Your Complete Guide to Virtual Event Planning (+ Templates)

January 23, 2024
Lindsay McGuire
Lindsay McGuire
Associate Director of Content and Campaigns at Goldcast

Maximize Your Marketing ROI

Join 10,000 other marketers already getting the best tips on running engaging events that boost pipeline and create raving fans.

Planning a virtual event isn’t for the faint heart. Or, even the type B’s of this world.

While absolutely no one misses the days of clunky, Zoom-based events, the truth is, it’s getting harder and harder to keep the plates spinning. With more digital event formats than ever before, you need a faster, easier, more repeatable way to track your event tasks.

Goldcast’s easy-to-follow virtual event planner template is here to help you keep it all together.

Establish a standard for your events. Grab copies of these templates now to get started.

Virtual event planner: what it is and why you need it

A virtual event planning template is a schedule of repeatable steps event marketers and organizers can follow before, during, and after the event to ensure event success.

In some ways, you can think of a virtual event planner as being similar to a classic day planner.

While you may already have a run of show template, virtual conference agenda template, event budget template and virtual event planning checklist, a virtual event planner brings it all together, with simple instructions on what to do each day or week to ensure all bases are covered.

A successful virtual event takes time, effort, and resource. And as anyone who’s ever “failed to plan” can tell you: there are several advantages of using a virtual event planning template to get organized.

The right virtual event planner will help you:

  • Clarify what steps to take pre-event, during, and post-event
  • Stay within your event budget
  • Deliver on ROI targets

Virtual event planning tends to be compared favorably to its admittedly more complex cousin, in-person events. However, virtual events can be large-scale and complex, creating plenty of opportunities for chaos if not well managed.

And let’s not forget the many new and emerging opportunities to drive ROI from your digital events by repurposing your content to reach a wider audience.

With the consumerization of B2B marketing and the rise of binge-able content, your event production and presentation has to be completely on-point so that it can be scaled across multiple formats and channels.

The essential elements of a virtual event planner

The core features of a virtual event planner include:

  • Pre-event planning
  • Event execution
  • Post-event planning

Sounds simple enough. But within each phase lies a seemingly endless list of subtasks.

You need a plan to help you stay organized, track tasks, and carefully balance team members’ workloads. And you shouldn’t have to create it from scratch.

The following templates will help you manage the full spectrum of your virtual event planning activities: pre-, during, and post-event.

Pre-event template

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Planning a virtual event means juggling several different tasks, many of which will occur in tandem or overlap. When creating your template, boil it down to just the core essentials of each phase. This way, you can focus on the right task at the right time.

Here’s a rundown of the core pre-event milestones and tasks to include:

  • Setting event goals
  • Defining target audience
  • Choosing theme
  • Creating budget
  • Building content collateral
  • Creating marketing plan
  • Securing sponsorships and collaborations
  • Choosing the right event platform

Let’s take a closer look at each one to help you determine which to include in your template.

Setting event goals

Every great virtual event starts with a clear goal and objective. Depending on where in the funnel your event sits, and what your CMO wants to see, your event goals could include any number of supporting metrics: number of registrants and attendees, total amount of sourced or influenced pipeline, revenue, and more.

Defining target audience

Depending on your event strategy, your target audience could be defined by job function, role, department, geographic area, or a variety of other factors. For complete clarity, develop a dedicated ideal customer profile (ICP) specifically for your event.

Choosing a theme

Now for the fun part. When brainstorming themes for your event, keep your ideas rooted in the topics and concepts that will intrigue and excite your ICP. Take time to think through their challenges, motivations, and interests. Then choose an event name, value proposition, and format that supports your overarching theme.

Creating your budget

Marketers are always under pressure to do more with less, and virtual events are one area where you can really move the needle on ROI. Look for ways to leverage partner relationships, tap into free promotion sources, maximize audience engagement features, and repurpose event content to get more bang for your buck.

Building content collateral

Work with speakers and partners to build out your event content in advance. This could include repurposed material from previous events for an engaging video loop to greet attendees when they enter the event, pre-recorded video to auto-play on demand during the event, and plans for any livestreaming or entertainment sessions, such as bands, mixology workshops, or keynotes.

