Planning a Virtual Corporate Event
Planning a Virtual Corporate Event?
If you’re planning a virtual corporate event, or indeed a Hybrid event, we’ve got some top tips on choosing the venue, the best software, rehearsals, and engaging a live and virtual audience.
Already know what you want? Check out our virtual event services here:
Why are Virtual Events Here to Stay?
Over the last year organisations and businesses across the world have had to dramatically adapt the way they deliver corporate events. From large scale productions to small scale meetings, professional online communications have never been so important. As a result, online video engagement has become the norm for many businesses, event producers and entertainers.
While in-person events will of course still be essential to many industries, there’s no denying that for many organisations, incorporating a virtual component into their corporate event planning could potentially improve audience accessibility and maximise engagement.
Why Should you Listen to Us?
At The Production People (TPP) we over 20 years’ experience in producing professional events including hybrid and virtual events long before the pandemic, but during the last year these types of events have become even more critical for businesses as a way of communicating and engaging their audiences.
What to Consider When Planning a Virtual Corporate Event?
We’ve put together our top tips to help you through the process, from considering the venue and the technology, to structuring the content of your event to engage both those attending virtually and in person.
Choosing a Venue for your Virtual Event
Planning a virtual or hybrid event means greater flexibility in terms of your geographical location and the capacity of the venue, but you will want to think about how your online audience will experience the event on a screen rather as well as your in person audience. Therefore, the AV installation is really important!
If you are live-streaming a meeting or training workshop from an office or someone’s home for example, you might need a suitable backdrop and to think about how the lighting and sound can be best optimised.
For an awards event or conference, a professional set and stage will be essential. Our virtual studio packages will provide you with professional lighting, furniture, digital lectern, screens and a professional camera set-up at your chosen venue.
The great thing about a virtual studio is that they can be created in all types of venues, from large conference centres and ballrooms to smaller meeting and function rooms. So installing a purpose-built set means it can be installed at any location or venue of your choice.
Plan Your Timing
While the timing of your event is of course important, remember that a key benefit of a virtual event is that you can record it and share the event to your media channels after it’s happened.
Having said that, to optimise attendee engagement both virtually and in-person, consider what might affect people attending, such as opposing events, the time of day, whether your attendees are from different time zones and of course if you are planning a virtual event. Think about the realistic time-span you would expect people to want to spend at your event.
Too long and you may lose their attention. Therefore, it might be a good idea to plan your corporate virtual event over several days. This will allow the presenters to optimise the audience engagement if the event is solely virtual. For hybrid corporate events the traditional event format is the most practical option.
Choosing the Right Software for Your Virtual Corporate Event
Choosing the right live streaming platform and software can feel a bit daunting at first if you haven’t had experience using them before. There’s lots of options to choose from but it will depend on the format of your event and the different functionalities you’ll want to offer your attendees.
Your professional virtual event production company will provide the best advice on camera set-ups and software. However, to give you a head start, we’ve developed a checklist of the things to consider…
- Do you want your event to be public and open to all, or do you need a secure broadcast which can only be accessed via a private log in facility?
- How will you stream your content? For example, will you use a private platform such as Microsoft Teams or will you want to stream directly onto your media channels such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook or Twitch. Alternatively, you may want to offer access via a secure website.
- Will you need to have multiple cameras filming the event? For a meeting or training session you may only need one or two fixed camera positions. However, a larger and more complex conference will require multiple camera angles and crew. Knowing how many you will need will help determine what level of streaming software you’ll need as part of the production package.
- How do you want your attendees to interact with the event? Via real time verbal interaction, or via social media comments. You will need to decide how will these be shared/moderated? Again, the virtual even production company will provide advise.
- Will you want to offer delegates the option to send multiple questions and follow-up questions? This can be especially important for pharmaceutical, medical and financial industries where information needs to be clarified or questioned by attendees.
- Will you need to offer breakout rooms? These can provide ideal virtual forums for further discussions and workshops with individual panels and presenters.
- Some software options offer a split screen view of the presentation, the room and the presenter etc. which can really help bring the full effect of the event to the audience, so consider if this is something you would find beneficial.
Keep Your Virtual Audience Engaged
Depending on the format of your event, you’ll need to decide how your virtual event will invite interaction from your attendees, otherwise you risk your audience becoming bored and leaving the live stream early.
Keep them with you by incorporating quick polls, quizzes or live panel discussions. Make sure there are plenty of visuals or films to break up the different sections and think about how you can regularly encourage audience responses through the use of chat boxes, live feeds and breakout rooms.
If using capable software, you can project live comments and reactions onto the event screen or backdrop. For hybrid events this can be a particularly good way to bring everyone’s views into the same room for both in-person and virtual audiences. The technical production crew can moderate the comments and respond/react or pass on to the presenting panel. Not only will this help encourage interaction but will help maintain the tone of your event!
How Will Your Event Flow?
Having a clear agenda for your virtual corporate event will help you plan, rehearse and ensure there is enough time to cover every element.
The agenda should be communicated to the virtual/in-person audience members before the event to harness their engagement through to the end. An agenda is also important to the production crew. They need to know when there will be breaks and changes in presenters, allowing them to make changes to the lighting cues and set.
Breaks Are Still Important
Remember, even though your event is virtual, your online audience still will need breaks. A clear agenda and structured format will help your attendees know when breaks are coming and will help keep them engaged during the parts of your event that you most want their attention for!
Factoring in briefing and rehearsal time when planning a virtual corporate event is crucial to its success.
You need to allow time for the presenter to get to grips with the technology, particularly if your team haven’t run a virtual event before.
As part of the rehearsal, presenters will learn where to look when talking to the camera, practice with an autocue and prompt cues, as well as understand how to interact with the virtual audience.
Even the most well-planned virtual corporate events need time for testing and fault finding.
When working with clients our experienced crew put a lot of emphasis on making everyone feel at ease throughout rehearsals and filming, to ensure the live streamed or pre-recorded event is a complete success.
Final Thoughts on Planning a Virtual Corporate Event
After your event has taken place, don’t forget to ask for feedback from your attendees so you can get a feel for what worked well and what didn’t.
Make sure you maximise all that great content you will have created by sharing on social media and on your website. For example, you may be able to turn your polls into infographics for your social channels, or provide Q&A summaries from your event as a downloadable asset on your website.
When planning a Virtual corporate event, there are lots of opportunities to elevate the audience engagement and encourage conversations throughout the event and beyond.
However, that’s not where our support ends. Indeed we can help you run the show so-to-speak. For virtual events, we use the latest live streaming software and customised sets for a truly immersive online brand with high quality production.
We can design and build bespoke sets for virtual events at a location or venue of your choice. Our virtual and hybrid event packages are designed for corporate events and conferences. They come complete with professional lighting design, rigging, power, AV equipment, furniture, digital lectern, screens, a professional camera set-up, and top-of-the-range streaming software to meat your needs.
We offer professional hybrid event production in London, Hampshire, Dorset and throughout the UK.
Get in touch with our friendly team to discuss your event!
Discover More About Planning a Virtual Corporate Event with The Production People
Discover how we can support you when planning a virtual corporate event with our range of online event production solutions.