frequency that you would like to receive the reports and we create, run, and deliver them, giving you quick access to essential data that can help you shape future programming.
3. The Big Launch
Program managers set up rehearsals and presenter training for live events. Once everything is in place, we help you start rolling out your events and provide event producers to support them.
Event producers are a vital part of a successful virtual events program as they are the "boots on the ground." They offer guidance, manage event flow, and provide technical support for your attendees.
Event producers meet presenters in the Teams presentation environment 30 minutes prior to the start of the event to test and troubleshoot any issues that arise. Once the event has begun, event producers take the lead and step in to seamlessly assist attendees as needed, allowing the presenter to continue with their delivery.
Event producers can promptly make any changes and adjustments as they arise. Why is this needed? Because even the most well-planned events could have technical glitches or troubleshooting challenges, so we provide a safety net to ensure you and your attendees are supported throughout.
The Program Management Must-Haves
- The scope of your virtual events program should be entirely up to you - any vendor you hire should be able to expand or adjust support according to your needs, and maintain the flexibility to resize the program as needed.
- All the back-end details are typically taken care of by the outsourced team: comprehensive, end-to-end virtual event programs and production. A good professional services group will provide peace of mind and enable you to focus on the most important part of virtual events and webinars: content and connection.
- Managed services are meant to be cost-effective for you. You want everything you need to make events happen flawlessly and efficiently at your fingertips. For you, that means the most bang for your webinar program buck.
- Having a dedicated program manager means they know the history and nuances of your events. Often overlooked details that are essential for success, including privacy compliance, accessibility and inclusion accommodations for your attendees, and data management should be included.
- Coordination with a services team offers you the opportunity to provide consistency across regions by giving your attendees a universal experience, helping build your brand and reputation.
- A good professional virtual event management team will build positive relationships with you to foster trust, open communication, and collaboration.
What Are You Waiting For?
This is what we do, all day, every day. We manage your virtual events and webinars to help you bring polish and professionalism to them, guiding you every step of the way to virtual event greatness. Contact us for a consultation today!