One Cause Webinar – All Things Virtual Events

One Cause VIRTUAL EVENT webinar questions AND ANSWERS


Recently, Utopia Entertainment’s Joey Goone was a guest on a OneCause Webinar below, helping facilitate a conversation around Virtual and Hybrid event experiences. We were joined by 2,000 of our closest friends from all over the United States.

Joey Goone serves as President of Utopia Entertainment. He’s been in that post for the last six years, after helping Utopia transition from an entertainment company, expanding their operations into full-scale production and video creation. Joey not only helps Utopia produce Virtual and Hybrid events, but he’s been called upon to consult non-profits across the country as they look for creative ways to tap into new fundraising outlets. At the helm of his creative team, they’ve helped nonprofits not only sustain their efforts but exceed their goals in an ever-changing, challenging environment.

After the webinar, attendees had follow up questions for our team. Please see those questions and answers below! 


1. We’re doing a half-hour pre-recorded video. What are some of the key pieces to include? In what order should they be? 

I would recommend showcasing the work your organization has been doing to create value specifically in your community. Of course, to support your recipients and really spotlight great news as it pertains to your mission. Further, you have an opportunity in this virtual platform to showcase your donors and your sponsors via 15-30 second commercials like the one shown in the video above. 

2. Is there a time of day/night that works best for a virtual event? 

What we’ve found is that Tuesday-Friday 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Virtual and Hybrid Events have had a 98% retention ratio. That means that 98% of the quests are staying tuned in for that entire 60-90 minutes of virtual programming. We recommend Fridays if you’re planning on adding in watch parties, especially if you’re adding in food or cocktail gift baskets because it makes it much more of an occasion which would lend its self well to a Friday evening as opposed to a weekday. 

3. If we wait 20 minutes into the event to do the ask, but our Executive Director welcome is only 60 seconds, what else taking up that 20 minutes? 

We recommend that you start your program with your introduction from your Executive Director or the face of your organization, followed by 5-10 min of various, thoughtful intentional videos that really showcase your mission, your recipients and just as importantly your donors. The following video is a perfect description of how to enroll and incorporate additional donors who may otherwise be on the fence. 


4. What is the best way to find an audio/ visual company? This seems daunting for our organization. 

I think of it no different than I think of any interaction that I have when I have any type of product or service. I personally like to work with people that treat me like a partner, not a transaction. So I would encourage you to find an organization that makes you feel like you’re part of a family. Find an organization that makes you feel like a partner, someone that genuinely invests in you and your mission but more importantly takes a vested interest in your organization and becomes a consultant, a source of wisdom someone who guides you and provides you knowledge to guide you through this novel process of what it means to do fundraising in 2021 and beyond through these hybrid or virtual events and what makes those events successful.


One thing we do at Utopia is host quarterly summits or masterminds, where we’re bringing all of our nonprofit partners from all over the country together via an online platform and we provide them an outlet to engage, to talk about new trends, new opportunities and we share success stories and wins from prior months that have led them to their great sense of purpose, growth to create a new sense of meaning purpose and fulfillment within our organizations. For us, this is a way to create immense value for all of our nonprofit clients that is outside of our day to day operations as a production company.


Companies are no more are successful by the products and services that they offer but by their ability to continuously connect people with value. So find an organization that does that for you and for your nonprofit.


5. Can our entire event be pre-recorded? 

100% absolutely. However, if you’re planning to pre-record your event, you’ll want to have five to seven pre-committed donors at a minimum that your emcee or auctioneer can thank during the pre-recorded portion of your auction and your ask so that your program feels live as if those donations are coming in, in real-time. 

6. Do multi-day events work? Should multi-day events close with another live portion? 

Yes and yes. We just recently produced an event for Washington State University where they had a multi-day event with an online crowdsourced giving campaign which then culminated at the beginning of the following week and in a live look-in at their university athletics department showcasing all the incredible student-athletes and then a paddle raise and a live and silent auction that happened here in our studio which produced half a million dollars in revenue for their school which was just an amazing feat. Take a look at a highlight video of what their program looked like. 

7. When should we ask for the money during our virtual program? We’ve heard it should be somewhere in the one minute to 20-minute window. Is this accurate? 

Yes, it is. We’ve found that asking for the money within the first 10 minutes is the appropriate amount of time. Ask quickly and ask often. We also suggest putting subliminal messages throughout your program to unconsciously give the suggestion of asking for the money even when you’re not directly asking, like this ticker scrolling across the screen now or perhaps a logo or overlay image that looks something like this. 

8. What do you think is an appropriate value for a digital fundraising event ticket? 

Quite frankly I don’t think there’s a perfect answer here. We’ve had organizations range from free to $1,000 per ticket, and the $1,000 per ticket was a three-course meal with beverages for your watch party for up to 10, and that was delivered by a catered chef service so there is no perfect answer. I think it’s really relative to what you’re offering your donors and your attendees in terms of an overall experience. 

9. How did Utopia and Inspired Hearts put overlays and lower-thirds on their webinar screens? Are they using a live stream service independent of the webinar? 

We make all of our lower-thirds from scratch in a program called ‘after effects’, and then we use a program called OBS which you can download online and it will allow you to import your computer as a video switcher into your live streaming platform so you’re able to program in customized overlays and graphics in real-time.

10. Everyone says to make your virtual event interactive, but how can it be interactive if most of the material is pre-recorded? 

I think this is a great point. Not everything has to be interactive during your virtual event; however, we encourage organizations to format their program as if they’re creating a story like you’re literally writing a book. There’s a cover page, which is your registration page and your ticket sales landing page with all of your branding and your graphics. Then there’s the introduction, which is your pre-show. Then you meet your main characters. You understand the plot or the why. And at the end, you’re left feeling emotionally whole and complete with the closing. This is really the same structure that your virtual or hybrid even program should flow. And if you’re like more advice and guidance on that, we’d be happy to meet with you to walk you through step by step on how your program should flow. 

11. How do you find a good production company to help build pre-recorded video? 

With humility, I saw the simple answer is to hire us. We’ve produced hundreds of virtual and hybrid events all over the country, we know what works and we know what engages audiences. 

If you have any other questions or would like more information please schedule a call with our team via the button below!

To learn more about virtual and hybrid events, you can read our blogs below. 

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