HITMC Chat Summary – What it Takes to Run Successful Virtual Events

This year unprecedented circumstances related to COVID-19 have changed the way marketers as a whole look at their event strategy. It has caused us to pause, pivot, and make drastic changes in a very short time. Given the fact that we have all experienced this shift in our event plans, we decided to discuss “Going Virtual What it Takes to Run Successful Virtual Events” during last week’s HITMC Tweet Chat.

Below is a round-up of some of the best pointers from the HITMC Community.

We dove into the following question first:

T1 As an attendee, what is most important for a virtual event or webinar? Topic? Speakers? Timing? Technology?

Almost unanimously, the idea of having a captivating topic came out as the most important.  This was closely followed by the timing and flow of the event. Although speakers and technology are important, investing your time into great topics and how the event is structured seems to drives the community most as an attendee.

To add on to T1, the next questions we asked the community was about technology.

T2 Does the technology for the webinar/virtual event matter? What features do you want to see?

Basically…technology matters. While it may not be as important as choosing amazing topics, it still is pretty important. Below are just some of the things to ask yourself when choosing a platform for your virtual events:

  • Does is allow for smooth access?
  • Is the audio clear?
  • Is the registration process straight forward?
  • Does it include interactive features including breakrooms, whiteboards, and chat rooms?

Up next we dug into the heart of a virtual event or webinar….the content.

T3 What steps do you take to build out engaging content for your virtual event or webinar?

The HITMC community had some great feedback on where to start:

  • Know your audience
  • Think about what you want them to learn
  • Make it sparkle and engaging
  • Speak authentically
  • Don’t drag it on


Next on the docket. How do you get people to show up?

T4 Share best practices for recruiting attendees to your webinars or virtual events. What has worked well?

Scroll to see some of the things that have worked well for the community.

Next we talked about the ways that you can encourage your attendees to participate.

T5 How do you encourage attendee engagement, participation and even networking during your virtual events?

There were so many great ideas from the community on this question.  Grab a pen and jot these down for your next virtual event:

  • Online twitter chats
  • One-on-one networking
  • Match-making networking
  • Pre-scheduled mail drops
  • Free swag and giveaways
  • Buy them lunch

Last but not least we asked the question that we hoped was a unanimous no!

Bonus: Do you think virtual events will ever replace in-person events?

To our delight, most of the community believe that in-person events will make a come back. However, many feel that a hybrid solution that includes both an in-person and virtual capability will be key for up coming event strategies.


Check out the full transcript of last week's chat here.




The Healthcare and IT Marketing Community (HITMC) is an extension of the HITMC conference that is the first of its kind event that brings together marketing and PR professionals from throughout the health care community. We strive to provide amazing marketing and PR related content that helps HealthIT companies and healthcare organizations  stand out amidst all the noise of the industry. If you’re looking to market to hospital executives, doctors, practice managers, patients, or other healthcare professionals, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to the HITMC community!