What To Keep In Mind When Hiring Event Staff

Event planning is getting better with proper event management. One sure way of event management is the presence of trustworthy event staff.

The fate of an event is not only on the host but also on some external hands. Whether an event will be successful or not has to do with many factors and these factors cannot all be sorted by the host. Sadly, many events crashed before the event started due to poor planning.

This is where event staff comes in. 

 

What Is Event Staff?

The event staff is the group of professionals who takes care of an event.

These professionals have different duties they carry out. The advantages of having event staff cannot be overemphasized.

They are the forces that keep the event running. Imagine the unavailability of food, accidents, lack of power, or uncoordinated sitting arrangement in an event.

All these can be prevented when hosts hire event staff.

 

Types of Event staff

There are several teams when it comes to event personnel. These teams have different responsibilities which must be taken care of before, during, and after the event. For an event to be successful, these positions must be filled.

One thing to note is that these teams are not of the same hierarchy. This means that one is greater than the other when it comes to the execution of their duties. 

 

  • Director Or Event Planner

It is often advisable to contact an event planner that will direct all other operations regarding the event planning. This professional ensures all other event workers are performing their duties as expected.

This position is very important.

Having an event director helps the host focus on other aspects of the event like getting the speakers ready.

 

  • Event Producer

Below the event planner or director is the producer. This person oversees the execution of tasks as directed by the planner.

The job is to provide all tools and equipment the event staff need to carry out their post duties. 

 

  • Caterer

What is an event without refreshment? This is not a post the host can handle individually.

Even if the host is a professional caterer, there are other things to focus on. Having an expert caterer who will take care of the food and drinks is very crucial to the success of the event.

The catering service shows the standard of the event. These services include table setting, food making and sharing, cleanup, etc.  

 

  • Field Staff 

The field staff is a team of event workers that coordinate the event hall/space.

These people are much closer to the attendees because of their job descriptions. They are like ushers and stewards.

They are in charge of ticketing, helping attendees find their way, and ensuring coordination during the event.  

 

                  Tips for hiring a Speaker for an Event 

 

 

  • Entertainment 

Like catering, entertainment is another aspect of the event that should not be overlooked. The kind of entertainment to provide depends on the nature of the event. Entertainment must not be out of place because it has to connect with the event atmosphere and mood of the attendees. 

 

  • Security 

The security team handles everything related to the safety of the lives and properties of everyone involved in the event.

Hosts can seek volunteers or employ the police or private security outfits. 

 

  • Planning And Logistics

This group takes care of the transportation and movement of attendees and equipment.

 

  • Ambassadors 

Event ambassadors add glamour to the event. They are the face of the event. Attendees can recognize them by their clothes, the tags on them, or their faces on fliers.

This team of models is not necessary for an event.

 

 

Why Hiring An Event Coordinator Is Important 

 

While many hosts prefer to do the event planning themselves, some others hire an event manager. The fees might be something to consider, but it is not enough reason to shelve the idea of hiring a planning professional for an event. Below are some reasons why every host should hire an event planner:

 

  • A professional event planner brings professionalism to event planning. .
  • An event coordinator takes care of everything related to the execution of the event.
  • They can handle the recruitment of event workers without stressing the host
  • An event planner can help the host achieve their event goals more expertly. 
  • The events managed by an expert event planner are usually of a high standard.
  • An event manager knows what to do when to do it, how to do it, and through whom to do it. 

 

What To Keep In Mind When Hiring Event Staff 

 

Hiring event staff may be done by the host or the event planner. If the host contracts an event planner to handle this process, the following are what the planner must consider hiring the best event personnel: 

 

  • Understand the legal aspect of the arrangement by making a contract that is legally binding with the event staff.
  • Planning an event staff budget with the host. The planner must also stick with the budget to properly manage funds.
  • An event planner must know what the client prioritizes in event planning so they can focus on those areas. 
  • They can seek referrals and recommendations from event workers to save time and energy.
  • Conducting interviews with staff event candidates to pick the best. 
  • An event planner must identify the major areas of the event like event production, logistics, security, entertainment, and catering.

 

Conclusion

 

At this point, we can conclude that hosts cannot do without event staff. That is why SmartWorks continues to deliver the best and most reliable event planning services.

The purpose is to help event hosts achieve their event goals.

The services offered are wrapped in professionalism and passion to give taste and standard to the event. 

At SmartWorks, we offer a complete spectrum of events management that covers:

 

  • Staff for all kinds of events (hostess, models, security, basic hands)
  • Venue selection
  • Off-site private gala dinner venue, restaurant selection, and management
  • Activity creation & management – leisure, cultural, team-building
  • Catering management
  • Transfer & Logistics management
  • Incentives
  • Latest AV solutions
  • Special decoration, design, and entertainment for all venues
  • VIP guests & motivational speakers
  • Exhibition design & Production
  • Housing & Registration

 

Hiring A Speaker For An Event

In this blog post, we are going to explore who a keynote speaker is, what they do and how to hire the perfect keynote speaker for your event. As you already know, a speaker sets out the central theme of a conference; they are experts in their respective fields and can speak extensively on a specific topic or niche. Hence, the role of a keynote speaker features as the headliner of an event. They help you invigorate your audience while delivering an engaging speech focusing on the topics established or given to them in their client’s brief. With significant years of experience in the field, they can invigorate your audience and deliver an engaging speech to the crowd in the most appealing way.

