How to Plan Virtual Events That Put Your Company on the Map

Published on June 8, 2023 • About 11 min. read

Increase attendance with these virtual event email templates.

How to Plan Virtual Events That Put Your Company on the Map

Meet Jenna. Jenna's the Head of Marketing at a budding tech startup that's dipping its toes into virtual events. She knows that virtual events can build brand awareness, increase her customer base, and boost sales—but where should she start when it comes to planning one?

If you relate to Jenna, you’re not alone. You know the ROI of a powerful event, but low attendance rates and a snooze-fest atmosphere are a worry. The answer? Virtual event planning that gives you complete control over the process from start to finish.

With a few simple tips, you can turn your next virtual event into one that attendees won’t forget. Here’s our guide to successful event management.


Plan a virtual event that skyrockets conversions

We integrate with the marketing tools you use most, so planning and delivering your virtual event is easy


Access these 6 email templates to drive attendance to your virtual events.

Types of virtual events

Figuring out the type of event you’re hosting is key. Different events require different approaches and setups. Here are a few popular types:

  • Webinars
  • Virtual conferences
  • Virtual career fairs
  • Product launches
  • Virtual workshops


A webinar is an online event that provides educational value to its attendees. Usually, a webinar involves a presentation led by one or two speakers who are experts on the topic at hand. For example, Pipedrive’s fundamentals webinar (which is hosted on Livestorm!) will teach attendees how data structure works in Pipedrive and how to customize pipelines.

Registration page for an event by Livestorm and Pipedrive, titled Pipedrive fundamentals: master the basics

Virtual conferences

A virtual conference is a large online event where professionals network and share ideas. These conferences often invite industry experts as keynote speakers or panelists to discuss topics that are relevant to the target audience. They can have a secondary goal for the event organizers which is to build brand awareness and leverage partnerships.

You can create a one-day or multi-day conference, depending on how deeply you’d like to investigate the topic. AdWorld 2023, for example, was a three-day virtual event for digital marketers where they invited keynote speakers to discuss topics like brand building, media buying, and content marketing. This event also had breakout sessions for attendees to collaborate.

Virtual career fairs

Virtual career fairs are networking events for recruiters and employers to meet candidates online and promote vacancies. These events provide networking opportunities for job seekers and employers alike.

They're especially helpful for those who can't attend in-person events or live in remote areas with limited access to physical events. For example, if you’re Canadian, you may be familiar with The Canadian National Virtual Career Fair, which connects candidates with the top employers in the country.

Product launches

Product launches are great for announcing a new product and generating some buzz around it. They can be interactive and engaging, with demos of the products and Q&A sessions during the event. Apple’s product launch strategy is unparalleled, holding three to four major events per year where it announces new versions of its iPhones, iPads, Macbooks, and other innovative products.

Virtual workshops

Virtual workshops are interactive online events that provide more hands-on training on a topic through lectures, Q&A sessions, and sometimes one-on-one coaching. These workshops allow attendees to solve problems, collaborate, learn, and experience knowledge-sharing opportunities.

For example, Creative Writing Workshop for Multilingual Writers encourages active learning and helps attendees hone their skills. This kind of event suits the virtual format because it connects international participants who want to learn from an expert and benefit from a shared experience with other participants from other locations.

Hybrid events

With hybrid events, some attend in person while others join virtually. This way, you can reach a larger audience with limited resources and still keep some events face-to-face. An example of this is INBOUND by HubSpot 2022. INBOUND connected in-person and virtual attendees as they attended keynote speakers, networking events, and activations from sponsors.

Corporate event page for INBOUND 2022, showing colorful graphic design

How to host an event that sells

Every virtual event involves three stages—before, during, and after. Each stage has its own demands, so let’s break them down individually.

Before the event: 6 Virtual event planning steps

Planning and not planning can spell the difference between an event that has attendees reaching out for more and one that makes them close their Google Chrome tabs in boredom. Here are four steps to get you started:

  1. Set specific goals
  2. Choose the right video conferencing platform
  3. Book influential speakers
  4. Plan the technicalities
  5. Promote the event

1. Set specific goals

What's the purpose of your event? Is it for brand awareness, lead generation, or customer education? Goal setting helps you design an event plan and create targeted content. Set measurable and specific metrics to help you track the event's success. When Alex Birkett, Head of Sales and Marketing at Omniscient Digital, sets goals for events, he focuses on leads.

