Virtual Event Tips from Heather Day at Red Cake Events

May 21, 2020

Are you planning a virtual event? Not sure where to start? We called up the fabulous Heather Day, owner of Red Cake Events, to get her expertise and insights on how to plan a great virtual event.

Great events are about creating value through connection, engagement, and education.  But, how do you make the same impact with a virtual event? Check out the tips below!

1. If you’re going virtual, go live. 

Day recommends going live because of the energy. There is a sense of togetherness that comes from watching a live event at the same time. Saving your event for later, on-demand watching is beneficial, but the energy of a live event is generally higher.

“Anything can happen, right?” Day said.

It’s exciting. Especially for a fundraising event, you want to create that same hype that occurs in a live auction. Book an auctioneer to get things going! Have a banner going across the bottom of the screens that identify who just gave. Shoutouts are also a great way to make people feel seen when they’re not in the same physical space. 

2. Create opportunities for engagement 

Day says this means stimulating as many senses as possible to mimic the feel of a real event. Ask event attendees to eat a certain thing or drink a certain thing. Wear what you would’ve worn to that festival. Similar activities help create an event mindset and generate a sense of togetherness and gathering. 

And, don’t forget to create a designated space for your attendees to interact on social media while they watch the event. Maybe it’s an event page or maybe it’s a hashtag. But, make sure your audience knows where you want them to virtually mingle. 

3. Go big on content 

There’s so much available to watch, so your content has to be worthwhile. You’re competing even more for audience engagement and attention, and you can’t ask people to watch content that isn’t quality. So, you’ve got offer content that uniquely speaks to your attendees and provides value to you.

We have the resources to elevate your content and build a unique digital experience for your audience. It’s about bridging great content, strategic planning, and production quality.

Download our FREE virtual event guide!

4. Bring it home 

While not always feasible, bringing something tangible into the homes of your audience is an effective way to engage them and communicate their value to you. That could be an arts and crafts kit that their kids do while you watch an event together. Or it could be a catered meal. You’d be spending money on an in real life event anyway. 

5. Promote! Promote! Promote! 

We can’t say this enough, but Day also stressed that people still need to know about your event and when it’s occurring. And, your promotional strategy needs to entice that much more because you’re competing against family time or an evening of Netflix.   

Nice branded social post, bro!

6. Check out what others are doing! 

    1. Spring is the time for festivals and fundraisers, and going virtual doesn’t mean there aren’t wonderful ways to bring that same energy. Here’s some examples:
      1. Blues Fest did a great job gathering the original musicians who were meant to play at the IRL event and giving them a platform to play live, each week. 
      2. Jazz Fest is a good example of incorporating the other senses into their experience, sharing recipes for people to cook while they listen to the music. 
      3. LSU Legacy hosted a day long event with a set agenda and asked attendees to post their favorite memory from an LSU game, instilling a sense of nostalgia and creating an opportunity for attendees to see each other and get more in the spirit of the event
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