The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has deeply impacted the lives of millions of people across the world. The event industry is especially affected by these changes, and it requires us to adapt and find creative solutions to the problems at hand. We at ThrivingLocally are here to help support your efforts and ensure that you have what you need to adapt to these challenges.
Given the nature of your event, you might have no choice but to postpone or cancel it. However, many physical events, such as workshops, seminars, meetups and training classes have the potential to adapt and move online. Doing so requires the use of a combination of services including a video or webinar streaming service and an email marketing tool.
Creating online only events
In many ways, a virtual event is much like a physical event. It will still require marketing, ticket sales, attendee management and a great experience for the attendees. For the most part, creating an event using a ThrivingLocally webstore will remain unchanged. If you are new to creating events in a ThrivingLocally webstore please please follow our instructional page in our help centre which will help you set up an event ticket for your first event. Once you have created an event, you can proceed to the next section below which will cover the basics of setting up a webinar and selling tickets containing the webinar details.
Setting up a webinar
A webinar is a live streaming video where a keynote speaker, or group of speakers, deliver a presentation to a large audience who participate using interactive tools (polls, Q&A etc). Webinar platforms typically provide access by way of pre-registrations and do not directly provide for the sale of tickets, which is where ThrivingLocally can help. You will need to create a webinar using a platform like Zoom and then sell access to the webinar via your webstore on ThrivingLocally.
The following guide will help you create your first webinar using Zoom:
– Getting Started With a Zoom Webinar
Webinars generally require pre-registration prior to the event. This is done to limit who can access the webinar (e.g paying attendees). FooEvents does not yet integrate directly with Zoom, so you will need to import a CSV list of attendees into Zoom. Doing so will automatically pre-register your attendees and ensure that they have access to the webinar.
Here are the instructions on how to export your attendee information from FooEvents:
- Login to your Webstore Dashboard
- Browse to Listings tab in the main menu
- Edit the relevant Product Listing
- Scroll down and select the Event Tab
- Scroll down and check the optional boxes if you would like to include unpaid tickets and billing details in the export
- Click the Download CSV of attendees button
Once you’ve completed the above steps, follow these instructions to import the attendees for pre-registration into Zoom.
Alternatively, you can turn off registration for the webinar. The attendees will still be required to enter their names and email addresses upon joining the webinar. Please keep in mind if you do this that you can’t be certain that all attendees purchased access to the event as the webinar will essentially be public and open to anyone.
Add the webinar link to your tickets
When an attendee purchases access to the event via your website, they will receive a ticket email. You will need to add the link for your webinar to this ticket email. This can be used to guide the attendee through to pre-registration as well as the actual webinar.
Go to your Webstore Dashboard > Listings Tab > Event Listing to edit your event. Then scroll down to Event Tab and paste the link and instructions for your webinar into the Ticket Text field. Be sure to include any critical information as demonstrated in the screenshot above. You can also place the webinar link in the Location field as this is located online.
Communicate with attendees
If you are not already doing so, we recommend exporting the attendee information for your events as a CSV file and importing the attendee information into an email marketing platform such as Mailchimp. Using a platform such as Mailchimp will ensure that you send professional emails to all your attendees and can view vital analytics such as delivery reports. In the lead up to the event, you can send various communications and ensure that your attendees know what to expect.
Converting existing events
If you have already sold tickets to your event, you can convert it to a virtual event by following a similar approach to the one outlined above. It’s important to effectively communicate any changes with attendees who have already purchased tickets and provide them with all the necessary information to participate in your webinar.
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