Want to Make Your Virtual Event Stand Out? Try This!

In-person events used to rule industries of all kinds as there’s nothing quite like face to face interaction in creating relationships and connections. Now that things have forever changed, virtual events are taking the lead. So how exactly do you make your virtual event stand out?

There are hundreds of virtual events taking place, and they’re all doing everything they can to grab the attention of their target audiences.

While virtual events are becoming more and more saturated, the great thing is that they are mostly uncharted waters. There’s plenty of opportunities to get creative and create a memorable and exciting experience for those who attend your virtual events.

If you need to move an event online at the last minute, you can check out our tips for doing so here.

Tips to Making Your Virtual Event Stand Out

In order to make your virtual event stand out, it’s imperative to brainstorm new ideas on how you can grab your virtual audiences’ attention and keep it.

We’ve done the groundwork in putting together some creative tips on how you can spice up your virtual event and make it one that attendees are going to want more of in the future!

Don’t overdo it

While you might think it’s best to pull out all of the bells and whistles to help your virtual event stand out, your event actually becomes more memorable when kept under 20 minutes.

When virtual events are shorter, it’s easier for attendees to stay focused, and for you to get your main points across.

Use visuals

Many people are visual learners and can majorly benefit from seeing examples on prepared slides or images to go along with your presentation. It’s also important as presenters to get your speakers to enable their video features.

Your audience makes a better connection when they can see the person they are listening to.

Take a personal approach to your virtual event

Virtual events aren’t a one size fits all solution. Use technology to add a personal touch for your specific audience.

Some event platforms provide features that allow you to assign attendee titles or ticket types and then create agendas based on those unique functions. Targeted audiences, such as those at corporate events, will appreciate a virtual event that feels catered to them specifically.

Focus on transitions

The flow of your virtual event can make all the difference in keeping your audiences’ attention throughout. Planned out and smooth transitions make for a better event as attendees are free from distractions and don’t need to do anything on their end to go to the next slide.

Make use of sound

Music is a game-changer when it comes to making your virtual event stand out. Turn up the music to increase energy and use it as background music for when people enter your event. Music can strike emotion in audience members and help them to stay engaged.

The message is in the medium

Keep your audience on their toes by mixing up your formats. Whether it’s a live broadcast, pre-recorded video, or TV-show style chat, you want to keep your audience guessing.

If they know exactly what to expect from your virtual event then there is more of a chance of them losing interest. Keep things interesting and use different mediums to your advantage.

Engage your audience throughout

There are numerous ways to encourage your audience members to interact within your virtual event. You might try polls, games, quizzes, or ask them questions.

You might also use a Q&A session to allow time for audience members to engage with you and get answers to their burning questions.

We talk about how and when to manage audience Q&A here. Check it out for more information!

Deliver the unexpected

When you offer the element of surprise through your virtual event, it instantly becomes more memorable. You might use a contest or scavenger hunt to get audience members excited. Gamification can be an incredible way to get audience members involved.

You might also introduce special guests or get them to open your virtual event.

Unleash the Potential of Your Virtual Event

If you’re looking to plan a virtual event that will stand out with speakers, eSpeakers can help to bring enterprise-quality tools to the professional speaking industry. Become more connected to more audiences that want to hear your message and increase traffic

Interested to hear more? Contact us about our services today!

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How To Moderate a Virtual Event

So you’ve been asked to moderate a virtual event. Great! 

Do you know what to do next?

There are so many benefits to moderating a virtual event, from endless networking opportunities to the social media oomph, to the elevated exposure. It’s a chance to really put your best face forward and show the world (or a limited audience) what you’re really made of.

So jumped at the opportunity—good for you. 

Here’s a rundown of what a virtual event moderator does, and a few tips to do the best job you can possibly do.

What does a virtual event moderator do?

Well, during live events, a moderator is responsible for upholding the theme of the event and making sure that the message doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. 

Through involvement and keeping the conversation going, she keeps attendants engaged, excited, and glad to be there. She keeps things moving smoothly from speaker to speaker and workshop to workshop. She makes sure everyone knows what’s going on. 

She’s the point person for the whole event.

All these points are still true when you moderate a virtual event, except all of that movement and communication is done online.

Are you a speaker wanting to expand your portfolio to include online training? Being certified is a great way to let customers know you’re a great virtual speaker. We offer certification at eSpeakers….check it out here.

Know your technology

So, it goes without saying, if you want to moderate a virtual event successfully, it is vital that you master the platform that the event is hosted on.

You have to know all the ins and outs of the platform and various other media the event is occurring on, including the social media channels.

If the event has a dedicated tech person, you should at least know how to communicate with them quickly and effectively. And yes, you still need to know how to use the technology yourself. If the face of the event doesn’t appear to know what she’s doing and fumbles in front of the audience, it will make the whole thing look bad.

And of course, always test everything in advance.

Know your tools…and use them

Different virtual event hosting platforms, such as Hopin and Whova, have various in-app tools you can use to engage your audience. Use them! If your attendees are able to chat and meet with each other (and you) they will be much more invested in your event. Therefore, when you moderate a virtual event, it’s important to provide spaces for this networking and connection to happen. 

