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5 Ps of Running an Online Event

Retired Community Manager

Ever since the last #OnAirWithLithium, I’ve been getting questions from other community managers on how to run a Hangout or online event. I thought it would be useful to share some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way!


So here are my top tips—the 5 Ps to consider when running an online event.

  1. Process. This is the most important one of all! Nail down your timeline, starting from when your event will be, to who is in charge of what. Think about everything leading up to the event, the event itself, and everything post-event. Some things to consider
    • Pre-event: Nail down your topic, participants, and questions early on. It’s also handy to define if and how others can ask questions or participate during the event.
    • During the event: If you’re running the event, have someone available who can help you in case anything goes wrong. That way, you can focus on running the event, rather than putting out fires.
    • Post-event: What defines success? Whether it’s views, comments, people who participated, define what a successful event looks like. Don’t forget to thank your participants as well!
  2. People. Involve people along the way, both on screen and behind the scenes. Who are the experts you want to feature for your event? Who will you need to plan and execute this event? Identify and reach out to these individuals early on. As an example, for #OnAirWithLithium, one person I work closely with is the lovely @JaniceK, who live tweets the Hangout while also fielding inbound questions.
  3. Promote. Nobody will know about your event if you don’t promote it! This can be anything from your social channels, to communicating to your community users to emailing your superusers. Think about all the channels your community or company has with your community users, and make the most of those channels.
  4. Practice. I can’t emphasize this one enough. Practice, practice, practice! Practice with whatever tool you use, and hold a run-through (or two) with everyone involved prior to the actual event. That way, you’ll be able to iron out any kinks in the process, and minimize any surprises on the day of the event.
  5. Personalize. Make the event your own. Add your own personality to the event, and don’t be afraid to be yourself. Have fun with it, and don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself and share stories.


Have you run or participated in an online event before? What are your tips and tricks? Share them in the comments below!