Recommendations for hosting virtual events with Event Smart

We’ve had conversations with our amazing event organizers across the world to create a process for virtual events. This versatile process can help with online classes and workshops, virtual conferences, courses, webinars, and other online activities. It can even help if you have team members that host different online events. 

- Part A) Set up a Zoom account with a personal meeting link
- Part B) Create and publish a virtual venue with the venue editor
- Part C) Update the message templates to deliver access to your online event

Part A) Set up a Zoom account with a personal meeting link

Event organizers shared feedback about video call services like Zoom, Join.me, Google Hangouts, and others. The most popular service based on ongoing conversations is Zoom. 

We recommend choosing Zoom so that you can benefit from ideas and tips shared in our community. 

1) Sign up for Zoom here: https://zoom.us/signup
2) Then set up a Personal meeting URL on your new account.
3) Consider enabling the Waiting Room for your Personal meeting URL. This will hold attendees in a waiting area when they first join a call.
4) If you have a team (e.g., different people will host online events), then repeat steps 1, 2, and 3 above for each member of your organization.
5) Bookmark this best practices page for Zoom and virtual events

Keep your Personal meeting URL handy. You’ll use it in the section below when you set up a virtual venue.

Part B) Create and publish a virtual venue with the venue editor

A venue or location of an event can be set up once. Then the venue can be used for one or more events. This is helpful if you’re going to use the same meeting information for multiple events. 

Login to your Event Smart dashboard on your event website. Next, go to Event SmartVenues and click on Add New Venue. You’ll now be viewing the venue editor. 

Most event organizers use these areas for online or virtual events: 

✓ Venue title: a brief name that will appear on the event page (e.g., Zoom with Lorenzo)
✓ Venue description: let attendees know what to expect for your virtual event
✓ Virtual Location: add your Personal meeting URL
✓ Virtual Phone: add your Personal meeting phone number 

Update the areas above in the venue editor. Then publish your venue by clicking on the Publish button in the top right area of the venue editor. 

If you are working with a team, then set up a unique virtual venue for each member of your organization. Each team member will then have a different virtual venue that has its own Personal meeting URL. 

Click here for a walkthrough video on how to create and publish a virtual venue with the venue editor.

Once your virtual venue is created, you can connect it to an event in Event Smart using the event editor. Go to Event Smart → Events. Then look for one of your online events and click on the name. Scroll down to the Venue Details area. Click the dropdown menu and choose your virtual venue. Then save changes by clicking on the Update button in the top right of the event editor. 

If you are new to Event Smart and are creating your events for the first time, then check out the video tutorials library on how to set up various types of events using the event editor. 

Next, we’ll talk about the message templates that Event Smart uses for event registrations.

Part C) Update the message templates to deliver access to your online event

The messaging system for Event Smart handles notifications that are sent to the event organizer and attendees when an event registration or ticket sale happens. 

You can add the Customizable Tickets and Confirmation Emails upgrade to the basic plan, so you can customize the registration emails. Customizing the emails is also included in the Personal and Business plans. Upgrade from your My Account page

Are you using the Customizable Tickets and Confirmation Emails upgrade to email tickets that can be scanned with a phone for event check-in? If so, then continue below. If you are not using it, then jump to the section on updating the registration approved message type.

Turn off the Ticket notice message template (if it is in use)

If you are focusing on virtual events, then we recommend turning off the Ticket Notice message template and using the Registration Approved message template instead (we’ll cover this in the next section). 

Go to Event SmartMessages. Click on Default Message Templates at the top of your screen. Now look for the Ticket Notice in the list. If you don’t see it, then look in the top right of your screen and click on Screen Options. Update the value for Global Message Templates to 20 and save changes by clicking on the Apply button. 

Now click on the Edit Registrant link by Ticket Notice. Click the green toggle at the top of the screen to turn it off. 

Next, we’ll talk about how to update Event Smart to include your virtual URL details in the registration confirmation email.

Add the Virtual URL shortcode to the registration approved message type

The Registration Approved message template is used after a successful event registration or a ticket purchase. If an event is free, then it is triggered after an attendee submits their registration details in checkout. If an event is paid, then it is sent out after an attendee completes their registration, including paying online. 