Allow for 15 minutes before each session to allow guests to connect and chat. This will make for a more congenial, comfortable vibe.

Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse

When you moderate a virtual event, it might be tempting to go with the flow and try to be natural for the camera. 

Don’t.

In fact, your mistakes and stumbles will be even more evident and awkward without a huge room to hide behind. So rehearse all your presentations and talks beforehand so all you have to concentrate on is the connection you’re establishing with your audience.  

Promote, promote, promote!

You can’t moderate a virtual event without being a master marketer. Get out there and let everyone know about the amazing event you’re moderating. 

Go beyond just social media. Use email marketing, guest blogging, video promotion, mailouts….anything you can do to get the word out. 

If you need help with your marketing plan for your virtual event, check out this post.

Prepare your audience

Before your virtual event begins, host an orientation talk for your attendees, letting them know how to navigate your event, what they will need technology-wise, and what they can expect. Go over timelines and encourage them to engage with each other in the spaces you’ve provided.

Let the world know

Just because your event is underway, doesn’t mean your marketing job is done. Now is actually the best time to get the word out across social media about what exciting things are happening in your event. Tweet about it, share stories on Instagram…whatever you do, make sure to use hashtags, and involve the attendees inside the event.

Finally…follow up!

Now that it’s all over and the dust has settled, don’t just walk away! Check back in with your attendees in an email blast, inviting them to provide valuable feedback. This will help to make sure that you see their faces at your next event!

It doesn’t need to be intimidating to moderate a virtual event. Just prepare, communicate, use your tools, and follow up. With these simple points in mind, you are on your way to hosting a virtual event to remember.

Finding a speaker who’s comfortable online doesn’t need to be a daunting task. Use our handy virtual speakers’ marketplace tool to find the perfect online speaker. Then contact us to get started.

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Six questions to ask a keynote speaker before your next virtual event.

Six Questions to Ask A Keynote Speaker Before Your Next Virtual Event

Do you know the right questions to ask a keynote speaker before you book them?

As every event planner knows, the wrong keynote speaker can sink an otherwise impeccably executed virtual event

You got the theme right, you got the platform right, you got all the other presenters and side events right. But at the moment when all butts are in seats to watch the highlight of the whole event, the keynote speech, the wrong tone, or the wrong message can be a disaster. A bad keynote presentation will be the story your attendees take with them when they leave the virtual event. 

And all your hard work will end on a sour note.

In order to avoid this situation, it is absolutely essential that you know the right questions to ask a keynote speaker before you book them. 

If you ask these questions at the outset, you will be sure to hire the right speaker for your virtual event and avoid any mishaps.

Six Questions to Ask a Keynote Speaker For Your Next Virtual Event

1. How will you interact with the audience? 

Virtual presentations don’t have the benefit of the energy of a live audience and speaker. So if you want your audience to feel involved and engaged in the content and message, your speaker needs to know a thing or two about how to interact with a virtual audience. Ask your speaker for specific examples of how they have successfully engaged an audience with positive results. A bored audience will not speak well of your event, or at all. You definitely don’t want that!

2. How will you tailor your presentation to fit this particular audience?

It’s great that your speaker has a powerful message or an animated delivery. But one of the most important questions to ask a keynote speaker is: how are they going to connect with YOUR particular audience? A canned speech can only go so far to connect with people. But your audience all share a common thread, a reason for being there. So how is your keynote speaker going to connect with that reason? 

3. What is the audience going to take away from this speech?

Every experience of value teaches a lesson or at least makes an audience member consider something they’ve never thought of before. So what will be the main takeaways from your keynote speaker’s presentation? Is this takeaway in line with the message, theme, and other content of your event? If this potential keynote speaker’s message is off point, you might want to consider someone else for your virtual event.

4. How will you market this event?

It’s important as a planner to know what sort of promotion this speaker will do for this event. Will their marketing clash with the tone or message of your event? Will it be on the brand? Are they open to letting you take over their marketing strategy for the event? As marketing is so important to the success of a virtual event, it’s really important to know how a speaker will go about it.

5. What do you know about this industry?

If a keynote speaker comes into an event with no knowledge of the industry of the people she’s presenting to, her presentation will come off as shallow and uninformed. She needs to be able to interact with the audience from at least a slightly informed place, and it would be nice if she could adjust her presentation to make sense in the context of that industry. If she can’t relate at all to the people she’s speaking to, she will seem ingenuine. 

6. What sort of technology are you comfortable with? 

One of the most important questions to ask a keynote speaker who is going to do a virtual presentation is: have you done this before? How many times? And what platforms did you use? There is no wiggle-room here; you need an honest, accurate idea of how comfortable this potential speaker is with using various forms of technology. Not to say that you can’t book a speaker who isn’t experienced, you just need to know how much help they will need on-the-day, so you can accurately prepare.  

There are a lot of choices out there for choosing keynote speakers. At eSpeakers, we have the knowledge and experience to help you find the right speaker who is comfortable presenting to a virtual audience. Check out our extensive roster here, and get in touch to see how we can start working for you!

