5 Ways Nonprofits Can Move From In-Person to Virtual Event
5 Ways Nonprofits Can Move From In-Person to Virtual Event

With the world around us rapidly changing, it’s time for the nonprofit industry to adapt to survive in the new normal. Part of that includes moving you from in-person to online and not only for the short term, but also for the long term as the world turns digital with or without COVID.

1. Virtual Summits

Virtual summits have been around from some time now but are seeing a boom in recent months for obvious reasons. The thing is virtual summits don’t have to be fancy. They can be as simple or as elaborate as you want.

At the most basic level it could be a series of live talks hosted during a 1-day event using tools like Zoom or GoToMeeting. The recording of the talks can then be provided to registrants either using the video platform or hosted on your own website or platform allowing you to then sell access to the recordings

On the more complex side, some associations are turning to virtual summit platforms that have areas for virtual exhibitors, networking events and breakout rooms while also hosting the different talks on their platforms. Platforms with all in-one virtual conferencing software include the likes of Hopin, Whova, Run the World and Pheedloop.

2.Virtual Networking Events

Socialising and connecting is more important now than ever before. Luckily online tools have removed the barriers that travel and time commitments have imposed on in-person events.

Engage your members virtually by hosting a virtual happy hour, virtual trivia night, a topic discussion or even a virtual meal or wine tasting where all members get a delivery of the same product to enjoy together.

Virtual networking events bring members together on an even more personal level as they join each other from their homes and can share stories of how they’re handling the pandemic.

3. Online forums

Online forums have always been an important feature for many associations, but they play an even more important role today. You can host your forum on your own website or by using social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook.

Take your forums up a notch by regularly sparking new discussions with conversation starters and giving kudos to regular contributors. You can even enhance you groups by hosting watch parties and live video streaming using Facebook and YouTube and to an extent LinkedIn.

4. Webinars

Take your in-person talks online with online seminars or webinars. Using video conferencing tools it’s now easier to get speakers from all over the world to present to your members or donors. Expand your pool of speakers by looking for experts who have spoken at events for similar associations in different cities or countries.

This gives your members an added bonus of being able to attend a talk they might not normally be able to attend if it wasn’t an online event.

5. Digital marketing

Now is the time to embrace digital marketing to get awareness out about your not-for-profit. It’s been a trend for that past few years with some nonprofits seeings huge results by creating viral videos or a social media challenge which drives donations and awareness of their cause.

Going digital doesn’t have to mean spending excessing money on huge campaigns like some nonprofits are able to do, instead you can start small by investing more time and effort into entertaining and informative videos, graphics and articles.

The world has been changing and moving online for some time now, so pandemic or not, take this opportunity to embrace the tools and technology we have available to us today to help your nonprofit engage members and drive awareness like it’s never been able to before.

About Tom (TJ) Abbott

Tom (TJ) Abbott, CSP is the Managing Director of AMC NPO Solutions and an authority on Governance. He has over 25 years experience as CEO, President and board director of several not-for-profit organizations. Tom has also spoken in over 20 countries.