Archive for 'Virtual Event Resources'

Nov 18

In an earlier blog series, I explained that it could cost you tens of thousands of dollars to rent a virtual event platform. This makes hosting a virtual event out of reach for most businesses.

Now, you can cheap-out and use a password-protected webpage to deliver your information to attendees. However, this is not a secure way to manage your virtual event recordings. Plus, you risk adding more tasks to your already full plate because this process is not automated.

Aside from the money you save using a blog and few plug-ins to create your own virtual event minisite, there are are three powerful reasons why you need to use something more robust than a password protected webpage to deliver information to attendee about your virtual event.

#1 – You Improve Customer Service

The first time I hosted a multi-speaker virtual event, I used a blog. The problem was that my team and I had to manually copy attendee registration information from our online shopping cart system to the blog and then send an e-mail to the attendee letting them know about their registration details.

This process took anywhere between 1 to 2 business days to complete depending on the workload of my virtual assistant. Of course, during this time, attendees would get a little frantic wondering why they haven’t received further information and curious to know what to do next. I’ve had some people freak out to the point where they’ve asked for their money back.

So, having a system that automates the entire registration process helps you to provide optimal customer service and lessen those refund requests. And if your attendees are happy, they’ll reward you with sales in the future.

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Jun 29

Last week, I opened my office to those on my list who wanted to call me to ask me anything about my programs. In essence, I answered my toll-free line live during a 2-hour block and answered questions about my products and services to anyone who called in.

I never did this before and it was an amazing experience.

Out of all the people who called, I discouraged 3 individuals from buying my Virtual Event Marketing Blueprint. They just weren’t ready given where they were in their businesses.

And I felt damn good about doing that.

One man was still trying to figure out who he’s trying to serve. He said something about coaches and consultants to which I told him that that’s too general. So, I asked him what unique experience is he running away from and that’s when it all came pouring out.

I was fascinated by his story. Truly fascinated. And I knew that all he had to do was continue drawing out experiences from his past where he turned his misery into his ministry. His breakdown into his breakthrough. His wounds into his wisdom. His mess into his message…(you get the point).

I was so moved by his story that I’m going to continue opening my office hours to those on my list. If you’d like to know when and how you can contact me to ask me anything about my programs or about virtual events in general, join my Facebook fan page and I’ll send updates through there.

Here are the rules:

  1. KEEP TRYING. If you call and you get my voicemail, please DO NOT leave a message as I’m not able to return your call. Just keep trying until you get me live.
  2. KEEP YOUR QUESTION BRIEF. My toll-free line is programmed to hang up at the 10-min mark. So, keep your question brief and to the point so I can help you in under 10-mins.
  3. MAKE SURE YOUR REQUEST ISN’T URGENT. I’m only able to devote 2-hours of my time one day a week to answering the phone live. That means, you have to call during this time to speak to me live. If you have an urgent request and you need an urgent response, go to http://virtualeventsuccess.com/helpdesk and ask my Online Relationship Manager, Liz, how you can rent my brain for an hour.
Feb 23

Have you been thinking about producing your own virtual event, but you’re not sure which tools you should use? Or, maybe you already hosted a teleclass, virtual summit or telebootcamp, but the tools you used created so much extra work that it left you exhausted.

I’m going to share with you my top 5 must have tools to skyrocket your virtual event profits on February 25, 2010 at 10am PT / 1pm ET in a NO FEE call. I’ll reveal:

  • How to use a popular social media tool to create a powerful and profitable attendee management system
  • Ways to automate attendee registrations so you avoid the dreaded copying & pasting
  • The biggest mistake most virtual event hosts make when sharing their virtual event recordings
  • Why email is the worst thing you can use to manage all the moving pieces with your virtual event (Leesa will share with you what you should use instead)
  • The hidden dangers of free conference bridge line service – and what you should look for in a paid one
  • The 3 things a shopping cart system can help you manage – and how to integrate this nicely into your virtual event platform
  • Details about Leesa’s brand new virtual bootcamp where she’ll teach you click-by-click how to setup your own virtual event platform

To get the call-in details, go to http://buildavirtualeventplatform.com and sign up to attend this no fee teleclass. On that page, you’ll also get access to Module 1 in the Build a Virtual Event Platform program, a **FREE** video tutorial that I created to get you started with your virtual event platform.

Feb 09

Spending $10,000 or more on a platform to deliver live and recorded content for your virtual event is out of reach for many businesses. Despite this, you can still host your very own virtual event using a combination of tools without spending tens of thousands of dollars.

In this series, you’ll learn what you must have in your virtual event toolkit that will ensure that speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, attendees and your virtual event team have a pleasant experience participating in your virtual event. This is part 4 in a 5 part series.

Must Have Tool #4 – A Way to Manage Your Virtual Event Tasks

With all the moving pieces to produce a virtual event, trying to share status updates over email is the worst way to manage a virtual event project. That’s why it’s important to use a tool where you can share messages, files and milestones in a way that won’t drive you or your team bonkers.

That’s why my virtual event team and I use Basecamp for all our virtual events projects. It’s an online tool that allows you to manage project updates and email those updates to your team. Your team can either read the update in the email or login to Basecamp to read the message there.

Now, I know I said earlier that managing a virtual event project over email is bad and now, I’m saying that Basecamp emails statuses to you. However, the different is that Basecamp keeps a log of all the messages that go back and forth between team members. Plus, in order to reply, you have to login to Basecamp and respond there.

Other benefits include:

  • To do lists that track who needs to do what and by when
  • Milestones that can be added to a calendar that is visible to everyone
  • A whiteboard where you can brainstorm project ideas
  • And a place to upload files, such as project plans, Word documents, pictures and logos

Basecamp is a life saver to any virtual event project and I invite you to try it out for your own projects.