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Six steps for putting on a virtual event that works.

Ten Virtual Event Ideas to Keep You Ahead of the Curve

If you’re like every other event planner in the world right now, you’re scrambling to think of more and better virtual event ideas every day. Online event hosting has become the new normal, whether you were ready for it or not—COVID-19 has turned the events industry (along with pretty much every other industry in the world) on its head. So where have you landed?

Event planning is a competitive business. And every busy event planner knows, you have to stay ahead of the curve to keep landing those contracts. You are expected to knock every event out of the park with innovative new ideas and impressive results. And to do it all with lower and lower budgets.

Online events are no different. With COVID-19, the whole industry was shifted online. Live events will see their day again. But in the meantime, virtual events are on the rise and planners are upping their online game with every one.

Virtual events have less overhead, lower travel costs, and less personnel involved. This leaves a lot of room for over-the-top marketing and investment in stellar speakers and quality content. 

To help you keep ahead of the game, here are some innovative virtual event ideas to keep in your toolbox. You never know when you might need them.

10 virtual event ideas to keep you ahead of the curve

1. Go 3D

Utilize immersive environment technology to create virtual meeting rooms, stages, and other creative locations. It may not be exactly virtual reality, but this alternative presentation will give your attendees a break from the usual format of flat-screen after flat-screen.

2. Get united

Choose a common goal for your event, such as a certain dollar amount raised for a cause. Use this goal in your marketing and keep the message going throughout the event, getting people excited about reaching the goal. Track the progress and shout the results from the mountaintops. This will contribute to a feeling of community and cohesion among your attendants and strengthen the experience of your event, making it more memorable. 

3. Don’t forget to entertain

Live events usually feature entertainment of some sort, such as a musical act, a comedian, or a keynote speaker. So why shouldn’t your virtual event? Schedule live streaming entertainment and promote it as part of your marketing plan.

Speaker: Ten Fresh Virtual Event Ideas to Keep You Ahead of the Curve

4. Use music

Instead of dead air, liven up your waiting rooms with energetic music, and use it during your presentations as well. 

5. Activity breaks

Don’t forget that your participants are spending a large chunk of time in their homes staring at their computer screens so they can attend your event. Break up the event and add some movement by incorporating some health and wellness breaks, such as a scheduled yoga class or guided meditation session. This will keep your attendees from drifting off to get some exercise elsewhere, will lighten the mood and create camaraderie as they share a healthy experience together.

Meditation: Ten Fresh Virtual Event Ideas to Keep You Ahead of the Curve
A guided meditation session could refresh your attendees during a long event.

Click here for some more virtual event ideas.

6. Get competitive

Shake things up and get people interacting by incorporating some friendly competition into your event. Lead a game that goes on throughout the event, or puzzles or trivia questions that your attendees can respond to in order to earn prizes or rewards. 

7. Live illustrations

There have been some really cool things done with live illustrations at events. You can hire a graphic artist to create illustrations in real-time during presentations or webinars so that your attendees can watch as it evolves and highlights different aspects of your content. At the end of your event, these completed sketches can be used as marketing material or as giveaways or prizes.

8. Use unusual backgrounds

By this time, most people are used to watching webinars hosted in conference rooms, offices, or on stages. Do something a little more unusual such as shooting outdoors or another unpredictable space. Do keep in mind that you should be able to control your audio, so do a soundcheck first to ensure there won’t be any surprises (think wind and passersby). 

9. Go glossy instead of live streaming

Livestreaming is the main mode of presentation for virtual events. But why not invest the time to create pre-recorded sessions instead? While livestreaming is more immediate and can be more interactive by nature, they can also risk being boring and flat if it’s just one person speaking for tens of minutes. A pre-recorded video, on the other hand, can benefit from editing, cutting, and styling which can make for much more interesting, engaging content. If you don’t want your whole event to be pre-recorded, think about incorporating a few shorter elements into your schedule, interspersed with livestreaming. 

Prerecording: Ten Fresh Virtual Event Ideas to Keep You Ahead of the Curve

10. Get creative with your speakers

Sometimes the best choice isn’t the most obvious choice, which is why one of our favorite virtual event ideas is to hire surprising speakers. Search eSpeakers’ virtual speakers’ roster to find a talented online event-savvy speaker for your event.

Online events are here to stay. And just like the live event industry before it, the playing field is going to get ever more competitive and innovative. With these and other virtual event ideas, you can work to keep yourself one step ahead of the pack. 

Happy planning!

Are you a speaker wanting to expand your portfolio to include online training? Being certified is a great way to let customers know you’re a great virtual speaker. We offer certification at eSpeakers….check it out here.

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Nine tips to promote your online event effectively.

Ten Tips For Speakers to Increase Your Online Presence

So you’re a speaker, and COVD-19 has left you scrambling to shift your business online. So how do you increase your online presence?

As a speaker, you know that online presence is important. But now that people are conducting most of their business online, it’s more important than ever to have an online presence that packs a punch. In fact, an effective online presence is vital.