"Quality is more important than quantity here. We'd rather have 200 email signups from ideal customers than 1,000 email signups from those who aren't in our market. That said, the quantity still matters, as it takes a ton of work to put together a really great event. So we want to see upwards of 500-1000 total new emails when we do large virtual summits. The number for a normal webinar is less than that." - Alex Birkett, Co-Founder and Head of Sales and Marketing at Omniscient Digital.

Quantifiable goals, like a specific number of leads generated or email signups, provide a roadmap to plan, implement, and measure the success of your virtual event. They also provide a benchmark to compare the results of different events.

2. Choose the right video conferencing platform

The right virtual event software ensures a seamless experience. The wrong one frustrates attendees and makes them leave. So, whether you need the best webinar platforms or the best virtual summit platforms, research and compare their features to decide which one suits your use case best.

According to Markletic, 38% of marketers say they face technical problems when hosting a virtual event. So, you need a reliable platform that has been tried and tested by thousands of companies. Ask yourself—how many attendees do they support? What kind of sessions are available? Are there any customization options?

Livestorm, for example, offers intuitive features like a customized live experience, breakout rooms, and Q&A live answer notifications to create an interactive and engaging virtual event. Powerful analytics features and integrations with a suite of other tools like HubSpot, Mailchimp, and Zapier also provide a holistic view of event performance.

Woman hosting a live event on Livestorm with visible chat tab

3. Book influential speakers

Find the right speaker to deliver an impactful presentation, workshop session, or keynote address. 67% of attendees agree that a passionate and engaging presenter is the number one factor for a successful webinar, according to Zippia. You can look for people already popular in your industry or find emerging thought leaders you think would be a great fit. When you select a speaker, ask the following questions:

  • What’s their experience with the topic?
  • Do they have a track record of engaging presentations?
  • Do they have virtual event experience?
  • What technology are they comfortable with?

"If they have a large following, that's better on social media.” says Pauline Mura, Senior Partnership Marketing Manager at Livestorm. “We'll try and tag them in the social media posts or get them to post just to give visibility and drive my attendance. If they're senior-level or a manager, that's always better."

4. Plan the technicalities

Plan the technical details of your virtual event—budget, schedule, and duration. Most companies need three to six weeks for preparing and promoting virtual events, so give your team enough time. Allocate an event budget and know who’s responsible for what. (e.g. who’ll design collateral? Who’ll be in charge of technical support?)

Set the timing, duration, and agenda. Figure out the time zone differences if you have an international target audience. Research by Zippia also suggests midweek is the best time to host a webinar. Employees are preparing for the coming week on Monday and ready for the weekend on Friday—midweek webinars allow them to break up their workweek. Use this research to schedule your event.

5. Promote the event

Decide which channels to use for event promotion—social media, email marketing, or paid ads. Set up a custom event registration page to segment people based on lead scoring. Use automated marketing integrations to remind your leads of the upcoming event and automated email campaigns to create a sequence that starts with “pre-event” emails and ends with “post-event” emails.

Alex Birkett, Head of Sales and Marketing at Omniscient Digital, uses a combination of different channels to promote his events and has witnessed varying results from each.

"The only real channels we've found results from are Twitter, LinkedIn, and co-marketing partnerships,” says Alex.“Twitter's reach has been diminishing, so for social, it's mainly LinkedIn.” Like Alex’s team, you can post on your individual and brand accounts, and ask your speakers to share the event on their socials too.

Alex adds “We also partner with other companies in the space (e.g. Speero and Convert) and they help share the event through their social and email list.” Try testing different marketing channels and tracking the performance of each one to identify what works for your audience and adjust your strategy accordingly.

During the event: 3 Steps for hosting a successful virtual event

It's all hands on deck during the event. Here are three tips to ensure you make it a success:

  1. Create an interactive experience
  2. Moderate the chat
  3. Give a clear call to action (CTA)

1. Create an interactive experience

Interactivity is the difference between an event that plays in the background and one that pushes people to get involved. With a virtual event platform like Livestorm, you get access to engagement features like polls, Q&A and question upvoting, digital whiteboards (we love Miro for this!), and breakout rooms.

Throughout the event, encourage participants to ask questions and interact with each other. You can also share conversation prompts on your screen or encourage everyone to pick a fun virtual background as a conversation starter.