 

How To Choose The Perfect Keynote Speaker For Your Event

Keynote speakers know how to command an audience with credible answers to burning questions quickly. Hiring a keynote speaker for your event is the best way to engage your audience with new information and open up new doors for innovations. They help you give insightful addition to any private, educational, business, organizational convention. Finding keynote speakers for your events can be time-consuming and stressful; this is why we have created a step-by-step guide to help you narrow down your search to hire a speaker for an event.

1. Know Your Event Inside Out

Knowing your event inside out means considering the time, the date, the budget, the logistical values, as well as the purpose and theme of your event. Knowing all these will help you decide while hiring speakers for an event. To hire a public speaker for your event is highly dependent on the style of speaker you want and knowing the style of the speaker is usually reliant on your budget, time and theme of the event itself. If you’re able to decipher all this, then you most certainly have taken the first step towards looking guest speakers for hire in your event.

 

2. The Budget Of The Event

This is usually the first thing to consider whenever you choose or hire speakers for an event. By considering the budget, you are able to read out specific speakers that you can’t make use of, even if their style is something you can work with. The budget for the event is not usually inclusive of the speaker’s pay; however, considering this factor early enough helps you know your direction towards the right speaker.

 

3. Specify Your Type Of Event

This is usually a good decision for you to make in order to narrow down your search for hiring speakers for events. To hire speakers for events, you must know that the type of events is one of the greatest determinants to having the best speaker for your events.

Briefly, we will be highlighting the comprehensive list of events below for you to be able to find out what category yours fall in:

  • Charity fundraisers
  • Award ceremonies
  • Webinars and virtual events
  • Conferences or office workshops
  • Product launching events.

From the above, you’d be able to decipher precisely what category event falls into, and that information will help you hire a public speaker suitable for your event.

 

4. Style Of Speaker

If you’re searching for the type of event you’re planning to host, the next step is to know the type of speaker you want for your events to make the most impact on the attendees. Speakers range from business speakers to sports speakers, motivational speakers, after-dinner speakers, keynote speakers and many more. Commonly keynote speakers are perfect for industry exhibitions and conferences because they are experts on specific topics. However, it never hurts to go for a business speaker if you think you want an invaluable corporate knowledge speaker. Sports speakers are best for discussing personal journeys, and they often appeal to casual listeners and sports enthusiasts. Motivational speakers, as we all know, approach their speeches on different levels, but in the end, the result is always the same to inspire, invigorate or influence the audience into making the best decision for the event. After you’ve considered every single style of speaker, you can then proceed to understand which one of the public speakers is best for your event.

 

5. Clarify Why You Want To Hire A Keynote Speaker

This entails thinking of all the possible reasons you desire a speaker for your event. Is it to educate or to motivate? It may also be to raise funds or promote the organization’s cause. All these things and many more are the factors you need to consider before hiring a particular style of speaker for your event.

 

6. Finally, Contacting The Agency

We are professionals committed to our client’s needs, so finding the right agency to hire for your event is not a problem with us. We ensure that the audience gets the right message and is inspired and motivated by your event. We have the right connections for you to narrow down your search to the best public speakers on the planet; as such, we are committed to narrowing down your options to the best keynote speakers for hire.

 

Conclusion

If you want to hire a public speaker, you should definitely look into the benefits of booking a keynote speaker, which is the best option for you. Creative discussions define events, and industry-leading insights keynote speakers offer you service is just like this. Below are a few reasons why a keynote speaker is the best option for you:

  • Unparalleled expertise on specific topic or subject of study
  • They help you achieve positive change and inspire genuinely which stories to help maximize success and promote the cause of your event.
  • Setting the underlying tone of the speech will strengthen the event’s purpose; this is what a keynote speaker will do for you.
  • They help you encapsulate the event’s theme in a very authoritative and stimulating manner.
  • Since they embody a lot of knowledge, they can help you supply the latest inside to a specific topic for your event’s theme.

10 Creative Conference Ideas to Increase Attendance

 Conferences have long been lauded because they enable people to meet like-minded peers and advance their industry knowledge. The first international conference on the web was hosted in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1994. Now more than ever, due to the world’s “new normal,” conference organizers are seeking new ways to revitalize the industry and push the envelope when it comes to the expectations of attendees.

We’ve compiled a handy list of 10 creative conference ideas, as well as some valuable tips to help you pull off your next event like a pro.

Go Beyond a Traditional Conference

Do horrible Powerpoint slides accompanied by monotone lectures sound familiar when you think of attending a conference? With innovative techniques and technology, there’s almost no excuse for a conference to bore attendees to sleep anymore. Over the past 20 years, experiential marketing has grown, as has our preoccupation with being online.  Attending a conference can be costly, and nowadays, people pay for the experience, not for a talk they can Google.

