Proper Planning for Timeless Virtual Event

We all clung to this feeling. And we used it to justify our less than ideal state of mind. “I don’t need to try too hard with this virtual event, it’s just a temporary solution”, “we’ll just put something together on Zoom, two weeks is more than enough”, and “just use 1/5 of the budget to run, we’ll set up the real show soon”. All these feelings were common to many planners who clung to the hope – like everyone else -that the nightmare would soon be over. And now here we are.

The Mourning Period Is Over

But where exactly are we at? Well, whether you are ready to accept it or not, we have all been thrown collectively into a world that has fundamentally changed. We have to accept it, embrace it and make peace with the fact that the event industry as we knew it may never be the same again. But don’t take the kleenex just yet! The key here is to understand that this is not a bad thing – only inevitable. Things change all the time, and we have to make a conscious choice to get out of it.

We have had enough time to mourn the loss of what was once. In fact, we have gone through all the stages, the most important being denial (and yes, we have seen and experienced a lot of it). And the worst thing about denial is the fact that it clouds our judgment. This leads us to make bad decisions. In thematter of our industry, this resulted in virtual events assembled in a haze, an uneducated frenzy, a collective hallucination of Zoom webinars that led absolutely nowhere. If … and now?

Stop Procrastinating, Start Planning

When the novelty of the recent times hit the industry, it was more than excusable for planners to make their events virtual in a very short time. Even here at Endless, we have been challenged to help organizations make the change in just 24 days! And although this is thematter for most people in the industry, it was only at the beginning.

Now that we’ve all had enough time to realize that virtual and hybrid events will continue to exist for a while, it’s time to roll up our sleeves. Get rid of the misconception that these experiments take less time to plan, less resources, less headaches and much less money and production. Unless you want your entire audience to scream for refunds, stop slacking and start planning.

Why Should I Worry About A Virtual Timeline Of An Event?

As a production company, Endless has seen it all. We are experts in producing virtual and hybrid events – we know what goes on behind the scenes, what it really means to set up these experiences and what are the moving parts to consider if success is the ultimate goal. These are just some of the things our clients have said about working with us in this paradigm:

Virtual Timeline of Events. Let’s go!

Now, keep in mind that if you start from scratch, you are looking at 12 weeks. This is the time it takes to set goals, gather the necessary technological solutions to tell your story, connect (and in somematters help train) speakers, design the program, develop the marketing strategy, etc.

From the point of view of our processes as a manufacturing company, here is what you should aim for:

3 months of absence: decide on the theme of your virtual event, create your budget, solidify the objectives (what do you expect to achieve?) and contact a manufacturing company. From there, the production team responsible for your event will start pre-production, coordinate the technical elements, start describing the platform and integration, and develop the supporting production document.

2 months: Start developing the promotional strategy for your event and make sure you stand out from all the other experiences. At this stage, the production team will welcome exhibitors and sponsors, review the graphic content of the website and sessions, plan rehearsals with speakers, test the functionality of the platform and fill it with relevant media assets.

1 month of absence: the event website should now be online. Pre-recorded content takes place and conversations with the speakers are organized to prepare them.
2 weeks away: the speakers will now rehearse and the production team will sit down with you at the table for a tie-up meeting.
1 week absence: technical rehearsals and final quality checks take place. Showtime!

Conclusion

We know that some elements of this article may seem a little preachy. Yes, the current situation is a hard pill to swallow. But shouldn’t that motivate us to make the most of it? Well, we think so. And judging by what’s going on in the industry, a lot of other people are doing it too.

Hopefully we could shed some light on the mechanics of a virtual event timeline. If your event is a few months away and you need expert help with production, please contact us. We are more than happy to walk the path of successful virtual experiences with you. You will be surprised how magical it can be!