There are so many things to think about when planning an event, but when you’re the one in charge of the virtual event, it can be even more stressful. We all know that feeling of not being able to control something that’s happening on your computer screen, and then there’s also the whole issue of having to make sure everything is perfect for everyone who will be watching. The anxiety can really get overwhelming. So here are some tips for minimizing stress while planning a virtual event:
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Create a timeline for your project and stick to it
This is easier said than done, but it’s important to have a plan and to work diligently to stay on track. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, take a step back and review your timeline.
See if there are tasks that can be delegated or outsourced to reduce your workload. That way, you’ll be able to focus on the most important things and prevent any potential disasters from happening.
It’s also worth mentioning that you shouldn’t wait until the eleventh hour to start getting organized. Try to get as much done as possible early on so there aren’t any major time crunches as your event date approaches.
Map out a timeline for each phase of the project — pre-event, during the event, and post-event — and then come up with a master timeline that encompasses all three phases. That way, you won’t feel overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done at once.
Pick a good project management process
Virtual projects tend to be less formal than in-person events. But that doesn’t mean you can skip all the planning stages and go straight into execution mode.
As with any project, it is important to map out a schedule for what needs to be done when so everyone is on the same page.
For example, set due dates for deliverables so that team members have enough time to complete them without feeling too overwhelmed or stressed out. It is also important that everyone knows when to ask for help if they feel lost or stuck.
There are many different project management processes to choose from, so find one that best fits the needs of your virtual event. And most importantly, be prepared to make changes as needed.
Create a social media plan
Social media can be a great way to promote your event and engage participants. But if you’re not careful, it can also be a major source of stress.
That’s why it’s important to create a social media plan well in advance of your event. Decide which platforms you’ll use, what type of content you’ll share, and who will be responsible for creating and posting content.
And most importantly, make sure you have a schedule for when posts will go live. That way, you won’t be scrambling to post last-minute updates or trying to come up with some content on the fly.
Integrations can be a lifesaver when it comes to planning a virtual event. That’s because they allow you to automate tasks, which can save you a lot of time and energy.
For example, you can use a tool like Trello to assign tasks and set due dates. That way, you can spend more time creating content instead of sorting through emails. You can also use a tool like Zapier to integrate Trello with Slack, which means that any changes will be reflected in both platforms.
Just make sure you select tools with integrations that make the most sense for your virtual event and that have a clean design so it’s easy to navigate.
Take regular breaks
Staying focused for long periods can be challenging, especially when you have a million things to do.
But if you don’t take breaks regularly, you might experience burnout and feel exhausted throughout the event.
The solution? Schedule short breaks during each phase of your virtual event so that participants have a chance to relax and recharge now and then. That will promote creativity and help make tasks more manageable along the way.
Have a backup plan
No matter how well you plan, something is bound to go wrong. That’s why it’s important to have a backup plan in place for every phase of your event.
For example, if you’re planning a live webinar, make sure you have a recording of the event that participants can access if they can’t join live. And if you’re holding an in-person event, have a contingency plan for what will happen if there is a snowstorm or major power outage.
The bottom line: always expect the unexpected and be prepared for anything that might come up.
Create crash plans
In addition to having backup plans, it’s also important to create crash plans. That means having a detailed plan for what will happen if something goes wrong with your event.
For example, if you’re planning a live webinar and technical difficulties arise, what will you do? Will you have another webinar later that day? Or will you provide participants with a recording of the event?
If you’re holding an in-person event and something goes wrong, what is your contingency plan? Will everyone still get dinner even if the caterer doesn’t show up? Will the venue still be available for the after-party?
Having a crash plan ensures that no matter what happens, your participants will still have a positive experience.
Add some extra time to any external deadlines
One of the biggest challenges you might face when planning a virtual event is meeting deadlines. That’s because every project has its own set of tasks, which means each deadline is different.
For example, if you’re planning a live webinar during your virtual event, then the production process will be different from an in-person event.
Since there are so many moving parts to all of these projects, it’s important to add buffer time to any external deadlines that may arise during the planning process.
For instance, give yourself at least two weeks or more before a live webinar and three weeks for an in-person event – even if it doesn’t seem necessary.
No matter how prepared you are, something unexpected might come up. So always be sure to build in some extra time for the unforeseen.
Have realistic expectations
When it comes to virtual events, be prepared to do a lot of work. But don’t expect them to be perfect.
Instead, have realistic expectations about how much time and effort will be needed so you can avoid feeling anxious or overwhelmed throughout the event.
Set reasonable goals for yourself—don’t try to do too much in one day, week, or even month—and adjust your schedule accordingly if you need more time. Plus set deadlines for when each task needs to be completed so that tasks don’t pile up or get put off until later on.
And remember that no matter what happens, you’ll get through it like a champ!
Planning a virtual event can be a daunting task, but it’s also a very rewarding experience. By following these tips, you’ll be able to minimize anxiety and ensure that your event goes off without a hitch.