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Planning your Virtual Event 02 Jun 2020

We all know the old saying, ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ and never was it more relevant than when organising an online or virtual event.

With the current lockdown restrictions in the UK many of us have been forced to adapt very quickly  to a new virtual ways of working and interacting socially which for many of us doesn’t sit comfortably.

With this in mind we have devised a number of short blogs to assist you in providing the best online events you can. Starting with our top 5 steps to planning a successful virtual event

1.     Know your audience

The target audience should influence all decisions you make about your virtual event.

Think about who you are trying to reach. Is your event aimed at existing customers or members or are you looking to attract new ones.

2.     What is the purpose of your event?

What is it for? Are you looking to educate Or possibly  promoting your brand or even raising funds? Is the event a way of keeping people together in this difficult time.?  Whatever the purpose make sure you clearly establish the purpose and make sure it is clearly shown in all advertising and marketing used to promote the event

3.     Establish the format

Again, keep the target audience in mind.

Choose which technology you are going to use. Does your chosen audience have access to one specific platform or can you select one? Unless your chosen technology offers a specific tool which others don’t have, it may be pointless and a lot of extra work for the audience to download a new technology if they all already have access to a specific one.

How long will the Virtual Event last? Will you need to include breaks?

Organise ticket sales – Our online event registration and booking system Event Stop can help with this. It allows you to create and customise your own unique event page as well as managing the logistics of the event.

4.     Consider how you will keep your audience engaged

Don’t think this is only important during your event. Audience interaction is important throughout the entire process, from the moment you begin to plan until after the event has finished.

Keep things as interactive as possible, events are all about interaction and engagement.

As you start to plan your event consider whether you want to inform your audience that you are planning an event. Will you send out a mail shot to advertise or will you put a cryptic post on social media to try and spike your audiences’ interest?

During the event, will your audience be able to participate? Will they be able to add or ask questions? Will they be able to engage in polls?

After the event, will you ask for feedback etc?

5.     Utilise your Data

How will you utilise your existing data?

Do you need to review the data you already hold? Are there any gaps? If so, how can you fill these successfully?

Will you need to consider involving any third party contributors? i.e. guest speakers or  other members of your organisation 

A well planned and thought out virtual event really does come across on the screen. It is hugely important to resist the urge to rush into a virtual event and take the time to plan and prepare.

Good luck!

If you would like more information regarding the Event Stop system please do not hesitate to give us a call or contact us on the number below

Visit: www.eventstop.co.uk/registration/index

Tel: 0344 822 3227

Email: info@eventstop.co.uk

Louise White


 

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Choosing the right technology for your Virtual Event 02 Jun 2020

“Shall we Zoom?”

“ Do you have Zoom?”

“Will the meeting last more than 40 minutes? If so we may need Zoom professional?”

“ How much will that cost?”

Does this sound familiar? Suddenly the likes of Zoom, Teams, House Party, Cisco Webex to name but a few have become part of our lives on both a personal and professional level. Many people and industries who have traditionally relied on face to face interaction have had to change the way they operate to accommodate this new technology.

If you are having to adapt the way you work and interact with staff or clients, or if you are using technology to keep connected with people personally, choosing the right format for your virtual event can be as challenging as the content itself. Here we give you a rundown of our top 5 things to consider when looking at the Virtual platforms currently available.

1.     What kind of event are you running?

The type of event you wish to run can influence which technology is best for you. Some of the top points to consider include the following:

Is the event personal or work related? If work related will attendees joining from external organisations?

Will the event be interactive?

How many people will attend your event? (Some virtual technology platforms have a minimum or maximum number of attendees.)

2.     Which will be the best platform for my event?

Each platform offers something different. As mentioned above, Zoom offers meetings with more than two participants a free 40 minute video call.

WhatsApp allows you to host calls for free up to a maximum of 32 participants.

If you are looking to live stream an event – LinkedIn and Face Book Live offer excellent tools to assist your live event.

If you are looking at a more traditional meeting format then Teams, Zoom or Cisco Webex appear to be three of the favourite providers. More importantly, the vast majority of businesses seem to have adopted one of these platofrms which leads us nicely into point 3….

3.     Consider your audience

Who is the target audience for your event? Are they all from the same organisation? If so, do they already have access to a specific platform? Is that platform compatible with your event?

Some of the most popular platforms are used because of the ease with which people can sign up to them.  If your chosen platform has a complicated sign in process it may deter participants from attending your event or prevent them from signing up to it in the first place.

 Similarly, if your audience needs to retain data (for example a code to enter the event platform) you may find that IT issues overshadow the purpose of your event. Keep it simple is the mantra that we like to follow.

4.     How will I inform my audience of the platform I am using?

Making sure your audience know when and where to find your virtual event can be one of the trickiest parts of hosting a virtual event.

Event Stop is our online event registration and booking system. It allows you to set up and manage your own unique event page. You can invite attendees, send e-tickets and reminders and upload links to your virtual event.

5.     Do you need to add any special features to your event to help it run smoothly?

Would your online event benefit from any ‘extras’? For example, do you need audience engagement technology such as the ability to conduct poll votes? Or do you require break out sessions? If so, will your chosen platform support this? Or should you look to a more specialised provider?

 Some technology platforms specialise in specific areas, for example, Grip specialises in Artificial Intelligence networking for your events. For online events you may wish to look at specialist companies such as Brella or Hopin.