If your conference is innovative and wows audiences, it’s guaranteed that they’ll be more likely to attend your next one. Covid-19 has marked a more significant shift to online conferences with limited physical attendance. However, this should be regarded as an exciting time to innovate and develop more interactive conference ideas.

From how to make conferences more interactive by utilizing new formats to planning tips, here are some fantastic conference ideas to propel your event to greater heights. 

10 Creative Conference Ideas

 

1. Panel Discussions

Panels immediately eradicate the problem of boring lecture-style presentations. With some strategic planning, you can assemble between three to five experts to speak on a moderated panel. Questions are presented to the panel, and each member has a short time to offer their insights.

If your panel is effectively organized, you can offer guests dynamic and nuanced perspectives on any given topic. To boost interactivity, arrange a Q&A with the audience in the last 10-15 minutes of the discussion.

2. Structured Networking Sessions

A conference session set aside exclusively for networking offers attendees a welcome break. Networking is one of the primary reasons people attend conferences. And let’s be honest, the “mix and mingle” approach doesn’t always work effectively when people are left to their own devices.

Employing structured networking sessions makes it feel more like an experience than a chore. If you’re pushed for time, you could also accelerate the process with speed networking, applying the concept of speed dating to a business context.

3. Games and Giveaways

The easiest way to ramp up audience participation throughout your conference is to incorporate contests and prizes such as raffles, goodie bags and augmented reality scavenger hunts (AR).

With the help of AR, you can build an interactive scavenger hunt experience in and around your venue without having to place physical clues throughout the space. Scavenger hunts are one of the most interactive conference ideas because they offer a great mix of play and competition. You can even divide guests into teams for increased interactivity during this type of conference session.

4. Lightning Talks

If you’re looking for informative conference session ideas that are easier to digest, consider lightning talks.  These talks are no more than 10 minutes and are the perfect solution to maintain your audience’s attention span.

Each speaker is given 10 minutes to briefly discuss their ideas, allowing up to 12 speakers to be heard in one session. These talks can be themed around industry trends, and the format ensures presentations are succinct and to the point.


5. Live Polling

Polling is one of those great conference ideas with a variety of applications for the host and their guests. It allows presenters to pose questions to the audience and immediately see the results on-screen. Conference planners consider it a knowledge goldmine because it highlights learning objectives, gauges pervasive attitudes, and compares viewpoints, which can be useful for industry leaders and attendees.

6. Solution Rooms

If you’re arranging a large conference with hundreds of attendees and wondering how to make a session interactive, you could add solution rooms to your conference’s itinerary.  Designed to provide peer-supported advice to an individual or industry, they can address more pressing business problems.

These sessions range from 90-120 minutes, whereby each group member has a turn to present their challenges before everyone brainstorms together to come up with solutions. Solution rooms are most suited to conferences aimed at consolidating research or finding solutions to common industry issues.

7. Social Media Walls

No conference is complete without a personalized hashtag and social media marketing strategy. Social media walls are one of the more fun things to do at a conference and are highly interactive. A media wall screen functions as a newsfeed, and displays photos, videos, and other digital content related to the event. It’s a great way to encourage people to post about the conference and provides you with free marketing.

 

8. Brain Dates

Keynote speakers can’t impart all their wisdom in a single session.  Even with a dedicated Q&A, there may be instances where you can’t get through everything. Brain dates allow each participant to book a 30-minute one-on-one conversation with speakers via an app, offering a personalized experience. This usually works well for smaller conferences. If you have an extensive list of attendees, you can consider breaking them into smaller groups.

9. Oxford-Style Debate

Invigorate traditional keynote addresses with an expert debate. While not all topics warrant polarizing perspectives, debate does tend to pique audience interest. During the debate, you can collect audience questions for your facilitator to weave into the Q & Q&A. Live polling can also be incorporated to gauge audience opinion and determine a debate winner.

10. Reverse Pitching

One of the newer conference ideas is to focus on investors, especially when developing business conference activities. More often, conferences tend to highlight trends and address industry-specific challenges. Inviting investors gives attendees insight into the industry’s financial aspects and provides an opportunity to assess how they could address common issues together. It promotes greater transparency and a holistic way of working. To ramp up the fun, you could let attendees vote for the best pitch. 

Tips for Planning a Successful Conference

 

Scheduling

A good conference schedule is dynamic and peppered with talks and sessions of varying lengths throughout the day. If you have important keynote speakers, you probably won’t schedule them to speak all on the same day. Scheduling a keynote speaker at the start of the day can set the theme for workshops and interactive sessions later on. If you have more than one keynote speaker per day, you should schedule one at the start and another at the end to maintain audience participation. 

How to Attract Attendees

Attracting attendees comes down to innovative conference ideas, the quality of your speakers and itinerary, as well as your marketing strategy. Market research and polling to find out what kinds of topics your conference should cover are hugely beneficial. If your conference addresses common industry pain points, you’re more likely to attract attendees. Your venue’s accessibility and marketing strategy also play a massive role in securing attendees. 

Collect Useful Feedback

Conferences occur for people to attend, so gathering feedback from your guests, speakers, and team is vital to improving your next event. Always be specific about the kind of feedback you’re looking for. For example, an attendee who says that overall the conference was “great” doesn’t provide much constructive feedback on a specific conference session.