There has always been a lot of competition online—now more than ever. As a speaker, there’s a lot of pressure to get yourself out there and really “sell yourself” online.

Being certified is a great way to let customers know you’re a great virtual speaker. We offer a certification at eSpeakers….check it out here.

If your business model has been based on live presentations, you may be new to online presenting. All this online marketing stuff might be a bit intimidating. So we’ve put together this list of key points you should keep in mind as you’re building your new online presence. These ideas can help demystify the process of moving online and will help you feel confident selling yourself as a virtual presenter!

Ten Tips For Increasing Your Online Presence

1. Optimize your website.

Don’t tell us you don’t have a website, because we don’t want to hear it. The statistics say it all: almost 100 percent of consumers go online to find the services and items they’re looking for. So if you don’t have a website, first of all, where have you been? Second, leave this post and get online right now and get working on it.

For the rest of you who do have a website, now you have to optimize it. Make sure that it’s optimized for mobility, is visually appealing and easy to navigate. Contact information should be front-and-center and a click-to-call button is a great thing to have. You may even want to add a live chat feature or an app to your site.

2. Get social, but selectively.

Ten Tips For Speakers to Increase Online Presence: Social media

If you’re new to social media and marketing, an effective way to increase your online presence is to focus on two or three platforms instead of spreading yourself too thin by trying to be everywhere, all at once. Post regularly on two or three platforms and build your presence at a pace you can manage.

3. Build a web.

Your social media platforms should interact with each other. Don’t think of each platform as an entity unto itself but as a web, all connected to each other. Your posts should all link to each other and link to your site as well.

4. Be consistent.

You want to be a regular voice in your field who your community expects to hear from. To build your online presence, post consistently. That means on a schedule, without long lags in between posts, and not ten posts in one day, either. Use social media management tools such as Buffer or Hootsuite to help you schedule your posts and keep on track.

5. Be valuable.

Contrary to popular belief, building an online presence doesn’t just mean getting out as much content as you possibly can. Having a truly valuable online presence means putting out content that is thoughtful, helpful, and well-composed. If you are posting forgettable content, you will quickly be forgotten about. Post content of value and you will become a person of value.

6. Don’t stop blogging.

Blogging is great. Yes, you should blog. They are a great tool to increase your online presence by drawing people to your site and letting people know who you are and what you care about. But people are looking for more than just blogs these days. If you want to be relevant and engaging online, diversify your content by providing videos, webinars, contests, polls, or even hosting or guest hosting on a podcast. The sky’s the limit, check out what’s out there and get creative!

7. Roll video!

Ten Tips For Speakers to Increase Online Presence: Video

As a speaker, it is expected that you will have a demo reel (antiquated term, we know!) so potential clients can view you in action. Employ a professional to edit together a demo of your speaking engagements, make it visually exciting but also clear and concise, and post it on the front page of your website.

8. Engage with your online community.

Posting things passively and waiting for likes isn’t really going to cut it if you want to have a truly significant online presence. So get out there in your online communities, and engage! Start or participate in conversations, give feedback where it is asked for, answer questions…just be present and be helpful! This will help you become a more visible face in your online community, which will lead to connections and hopefully interest in what you are saying.

9. Get familiar with SEO.

Ten Tips For Speakers to Increase Online Presence: SEO

If you want to increase your online presence, SEO is something that you just need to learn about. Do research into what keywords apply to your message as a speaker, and think about how potential clients would search for you online. Then, learn how to apply these keywords and phrases to the various sections of your website and your posts. SEO is an invaluable tool for increasing online presence.

Click here for more on how SEO can help you build traffic to your website.

10. Be a guest.

Don’t forget to put yourself out there and engage with other speakers, planners, bloggers, and other people in your community. Offer your unique voice in the form of guest posts, podcast co-host, or speaker at an event. Getting out there and being heard as much as possible is the best way to increase your online presence and get people talking about you as a speaker!

We hope these tips to increase your online presence have been helpful. Have we left anything out? Let us know in the comments!

eSpeakers is offering virtual speaking certifications! Check them out here and take advantage of our members’ discounts.

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6 Steps For Putting On A Virtual Event That Works

You’ve been thinking about putting on a virtual event for a while now, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. 

Putting on a virtual event can seem really daunting if you’ve never done it before. The technology to learn, the different platforms, how to advertise to an online audience…there are a lot of questions and new things to learn that surround a virtual event. Even if you’re an experienced event planner, putting on a 100 percent virtual event presents a whole new set of issues and problems to troubleshoot and solve.

With current events keeping almost everyone at home to do most of their work and leisure activities online, now is the time to put on your first virtual event.

So, how does one actually put on a virtual event? If you go step by step, it’s not as complicated as you think. 

We’ve broken it down into steps for you, to help you put on your first virtual event without a hitch. 