Ready to Build Your Very Own Virtual Event Platform?

In just a few days, I’ll post details on a virtual bootcamp where I’ll teach you step-by-step how to build your very own virtual event platform. You’ll get to peek over my shoulder as I show you via videos how to build a virtual event platform from scratch – even if you’re not technical.

Feb 05

Spending $10,000 or more on a platform to deliver live and recorded content for your virtual event is out of reach for many businesses. Despite this, you can still host your very own virtual event using a combination of tools without spending tens of thousands of dollars.

In this series, you’ll learn what you must have in your virtual event toolkit that will ensure that speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, attendees and your virtual event team have a pleasant experience participating in your virtual event. This is part 3 in a 5 part series.

Must Have Tool #3 – A Way to Deliver Recorded Content

Not every attendee can attend the live sessions. Many factors contribute to this – whether it’s timezone differences, an unexpected meeting, impatience with hiccups that happen in the live environment, learning style or difficulty following along in a language that’s not their mother tongue, offering the live sessions as downloadable content is an attractive feature to attendees.

This is what makes virtual events unique from non-virtual events. Most conferences I’ve ever attended never sell the recordings of the sessions after the conference is over. What a missed opportunity to monetize content. Of course, this is an advantage that most virtual events have due to how simple it is to record content over the phone or via the web.

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Feb 03

Spending $10,000 or more on a platform to deliver live and recorded content for your virtual event is out of reach for many businesses. Despite this, you can still host your very own virtual event using a combination of tools without spending tens of thousands of dollars.

In this series, you’ll learn what you must have in your virtual event toolkit that will ensure that speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, attendees and your virtual event team have a pleasant experience participating in your virtual event. This is part 2 in a 5 part series.

Must Have Tool #2 – A Way to Deliver Live Content

Attendees want to hear virtual sessions as they’re happening and that’s why you need a reliable tool to deliver that content to them. Webinar tools, such as GoToMeeting, DimDim, Glance and Yuuguu, allow presenters to share their content visually, but for most topics, using a webinar tool is ovrkill for many reasons:

  • Slides are visible for 5-10 minutes while the speaker blathers on. If it’s a 60-minute presentation and the slides change once every 10-minutes, then it means that the presentation could’ve been done without the slides.
  • Slides add to the speaker’s preparation time. Not only do they have to prepare the content of their speech, but they also have to put in some extra time to prepare slides to accompany their content. And if speaker’s have to put in alot of prep time into their content, you can bet they’ll spend less time promoting their participation in your virtual event. I’d prefer the speaker spend his or her time on marketing than on preparation.
  • And with any webinar tool, there’s also 1 person who has problems connecting. Always. It could be a browser issue, an operating system issue or an operator issue (meaning the person is all thumbs when it comes to technology). As the host, this is not a fun problem to try and troubleshoot. It gets you all rattled up trying to support this 1 person while the other 87 attendees who didn’t have a problem wait with impatient patience for you to solve the problem.

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Feb 01

Spending $10,000 or more on a platform to deliver live and recorded content for your virtual event is out of reach for many businesses. Despite this, you can still host your very own virtual event using a combination of tools without spending tens of thousands of dollars.

In this series, you’ll learn what you must have in your virtual event toolkit that will ensure that speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, attendees and your virtual event team have a pleasant experience participating in your virtual event. This is part 1 in a 5 part series.

Must Have Tool #1 – A Way to Automate Attendee Registrations and Affiliate Activities

When a person makes a decision to attend your virtual event, they want to pay and get confirmation of their registration right away. If they have to wait for someone on your team to manually enter the attendee info into a system, you can bet that your customer service inbox will become flooded with worried people wondering what’s going on.

You also need a system that will track referrals from affiliates in an easy way. Affiliates should be able to login to  your system, grab their affiliate URLs and run reports to see the number of clickthroughs and referred sales.

A system that can manage online payments, affiliate performance and attendee registrations in an automated way will be a lifesaver for your virtual event. That’s why I suggest that you use a system like Virtual Event Cart.

You can easily create products that would align with your registration packages, you can create coupons to give attendees discounts, plus you can create autoresponders so that as soon as the attendee signs up, he gets an email right away. I use this feature to send a checklist of items the attendee needs to do instantly.

The affiliate area is powerful because it tracks sales, clickthroughs and you can upload promotional materials all in one spot so my affiliates can start marketing your virtual event. If you don’t have a merchant account, not a problem as Virtual Event Cart works seamlessly with PayPal.

Ready to Build Your Very Own Virtual Event Platform?

In just a few days, I’ll post details on a virtual bootcamp where I’ll teach you step-by-step how to build your very own virtual event platform. You’ll get to peek over my shoulder as I show you via videos how to build a virtual event platform from scratch – even if you’re not technical.

Aug 12

I just hosted an almost 90-minute call today called 5 Winning Habits of Highly Profitable Virtual Event Managers. Attendees who were on Twitter while listening to the live recording posted wonderful summaries of the points they heard during the call.

I want to thank Lynn Pearce for hosting me on this call. A few tweeted that Lynn and I had great chemistry on the phone. Must be her British accent :)

I did get some questions after the call that I answered on Twitter, however, 140 characters is just not enough, so I’m providing longer answers below.

call-5habitsvem-1Answer: Many virtual assistance (VA) have shared with me that they’re tired of being known as a generalist or a multi-functional VA. This limits how much they can charge and being a multi-functional VA means they don’t stand out.

If you’re already booking conference bridge lines or inviting speakers to your client’s events, you can focus on becoming much more specialized and only focus on producing virtual events. So, instead of planning your own virtual event, a VA can offer that service to their client.

I know, this sounds like things you’re already doing. But the goal of becoming a virtual event manager is to provide a complete A-Z specialization in producing virtual events.

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