You can use conference management software like EventX or Whova to create specific surveys, which attendees can fill in on their devices. Competitions and giveaway incentives also improve the chances of guests completing your surveys.


Choose Your Suppliers Carefully


Shop around before settling on the first vendors and suppliers you find on Google. Venues often have relationships with independent suppliers and can forward you a list of recommendations. It’s also important to hire people who have specific experience in running the type of event that you’re planning, as well as other events of the same scale.  Be sure to brief them on your challenges and objectives so they can work together with you to find solutions.

How to Make Conferences More Interactive

 

There are loads of creative conference ideas that organizers are using to invigorate their events. Audience participation and inclusion is the key to making conferences more interactive. Developing conference-specific apps will personalize your attendees’ experiences. You design a specific application for your event where attendees can log in, upload profiles, complete surveys, plan their day, and connect with others.

 

Steering away from a string of boring lecture-style addresses and incorporating smaller participatory sessions can also help. Taking a break from keynote talks and unpacking content in smaller groups creates a participatory, inclusive, and stimulating experience.

 

Plan Your Next Event with SmartWorks

 

At SmartWorks, we have over a decade of conference event planning experience. We have wowed clients and audiences from all over the world with our unique conference ideas.  We can make your interactive conference planning easier by handling all your logistics, as well as leveraging our expert team of audio-visual specialists and design artists to create a top-notch experience. Start planning your event with us today!

Creative Virtual Networking Ideas to Boost Business Leads

In a recent Condé Nast survey, 90% of respondents said that even once live events are back, they would still be interested in virtual event options. Virtual events gained popularity in the late-2000s due to their economical and practical advantages and have skyrocketed since the outbreak of Covid-19.

The ability to work remotely has kept many companies afloat during these unprecedented times.  Virtual networking events, which are crucial for business success, continue to remain popular. A study by Forbes suggests that for 78% of businesses, networking is vital to gain visibility, deepen knowledge, and gain new leads.

 

If you’re unfamiliar with online networking or need inspiration, look no further; we’ve put together some innovative virtual networking ideas.

The Importance of Networking


The cliché “no man is an island” applies to man and business. A company’s ecosystem is fueled by human connectedness, whether through employees, clients, or customers. When done with intent, business networking can yield profitable results. Virtual networking events provide a superb opportunity for sharing business acumen and industry knowledge. You might discover alternative approaches to widespread problems or come across another business with whom you can develop a symbiotic partnership.

Business networking events can also elevate your profile and bring in new leads. Virtually meeting “face-to-face”  provides substantial exposure, and potential clients are more likely to work with businesses whose owners or employees they recognize or have “met.” In general, clients favor human-centric approaches. You never know when you might meet someone who could refer you to prospective clients or make use of your products and/or services themselves.

 

Networking also builds business confidence and reveals competitive insights. Many business owners dread networking.  However, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. At virtual networking events, you’ll soon get to know what your competitors are offering, and you can use these insights to improve your competitive advantage.  This will help you learn how to differentiate yourself from your competition.

 

A good reputation is an invaluable and intangible asset to any business. Increased networking secures a reputation of reliability.  Through participation in events, you can establish a fantastic rapport with potential clients, showcasing your knowledge and positioning you as a leading expert in your field.

 

7 Virtual Networking Ideas for your Next Event

 

While virtual networking doesn’t elicit the same kinds of organic conversations you might have during a conference lunch break on a trade room floor, there are still many creative networking event ideas that foster new connections and meet-ups. The difference is that people tend to be more concise online than in person. Here are our top ideas to create a memorable experience for your virtual networking event:

1. Speed Networking


Speed networking is one of the best virtual networking ideas for those who favor efficiency and targeted meet-and-greets. Ordinarily, the event is divided into rounds of 5-10 minutes, where each attendee is paired with another to introduce themselves and the types of services/products they offer.

 

It derives inspiration from speed dating and allows business owners to expand their network and initiate longer networking sessions with those they’re interested in after the event ends. In addition, it will enable introverted owners to meet others without increased pressure since everyone attending has a clear networking agenda.

2. Roundtables


This type of event requires more planning than speed networking as you’ll have to know in advance who to group with each other. Unlike speed networking, you can plan roundtables around specific themes related to your industry. Roundtables are a great networking idea if you have a large group of people, and you can divide attendees into break-out rooms, where they interact, collaborate, and ideate.

 

To streamline this type of event, you could use an application like Zoom that already has breakout room functionality. Roundtables are effective if you want to meet more people at the same time, as they reduce the time required when repeatedly sharing the same information on a one-on-one basis. The only additional element needed is a moderator who can preside over sessions and stimulate conversation.

3. Interactive Cocktail Hour


One of the most popular networking mixer ideas is the revamped happy hour. Instead of going to a physical bar, firms are hosting virtual networking events with professional mixologists. You can send a cocktail kit with ice-breakers and business cards to each attendee beforehand, so they’re prepared for the session. After the lesson, you can facilitate open-format discussions or even switch to speed networking.

