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The world of networking has changed over the years. Going to in-person events used to be the only way for business owners to gather together for networking, training, and general schmoozing. Nowadays, a growing number of people are more comfortable with online networking, either one on one or through the use of online events or webinars.

Online networking events also allow the attendees to work around their schedules and even purchase a recording of the webinar if it wasn’t possible to attend live. Some reports even state that people are willing to spend more on the internet held events than they are for a physical one.

Hosting an online event is of great value for businesses, internet marketers, coaches, and anyone who would like to brand themselves an expert in their field. In this post, we’ll go over a few tips on how to plan for an exceptional online event.

1.) Know Your Topic

Having a general knowledge of what you will be discussing isn’t even an option if you are going to host an online event. The only way this would be acceptable is if you, as the host, were introducing a guest speaker to train your attendees in an area that you were not an expert.

Also, the product or service that you represent should be related to the topic of your online event. The event itself does not need to promote the product directly. However, you should be able to recommend easily that your attendees follow up with you concerning what you offer.

2.) Be Comfortable With The Technology

A vital part of giving an online webinar is the technology you use. It will determine such things as how many people can attend whether you will charge for attendance, if it will be recorded and how it will be delivered.

As with any kind of live event, you want things to run smoothly and without any glitches. Be sure to do a few test runs with the technology you decide upon. You don’t want to look like a novice in front of a live audience.

3.) Have A Well Thought Out Plan

Before attempting to promote your online event or invite guest speakers, be sure you have an outline of the topic, a profile of your target customers or clients, and what kinds of presentations you will need for a successful event. You can modify this agenda as needed, but you will need to know who you will be marketing to attract the right speakers if they are a part of your presentation.

Make sure everyone involved knows your expectations and are aware of any deadlines. Preview your guest speakers’ presentations or at least go over an outline of what they will be sharing, how long they will speak and if they will be allowed to promote their products/services.

4.) Create The Content

Each piece of content needed for your event will need to be created. Whether it’s going to be promoted or not will be a determining factor of how many kinds of marketing materials you will need. You may need presentation slides, pdf’s, or promotional graphics.

Outsourcing this kind of work can help speed up the process providing you know someone who is proficient with graphic design and you can express your ideas with them intelligibly. Of course, you can always create these things yourself as well.

5.) Promotion

Your event will never be seen without some promotional activities. If you have had your content created, make sure every participant is using it to their best ability. You can even get affiliates on board.

6.) Give Your Event An Evaluation

Once your event has come to an end, it is imperative that you evaluate it to see how well it went. There are many ways to do this – from surveying your guest speakers and guests, to checking your sales, email subscription increase and more.

The knowledge you will gain from doing this will enable you to improve on the successes of your future online events. As new technology and strategies for promoting come along, you will be able to adapt your webinars to be continuously providing value.

7.) Re-purpose & Reuse

Hopefully, you have recorded your event and distributed it to all your guest speakers to use for their own purposes. You may also re-purpose your copy of the presentation for your use – in a membership site, an e-book, a mini-report or even as an opt-in bribe to gain new email subscribers.

In conclusion, if you are new to giving online events don’t be afraid to dip your feet in this part of the networking ocean. Use these steps as a beginners guide and get to work. As you continue to do them, they will get better and better, and you’ll become comfortable enough to use this kind of promotion for any new product or service you are offering.