More than a meeting: Zoom events you’ll want to put on

Dec 10, 2020

Be inspired by our list of possibilities and get more from Zoom.

Here are some virtual event ideas to inspire you:

  1. Workshops

Workshops are a great way to keep communities together through learning. Whatever your skill or specialism, share what you know and help people of all levels improve. Workshops are interactive, so you’ll want to limit numbers and have everyone’s videos on if possible, to allow you to provide feedback as you go.

You might be teaching sewing to a class of five or six, or have a living room ukulele play-along where you run through chords and new songs. During our Digital Revoluton virtual events programme, we hosted dozens of workshops that reached audiences far and wide. Music producer and performer Lavs hosted writing workshops and Bruce Carson ran his hugely popular ‘Dance like a pro’ workshop.

Any event that requires audience cameras to be on will need attention to details with privacy, sensitivity and safeguarding. Make sure you have a code of conduct you can share with everyone and a few basic tips to help them log in and follow along easily.

  1. Online courses and webinars

Online courses and webinars saw a surge over lockdown as experts found new ways to deliver talks, lessons and share their expertise without hosting real-life events. There are a range of online course sites that help you structure and market modules and courses. Video courses through these sites are usually pre-recorded, but you can run live sessions on Zoom, like the six-week online screenwriting course run by writer James McDermott. It’s always a good idea to record your sessions as you can easily market these as a separate offering after the live event.

Many entrepreneurs offer a free live webinar where they share nuggets of information before pitching a paid course at the end. The beauty of the webinar feature in Zoom is that you don’t need to worry about your audience either. For a successful webinar, you’ll want a strong video intro, professional sound and bold, branded visuals. If you have a Q&A, keep the chat feature on, but you’ll need a host to moderate the feed so they can remove inappropriate messages and answer any burning questions.

  1. Conferences and panels

You'd be surprised at just how smoothly panels and conferences run over Zoom. With a well-briefed panel and good technical hosting skills, you can have interesting and engaging conversations that are often better structured and easier to follow than in real life. Unlike real-life where interruptions can easily lead to tangents and uneven speaking time, Zoom gives chair people more control over who they direct questions at and when people can speak.

Panels also form an important part of a conference, so you’ll want to get great speakers and be really clear about what your audience can expect. You’ll want to turn off audio and video options for your audience, but keep a chat function for Q&A.

If you’re planning a conference, you’ll really need to pay attention to the structure of the day, scheduling breaks appropriately and you’ll definitely want to use the breakout room feature. This is a great way to divide people into groups for separate discussions and workshops, while keeping everything in one virtual space. If you’ve got an all day conference, a nice touch is to send lunch and refreshments to delegates, or give vouchers for home delivery services.

  1. Festivals and film events

Technical rehearsal is vital for big events, especially where you’re livestreaming video and audio. You’ll need an AV specialist to at the very least consult you on what you need, if not to be on hand to smooth over any glitches. Festivals can go on for several days, so make sure every day has a big draw act or headline performer. Use a ticketing service such as EventBrite to help you manage and market your virtual festival easily. Of course, you’ll want strong visuals and a clear theme that ties everything together. For most parts of the festival your audience probably won’t be visible or audible, but if they are, send fun extras like decorations and a virtual background for them to use. Integrate Zoom to streaming services such as Facebook Live and YouTube so you can reach a bigger audience.

If you’re running a film screening, give it that sense of occasion with postal invites and popcorn. For small events where your audience are visible, encourage people to dress for the occasion and send out personalised virtual backgrounds.

  1. Performances and recitals

If you’re used to small, intimate performances in bars or theatre rooms above pubs, don’t let restrictions stop you from connecting with your audience. Poets, comedians, singers, musicians, dancers can all find their audiences through Zoom performances. All you need is a little rehearsal and technical know-how. At Revoluton Arts, our Digital Revoluton helped performers do what they do best from the comfort of their living rooms. Our events included a Friday night late lounge, open mic nights and classical concerts in conjunction with Sinfonia Verdi. Take your performance to the next level with a green screen, background visuals and good AV.

Zoom can help you stay creative and connected in uncertain times. If you want to put on a virtual event but need some help or advice, get in touch with our Virtual Events Management service.

Our team of Young Digital Associates will help you deliver professional events that are 100% feel-good!

We can help you with this, why not check out our Virtual Events Services

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