4. Trivia Games


Trivia events can be held during lunch hours or evenings for fun or fundraising. Some businesses hire companies to run their trivia games, while others manage the event themselves.  You can generate remote teams and create questions that relate to your specific industry or event.

 

Trivia games force teams to communicate, and the sense of friendly competition forges relationships that may not occur naturally.  For example, if you’re in the automotive industry, your questions might relate to current challenges and trends and speak to different members’ expertise. You can also strategically group different attendees to foster new connections.

5. Fireside Chats

 

Fireside chats are informal but structured interviews between guests and moderators. They provide a relaxed opportunity to get to know the speaker/s on a professional level and are a great tool to add to your list of conference networking ideas.

 

Inviting a high-profile speaker provides an opportune situation to connect with them on a personal level. You can strategically invite a speaker with whom you’ve wanted to communicate with but might not have had a chance. Paired with networking, this type of event provides immense value for attendees from a knowledge-sharing and business connection perspective.

6. Pecha Kucha


Pecha Kucha is the Japanese word for ‘chit-chat. It’s a unique storytelling formula where a presenter shows 20 slides for 20 seconds of commentary each, totaling 6 minutes and 40 seconds. At traditional Pecha Kucha nights, individuals gather to share personal presentations about their work. Even though it was originally executed in person, Pecha Kucha can easily be transformed into a digital format.

 

It’s considered more of a direct hard sell but is a great pitching platform to get real-time feedback about your services and/or products. While it won’t appeal to everyone, it can benefit business owners keen to get straight to networking without the small talk.

7. Virtual Trade Show


This type of virtual networking event requires more planning and commitment but helps facilitate direct interactions between businesses and potential clients or customers. Unlike Pecha Kucha events, virtual trade shows remain open for a few hours at a time, and individuals can interact freely and come and go as they please. This type of event offers the incomparable advantage of meeting people from all over the world, as it’s not limited to a physical space.

Tips for a Successful Virtual Event

 

Ensuring your virtual networking ideas come to fruition can be quite a challenge. It’s not just about pulling off a seamless event; you also need to think about how to get the most from each experience.

Build a Personal Network Directory


Be sure to gather the relevant contact details of your attendees at each event. To save time, you can automate this process when they register. The salient point of networking is to increase your contact list. Even if you don’t require each other’s services immediately, you’ll start to build up a valuable resource of industry contacts.

Have Networking Goals


Virtual networking events can be overwhelming for first-timers, so it’s important to have clear goals for what you’re anticipating to get out of the session. How many people do you want to meet? Can you hone in on the primary connections you’re hoping to make?

 

Most individuals experience screen fatigue when they’re online for too long, so you want to be sure you’re making the most of each moment. And remember, networking doesn’t have to end when the event is over. Follow-up with your new connections by reaching out to them on online platforms such as Linkedin or Slack. Schedule time to check in with them every so often to maintain your connection.

Plan Everything in Advance


There’s nothing worse than Murphy’s law providing technical difficulties on the day of your event. If you’re hosting, make sure you have a contingency plan in case of audio breaks, lagging internet connection, and faulty software. Be sure to conduct a preliminary technical test beforehand to iron out any kinks.

 

You might also want to run through the order of events, i.e., introductions or interview questions beforehand, as well as familiarize yourself with any software you’re using to ensure everything goes well. Naturally, hiring star talent to host and specialists to take care of the technical aspects of your virtual networking event will always be the best fool-proof solution.

 

Plan Your Next Event with SmartWorks

 

At Smartworks, we turn your networking event ideas into impactful virtual experiences. If you’re looking for premium HD and 4K live streaming solutions to elevate your event from average to excellent, we can help.  Our robust AV capabilities and TV production studio create engaging experiences to help you leverage the most from your virtual networking events. Contact us today to learn more.

12 Event Planning Trends to Watch for this Year

Much has been made of the changes to the workplace imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The same goes for the meeting and event industry. As a result, decision-makers must factor in current trends in event planning resulting from the pandemic.

Before planning a function, presentation, or meeting, businesses must be aware of event planning trends. Let’s examine the most significant changes we are witnessing throughout the industry. 

Event planning industry trends are shaking up the way events are organized, and the experience attendees will get to enjoy. While some of these trends in event planning will vanish as quickly as they have come, others are set to remain for years to come.

Here are the big event trends that will dominate in-person and virtual gatherings in 2021.

1. COVID-19 Protocols

 

Even though it is not a popular subject, 2021 will see events following COVID-19 protocols. Depending on where an event is held, these could be stricter or more lenient as the year goes on because every nation is dealing with the pandemic differently.

Here are some of the protocols events may have to impose in 2021:

  • Limitations on attendance
  • Handwashing stations
  • Social distancing
  • Masks

Wearable technology will also have to play a part in ensuring in-person attendees feel safe as they roam conference halls and meet new people. These may also be a requirement to ensure events can meet local and national regulations in some countries.

Thankfully, most experts expect many of these protocols to be discontinued as the virus subsides.

2. Hybrid Conferences

 

A blend between virtual and in-person content at events is seen as the way forward. Not everyone is ready to return to the real world at the same pace. Some may still feel more comfortable attending virtually. This is especially the case for people who live and work remotely.

