Lil Regie is introducing new features to help event organisers host online events, and to help transition your event from a face-to-face experience to an online one.
Online event features
Here are the features we've implemented (with more to come soon):
Online event URL
We've added the ability to specify a URL, rather than a physical location, for your event. You can choose for this to be displayed on your event's registration form, or just in the confirmation and reminder emails sent out to attendees, or both options.
This keeps things straightforward, and event organisers can switch this up on the fly, whenever they need to. (Note this option is not available for a "tickets only" event.)
Time zone options
For now, you will need to specify a time zone within your own country for the event start and finish time. We hope to soon have in place the ability to display this time in the local time of the person registering.
You can add a password needed for someone to access your online event. This password will be sent out in the confirmation and reminder emails to attendees.
1 hr reminder email
We have an additional option for reminder emails - you can now have them sent out 1 hr before the scheduled start of your event.
How to move to online
If your event is already up and running, it's still reasonably straightforward to shift it to online.
If the price is unchanged
If the price of your online event is the same as the physical one, the process is straightforward.
You will want to contact your existing attendees, to let them know about your changes, and to send them the link to your livestream. If you aren't using Mailchimp to organise your emails, you will need to first download your attendee data so you can extract your email list.
Next, edit your event, and go to the Event Details tab and scroll down the 'Online Event' section. Once you enter the event url, you'll have the choice of display options for this. You can also enter an event password if needed. Make sure to Save your changes at the bottom of the page.
If you want to send out a reminder email 1 hour before the event starts, click on the 'Advanced' tab and select that option:
Double check your time zone, currency, and email templates (we have also updated the basic template to include the URL for online events, so you won't need to tweak this unless you have seriously redesigned your emails), and you should be good to go.
If the price of your online event is changing
There's a bit more to do if your event's price will change:
Follow the steps above, to switch your event to an online "location." (And to contact your existing attendees.)
Next, update your event's price, by going to the Edit Event page, and select the Ticket Pricing tab. (Make sure to hit the save button once you've made your change!) Any new registrations will be paying the new registration price, and you should only have to go through the refund process once!
After that, you will need to issue a partial refund (assuming ticket prices for the online event have decreased) to attendees who registered at the earlier price. We have a help document on how to change an existing ticket's price (though please note in that example the ticket prices are increased).
Next, you will need to process the refunds for your attendees. If the attendees paid by credit card through Lil Regie's merchant account facility, we'll take care of the refund for you. If you've used Stripe or Paypal, you will need to go through their refund processes. If the attendees paid by bank deposit or other manual format, you will need to process that manually.
As above, make sure to double check your time zone, currency, and email templates (we have also updated the basic template to include the URL for online events, so you won't need to tweak this unless you have seriously redesigned your emails), and you should be good to go.
Obviously there are a raft of other considerations to account for, when setting up an online event. What technology you make use of is probably one of the biggest decisions.
To a certain extent the size of your event will dictate what platform is best to use. There is a ton of information online on how to livestream on YouTube and Facebook, or how to use Zoom, or Google Hangouts. If you need to share other materials, you'll need to decide if these should be shared via email, chat, or a cloud share.
More thoughts on running an online event
Try to keep it personal
With the move from a face-to-face event to an online one, it's important to consider how you can keep attendees feeling engaged, and as if they are "there," despite any physical distance.
Are there any special add-ons that you can send attendees, to reaffirm the personal touch? If your event is in an area under lockdown, then sending physical items probably won't be the best approach. But how about any digital extras, or even a chat channel (like Slack) to help foster a sense of community with your attendees?
In terms of involvement, are there any ways you can make attendees feel like they aren't just watching talking heads on a screen? Perhaps you could ask them to send in any questions they might have beforehand, or tailor your registration form with custom fields to help cater the experience to people with specific event needs.
Test your internet connection, digital tools, and physical equipment ahead of time!
If you have any other questions about changing the format of your event, or if you just want to talk, please get in touch with us via Live Support. We're always happy to help!