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Tips for Successful Virtual Events

Tips for Successful Virtual Event Production

by Jan Levie

Keys and tips for producing successful virtual events are similar to those needed to produce successful live events. However, even the simplest virtual events require different skills than those used to produce traditional events.

That being said, producing any kind of event is not for the faint of heart. 

At least one team member should have a fairly robust knowledge of technology, sound, lighting, and event production. Each team member should, at the very least, have a rudimentary working knowledge of the key elements needed for the virtual event.

Make sure you have access to electricity and a stable internet connection.

  • Simplify every element of your event.
  • Streamline your processes in as many ways as possible.

The key for us was to focus on a detailed understanding of what we needed to be able to do, when we needed to do it, and how to execute it. 

Live event and virtual event production share fundamental requirements for success:

We produced several small events during a power outage. Because we had done several large and medium-sized events beforehand, we knew the drill. 

After experiencing an internet outage that lasted more than five hours, we knew to create backup plans and to test them extensively. 

Luckily, the outage started hours before the event and we were able to reroute everything before going live. But when the power came back on and we switched back to our regular ISP, the password that had been previously issued to participants did not function and we had to quickly get new ones to them.

Since we hadn’t practiced a power outage and the effects it would have on our system, we had to improvise.

There are fun improvisations and there are those improvisations that are somewhat less fun. This was one of them. Despite the difficulties we encountered, we made the most out of these situations. Key participants and team members were able to access information quickly and immediately share it with participants.

Be sure to deliver the stated mission of your event. What is the event’s goal? Is everyone clear about it?

Even if your delivery is flawless, the most important goal should be to support the event’s overall mission. Keep that goal top of mind and work to deliver it. What is the use of a ‘perfect’ event if it falls short of meeting its mission?

An example of this: a children’s charity fundraiser. Help your client by letting them know what will communicate their mission most effectively. 

Not everyone knows which elements work best for virtual events. Our job as event producers is to share information with our clients about which elements and tools will best serve them in achieving their particular goals. 

A labor saving piece of advice from one of our not-for-profit clients: use an automated bidding platform. They contend that they are worth the investment. They were able to share their auction items in advance, track bidding, accept payment, and capture transactions, inventory, and delivery without investing more staff or volunteer time.

As a parting piece of advice: when deciding on project assignments, treat your volunteers’ time as sacred. Let them take on tasks they find fulfilling that support your organization’s mission.

Most importantly: enjoy your event!

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced with producing virtual events? What solutions did you find? Tell us!

 

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Young people at a conference.

Three Easy Ways to Maximize Event Accessibility

Three Easy Ways to Maximize Event Accessibility

Below are three easy ways to maximize event accessibility by accommodating everybody, including those with invisible disabilities.

  • Planning
  • Event design
  • Technology

Event planners work magic behind the scenes. They pull everything together to create an exciting, welcoming environment.

Diversity and inclusion work best when they are a part of the planning process. ​

〰PLANNING TO MAXIMIZE EVENT ACCESSIBILITY〰

Guest accommodations should be friendly to people with disabilities, including those with ‘hidden’ disabilities.

Most U.S. hotels, motels, inns, etc. include accommodations that are ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant. In fact, all accommodations designed or constructed after January 26, 1993 are required to be ADA compliant.

Make it easy for your guests or attendees from the start! Provide them with an accessibility statement and point of contact in your event announcements and invitations. Be sure to include clear instructions on how to request accommodations. Make sure attendees know that requests for special accommodations have the same deadlines as RSVPs and avoid confusion! (Scroll to the end for two examples!)

Include details about lodging and transportation accessibility with out-of-town guests.

〰EVENT DESIGN TO MAXIMIZE EVENT ACCESSIBILITY〰

The best event designs unify and refine your event. Be sure that acoustics, lighting, and climate are all a part of making your event comfortable and inviting.

Prioritize details that impact guests’ ability to see, hear, and fully participate in your event. Thoughtful seating arrangements, unobtrusive decor, and widely available information help.

Personalized event entertainment goes a step further to ensure that ALL of your guests are able to participate in your event.

Strolling entertainers make accessibility a breeze for those with mobility impairments–the entertainment comes to you!

〰TECHNOLOGY TO MAXIMIZE EVENT ACCESSIBILITY〰

If you use visual or auxiliary elements (for example a slideshow or speaker), share additional services, assistive technology, or accommodations that you can provide.

Some examples:

●  American Sign Language interpreters

●  CART services (Real time closed-captioning is more accurate than computer generated captions)

●  Visual and auxiliary aids

●  Assistive communication devices

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Kid's Halloween Party

Can We Have a clean Halloween?

Can we have a clean Halloween? Where will you spend the holiday this year? Staying home, going out? Invitations are pouring in, people are confused. Is it safe to go trick or treating? Can I go to my friend’s party?

All of it comes down to personal choices. Staying safe is on everybody’s mind. When it comes down to it, we are all starting to go shack-wacky from not being able to do what we love to do when we want to do it.

What kind of compromises are you making? Distancing? Masks? Sanitizing? Outdoors? Virtual?

The biggest challenge is how to get people not to hug each other and to keep a safe distance. We’re yearning for touch, for contact, and it’s a little like somebody eating ice-cream in front of you when you’re trying to cut out sweets.

Whatever you choose to do this Halloween, stay safe!

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Holiday Santa!

Holiday Santa is how to put the holidays back into the holidays.

Surprise your colleagues,  delight your clients, tickle your employees, and embarrass your adult kids (while secretly thrilling them!).

Explore a fun and cost effective way to show your people that you care about them. The only thing people will remember about your gift is how they felt in the moment when they got it!

There’s a real Santa shortage this year, and we have put the best and the brightest together to find ways to salvage joy for 2020!

*Ask us about Santa-Bombing your next Annual Shareholders’ Conference!

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