Businesses are expected to adapt to this demand for hybrid conferences by offering a blended experience. Expect this to continue long after the end of the pandemic.

Approximately 97% of professionals widely expect the hybrid model to be the future.

3. Education Will Be a Top Priority

 

Education is valuable and will continue to be a major focus of many events.

Offering skills-based workshops and the opportunity for certifications can be a big draw for any event. Corporate event trends are fast moving towards creating small, highly targeted events to help attendees meet their goals.

No matter the industry, ensuring attendees learn a new skill or technology is always a surefire way for an event to succeed. Attendees want some to take away from their conference experience, and this is an opportunity to do just that! 

4. New, Healthy Food

 

There is nothing like a global pandemic to make people reflect on their health. People are starting to think about their overall well-being, and this extends to the food they consume.

Industry experts have spotted important food trends in event planning. Menus are increasingly seeing the presence of plant-based superfoods.

A simple burger and fries are no longer sufficient for attendees. Invest in better quality food to enable people to boost their health and well-being

5. The Push for Sustainability

 

Sustainability is a spotlight issue. 2021 could prove to be a watershed year for organizations pushing towards sustainability. Event planners will move towards ensuring nearly all event materials can be repurposed or recycled in some way.

92% of event professionals say it is vital to have a sustainability plan. The event sector is well-known for being incredibly wasteful, and it is looking to change that, but only 12% of organizations currently have an advanced sustainability plan.

It has become obvious that organizations must work on their green credentials. As one of the current trends in event planning, going green could influence not only how an event is received but whether people attend at all.

6. Pricing Models will Change

 

Hotels and convention centers suffered financially during the pandemic. For international conference organizers, destination management companies, in particular, were left out of pocket.

Those who survived have realized they need to learn some important lessons about the pandemic. It is a certainty that one of the major event industry trends will involve altering traditional pricing structures.

Pricing models are expected to change, but it is impossible to predict in which direction these companies will move in.

In the short term, many experts think venues will offer steep discounts as companies look to coax people back outside again.

7. Broadcast Quality Production

 

As the world shifts towards hybrid events, organizations need to raise the bar for their virtual events. As far as corporate event trends go, many events flop due to the fact the quality of the production is subpar.

Modern virtual audiences will not accept a basic camera set up at the back of the house. Attendees expect a better production value. As technology advances, there is no longer an excuse for not having a higher broadcast quality.

Professional broadcasting will become one of the significant event trends in 2021. Whether it involves using better technology, LED walls, green screens, or multiple speakers tuning in from all over the globe, event organizers need to do better.

8. Upskilling for Event Professionals

 

Event professionals understand that event planning trends are constantly evolving. As people become used to virtual and hybrid events, event planners need the skills to create an occasion that matches modern high expectations.

For this reason, post-pandemic planners are increasingly protecting their futures by obtaining formal certifications to demonstrate their expertise.

Many organizations offer training, including the Event Leadership Institute and the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA).

Upskilling will almost certainly be here to stay, and the industry’s barriers to entry are only going to get higher.

9. Virtual Must Become Interactive

 

Immersion is an integral part of any event. In the absence of in-person meetings, the worry for organizers is achieving that same level of immersion across thousands of miles.

While the coming of the pandemic meant planners were simply happy to have any sort of event at all, event managers must think about how they can provide a more interactive virtual event experience.

2021 is seeing more of an emphasis on interactivity within events. Whether it includes games, hands-on classes, or simply incorporating comments in the chat into the on-stage experience, organizers need to get creative to avoid people tuning out.

10. The Rise of Virtual Networking

 

One of the benefits of attending any sort of function is the opportunity to network. Countless business deals have resulted from two people who happened to bump into each other at a conference.

Unfortunately, for all the benefits of virtual events, networking continues to be a challenge. The Evolution of Events report revealed that 68.8% of event marketers believe networking virtually remains a challenge.

Expect to see technology and solutions that actively encourage and make networking easy online.

This is one of the trends in event planning that will see software evolve. It may even include integration with business networking platforms like LinkedIn.

Of course, virtual networking will never beat out in-person networking, but as hybrid events grow in prominence, networking solutions will define the likelihood of an online event succeeding.

11. Boosting Cybersecurity

 

Cybercrime exploded by 300% during the pandemic, according to the FBI. As more businesses move their events online, criminals are expected to increasingly target these functions. There is now a massive need for better cybersecurity to stave off this threat.

Modern event technology solutions must provide a more substantial layer of online protection, not only for the organizers themselves but also for the people attending them.

Security and compliance procedures are expected to become more stringent to defend private information within. With attendees providing personal and financial information to access events, event technology providers must offer a higher level of due diligence.

It may even lead to an increase in security outsourcing, rather than organizers managing their own security efforts in an attempt to guarantee standards and keep costs down.

12. Incentive Trips Will Be Closer to Home

 

In-person incentive trips have always been a popular way of enabling corporations to motivate and reward their employees. Two-thirds of event planners say that these will continue to be held in 2021.