Creating marketing plan

You’ll also need lots of great content to fuel your marketing efforts for this, and all future events. With the right pre-event planning, you can capture a variety of content formats to boost your registrations. Work with your event team and partners to create a clear launch timeline, including multiple content formats on multiple channels in the weeks leading up to your event.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Promotional videos
  • Speaker teasers for social media
  • Session announcements
  • Ask partners to promote your event
  • Event infographics
  • Blog announcements
  • Keynote speaker interviews
  • Podcasts
  • Pre-event polls and surveys
  • Press releases
  • Influencer and micro-influencer marketing program
  • Brand ambassadors program
  • LinkedIn Live promotion
  • Paid advertisements
  • Pre-event competitions
  • Community Slack channel or LinkedIn group

Securing sponsorships and collaborations

The right partnerships can make a good event great. Look for partners that can support your event goal—whether that’s a specific sales or conversion target, or simply increased brand awareness. Make sure your audience and messages are aligned, and schedule regular check-ins to keep them updated on how the content is evolving.

Choosing the right event platform

Last but in no way least, you need a powerful event platform to streamline your planning, elevate execution, and prove the value of your event once it’s all said and done. When researching your options, look for a virtual event platform that is interactive and engaging, with the branding features you need to deliver a standout experience for attendees.

Event execution template

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With a comprehensive pre-event template, this part should run super smoothly.

For an event that gets attendees talking, focus on these core areas in your on-the-day event planner:

  • Speaker experience
  • Moderation
  • Audience experience

Here’s a closer look at each one. Keep in mind, you may need to add additional items for hybrid events to account for both your online and in-person audiences.

Speaker experience

If there’s anyone you want to plan to impress, it’s your virtual event speakers. You should have already sent speakers their prep guides ahead of the event, but it doesn’t hurt to send it again in one final everything-you-need email the morning of your event. If your platform uses magic link technology for easy event access, be sure to include your speaker’s dedicated link.


For an event schedule that always goes to plan, expert moderation is critical. Your event planner template should include a quick review of the event timeline, breakout sessions, and a recap on greeting attendees, and what to do in between sessions in case one finishes early. If possible, enable a countdown timer to appear at the bottom of the page to make it easy to keep to time.

Audience experience

Make sure you’re using the full suite of engagement features provided by your event platform to encourage as much interaction as possible. This could include an incentive like a drawing at kickoff for attendees who engage via polls, chat, and Q&A—with a big announcement of the winner at the close of the event to celebrate the winner.

Post-event template

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Here’s where it all comes full circle. By using your event planner template to map out a plan ahead of time, you’ll know exactly what to do to fully leverage your event for optimal sales, marketing, content, and branding ROI.

Your exact steps will depend on your unique strategy and the goals you set for the event at the outset. However, there are two critical follow-up steps we always recommend.

1. Turn your event material into future content

There’s nothing like freshly captured event content to keep the pipeline moving. Take time after your event to develop a plan for repurposing your event content into multiple formats.

Here are some key formats to try:

  • Video clips
  • Highlight reels
  • Podcast snippets
  • Blog posts
  • Social media posts

To remove hours from your content repurposing process, look for an event platform that uses AI to do the re-watching, time stamping, and clip suggesting for you.

2. Evaluate your data

Create a report to collect your success metrics and get clarity on whether you’ve met your event goals. If you’ve chosen an event platform with robust data analytics and deep martech integrations, this part should actually be a breeze.

In Goldcast, you can easily track event metrics, including:

  • Registrations
  • Attendees
  • Time spent in session
  • Poll responses
  • Questions asked
  • Top sessions by engagement
  • And more

Plan to win with a powerful virtual event platform

Planning for an event that hits its targets every time takes work. But with the right platform, the load can be a whole lot lighter.

“Not only are we able to directly convert leads to qualified pipeline from our event program, we're also able to influence opportunities and help them progress through the funnel,”‍ said Director of Customer Marketing at Clari, Laura Wille.

With the right analytics, a streamlined on-demand event hub, and powerful repurposing capabilities, you’ll find everything you need in Goldcast.

Plan your next event to a ‘t’ with the virtual event platform loved by brands like Drift, Clari, and so many more.

Grab all the event planning templates now. Or see Goldcast in action with a free personalized Goldcast demo.

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