How to turn an offline event to an online event? (CHECKLIST)

Turning an offline event into an online one can be a challenge, but we’re here to tell you that it’s not as bad as you might think! In this article we tell you about how to seamlessly move your offline event into the online world. Check it out here!

LiveWebinar blog
by Aleksandra Żołnowska
last updated 22.03.2021

When we see an online event we’re not surprised anymore. Even before the pandemic outbreak, 60% of companies were holding both online and offline events. This trend has accelerated during the last months and is only expected to grow. The virtual environment differs from the offline one, and thus it requires a shift in organizers’ mentalities and strategies.

Due to the new limitations on traditional business and cultural event organization, brands are taking up the challenge of moving to digital. A company might decide to create an online event as an alternative to offline meetings, to uphold its commercial activity, and keep stakeholders engaged. But online event planning takes time.

So, what is essential for online event planning? 

LiveWebinar banner encouraging people to host their own webinars

No matter if it’s a business conference or cultural festival, the core is a real-time live broadcast of the performances of entrepreneurs and networking between participants. The event takes place on a particular website, mostly on its official page. It’s possible to do online event planning thanks to specific software for webinars.

Even though it’s held online, the participants include regular attendees, organizers, speakers, and exhibitors. The overall concept can stay the same - the only difference is the form.

How to turn an offline event to an online event? (CHECKLIST)

#1 Select a type of entry to the online event

Start your online event planning by selecting basic things. We're gradually starting to perceive running events online as something normal. However, sometimes we still tend to get lost in what exactly differs between offline and digital meetings. Before we look at the factors to take into account for online events, let's list the most significant features of traditional ones.

Traditional admission forms

To attend an offline event, participants have to reach the right place, so the second step in online event planning is just this. The admission might be free or paid, depending on the decision of the organizers. The most popular types of entry are the following:

  • Open entry - anyone interested can come and visit the event without any ticket or financial contribution.
  • Invitation Only - only people who were personally invited to the event can participate. It makes a meeting exclusive.
  • Registered Members - organizers don’t earn money on the tickets, but participants have to register on a specific website before the event. They might have to share personal information such as an email address, telephone number, or the name of the company they work for. Sometimes a self-printed pass or a dynamic QR code is required to enter the event.
  • Special passes - besides buying a regular ticket, your participants can pay more to get access to unique experiences with a VIP pass. If your event lasts longer than one day, you can sell a combined voucher for all of them.

Types of online access to an event

When you do online event planning, another thing you should take into account is what you want in return from your future attendees. If you're oriented towards lead generation and the expansion of a contact list, your goal might be to gather information about the participants. You can run a free event, but participants should have to fill out a form with their required details in order to gain access.

When it comes to paid events, the ticket types are mostly the same as for offline ones. However, you can sell more passes, as there are no space limitations in digital (as long as your software can handle many people online at once).

How to turn an offline event to an online event? (CHECKLIST)

#2 Set your goals and metrics to track

It’s quite apparent that metrics matter. However, many brands still focus on those that are irrelevant. Setting measurable objectives is crucial for managing any project. By doing this before an event you can know what data you should gather and analyze it during and afterwards.

How to define goals in online event planning?

Maybe you’ve heard about the SMART method. This method is a great one for online event planning. It’s a tactic often used in project and time management. The acronym stands for: specific, measurable, attractive, realistic, and timely defined.

Only if you divide your team into specific groups that have particular tasks can you be sure that every aspect will be taken care of. To make your employees work effectively, it’s a good idea to define goals according to this concept. You can find out more about the SMART method and add two more letters: “E” for “evaluated” and “R” for “reviewed”. Plus, to analyze your actions correctly, you need to follow specific metrics.

With the SMART(ER) concept, you can achieve goals by defining attainable, clear, and meaningful goals. Thanks to making them measurable, you can evaluate whether your actions are going well - but to do so, you need to track the relevant metrics.

What numbers should you focus on?

When doing online event planning, it's easier to gather data than offline. Platforms such as LiveWebinar have many automation features that help you gain information and store it in one place. Later you can generate clear reports to see the results of your actions and analyze them. But which numbers are essential?

To know the real value of your event, you should take into account a few metrics. They might differ according to the type of event and the business sphere. You should focus on other indicators in relation to marketing, sales, etc.

Don’t concentrate on so-called vanity metrics that are easy to track but don’t give you the real picture of your business actions. They include the number of followers, likes under a post, or a massive spike in website visitors. They might make you feel good about your event or online event planning, but that’s their only positive. They can be easily changed or manipulated.