However, where traditional incentive trips involved international travel and group events, 2021 incentive trips will be closer to home and involve fewer participants.

Expect scaled-down incentive trips for the foreseeable future, with domestic destinations becoming the norm.

Whether this trend holds in the long term is anyone’s guess, but until the COVID-19 pandemic is declared a historical footnote, incentive trips are set to change.


Conclusion

 

Specific metrics have always defined successful events. In 2021, event planning trends will measure the success of an event differently. What matters to participants has pivoted towards safety and security while continuing to prioritize educational content and networking.

As one of the leading event management companies in Europe, SmartWorks has the expertise to take meetings, conferences, and events to the next level. We excel at AV production and can even host live event streaming for companies. 

Contact us today to start planning!

6 Effective Ways to Connect with Your Audience

A successful presentation can inform, inspire, and make a lasting impact. Unfortunately, the vast majority of public speakers are instantly forgotten because their audience never felt any kind of connection with them. Without that connection, audience members don’t just forget you, they forget your message as well.

What’s the point of speaking in public if no one will remember you or anything you said? To connect with audience members, speakers need to approach a talk or presentation in a certain way. It’s not enough to stand up and read from a piece of paper. Let’s examine how to connect with an audience and some of the tricks the masters use to leave lasting impressions on their audiences.

Why is it Important to Connect with Your Audience?

 

The average person has never been busier. Studies have shown that the average young person possesses the attention span of a goldfish.

Modern audiences lack patience, and it doesn’t take long for people to tune out or lose interest. Although they may be polite enough not to fall asleep or leave, a presentation can’t achieve what the speaker wants without an authentic audience connection.

Learning the tricks of the trade-in speaking to an audience will ultimately lead to better outcomes when speaking publicly and a more memorable experience for your audience.

6 Surefire Ways to Boost Audience Connection

 

Figuring out how to interact with audiences in presentation settings will not only make you a better public speaker but better at generating a successful outcome.

Whether you’re looking to improve morale in the office or generate leads at the next big sales conference, there are several proven strategies for connecting with your audience.

1. Read the Room

 

Knowing how to read the room is crucial if you want to connect with audience members. Nervous public speakers tend to focus exclusively on themselves and their slides. Self-focus can be good, but you need to read the room.

Are people dozing off? Do they disagree with what you’re saying? Barreling on without so much as acknowledging your audience means losing your audience connection completely.

This doesn’t mean you need to change your presentation. A simple statement like, “I see some people disagree with that…” can encourage the audience to focus and make them feel seen.

2. Make Eye Contact

 

When speaking to an audience, many public speakers like to pick a spot at the back of the room to stare at. While this can steady frazzled nerves, it doesn’t help you connect with your audience.

They say the eyes are the window to the soul, so make eye contact with audience members every so often. Not only does it project confidence, but it also fosters a temporary connection between you and the person you make eye contact with. This makes your audience feel connected to you without much effort on your part.

3. Learn from the Masters

 

Sometimes the only way to become a better public speaker is to look to those who came before you. While some guides may suggest looking up historical figures and studying their techniques, audiences have changed.

What worked for Teddy Roosevelt will not necessarily work for your audience today because times (and people) have changed.

Instead, consider looking up recent TED talks. Search for the most popular ones and watch the speakers. How do they connect with audience members?

4. Make Your Content Relevant to the Real World

 

Figuring out how to connect with an audience may involve examining your own presentation. Sometimes, even the most exciting speaker in the world can lose their audience connection because the content of their presentation simply isn’t attention grabbing enough.

A simple tip is to make your presentation relevant to people’s lives. Avoid too much dry theory and talk about real-world impacts.

Here are some bonus tips for making your content more engaging:

  • Use personal anecdotes
  • Insert the occasional joke
  • Ask questions of your audience
  • Understand the general pain points of the room
  • Be personal

Overall, people are looking to connect with you, not the presentation itself. Get closer to your audience by refining the content of your talk and making it relevant to real people.

5. Stick to Simple Language

 

The language you use to connect with your audience will determine whether your audience responds.

While complex language may make you sound intelligent and build your authority, the average person doesn’t respond to that. If attendees need to think about the meaning of a word, they’re already disengaged.

Speak in a conversational tone. Be direct with language and avoid vague references.

6. Avoid Relying on the Slides

 

Slides are useful supplements for any presentation, but inexperienced speakers tend to use them as a crutch. The bulk of a public talk should not consist of reading words from a slide. This is boring, and, quite frankly, why would the audience need you when they can read the slides themselves?

Use slides sparingly and only when you need to illustrate an important point or image. A well-placed graph or chart can further enhance that audience connection, but be sure not to overdo it.

Conclusion

 

Learning to connect with audience members isn’t a skill that can be learned overnight. It takes time, effort, and experience.

The power of a good presentation cannot be underestimated. Having engaging, compelling content that listeners can learn from is vital. 

As one of the top-rated destination management companies, SmartWorks excels at creating a one-of-a-kind experience for event attendees. Contact us today to learn how we can take your event to the next level.

Virtual Event Ideas

What is a Virtual Event?

