Virtual Event Planner: Create the Ultimate Event Checklist + Free Template!

The world has been hosting virtual events for a while now, but they can still be a little difficult to plan and execute. Trying to plan a virtual event without a proper guideline or event strategy can end up with you losing all your marbles. No one wants that to happen.  There are so many nuances to virtual event planning and a virtual event planner can help weather the storm.

In this blog, we will discuss how event organizers like you can leverage a thoroughly built virtual event planner, and offer a free template to get you started on your virtual event planning journey.

What’s a Virtual Event Planner?

Like a physical event, a virtual event planner is a detailed document that covers tasks to do along with their high-level details. These details can be task owners, important deadlines, or any further deliverables. 

Such a planner is typically created before an event starts so all the moving parts can come together before you get on with all the hard work of the event setup. It acts as an event checklist so you can make sure you strike off everything on your virtual event planning task list in a timely manner. Let’s take a look at some of the sections it covers and how you can create one for your next event.

1. Define Your Event Goals

Before you begin with the virtual event planning, you need to understand why you’re hosting one in the first place. Clear event goals are the first step to enabling event success as they help hosts:

  • Steer the event messaging towards the right target audience
  • Plan activities that push them down the right conversion funnel
  • Improve brand awareness 

Along with this, you’ll have to carve out other details such as event name, live dates, and target audience. 

2. Budget for the Event 

sample budget for a virtual event

Costs rise pretty quickly when you don’t start off with a budget for your event. At the end of it all, you won’t even know what hit you. A starting budget keeps you grounded from the very beginning and is a crucial part of an event checklist. It saves you from burying yourself in budgeting nightmares. 

Virtual event costs can vary greatly, most of them coming directly from your virtual event platform. Most of these start from around $10,000 and go upwards as you stack features or use more add-ons. 65% of all virtual event hosts spend between $500 to $1500 per attendee, so it’s common for a host to spend around $20,000 for a small company event for 20 people. 

To find the right solution for your budget, compare virtual event platforms before you pull the trigger on a solution. Virtual event platforms vary greatly in the features that they offer for the price they charge. 

An early comparison will make sure your event has everything it needs without emptying your pockets. 

3. Finalize Event Partners

Next up, get your event partners in order. When you plan an event online, you will need event partners to support you through the journey. A well-designed virtual event planner should document all speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, and representatives. As a virtual event host, you probably won’t be meeting them before the event so coordinating in advance is absolutely critical. 

Here’s a quick list of the things you’ll need to track in your event checklist:

  • Partner name
  • Partner contact information (number and email address)
  • Deliverables such as speaking notes, marketing collateral
  • Deadlines

4. Put Together the Agenda

With your partners on board, start chalking up an agenda for the event. You want to do this before you set up your virtual event so you’ll know exactly what activities you’ll be hosting.  

Your event agenda needs to have the activity information for each line item. This includes the activity title, name and credentials of the speaker (if any), and starting date and time for the session. A virtual meeting planner can help you sort out all your pre-event planning meetings with speakers or other stakeholders to set up an agenda for your event.

image of nlc's event agenda

An agenda will also help figure out the time and place for your sessions. Do you want any concurrent speaker sessions? When will the keynote speaker be on? All these questions are best answered before you start working on the event layout so you know exactly what you want your virtual event platform to do for you. 

Here are the types of activities you’ll typically want to add to your agenda:

  • Welcome address
  • Plenary sessions
  • Breakout sessions/workshops
  • Keynote sessions
  • Games such as trivia and scavenger hunts
  • The exhibition 

5. Set Up the Virtual Event Platform

EDLANTA virtual lobby

Now that most of the event details have been taken care of, it’s time to set up the actual event. You don’t need a virtual event consultant if you have a digital event planner at hand that can help you every step of the way.

There’s a lot that goes into virtual event management and setup. You’ve got to design the visuals, set up webinars, brand the platform, and much much more. This is why you need to track as many tasks as you need with an event checklist and cross them out as you go. 

Here’s a quick list of items you can include in your virtual event planner while setting up the platform:

  1. First, get in touch with the project manager to discuss your needs and expectations for the event. 
  2. Next, get your landing page, event details, and registration form up and running. Until and unless this happens, there will be no way to market the event and get registrations.
  3. Integrate any additional apps with the software. 
  4. Set up all the activities (including sessions and games) in the virtual event platform. 
  5. Coordinate with exhibitors on their booth setups. Make sure you have everything you need from them.
  6. Create all relevant marketing collateral including banners, logos, videos, and documents. Finalize the event layout with your project manager.
  7. Test the software, sessions, and equipment before the event. 

6. Market Your Event

Once you have the landing page set up, it’s time to invite people! Virtual events are only as successful as their marketing strategies so you need to track every channel along with its deliverable in your virtual event planner. 

Start with selecting the marketing channels for your event. Then, assign owners, set deadlines, and track deliverables. Here’s what you’ll need for your virtual event planner:

  • A content marketing plan including any blogs, articles, PR posts for the event. 
  • A social media marketing plan for all your channels along with copy and graphics. 
  • An email marketing plan with the entire drip campaign planned out. 
  • Optional: A paid marketing plan with budgets and launch dates.

7. Analyze Event Performance

A hundred people registered for your event but only 10 attended the keynote session. What went wrong?

event reports

Tracking event performance helps accomplish four goals:

  • Understand your target audience and their interests
  • Flag areas of improvement
  • Measure ROI and event success
  • Improve future events

These make it essential to monitor audience engagement throughout the event and after it as well. For your virtual event planner, track all your relevant metrics along with your desired goal and the actual result. This will help you decide what worked and what didn’t, making it easier to plan for the future.  

Get the Virtual Event Planner

That sums it up! While event planning can be a long and laborious task, timely planning gears you up for a stress-free event. An event checklist will be a lifesaver. Make sure to create a comprehensive virtual event planner before you start putting together the event. We don’t want you chasing speakers while pulling at your hair. Are you interested? Get your FREE event planner here.

Virtual Event Planner: Create the Ultimate Event Checklist + Free Template!

Momina Ayaz

Momina is a Content Marketer and an Email Marketing Specialist at vFairs. She has been helping SaaS businesses build traffic, domain authority, and leads for four years now. When she’s taking a break from all things virtual events, you'll find her either dancing to Rhye or crying over a self-help book that's telling her something she already knew.

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