Go Virtual – How to adapt your event to a digital platform
A virtual event is any organised meeting taking place online rather than in a physical location. These events can range from small workshops or Q and A sessions to large-scale conferences or concerts with thousands of attendees.
The advantages of going viral are huge and include major money saving and carbon footprint reducing factors. It can also make your attendance accessible to a huge worldwide audience – imagine someone listening and watching from Fiji!
It’s not as futuristic as you might think in fact, the first live stream happened way back in 1993. It’s not as daunting as you might think either in fact it’s quite easy. We’ve put together some handy tips on how to go viral with any event you might have in the coming months.
Which events can go viral?
Many different types of performances can be filmed and showcased online such as:
- Author readings
- Musical performances
- Dance performances
- Arts, sculptures, pottery, anything creative could be showcased in a time-lapse film
Be more interactive before your live stream, during and after
Use tools like live Q&As, surveys and polls to ask speakers questions, share feedback and download presentations. Networking doesn’t always need to be face to face. Viewers can connect with other online guests and message one another to still feel like you are making new connections and networking
Make sure you follow these handy tips while filming yourself or others:
- Always film landscape not portrait
- If you’re doing it yourself make sure you set the camera up on a good stand (or even a good stack of books or cushion)
- Don’t use the selfie tool as the resolution isn’t great
- Think about how you are framing yourself, sit to one side of the camera, not too close or far away
- Include a relevant background if possible
- Make sure you set your phone to the highest resolution (you can find this in your settings)
- Practice, make sure you do a few attempts to build confidence
- Speak clearly and slowly
Adapt your content if appropriate:
The Huddersfield Literature Festival recently took their event online and shared passages from books about being in isolation and used an audio from a paramedic, to reinforce a message about the current situation.
Offer feedback or advice via industry experts:
A garden show may encourage people to send in pictures and questions to key gardeners to get tips and feedback on their planting
A music festival can offer online guitar tuition as a side-line
A literary festival might offer a workshop to other authors who are trying to kick start a career in writing.
Every individual that helps with an event has their own skill set that could be offered to others in the form of tuition or knowledge transfer. Now is the perfect time to work together and get the event industry working to its full potential. Why not offer paid for skilled/courses in line with the theme of your event. Teach creative writing, online music tuition, social media workshops, public speaking lessons etc.
Feel part of the community:
Huddersfield Literary Festival are the founders of The Cultural Connections Forum. This forum is for event and festival organisers and could be really helpful for festival practitioners in the current situation. The forum encourages a community of people working in a similar field to:
- Ask questions and share answers
- Share ideas/best practice
- Support – ideal for now
- Arts council funding advice
Got any other tips for hosting a virtual event? Send them through to us on @WTYmembership on Twitter and don't forget to use the hashtag #YorkshireTogether