Take all the events your nonprofit has been hosting over the years virtual this time. And succeed at doing so. Here’s a guide on hosting a successful nonprofit virtual event.
The pandemic forced majority of us to suddenly start working remotely or from home. Our corporate meetings became a series of zoom meetings. And your nonprofit events have also gone virtual. From workshops to conferences, many nonprofits, from small organizations to large ones, are holding virtual events in place of the physical ones. With remote work becoming a part of us even after the pandemic, nonprofit virtual events are becoming the new normal.
As a nonprofit, the best way to stay on top of your game is to learn more about these virtual events, the tools available, and the tips once can use to have a successful virtual conference or workshop. This is exactly why we made this guide – to help nonprofits out there run successful virtual events with volunteers, donors, partners, and employees. Let’s get started.
Planning your virtual event
You did a lot of planning when hosting a physical event – and a virtual one is no different. Once your nonprofit decides to hold a virtual event, the first step is to do planning. At this stage, your organization should put a lot of things into perspective by asking yourself the following questions:
- What kind of experience do I want my audience to have through this virtual event?
- Are we holding a free or paid event
- What are the education level of our audience, what is the level of their tech-savviness?
- What time should we hold the event?
- Are we making the event available online for people to download/watch after the live event?
Answering these questions will help your nonprofit virtual event go live without many hitches. It helps you design content to meet your audience and make joining your events easy and simple for anyone. It also helps you understand and define what kind of metrics to measure or the data you plan to track.
Setting the environment and getting the tools ready
You need a space for speakers to sit and just like you set the space for physical events, your nonprofit virtual events need to have a well-set stage. You also need to plan about the tools you will need to have a proper virtual event and set the stage.
Once your initial planning and content is done and you’re good to go with the tools to use, the next step is to create awareness. If you’re a nonprofit with email subscribers, this is the time to reach out and let them know that their favorite event is now going virtual. Use social media to share your new event and if you have the budget, you can hire an event marketing specialist or agency to work on reaching out to more people.
Before and finally going live
Just like physical events, nonprofit virtual events also have issues, especially when it comes to technology you use. Before going live, make sure you text microphones, internet connection, and probably get standby internet and other devices if you have the budget. When you’re done reassessing yourself and your tools, it’s now ready to give your viewers what they came to witness.
Create inclusive nonprofit virtual events
When holding nonprofit virtual events, always have in mind that not every participant will have the ability to participate as a result of your choice of communication. While others may not be able to view a video, some participants cannot listen to audio content. This is why a nonprofit virtual event should have:
- Great videos with captions to help those who cannot use audio to read
- The event should also have sign language live translators
- There should be an audio-only version for those who prefer
- And there should be a written version of your entire event as well
Creating a virtual event with these features makes sure that your message is heard, read, and listened to by many people. It makes you event highly inclusive and this is rightly needed in the nonprofit sector.
Types of virtual events and the platforms to use for your nonprofit virtual events
Webinars are a form of virtual events that involves a live online presentation. Also, the content of a webinar can be watched after the live presentation. As a nonprofit, you can use a webinar to present your current projects, talk about contributions of your volunteers, educate your community about a certain topic area, and more. Great toolsl for nonprofits looking to start a webinar:
Demio – run more effective webinars with less work
WebinarNinja – one of the best all-in-one webinar software
JetWebinar – the ultra fast broadcasting platform
GoToWebinar – the leader in webinar software
WebEx – Meet less. Connect more. Get stuff done.
Live streaming allows your nonprofit to stream an event or a cause live for audience to watch. Almost all social media platforms today allow for livestreaming of content and as a nonprofit, you can leverage these tools to give your audience live feed of what is going on at your organization. Some live streaming services you can use include:
Virtual conferences and networking events
Many large nonprofit organizations want to host formal events such as conferences and networking events. These events bring together experts from different fields, donors, corporate partners, and volunteers – to share experiences and challenges. There are many tools out there that offer the technology and platform for nonprofit virtual events of this kind, with the widely used ones including:
Brella – end-to-end support for your virtual events
HeySummit – online events made simple
Hopin – the virtual venue for all your events
WorkCast – engage your audience, anytime, anywhere.
BigMaker – inspire more people, automate marketing and training, and grow your organization’s reach through webinars and video.