If you want to include more audience response technology, you may look at Glisser or Kahoot. Again, the type of platform you use will be dictated by the number of attendees and the purpose of your event. 

The number of companies offering such specialist services is vast and wide, it is worth doing your research to make sure you have selected the right one. This can make the difference between a good and a great event.

 

For more information on the Event Stop contact us:

Visit www.eventstop.co.uk/registration/index

Call us on 0344 822 3227

Email info@eventstop.co.uk

Louise White

 

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How to host a well organised Virtual Event and how we may have the solution for you. 08 Apr 2020

Whatever your industry and whoever your client base, the last few weeks will have been challenging time for your business. Many industries have needed to readjust the way they operate, from home working or the impact of furloughing staff and operating with a reduced work force load to social distancing and the government ban on travel. You will no doubt have been impacted in some way.  

The question of how to keep engagement with your clients and manage the day to day running of your business continues to be a key concern for most businesses.  Platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom have been instrumental in providing a quick and easy solution to enable the majority of businesses to continue working with clients, workforce, suppliers etc as efficiently as possible.  But how can you ensure the content of your virtual interaction is reaching the right audience?

Over the past few weeks, we have been working closely with a number of existing clients, charities and organisations to assist them in moving from face to face training and event management to a virtual solution using the EventStop system. This system allows you to plan and organise events, set up free or paid events, issue tickets, take payment and assist with the administration of a virtual event.

Positive Points to Live Events

Many businesses have already seen the positive impact holding online events can bring, including:

  • Easy to schedule
  • Great way to stay in touch with clients and workforce
  • Opens events to a wider audience
  • No limit to type of event that can be conducted virtually – for example webinars, health and wellbeing classes, meetings, training to name just a few.
  • Can have significant cost savings (travel, venue sourcing)

Plan & Prepare

It is important to plan your event properly, the content of virtual events should mirror the same quality of content as physical meetings or events. Consider the following

Schedule your event – allow sufficient time for the intended audience.

How you will advertise and promote the event.

Consider what kind of event you are running – is it a free or chargeable event?

  • Will there be a limit on the number of attendees?
  • Will the event be run as a one off or repeated?
  • Will you issue tickets

How you will organise data

  • How will you keep track of those attending.
  •  Are there any follow up actions to consider i.e. information to be sent to attendees, meeting notes etc.
Production

Important questions to ask

  • How will your event work?
  • Will it be pre-recorded or live?
  • Is audience participation required? Will your audience interact with you? – will you need to consider sound quality?
  • Is your internet connection strong enough to deal with hosting a live event – factors such as time of day and number of participants can have an impact on your broadband strength.   

Presentation

If you are working from home, where will you host the event?

For example, will you and your audience need space to move?

Pay or Not to Pay

Will your event be free or chargeable?

How will you take and manage payments?

Do you have a payment provider setup?

Will it be a ticketed event?

In Summary

Putting on a virtual event can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Using the EventStop system allows you to set up a paid or free event and connect it to your chosen online platform.  It can issue tickets and assist you in the administration of your online event whether it is live or pre-recorded. 

EventStop can help event organisers to plan, promote and organise their events in a professional manner in just a few easy steps.

Call us on 0344 822 3227 or visit www.eventstop.co.uk for further details.

Louise White

 

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Update from Hospitality Guaranteed - COVID-19 26 Mar 2020

As a result of the current Government restrictions on travel and hospitality in the UK we have experienced a significant reduction in booking activity.

In order to minimise the effect this down turn will have on the business we have taken the decision to temporarily reduce our workforce for the period of the Government lockdown. 

We would like to reassure customers that this will not affect the running of the business or the level of service you can expect from HG.

However, during this time we would ask you to contact us on the usual phone number 03448 223227 or email us at info@hospitalityguaranteed.co.uk where the team will be happy to deal with your enquiry.   

As we will be running a skeleton staff  it may take us a little longer than usual to respond to your enquiries, but please bear with us. 

Your patience is greatly appreciated at this time.

Ben Gash

 

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Update from Hospitality Guaranteed - COVID-19 20 Mar 2020

Good morning all,

As we are all in a period of unprecedented uncertainty, we felt it important to inform you on the steps and measures we have taken in order to support our clients and ensure the best possible service.

We already know the weeks and months ahead will be a challenging time for the hospitality industry and we are working very hard to ensure that our clients’ booking requirements are met. We are also communicating closely with a large number of venues across the UK to ensure that clients and their learners/staff stay safe.

Our operational services will not change during this period, and we will continue to offer our clients the same excellent services as usual. We have successfully implemented a homeworking policy and will continue to follow government guidelines to ensure we are mitigating risk whilst delivering the same service you have come to know and expect from Hospitality Guaranteed.

The team are available to answer any queries or concerns you may have regarding a booking during usual working hours of 08:30 and 17:00 where our dedicated team will be on hand to assist you.  We are here to help and offer various established solutions to minimise impact on your business during this challenging time. If you wish to continue providing training or communicating with your learners our VirtualStop and EventStop systems can assist. Please contact a member of our team for more information.

Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to help your business over the coming weeks, we will endeavour to utilise our position as a leading booking agency to assist you wherever possible.

Thank you

The team at Hospitality Guaranteed.

Telephone- 0344 8223227

Email - info@hospitalityguaranteed.co.uk 

Ben Gash