Virtual events have become a hot topic when it comes to event planning over the last two years, and they haven’t shown any signs of slowing down. 

Businesses and organizations of all types and sizes have been relying on virtual events to spread the word about new products and services, raise money for charitable causes, or just help their employees get together more to celebrate an achievement even without returning to the office.

So, by now, if you haven’t run a virtual event for your group or business, you’re probably considering one. Of course, the first question many people ask is…where the heck do I start?

Hosting your own virtual event isn’t nearly as intimidating as it looks – you just need a clear plan and the right event supplies!

How To Host Your First Virtual Event

 

Create a goal for your event

As it is with planning, well, anything, your first virtual event should start by defining a goal. What are you trying to accomplish with your event? Are you hoping to increase awareness of a product or service, or just expand to a broader audience? Is your event business-related or just for fun? Knowing exactly what you want to do ahead of time will make all the difference when it comes time to plan the finer details.

Find the type of virtual event that best meets your needs and goals

While it may feel like there’s a lot of different types of virtual events out there, a lot of them can be boiled down into a few main categories, including:

Once you’ve decided on the perfect type of event for what you want to accomplish, the planning stages will be that much easier!

Find a platform

This can be a little trickier if you’re not the most technologically savvy, but finding the right platform to host your event can make all the difference when it comes to your guests being able to easily access and view your event. Especially if you’re hoping for additional features such as chat or video replay, this could impact the platform you choose to host your event. Check around to make sure you can find a hosting platform that meets your needs and will be easy for your potential guests to use and enjoy – it might be as simple as Youtube, or it could be as complex as a more private, customized solution.

Put a team together

Try as you might, going it alone is going to be more frustrating than anything, and even if you were trying to keep some aspects of your event a secret, you’ll need to have some help to get it all going. Find some teammates who you can delegate tasks to – someone who can schedule the various parts of your event, someone who can handle the technological side, someone who can round up all the event rentals you’ll need, and so on. When it’s all said and done, you’ll be glad to have their help!

Find the right studio

Odds are, most people reading this don’t have access to a broadcasting space that can handle the requirements of a virtual event, no matter what type of event you’re planning to hold. Your living room might work for the occasional Microsoft Teams meeting, but for something like this you might want to go a little bigger!

Take a look around your area and try to find a virtual event studio that can accommodate your needs, both space-wise and equipment-wise, to make sure your message is seen by all your attendees with as little headache (or dropped connections!) as possible. This goes double for your internet connection – running an event like this requires a lot of stable upload bandwidth, and your facilities will need a top-shelf internet connection to prevent any interruptions or sudden drops in quality during your live stream. Make sure your studio can offer a backup internet connection (like the kind we offer here at Bldg22!) that can carry the weight of your stream in the event of an issue, ensuring the show goes on.

After this, all there is to do is…hold the event! Your guests will be happy to see what you’re unveiling, your team will be happy to see each other again, and when it’s all over, you’ll be glad you did it.

(Of course, if you have any lingering questions or needs for your event, you could always contact Display Group to answer any questions or help you plan your event!)

The sudden pivot to virtual events that occurred for many organizations and industries over the past year or two seemed pretty sudden, but has actually opened up a number of opportunities for businesses, organizations, and groups of all sizes.

Virtual events allow your organization to stay in touch with their customers through product reveals, virtual meet-and-greets, and more. However, even as virtual events become more popular and commonplace, a number of businesses and groups still don’t know what sort of virtual events it would be viable for them to hold, or even if virtual events apply to their activities and products in the first place.

Us? Well, we think there’s a virtual event for everyone out there. Not every virtual event needs to be some lengthy product reveal or unboxing video – all you need is a little imagination to find the type of virtual event that can help you better connect with your audience, no matter who it is or where they might be located.

Virtual events can take many different forms and styles, from the grand to the intimate. Here’s five of the most commonly held virtual events, and what they could potentially do for you!

Common Types of Virtual Events

Each of these is considered a ‘virtual event’, and all of them can be easily modified to meet the needs of your event or business.

Webinars

The most common type of virtual event, and one that has existed long before the current virtual event craze, is the webinar. As you can tell by the name (which originated back when everything on the internet had to be some kind of pun or portmanteau), a webinar is when a speaker presents their content or presentation virtually, allowing attendees from around the world to join in. In many cases, these webinars are live and fully virtual, allowing for the presenter to take questions from the audience and respond to things real time, although a number of webinars intended for a more international audience are frequently pre-recorded to allow for broadcasting in different timezones (or even languages, in some cases). 