Pauline Mura, Senior Partnership Marketing Manager at Livestorm, suggests asking icebreaker questions for guest speakers. "When I did it, the topic was product education and how it can drive revenue,” she says.

“I found that organizations with a high learning and development culture tend to have a certain percentage extra in terms of employee retention or customer retention. I put in four possible percentages and asked the speakers to guess which one was right.” Like Pauline, you could use Livestorm’s poll feature to ask your audience the same question and see if your speakers can guess what their responses will be.

Livestorm’s virtual background templates library

2. Moderate the chat

Pauline assigns a moderator to manage time in the background and answer technical questions about the platform. “I would have someone from Livestorm trying to get people chatting or answering some of the questions,” she explains.

You can always do a topic-specific Q&A at the end of the event that’s run by your speakers. However, you’ll save time in the event if you also have an internal employee there to handle everything else that arises. As Pauline says, “Anything that's a company-focused question or more of an admin thing, we try to get someone in the background to answer directly."

Livestorm’s Q&A sessions for online events

3. Give a clear call to action (CTA)

Make it easy for your audience to follow your desired next steps. What should they do after attending the event? Do you want them to sign up for a demo or follow your social media channels?

Every event has a goal but you need to communicate with your audience for those goals to be realized. For example, if you're hosting a product launch event, add links to purchase the product. Livestorm directs participants to any link with live CTAs during the event. These subtle nudges maintain focus and encourage people to act.

Livestorm’s clickable CTAs for driving consversions within your live event room

After the event: 2 Post-event follow-up steps

Active attendee engagement doesn't end after the event. Here are some post-event steps you take to reap maximum ROI:

  1. Share or repurpose the recording
  2. Collect feedback

1. Share or repurpose the recording

Recording your events means you can squeeze even more value out of them. According to a survey by Vimeo, three-quarters of attendees say they’d rewatch the event later if they missed it live. That means you can offer recordings to rewatch on-demand to keep people interested in and talking about your brand when the event is over.

You can also repurpose event content into short social posts for LinkedIn and share the link to the full recording for further viewing. If you gate the full recording, you’ll find your audience base growing with minimal effort.

Pro tip: With Livestorm, you can automate the start and end of an event or automatically play a video for a low-effort, low-cost experience that’s just like “live.” So, you can re-use event recordings to set up automatic webinars and capture additional leads without hosting a whole new event.

2. Collect feedback

Find out what worked and where you can improve. Ask attendees to complete a survey or poll them with questions during the event. Livestorm’s reporting dashboard makes it easy to track virtual meeting habits—you get in-depth insights into the number of viewers, attendance throughout the event, and engagement rates to find out what went well and what didn’t. Use these actionable insights to execute future events even better.

Livestorm’s analytics dashboard for tracking your virtual event’s performance

Access these 6 email templates to drive attendance to your virtual events.

Your virtual event planning checklist simplified

The best events are a collaborative experience with reliable partners—whether they're in the form of influential speakers or a powerful video engagement platform that can simplify the process.

With Livestorm, you get all the tools and a handy guide to hosting virtual events—from recording and livestreaming to engaging attendees with polls and surveys.

Your content is important, but there’s more that goes into a great virtual event than just the speaker and their message. A technical foundation, interactive features, and post-event follow-ups are just some of the pieces you must consider for success. Check out our live demo to understand how we make virtual events a breeze.


Plan a virtual event that skyrockets conversions

We integrate with the marketing tools you use most, so planning and delivering your virtual event is easy

Frequently asked questions about virtual event planning

How do you plan a virtual event?

To plan a virtual event, start by setting your goals and objectives. Then decide on the format of your event, such as a webinar, virtual conference, or hybrid event. Then, pick a date and time that works best for your audience, create a schedule and plan the agenda. Finally, select an online platform, promote the event, and manage it on the day with technical support if needed.

How do I make a virtual event interactive?

To make a virtual event interactive, consider incorporating polls, quizzes, emoji reactions, or Q&A sessions into your virtual event to engage attendees. For longer events, you can also offer breakout sessions and virtual networking spaces to help people connect.

What is the best software for virtual event planning?

The best software for virtual event planning depends on the size and scope of your event. Livestorm, for example, is an excellent option for live and on-demand webinars, hybrid events, and other virtual events. Features like custom branding, analytics, and automated email follow-ups make it an ideal platform for simple yet effective online events.