6 Steps For Putting On A Virtual Event That Works

1. Assess your audience. 

Before you can do anything else you need to know who your audience is. Your audience will decide all the components of your event, from which platform to use, to what topics to focus on, to how to market most effectively. It all comes down to what your audience is so make sure you ask yourself a few questions about who they are, such as what are they interested in? How tech-savvy are they? And how do they interact online? This will help you figure out how to market to them and keep them interested once you have them at your event.

2. Figure out your format.

Just like live events, there are several different configurations to any virtual event so use your now defined audience to decide which one would be best for them. Are they a more passive audience or do they like to interact? Are they skills-based or experience-based? How much time do they have? Based on these and other questions, you can design your event’s format accordingly. Maybe your virtual event will be a single simple seminar with a question-and-answer session at the end. Maybe it will be a complicated multi-event format with plenty of real-time interaction, polling, and audience participation. Use your audience research to decide on what will keep them engaged.

As a professional in the event planning industry, you’re in the perfect position to help your colleagues find the right speakers to make their meetings great! Connect with our SpeakerShare program to learn how you can make a commission from referring speakers!

3. Pick a platform.

Based on your format, now is the time to research your platform options and decide on the one that will best optimize your virtual event, for yourself, your presenter(s) and your audience. Make a list of what you need to make your event a success, find the ones that meet those criteria, and utilize their free trial packages (most online platforms will offer this) to test them out and find which one fits best for you. Don’t forget to keep your audience in mind—will they adapt easily to a new platform, or would a familiar streaming service such as Facebook or Youtube be best for them?

4. Pick your presenters.

As in a live event, having a host and speakers who are engaging, knowledgeable, and quick-on-their-feet is essential. In the case of virtual events, it is also important that your speaker can adapt to an online audience and is tech-savvy enough to troubleshoot tech issues on the spot and engage seamlessly with a virtual audience. 

Are you a speaker? Read this post to learn how to let the world know you can present virtually.

5. Choose your “when and where”.

Just because your event won’t be with a live audience, doesn’t mean you don’t have to commit to a time and place—don’t think that these particulars don’t matter. You can have the most interesting virtual event in the world but it won’t do much good if half of your audience is asleep because you’ve scheduled it in the wrong time zone. So pay attention to your audience and what their needs are, time-wise. You can even poll them to figure out what their optimal time is to commit to an online event. And venue matters, as well. You might be tempted to host in your living room, but keep in mind that your background can make your event look cheaper than it is. Consider renting an office space or boardroom for a more professional presentation.

6. Let the world know!

Okay! You’ve finally got the basics of your virtual event figured out. Time to let the world know! Maximize social media and your mailing list to get the word out in as many ways as possible. Promote as many aspects of your event as you can, including your presenters, your venue and your themes/topics. Don’t forget to use hashtags to maximum effect, and if you’re using a social media platform to stream your event, use that platform for leverage as well.

Good luck with your virtual event! And happy planning.

Looking for the perfect speakers for your virtual event? Search our speaker marketplace here—we’ve even added a new “Virtual Presentation” filter to our search criteria.

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Ten Event Planning Tips for Absolute Beginners

Special Announcement:  
With all of the unrest and uncertainty in the world because of Covid-19, we chose to publish this article on event planning burnout to help you. Event planners and speakers alike, are facing a huge downturn because of canceled or postponed events, and here at eSpeakers we are no different. If you are struggling with how to approach the coming months, you should also read our article about how to move your speaking career to the virtual sphere.

New to planning? Read on for some event planning tips for planning newbies!

So you’ve decided to be an event planner. Congratulations, you’ve chosen to work in a vital, diverse, exciting field. And as an event planner, you’ll be at the center of all the action, thinking fast, making decisions, and putting all of your amazing communication and organizing skills to the test. Planning an event is an adventure! But it can also be incredibly stressful. 

There are a million moving parts to an event, and as the planner, you have to be in control of all of them. Your decisions and anticipation of issues affect the experiences of everyone involved, from the speakers and hosts to the vendors and attendees.

If you’re brand new to planning, you could use some event planning tips. We think that there are some things on the list that you haven’t thought of before! Enjoy and let us know what you think.

Don’t cancel that event! Move it online.

Event planning tips for the absolute beginner. 

1. Find the right team.

If you’re new to planning, you might not yet have a team that you work with regularly who know each other and work as a well-oiled machine. So it’s vital at this stage to hire your team carefully. Don’t only focus on the individuals you are interviewing, but think about how they will interact with each other. A team that works well together is invaluable to a planner, which is why this is one of our most important event planning tips.

2. Do your research.

Before beginning work on any event, you have to make sure that you are an expert in the event’s theme or industry so you can make decisions accordingly. It is also very important to familiarize yourself with the audience who will be attending because they are the ones who your marketing will be directed towards. 

3. Delegate intelligently.

You can’t be thoughtless when you are delegating tasks to your team. If you aren’t careful about what tasks you’re giving to whom, you risk overloading key team members with too many tasks or getting the wrong person to do something vital. Make sure you know your team and are familiar with their particular skills and strengths.

