7 tips to plan a successful virtual event

While virtual events are relatively inexpensive compared with in-person events, that doesn’t make them any easier to plan and host.

Virtual events are online events that happen on such platforms as Instagram, Facebook, Zoom, Twitter and Clubhouse, just to name a few. In addition, there are an increasing number of specialized virtual event platforms specifically designed to support webinars and conferencing.

Types of virtual events include:

  • Fundraising events
  • Social gatherings
  • Networking events
  • Shopping events
  • Team-building activities
  • Hiring events

While about 92 percent of companies have continued hosting virtual events even after physical events resumed after the pandemic, about 53 percent of attendees are experiencing “virtual fatigue,” and about 48 percent of companies say that pushing attendance is their biggest challenge.

The following are seven tips to plan for a successful virtual event.

Start with clear goals

How do you know if a virtual event is successful if you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve? Before you dive into planning mode, take a moment to solidify your goals.

Why do you want to throw this virtual event?

Commit to setting S.M.A.R.T. goals and communicate those to your team so that everyone is on the same page. S.M.A.R.T. goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-based

Check out our seven tips to set achievable goals.

Consider your target audience

When it comes to the consumers you’re looking to reach, it’s important to consider whether a virtual event makes sense for them. Some questions to ask yourself:

  • How tech-savvy are they?
  • What subject areas in your industry are they most interested in?
  • How familiar are they with social media and other webinar platforms?

The answers to these questions will help guide you with the premise of your virtual event and how to execute it.

Not sure about who your target audience is? Check out our seven tips.

Choose the right platform

As mentioned above, there are many platforms to consider when planning your virtual event. Whether it’s a general social media platform where you want to go live (like Facebook or Instagram) or a more specialized platform, the key is that it fits your needs and budget.

Other considerations include:

  • Target audience
  • Ease of use
  • Any special features
  • Reliability

Although you’ll want to plan for one platform, it never hurts to play it safe and have a backup platform in mind in case there are any audio or video issues that arise.

Timing is everything

Timing truly is everything. Picking the best time for your target audience can be tricky. You might want to send out a survey in advance, or there might be a time that was successful in the past.

Either way, think about whether other time zones are in factor, as well as how long the actual virtual event should be.

Create a clear virtual event agenda

Your agenda entirely depends on the type of event you’re planning.

Are there speakers? Needed Q&A time? Structured introductions? You’ll want to build in engagement opportunities with your audience to keep them engaged during the event.

Whatever is involved should be mapped out time-wise so that there is no confusion and no awkward downtime. You can even plan ahead for what links might need to be shared and at what time.

Moderators can help keep everything on track, so it doesn’t hurt to identify who can work in the backend to make sure everything stays on track.

Promote, promote, promote

The promotion of your virtual event shouldn’t be a surprise. In fact, it’s likely the first thing you might think of when it comes to planning.

You’ll want to think through all the ways you can reach your target audience while also communicating why this virtual event is something they should attend. What will they get out of it? What’s in it for them?

Also, give yourself enough time. Most marketers need between three and six weeks to promote a small virtual event successfully, but for large virtual conferences, about 65 percent of marketers need more than six weeks for promotion.

See our eight tips to make your event marketing even better.

Plan for after the virtual event

Once your event is over, your work is not done yet. You should plan to communicate with your attendees afterward. You can thank them for attending, ask for any feedback and even promote other events you might have in the future (or how to find out about future events).

In addition, you’ll want to debrief with your team internally. What went well and what could have gone better? Were the goals you set reached? What takeaways can you apply to future virtual events?

In conclusion

Remember to keep your target audience in mind and give yourself enough time to plan and promote effectively.

As you’re planning your virtual event, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory and our 21-day free trial. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Which is better? Live or pre-recorded webinars

Including webinars into your digital marketing strategy opens up what’s possible when connecting individuals anywhere in the world.

Many companies lean toward webinars because they can be more productive and offer a greater reach than in-person seminars.

A webinar is essentially an online presentation given by one or more experts, where the audience can be limited or open. Of course, the purpose is to generate interactions with those attending and, of course, answer any questions they have about the topic.

Check out our 12 expert tips for hosting your first webinar.

In a recent survey, about 95 percent of marketers said webinars play a key part in their marketing efforts, while 38 percent consider webinars critical to their digital communications.

Whether your company already uses webinars or not, keep in mind that there are two types:

  • Live
  • Pre-recorded

There are some pros and cons to both types. We’ll break down the differences and help you decide which type is best.

Live webinars

It might be obvious, but a live webinar is just that. Live.

Your audience watches you and your presentation in real-time. The host starts the online session, manages everything happening during the webinar and ends the session.


  • Better connection with the audience. Live webinars offer the ability to interact with your audience, which generates better engagement and connection that a YouTube video, for example. Real-time watching alone holds the attention of your audience better and longer.
  • Opportunity to do a live Q&A. Speaking of engagement, a live Q&A is a popular feature of live webinars. This means that you can better serve the needs of your audience by answering their questions directly.
  • Quicker preparation with a bigger sense of urgency. A live webinar definitely needs preparation time in advance, but when compared to a pre-recorded piece of content that can require editing and more, your time is more efficiently spent on a live webinar. In addition, because it’s live, it has that sense of urgency on top of the real authenticity that’s built into live webinars.


  • Technical issues. Any lags in your internet, software bugs or anything else can derail your live webinar very easily.
  • Unexpected interruptions. Whether it’s someone being unmuted and undesirable noises happen as a result or it’s random happenings around your home or office (even something as simple as your phone ringing), expect the unexpected during your live webinar.
  • Difficulty in scheduling the best time for the most participants. It’s simply a fact that you’ll never be able to choose a time for your webinar that will work for everyone. Ultimately, you have to go with the time that works for most, even if it doesn’t work for all.

Pre-recorded webinars

Pre-recorded webinars are recorded in advance, which means that you can edit as needed and then share it once you are totally happy with it. 


  • Mistakes can be edited. Because you can edit out any mistakes, you have the ability to make your webinar look more professional. You also can add additional elements, such as music, transitions, special effects and more.
  • The option to re-record. If you’re not satisfied with your pre-recorded content, you always have the choice to record it over until it’s something you can work with.
  • Prevent the jitters. It’s easy to get nervous about hosting a live webinar. With the pre-recorded format, the nervousness should be mimimized.


  • Lack of audience engagement. You do lose out on real-time feedback from your viewers with a pre-recorded webinar. Feedback can help you know when to pivot to best suit the needs of your audience. Pre-recorded webinars can still have some audience interaction, but you would need to embed a video-streaming app into your website.
  • Less connection from your audience. Because it’s not live, it’s more difficult for your audience to commit and feel engaged with your video no matter how professional it is.

Which type of webinar is better?

Technically, the best approach to webinars is to leverage both types when appropriate. The best type simply depends on your goals. And of course, you always have the option to record the live ones for access later. 

Just make sure you think through the purpose of your upcoming webinar, the interaction you would like to have with your audience (or not) and then match the format to your needs.

While you’re planning a successful webinar, consider leveling up your digital marketing process. DailyStory features automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.