Navigating the Virtual Event Waters

Jul 24, 2020
2020 Flower Day

From live-tweeting to livestreaming, 2020 is the year of virtual events. Businesses and organizations across the spectrum are leveraging online technology platforms to meet and stay connected with their audiences.

But, how do you navigate the virtual waters successfully? Here’s our three keys to creating a successful event, online conference, or a corporate webinar:

Define your goals, and then vet and choose your platform

With so many choices, how do you pick the one best for you?

Do your homework! Are there industry standards your audience uses or can quickly adopt? Can you find a platform that meets the majority of your specific objectives? Make a list of your must-have features, and start researching!

For example, our client, Eastern Market Partnership, chose to take their annual event, Flower Day, online for the first time due to social distancing restrictions. Moving the event included launching and piloting a new online ordering platform for the 2020 flower season. By utilizing an existing e-commerce and delivery platform designed specifically for family farmers to sell their products online, EMP was able to get up and running quickly.

Feeling like you need more info to choose between platforms? Don’t forget to check the reviews!

Leverage social, marketing and media channels

To bring online events together through multiple social channels and platforms, you need to build a solid marketing communications plan that creates awareness and engagement. Make sure to identify the right channels to communicate with your audience.

For Eastern Market Partnership, our marketing team hosted a series of live streaming videos on social media, highlighting the different flower growers, their selections and gardening tips. This made it easy and simple for customers to research different flowers and they were able to pre-order the flowers using the online platform – achieving their number one objective.

“An integrated approach, including PR, web, social, and digital, was key to building excitement and momentum for our event. We needed to have the right partners to launch and promote our online flower days experience,” said Erin Gaiser, Chief Marketing Officer at Eastern Market Partnership.

Leading up to you event, make sure to engage ambassadors and like-minded audience with your promotional content. The great place for this? Social media platforms that incorporate interactive features, hashtags, and online polls.

“Our team was excited to move to an online platform for this selling season – we didn’t have any expectation when we launched but quickly understood the value that social media plays in building a successful program,” said Sydne McMullen, from Mark Prielipp Greenhouse & Mohr.

Don’t forget to plan your post-event review and analysis

Analytics play a huge roll in properly evaluating the digital platform and aligning your KPIs for future events.

During the six–week run, Eastern Market Partnership helped regional farmers and growers expand their selling season and, most importantly, provide a safe online transactional experience. The program resulted in nearly 27,000 pageviews, with almost 20,000 unique visitors.

We are all looking forward to a time when we can meet-up in person, but, until then, engaging your audience with virtual events is a great way to stay connected.

Want to chat more?Reach out at or follow us @westcomm on LinkedIn for more insights.

Navigating the Virtual Event Waters


Benefit Communications Report: New Insights into What Works

Toolkit: Promoting Your Benefits Year-Round

Toolkit: Breaking the Stigma of Mental Health

New Program Communications Checklist

Communications Metric Checklist

Open Enrollment Debrief Worksheet