4. Start marketing early.

Marketing by itself is a huge, complicated machine, and marketing today involves several layers of advertising that must all interact with each other. Not only do you have to coordinate social media posts, but you also need to think about mail-outs, brochures, newspaper inserts, and radio spots. There are so many components and kinks to work out of your marketing plan, that it is best to start working on it early; from several months to a year prior to the event.

Are you a speaker? Now is the time to let the world know that you can present virtually

5. Budget thoroughly.

Your budget needs to be exhaustive, including all particulars, contingencies, and overruns. No matter how great your event goes on the floor, going way over budget is never a good look.

6. Deal in detailed contracts.

When you are creating and signing contracts with vendors, guests, and speakers, you need to make sure they include any and all details that account for all situations. If you pay attention to the details at the contract stage of an agreement and get them in writing, you are protecting yourself from costly and awkward mishaps.

7. Keep a comprehensive list.

One of our favorite event planning tips is to keep a comprehensive list that lets you keep track of where you are on your timeline and what needs to get done when. Check out this post for our ultimate event planning checklist!

8. Plan contingencies for everything.

No amount of planning can account for everything. When you are dealing with a many-pronged event with a million different moving parts, it is best that you accept that not everything is going to go according to plan. So a smart, experienced event planner knows that times spent planning for “what could go wrong” is time well spent and will save you huge headaches when you have all your Plan Bs in place.

9. Automate, automate, automate.

One of the benefits of our digital age is that there is a lot that can be automated, from social media updates to data tracking and ticketing. Find out what your options are to make as many repetitive tasks automated as possible, for example using a platform such as Hootsuite to coordinate and track your social media marketing. This will relieve your team to focus on other important responsibilities. 

10. Get feedback.

The event is over. Time to celebrate, right? Nope! Time to mine your attendees for valuable feedback on everything from the keynote speech to the food. After-the-event feedback is invaluable data for your next event, so make sure you reach out to attendees promptly, before they forget about their experiences at your event, and record your important learnings.

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Five Tips to Prevent Burnout for You and Your Event Planning Team

Special Announcement:  
With all of the unrest and uncertainty in the world because of Covid-19, we chose to publish this article on event planning burnout to help you. Event planners and speakers alike, are facing a huge downturn because of canceled or postponed events, and here at eSpeakers we are no different. Preventing Burnout during these times will be important as you work to keep yourself afloat. If you are struggling with how to approach the coming months, you should also read our article about how to move your speaking career to the virtual sphere.

How do you prevent burnout as an event planner?

Did you know that event planning is one of the most stressful jobs there is? That’s right; right after firefighters, police officers, and airplane pilots come the unsung heroes of the event industry—the planners!  

Those of you who are planners yourselves know exactly why that is the case. Demanding clients, finicky speakers, thousands of guests, deal-making vendors, and all the logistics that go along with the million moving parts involved in pulling off a major event or convention, it all falls on the shoulders of the hard-working event planner. Not to mention mastering marketing and figuring out food!

All the facts and science are in and we’ve known this for a while: stress is a killer. Especially in these times when the economy is uncertain and competition can be fierce, planners are working harder than ever and taking on more work and more responsibility, and often at lower rates than they had in the past. This all adds up to some stressed out, overworked event coordinators.  

So how do event planners keep healthy and prevent burnout? We’ve compiled some tips to help you take care of yourself when the stress-meter is turned up to max.

Five tips to prevent burnout for you and your event planning team:

1. Self-care, self-care, self-care.

The first and essential way to prevent burnout is to have a strong, calm body and mind before you even get started. This means making taking care of yourself your top priority at all times. This includes before, during and after an event; working shouldn’t mean that you put your own health on the back burner, ever.

We know it’s hard when you have a million different demands that you need to get to, yesterday, to just stop and meditate or go for a yoga class. Yeah, right! You’re thinking. We hear you! But self-care can be much more simple and mean just a few conscious choices per day. 

Like making a commitment to shut your phone every night is enough time to get to bed and get a proper night’s sleep. Or eating a decent breakfast, or bringing healthy snacks with you in your bag instead of grabbing muffins and chocolate bars all day. And yes, you can find time to meditate if you really try—try five minutes in your car each morning before you run into your first appointment.

2. Love your job.

If you don’t love your job, you’re fighting a losing battle from the beginning, and we hate to tell you, but there really isn’t any way to prevent burnout in this situation. 

The truth is, in order to deal with such a high-stress job without completely breaking down, you need to have a passion for it. It’s the fuel that keeps you going. Do some research before you begin a career as a planner and find out what it’s really like being in those trenches.

There are so many things to think about when you’re planning an event…and choosing and hiring the right speakers is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Working with eSpeakers can take all the guesswork out of it; we work with you to find the perfect speaker at the right price. Check out our marketplace of top-tier speakers and get started here.

3. Delegate!

A lot of control-happy and over-organizing planners find this difficult! But a sure way to prevent burnout and decision fatigue is to offload some of your responsibilities to other members of your team. Even if you’re an independent planner, invest in a few staff members to help you with setups, to liaise with clients, or attend to registration and other tasks so you’re freer to deal with putting out fires and problem-solving. 

Letting go of control, even just a little, can make a big difference and help prevent burnout.

