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What Is a Virtual Event?

Planning a Virtual Event

This article describes virtual events and how they may work for you as a temporary solution or a permanent long-term business strategy.

Amid this crisis, our team has remained optimistic and is working on converting our studio into a virtual live-event space. That includes multiple screens, input sources, video switchers, audio boards, cameras, a stand-alone internet server and many, many incredible team members that have been working around the clock to make this happen. 

Our objective is to provide an alternative fundraising solution for our nonprofit clients that rely heavily on fundraising dollars from their events.

A nonprofit client of ours asked this morning if we would consider hosting her cousin’s wedding in our studio, and my immediate thought was, “you may want to wait a bit. After a living room quarantine, they may decide they dislike each other and not to marry after all!!” (Jokingly of course). 

In all seriousness, these conversations opened our eyes to new possibilities of connecting people from living rooms all around the world. 

For those of you that do not currently have a rescheduling option for your events and are looking for a solution, a virtual event might be an option for you. Albeit temporary, this is undoubtedly a proactive and innovative way to bring people together; to create community during a time of disconnection and isolation. 

The virtual event wave may go from being a temporary solution to a long-term strategy. Many businesses are incorporating virtual events into their long-term plans as it allows you to connect people without geographical limitations. While virtual events never replace the energy, connection and community of in-person events, after the Coronavirus isolation subsides, many nonprofit organizations should consider utilizing virtual events as supplemental fundraisers to their annual Galas!  

 1. What is a virtual event?

Using a streaming service, invite your attendees to a virtual party! Encourage your attendees to dress up, sip on their favorite cocktail and indulge in a home-made or uber-eats steak. From the comfort of their homes, your guests have the opportunity to connect with other attendees and support your cause. 

2. How does it work? 

Utopia will help you plan and produce your virtual event from start to finish. With the help of our production team, video team, auctioneer and mobile bidding partner, we will handle the streaming, presentation and timeline of the event. Your program will be no different than it would if we were in-person, including your live items, greetings from Executive Directors, Board Members or Recipients, Appeal and Fund the Future Video, and Live Auction. In the interest of social distancing, we can incorporate speeches from various members of your organization utilizing pre-recorded segments. We are working with a few organizations to include pre-recorded Bands and DJs, so we’re able to bring an element of musical entertainment into the experience. For timing, most of our virtual fundraisers will last anywhere from one to two hours. 

3. Should we charge for tickets? 

Create an exclusive feel by putting a price of entry into the live event. After paying and registering, guests will receive a code to gain access to the call. Remember that you are creating a community during a time of Coronavirus isolation. Guests want to be a part of this exciting and innovative opportunity! Let attendees know that previously purchased tickets for an in-person event will be received as donations if ticket sales are already live. 

4. What about auction items and donations? 

Our auctioneer partner will sell live-auction items the same way they would during an in-person event. With the help of a presentation and live stream, guests will still experience the high energy of a live auction from the comfort of their living room. The use of a mobile bidding app allows attendees to make live bids as well as general donations. 

5. What about recording our virtual event for future playback? 

Our production team will be in the studio with your auctioneer and emcee, along with professional cinema cameras, to ensure your virtual attendees won’t miss a beat. After the event ends, our team will send you a recording of your entire program. This is a one-of-a-kind event to help you execute your fundraisers or private affairs, set a trend, and send a message to your community of supporters, donors, advocates, family and friends that we are ALL stronger than ever. Use this as future marketing material!

6. What about my in-person event? 

One the quarantine has been lifted, people will flood your events, anxious for an opportunity to leave their homes for some social interaction. Virtual events should NOT replace the in-event experience, just supplement! 

Our team has everything ready in our studio to execute your virtual event right now. 

Ready to plan your virtual event?

 

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