When planning your virtual event, keep in mind that not every artist is “right” for a virtual show, and that not every artist will do a virtual performance. Comedians are hesitant to perform stand up without a live audience and prefer a humorous Q+A, large bands may not be able to get together, and certain artist who have large theatrical shows might not be able to create the fan experience they want virtually. Content restrictions can also affect artist availability, as can your vetting process.
Regardless, countless artists are available – and excited – for the personalized experience a virtual show can create: just make sure you know what you want – and what is appropriate – when you get started.
WHAT TYPE OF SHOW DO YOU WANT?
The type of performance you want will determine who is available, so we recommend talking to your team and figuring this out first (i.e. a comedian to tell funny stories, a musician to perform for 40 minutes and then answer some student submitted questions, an athlete to talk about their career, etc. etc.)
HOW YOU ARE GOING TO PRESENT YOUR EVENT?
Your presentation platform is also important. Whether its Zoom, Webex, or some other platform, know this before you start your artist search because some artists have preferences. We can help you choose the right platform, as well as offer insight into the pros and cons of various providers. You may want to consider using a more “live event friendly” provider that allows for greater customization and a more polished look. Again, we can help point you in the right direction.
Security is the most important aspect of live virtual performance for artists. Your platform must be secure, offer some sort of authentication, and prevent recording.
Finally, if your event has a moderator, make sure they are prepared to deal with the uncertainty of the event and the structure of the performance. He or she needs to be able to keep the event moving and step in where needed.
WHEN DO YOU WANT THE SHOW?
Next, figure out when you want your performance. The more flexible the better (keep in mind that hosting your event on a Friday or Saturday may not be as important for a virtual performance as it is for an in-person show).
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO PROMOTE YOUR EVENT?
Promotion is directly tied into when you want your event. Marketing is extremely important, so have a plan that includes both traditional and non-traditional strategies. Think about ways to set your event apart from other virtual options, and how your students can be invested in your event. Perhaps you run a contest where the winner gets to live chat with the artist, or you run a “poster” design contest and the winning artwork is the background for the show. Getting your audience to have a personal stake in the event is key: simply announcing your show will not get you the results you want.
WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET?
The type of event you want to create can impact costs, so its helps to have a clear picture of this before you start your artist search. There are no set guidelines for virtual performances, so please keep in mind that prices can and will fluctuate greatly.
YES, THERE STILL NEEDS TO BE A SOUNDCHECK
It is imperative that you plan a full event walkthrough with your IT team, moderator, and the artist’s team. You should walk through log in procedures, how access is controlled, how you will insert your video and images (if you have any), moderator access, audio, video, and any other show related items you feel are important.
You should also have a backup plan if technical issues arise (i.e. your server goes how, there is a power outage, etc. etc.). Like any event, having the answers to the “what if” scenarios is extremely important.