Event Smarts

Building Better Webinars and Virtual Events

Getting Started with Virtual Event and Webinar Program Management

June 10 2021 / by Karen Mares

Filed under: Virtual Event Management Services, webinars, virtual events

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Working with a professional virtual event services provider can give you more than simply day-of-event assistance. In fact, you can get support for virtual event programs and webinars that you offer regularly such as online training programs, virtual classrooms, global briefings, virtual summits and conferences, company-wide broadcasts, product releases/demonstrations, and more!

There are three essential elements to virtual event and webinar program management:

  1. Strategic Planning - develop your goals, objectives, and metrics for your program
  2. Implement the Plan - create processes for how events will be managed
  3. The Big Launch - producing events that run smoothly and predictably

Read this guide to learn more about virtual event program management and how EventBuilder helps create and design managed programs, from first contact to implementation.

Is Your Virtual Event Program Growing?

While in-person events are making a return in the coming months, virtual events and webinar programs aren't going away. Industries everywhere found that after canceling their in-person events in light of COVID-19 restrictions, holding virtual events and webinars proved to be an efficient, cost-effective way to deliver all manner of content. In other words: virtual events and webinars are growing and show no signs of slowing down.

We've discussed before how to decide it's time to hire out your virtual event management, but as organizers begin to forecast for the latter half of 2021 and beyond, chances are their online event offerings have grown significantly in the past year. Is it time to revisit this idea? Shaping your virtual event program's content delivery and reaching intended audiences effectively requires on-going strategy, decision making, technical management, and data analysis. You want to deliver a consistent brand experience for your attendees and develop high quality content while your virtual programs are competently managed, staffed, and maintained. That all requires significant investment and your in-house event management resources may be maxed out on their capacity. 

What is Virtual Event Program Management?

Since you may not know what professional virtual event program management entails, we're taking 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 will provide you a general overview of what it is and how it's implemented.

Our customers are able to hold multiple events covering a wide range of topics on any given day. When you are 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 grow. 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.

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:

      • Set the 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 to be integrated into your event programs 
      • Create and maintain templates and landing pages for program 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 the software and guide 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 will 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 staff 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 hosting duties, 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 support is available 24/5 with our Care Team on-hand to assist Sunday from 5:00pm through Friday at 5:00pm Pacific Time, with staff available throughout all time zones.

During our open hours, event producers and Customer Care can promptly make any changes and adjustments needed. 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 give peace of mind and enable you to focus on the most important part of virtual events and webinars: content.
  • 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 overseeing your program means they will 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!

Topics: Virtual Event Management Services, webinars, virtual events

Karen Mares

About Karen Mares

Karen is an Event Producer and the Content Creator here at EventBuilder. She's also a wife, mom, singer, and history nerd.

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