4. Set your limits.

Boundaries are non-negotiable. As a planner, you are in high demand from multiple parties, often for months at a time. Setting limits and learning how to say “no” are skills that every planner should practice. 

Setting limits takes a lot of different forms. It can include things like deciding you will not respond to work emails between set hours every night, to not accepting back-to-back contracts, to letting another team member deal exclusively with a certain vendor who has a knack for stressing you out.

Setting limits, even if they are small, can help prevent burnout by chipping away at your building stress levels. Let your team members help you create boundaries that will keep you from reaching your limit.

5. Recovery is key.

We all need downtime, especially after enduring months of high-stress situations, day after day. That’s why in order to prevent burnout it’s important to let your mind and body decompress as much as you can. 

Ideally, this means taking a break between contracts. But we know that many of you can’t do that, often for financial reasons. So try to at least bookend each job with a few days of downtime, even if it means just flying into a location early so you can spend a day preparing yourself and getting a good night’s rest in before you jump into the fray. Or, after a show wraps, spending an extra night in your hotel just to have a moment to breathe and regroup before hitting the road again.

We know it can seem impossible to lessen stress as an event planner or an event planning team. But with these suggestions and a few adjustments to your professional routine, you can turn down the anxiety and prevent burnout for you and your team.

Are you a planner? What do you do to prevent burnout? Let us know in the comments!

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Let The World Know You Can Present Virtually

All of us here at eSpeakers want to send our best wishes to all of you in the speaking industry during this challenging time. These are these unprecedented times in this industry, but there’s something you can do right now

When we see a challenge, we also see opportunity. Many companies are instituting work-from-home policies and social distancing. This new work environment is challenging for many employees, creating a more fragmented workforce and straining company morale.

We believe that you can help ease concerns and boost morale through virtual presentations. We see virtual events becoming extremely popular in the upcoming months.

How is eSpeakers Helping?

We have added “Virtual Presentation” to our search filter on eSpeakers Marketplace and other directories we power. This allows event organizers to find those experts who are able to present virtually using a tool like Zoom. 

We are currently promoting virtual presentations to event organizers around the world as an alternative to live events, and to help build company morale. This is live as you read this, and we are already seeing increased profile views for speakers doing virtual presentations.

How Can You Help?

If you are equipped and capable of presenting remotely using a tool like Zoom, you need to identify that capability in your eSpeakers profile. We’ll take care of the rest.

MARK YOUR PROFILE AS VIRTUAL READY

To be found in the “Virtual Presentation” search filter above, tag your presentation(s) with the “Webinar / Virtual Presentation” presentation type.

You can do this in two ways.

  • Login to eSpeakers and go to MY PROFILE. Then select PROGRAMS and then click edit next to the programs you can present virtually. Once you are in edit mode on your program, click the program type drop-down menu and select WEBINAR / LIVE PRESENTATION. Save your change and now that program will be found when an event organizer searches with the “Virtual Presentation” search filter. The only draw-back to this option is that when all the restrictions are lifted and you go back to your regular business, you may want that program listed under a different presentation type.
  • The other option (preferred) is to add a new program just for virtual presentations. You would add Virtual presentation as the program title, and you would write something like this in the program description. “I can present any of my programs virtually. My office setting is professional and I have high-quality equipment to broadcast my virtual presentation.” You wouldn’t have to make any changes to your existing programs with this option.

If you are ready now to present remotely, take 2 minutes to identify yourself that way on your eSpeakers profile so that you’ll come up when event organizers filter for that.

We have one additional suggestion we have for you: incorporate “epidemics and pandemics” into your Force Majeure terms in cases where a client is hesitant to sign off.  

We’ve faced hard times like this in the past as an industry, and we’ve battled through them together. Here’s to brighter weeks and months ahead. 

Sincerely,

Joseph Heaps & Dave Reed

eSpeakers


45 Event Industry Terms That Every Planner Should Know

The event industry is growing fast. That’s great for planners! But can make it hard to keep up with all the new industry terms and trends that are constantly popping up all over the internet and social media.

With new trends come lots of new industry terms and lingo to go with them! Add to that the tried and true terminology that every experienced planner knows, and someone new to the field can be left scrambling to keep themselves informed.

With so much competition in this field and so much new technology and standards of practice coming into play, it’s vitally important to sound professional and relevant. Especially when you’re pitching to new clients and meeting with colleagues.

With all this in mind, we’ve come up with a list of all the planning industry terms you should know to sound as professional and knowledgeable as you can. We know how challenging planning can be, and having these terms at your fingertips will help you feel confident at your next meeting or networking event.

Event industry terms that every planner should know: 

Airwalls

These are portable panels that are used to divide up large meeting rooms or halls into smaller areas.

Aspect Ratio

A screen’s width in proportion to its height. This might seem like A/V stuff, but it’s important for a planner to know what a screen’s aspect ratio is. If the aspect ratio doesn’t match the speaker’s media, the picture won’t show properly. 