How to turn an offline event to an online event? (CHECKLIST)

These are just a few examples of indicators one can track. They might happen to be irrelevant for your business type, so you should choose those that suit your company's specific needs and actions.

  • time on page and bounce rate,
  • the ratio of unique to returning visitors,
  • traffic sources,
  • the number of leads generated from various channels,
  • churn,
  • CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost),
  • reach in the selected target group.

These are just a few examples of indicators one can track. They might happen to be irrelevant for your business type, so you should choose those that suit your company's specific needs and actions.

Create a calendar and assign tasks

If you’re working in a team, assign roles to share responsibilities. If you’re organizing an event by yourself, make a plan that is possible to achieve.

Create a promotion calendar, preferably an online one, in order to seamlessly communicate with your team and post publications directly from it. You can use a special tool to avoid chaos and accelerate marketing actions. It's so useful in online event planning!

#3 Communicate that you’re moving an event online - invitations and emails

The biggest power of the digital world is communication beyond borders. That’s why, when you do online event planning, you should make a task about informing your potential attendees clearly about its new form and provide them with a short explanation.

Choose a channel on which you want to reach your target audience. You can send an email to those who are on your contact list and inform others via your social media profiles. You can also attach a URL that redirects people to your website, where you can publish a full description of the event.

Let's be more specific with our online event planning. So what should our messaging include?

  • A guarantee that it’s the equivalent of previous offline editions.
  • A clear statement that the event has moved online, not entirely canceled.
  • A short explanation of the differences between the offline and digital versions. Tell recipients on which website the event will take place and how to join the broadcast.
  • It would be useful to send a separate email with a short guide on using the platform of your choice. You can create a few versions dedicated to certain groups - regular attendees, speakers, and exhibitors. Don't forget to show the webinar tool's basic features and how one can use them during the event.

What else can you do to make people who prefer traditional solutions want to join the online event ? Invitations! It’s a personal way to attract those who are still hesitant about hitting the “participate” button.

And if you’re wondering how you should name your digital event to draw the attention of as many people as possible, you can check out our articles about powerful words.

How to turn an offline event to an online event? (CHECKLIST)

#4 Move registrations online

To avoid misunderstandings, you have to state clearly where and when your event is taking place. It's better to repeat this a few times than risk understating it.

The best way to simplify the registration process is to create a landing page with registration forms. That way, anyone interested in taking part in your event would be redirected to the relevant website with an URL. You can add all the necessary information right there. Also, you can show your official page to people who have never seen it before. By adding a link to the event description on social media, you can drive more traffic to your website. It's a great way to generate qualified leads and boost conversion rate. What should you also take under your consideration when online event planning? Let's see:

Where should you write information about the time and date?

  • In the event description on a special lading page and social media.
  • In the email body.
  • If you’re using Instagram, set a countdown clock - it will send a notification as soon as your event starts.

When you create an online event, consider including more information, such as:

  • The agenda of the event. Show how long each performance will last, as well as when and where each speech takes place.
  • A list of entrepreneurs who will give presentations, with their short bios.
  • A list of benefits of participating in the event. They can include additional materials and the value of the knowledge to be gained from the webinars.

You can also show the benefits of attending the event in its online form.

How to turn an offline event to an online event? (CHECKLIST)

#5 Create content for exhibitors and business partners

To make your event intuitive and to collaborate seamlessly, keep in touch with those who directly influence the organization process. People like exhibitors and entrepreneurs are an important part of the puzzle, so you have to state clearly how they can participate in the event and what they will get in return.

Setting up a virtual booth might not be evident for some investors. Make sure to provide them with specific information concerning this process. Focus on showing the value of your online event. At the end of the day, people attend a conference or any type of business summit to earn profit. By showing them that it's worth investing their time and money in your event, you can persuade them to become an integral part of it.

Also, if you promise to respond to any queries of the stakeholders quickly, make sure that your digital customer service can handle it. Virtual event platforms that provide high-quality support and help to avoid problems with technical aspects will be perceived as more professional.

And finally... Create an online event

The aim of your online event planning! As you can see, it’s not rocket science to move offline events to the digital world. Although the circumstances might seem unfavorable, the only solution to hold on to loyal participants and gain new leads is to create an online event.

Follow these tips to make the process as smooth as silk, and choose a tool that will live up to your expectations. Create a robust action plan, send online event invitations, and keep in touch with your future participants.

If you need a tailor-made offer, don't hesitate to contact us, and we will make your online event planning even smoother. Besides the Pro and Business plans, you can choose a Custom version for which our team will be happy to adjust the features to your needs

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