Webinars are perfect for any group or industry that has information to present, and are frequently used for professional development in certain industries, or for presenting the results of a study done on an area of business. 

Virtual Trade Shows

Particularly in these days of global audiences for businesses, a virtual trade show can be a great way to maximize leads and expose your products to the widest possible audience, all from the comfort of their computer or smart device. 

Virtual trade shows are a perfect opportunity to unveil new products, meet potential customers interested in your goods and services, or connect with similar companies in the same space. Perhaps best of all, holding your trade show virtually saves you the hassle and expense of trying to get space on a crowded convention floor, travel accommodations, and the like.

Livestream Concerts

Few industries were hit harder during the pandemic than the live event business. Concerts, plays, really any kind of performance art was shut down seemingly indefinitely, and even as things slowly begin to open back up as is deemed safe, many performers are still turning to livestreamed concerts and events to help get back out in front of their fans and generate a little extra income while the touring industry slowly returns.

Livestreamed concerts and performances work similarly to a ‘normal’ concert, with one crucial difference – the audience is all online! By performing in a virtual event space, you can broadcast your performance on the platform of your choice to a potentially global audience, and potentially earn a little extra money by selling online ‘tickets’ to the event. 

Hybrid Events

Of course, just because you’re holding a virtual event doesn’t mean the entire thing has to be digital. “Hybrid events” have grown in popularity over the last year, thanks to their ability to combine elements of both virtual and traditional events in one convenient form. 

Hybrid events combine both a live presentation (with a live audience) with online broadcasting. These events often involve multiple locations or studios, allowing for teams to switch effortlessly between different presentation groups without all needing to be present in the same building. The online component still allows for interactivity with a virtual audience across the world, but the blended nature of the event can allow it to feel bigger and more important, especially when your teams are still spread out.

So How Can I Host A Virtual Event? 

Hosting a virtual event is easier than you might expect! All you need is the assistance of an experienced team, and the use of a virtual event studio. Bldg22, our full-featured virtual event space, can serve as the perfect backdrop for your next virtual event of any size, no matter what you need to broadcast – or who you’re broadcasting to. 

Our audiovisual production team can help handle all the technical aspects of your event – all you need to do is come up with the right event idea.

You’ve always depended on live meetings & events to sell your products, raise money for your non-profit or introduce people to your services. Then came Covid-19, and live meetings & events came to a grinding halt. Not to fear, transitioning to virtual events is a way to save you.

What are virtual events?

Virtual events allow you to continue to interact with your clients and customers and keep the momentum going. While they can take many forms, including live-streams, product reveals, pre-recorded Q&A sessions, and many more, the thing all virtual events have in common is that they occur in a remote location and are broadcast digitally, either via direct link or via social media, to all interested viewers.

What sort of events can you have virtually?

Virtual events, and the forms they can take, can be wide-ranging. Virtual event options include fundraising, sales pitches, virtual summits, annual meetings, trade-shows and product launches. Any event or conference that was once held in a large gathering can be easily modified to become a virtual event instead, especially with the services of a well-equipped virtual event facility.

Virtual product showcase with two presenters, wooden furniture, and home goods in virtual event space

How do you plan for a virtual event?

Think of your virtual event as if it was a live event.  Create a run of show, use pre-recorded segments to help reinforce your message, and then find a reliable partner to shoot and broadcast your event. By adding custom sets, graphics and event lighting you can elevate the virtual experience. Building 22’s location within the Display Group & AVL-Creative facility allows for quick access to a wide array of rental event furniture, décor, and any custom needs from our onsite shop. A very important aspect of a virtual event is having a stable broadcast platform. Our studio boasts super-fast internet with two back up networks, so viewers won’t be subject to lagging video or lost connections. We can also create a custom web-page for your event.  These pages can include links for donations, pre-recorded content, auctions, special offers or any other function you may need.

Virtual Events and You

Virtual events have proven to be a valuable tool to communicate your message, and will continue to live on even in a post-Covid world. By leveraging virtual presentation technologies to help keep your audience engaged and your customers informed, you can maintain mindshare and reach the audience you need – even if you can’t meet them in person.

Virtual event control room with monitors, laptops, and engineer at the switching board

If you want some help planning the perfect virtual event for your business or organization, contact Display Group today and let us help you plan the perfect virtual event.