Reminder: Customizing the registration emails is a premium feature. Add the Customizable Tickets and Confirmation Emails upgrade to the basic plan. Or upgrade to the Personal and Business plans from your My Account page to get this upgrade and much more! 

Which option below best meets your event registration needs?

- My organization hosts in-person events and virtual events.

- My organization focuses exclusively on virtual or online events.

Create a custom registration approved message type

Setting up a custom registration approved message template can be done once. Then you enable it for virtual events through the Notifications area of the event editor. Other events will use the default registration approved message type which includes the physical event location. This gives you the versatility to host virtual events and in-person events.

Go to  Event Smart → Messages. Click on Default Message Templates at the top of your screen. Now look for Registration Approved in the list.

Look to the right of your screen and click on the  Create Custom button (for Registration Approved). Click on the dropdown menu under Edit Message Templates in the top left of your screen and choose Registrant. Next, click on the Switch Recipient button. Now update the name of the template to something like "Virtual events."

Scroll down and look for the  [EVENT_LIST] area. This area holds the Venue details.

Highlight  ([VENUE_CITY][VENUE_STATE]) which appears to the right of the [VENUE_TITLE] shortcode. Then delete it.

Highlight the following content in the lower right under  Venue »:

[VENUE_IMAGE]
[VENUE_TITLE]
[VENUE_ADDRESS]
[VENUE_CITY]
[VENUE_STATE], [VENUE_ZIP]
Map and Directions

Then delete it.

Now change the link for [VENUE_TITLE], so it points to [VIRTUAL_URL]. Then add a link for the [VIRTUAL_URL] and save changes by clicking on the  Save button. (Check out the video below for a walkthrough on how to do this.)

You can also add the Virtual Phone shortcode if you want to provide a phone number.

Click here to see a video tutorial on how to create a custom registration approved message type for virtual events.

Once your custom registration approve message template is created, then you can connect it to your event through the event editor. Go to  Event Smart --> Events and click on the name of your upcoming virtual or online event.

Scroll to the end of the page and look for the  Notifications area. Click on the Events tab. Next, click on the dropdown menu next to Registration Approved and choose your custom template (e.g., Virtual events). Then save changes to your event by clicking on the Update button in the top right area of the event editor.

Here is an overview of how the changes in this guide work together for virtual or online events:

- The virtual venue holds the link to the online event (e.g., your Personal meeting link)
- The custom registration approved message template shows details for the virtual venue

Event Smart sends an attendee the custom registration approved email after a successful registration. See other tips for virtual events here.

Update the default registration approved message type

Go to Event SmartMessages. Click on Default Message Templates at the top of your screen. Now look for Registration Approved in the list. 

Now click on the Edit Registrant link by Registration Approved. Scroll down and look for the [EVENT_LIST] area. This area holds the Venue details. 

Highlight ([VENUE_CITY], [VENUE_STATE]) which appears to the right of the [VENUE_TITLE] shortcode. Then delete it. 

Highlight the following content in the lower right under Venue »: 

- [VENUE_IMAGE]
- [VENUE_TITLE]
- [VENUE_ADDRESS]
- [VENUE_CITY]
- [VENUE_STATE], [VENUE_ZIP]
- Map and Directions 

Then delete it. 

Now change the link for [VENUE_TITLE], so it points to [VIRTUAL_URL]. Then add a link for the [VIRTUAL_URL] and save changes by clicking on the Save button. (Check out the video below for a walkthrough on how to do this.) 

You can also add the Virtual Phone shortcode if you want to provide a phone number. 

Click here for a walkthrough video on how to add the Virtual URL shortcode to the registration approved message type.

Here is what the registration flow will look for an attendee after the changes above: 

- Start a registration on the event page
- Complete the registration form and pay online with a credit card
- Receive a registration confirmation email which includes access to the online event

Other tips for virtual events with Event Smart

Would you like to send an email to attendees that registered for a specific event? You can do that using the batch email system

Our demo website for Event Smart has examples of event pages for virtual events.

Still need help? Contact Us Contact Us