Attrition Rate

This is important to planners as often an “attrition clause” is included in rental contracts for space or hotel rooms. The attrition rate is calculated by dividing the number of no-shows with the number of registrants of the event.

Back of house

The operations of an event that occur behind-the-scenes.

B2B

Business to Business.

B2C

Business to Consumer/Customer

Blackout Dates

During high-traffic times such as holidays or during large events, venues and hotels can employ blackout dates. This means certain rates, space or tickets are unavailable for a set period of time.

Breakdown / Load Out / Strike

Breaking down and packing up equipment and all other aspects of the event.

Cancellation Clause

In a contract, the cancellation clause outlines the terms and conditions that allow a company to terminate their agreement. 

Change Order

A document a planner provides to a venue or vendor that outlines any changes to an existing agreement or order.

Colloquium

An informal meeting or seminar.

Comp Rooms

Extra spaces or rooms provided free of charge by a venue if a planner books a larger group of rooms.

Conference Pack

A package of materials containing information about the conference, such as schedules, venue details, and maps. Many conferences now offer event apps as well as or instead of conference packs. Also often include gifts and freebies, because of this are often referred to as “swag bags”.

Consumer Show

Usually part of a B2C event; products, packages, and other deals are offered to consumers exclusively at a consumer show.

Critical Time Plan/Critical Path

It’s the play-by-play of the day. This document details the tasks of the event when they must be completed and by whom. 

Day Delegate Rate (DDR)

A venue’s rate, calculated by the number of attendees per day at full capacity. This cost can include equipment use, meals, and refreshments, among other things.

Early Bird Registration

Tickets purchased early for an event are often offered at a reduced cost.

Emcee/MC

Master of Ceremonies. This is the individual, often someone high-profile or a professional speaker, who presides over the whole event. Essentially the “face” of the event.

EMS (Event Management Software)

A range of software products that a planner uses to manage their events and conferences. These can be sold in packages or curated personally by each planner.

Force majeure clause

One of the biggest concerns of event planners and one of the industry terms that you shouldn’t forget! This clause is written into most contracts and states that a vendor is not responsible if the unforeseen happens.

Occasionally a speaker will have to cancel last minute for personal, travel or health reasons. If this happens to you eSpeakers marketplace has you covered. Our experienced team and deep pool of top-level speakers will have you back on track in no time. Contact us to get started!

Green Room

A private room for event VIPs and other guests and speakers to use for relaxing or entertaining their own guests.

Honorarium   

Payment given to a speaker or participant who is working on an official volunteer basis.

Hybrid event

An event that combines a live audience with a virtual audience.

I & D 

Installation and dismantle. In reference to a person or persons who will be performing this function.

Incentive Travel

A new way for employers to motivate staff, and an indicator of evolving event industry trends. Employers offer their team travel packages as performance incentives.

Keynote

The keynote address generally occurs at the very start, to set the stage and get the audience pumped up and excited about the event. A keynote speaker is often a well-known person in a certain field relevant to the event. They double as advertising and a draw to the event.

Lavalier

A microphone typically used by speakers on stage who are moving about freely. They are wireless and attach to the clothing of the wearer.

Load-In

The period before the event dedicated to hauling in and installation/set up of the equipment and items involved with the event.

Master Account

This is an account, often set up by the planner or host, to which all costs for a specified group will be charged.

M.O.D 

Manager on duty.

No-show

A no-show is anyone, including attendees, speakers, and delegates, who do not arrive at the event without informing the organizers beforehand.

Plenary

A meeting at a conference attended by all the attendees.

Plus Plus (++)

Seen as ++ on the planner’s orders. Symbolizes the levels of gratuities and taxes that are being charged by a vendor.

Post Event Report

A detailed document that lists all the particulars of an event after it is over. It includes the total number of attendees, profits made, incidents, no-shows, etc.

Post Event Feedback

An opportunity for attendees and other participants to offer suggestions, notes, and advice around the event, both positive and negative.

Pre-con

Pre-convention meeting.

Pro Forma Invoice

An invoice that a service provider issues prior to delivery.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

In the early planning stages, a meeting organizer will send out RFPs to potential service and product providers, including all the particulars of the event. This allows vendors to submit proposals to fit those needs.

Rider

Speakers will often have stipulations about specific backstage requests in regards to refreshments and other particulars. 

Shell Scheme

A system in which exhibitors showcase their products or services.

SMERF 

Acronym for: Social, Military, Educational, Religious, and Fraternal.

Space only

If an exhibitor opts to rent only a blank space on the exhibition floor.

Traffic Flow

The flow of participants through the convention space as they move between different rooms and areas of the event. 

Workshop, seminar, breakout, concurrent sessions

Sessions that occur concurrently with the main events and sessions.

Venue

Where your event is held. It can be anything from a hotel to a community center to a large conference center. 

We hope these industry terms will help you to be the most well-informed, professional events planner you can be, and to kill it in your next pitch meeting!

Good luck!

At espeakers we handle the most important part of any event planning—the people on stage. We learn about your event, its audience and your ideal outcomes, and make it our goal to make your experience with us an easy, seamless one. Contact us to get started.

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