Virtual events are becoming a commonplace replacement for traditional physical-based events. At their core, virtual corporate events can translate relatively seamlessly from their in-person counterparts. Trade shows, product launches, and team-building meetings can all be held on a digital platform, such as Zoom. With only an internet connection, you can still network with some creative virtual event ideas.

The Best Virtual Event Ideas 

It can be daunting to switch over from the tried-and-true physical gatherings of traditional corporate events. However, with proper planning, adding some twists with modern technology, and incorporating innovative techniques, you can find some unique ideas for virtual events.

Here are some fun virtual event ideas to get you started.

Team-building Games

As the world shifts toward a mindset where remote work isn’t only acceptable, it’s preferable, there are some downsides to this structure. One of the major drawbacks is a lack of camaraderie between co-workers. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Your company can find ways, such as hosting a team-building competition, to foster camaraderie.  One such social event idea is organizing a large-scale online board game with dedicated teams. If you want to up the game, you can schedule a virtual escape room, in which cooperation is necessary to succeed. 

Virtual Networking Seminars

Building meaningful connections with others in your industry is one of the largest draws for attending any corporate event. And, just because you’ve switched the meeting space to a digital one doesn’t mean you need to forgo this critical aspect. As far as virtual networking ideas are concerned, you can still arrange a setting that fosters the creation of professional connections.  

Virtual social event ideas can include making specialized “rooms” explicitly designed to meet with industry peers, creating a by-appointment meet-and-greet with known delegates and sponsors, or holding a fireside chat model for people to attend remotely.

Sponsor Branding

If you’ve secured sponsors, the networking sessions you’ve arranged offer an excellent opportunity for them to brand the event. The best virtual events bring some aspect of themselves into the physical world. Aside from networking opportunities, people love swag. You may try and organize with the sponsor to deliver some of their branded merchandising to the attendees in a similar manner that they would receive at a physical event.  

Activity-a-Thons

With many people locked away in their homes, health and wellbeing have been on a decline. As a company looking for virtual events ideas to boost morale and productivity, you may look to event ideas that promote physical movement. Whether you opt for a low-impact yoga session or a digital walk-a-thon, it will give your attendees the motivation to move their bodies between or in addition to the more business-related aspects of the event.

Host a Virtual Party

While in-person get-togethers may continue on the back-burner for a while, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate a team’s achievements. In terms of virtual event ideas, an online party may seem impossible. However, with a clever itinerary, you can certainly create a welcoming environment for people to enjoy themselves. While it may not be the same as an open bar affair, you can still post a cocktail menu with the recipes attached.  Don’t forget to book a live band that can stream to everyone connected. 

Organize an Online Skill Learning Course

Virtual courses have become an industry, and the number of skills to choose from can be staggering. One of the best virtual events that have a real-world impact is an online cooking course. You can gather all of your team members and have a real professional chef guide you through any number of cuisines. The best part is that after you’ve finished the class, you have a delicious treat or meal to enjoy. 

Virtual Trivia Night

Nothing gets people more excited than the opportunity to flex their brain muscles, and a trivia night is a perfect venue to let them shine. Play much like a bar trivia night; simply organize your employees into teams. With the right digital background, you can create an exciting event that features a little healthy competition.

Digital Murder Mystery Dinner

Like every aspect of the traditional murder mystery dinner, each participant enters the scene as a predefined persona, and then tragedy hits. There’s been a murder, and it’s up to the guests (in character) to solve the mystery of who-dun-it.

Dance Challenge

As platforms such as TikTok and Instagram have proven, you don’t need to be a trained dancer to bust a move. If your company wants to build awareness around a cause, or you just want to organize your team members to show off at the next gathering, learning a dance challenge has proven time and again to be one of the more successful virtual event ideas.

Virtual Events: Tips for Success

While these virtual event ideas are a great jumping-off point, there are some tips you should be aware of before you dive into hosting a virtual event.

Make Downloadable Content Available

After an event has wrapped up, it’s common for people to want something to take away from the conference. 

Ensure that the Keynote Speaker is Comfortable with a Virtual Format

Before you begin the conference, ensure that the conferences speakers are prepared to speak online. You’ll want to check that all audio and video is streaming perfectly and that the speaker’s background is appealing.

Offer Additional Value to the Event

One of the main draws of many events is that they offer Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits or certification for completing a virtual training course.

Organizing a successful virtual event can be complex. Luckily, you can rely on SmartWorks. As an industry leader in event planning, we’ve designed exceptional virtual event ideas that have consistently proven to be showstoppers. Contact us today to see how you can make your next virtual event the best it can be. 

Remote Production

What is Remote Production?

Want to know the remote production definition? Also known as Remote Integration Model or REMI broadcast, remote production is a production workflow that enables live content to be captured from a remote location and managed from a central control room. A remote or REMI production keeps all of the production elements you might find in a traditional broadcast, but your on-camera talent is in a remote location.

A REMI production workflow makes sense in the modern world, especially during the pandemic when many people are unwilling or able to leave their own homes.  Remote production is being used more and more by production companies and content creators around the world.

Benefits of Remote Production

There are many benefits to using remote production, including:

  • Cost savings. Production costs are typically a massive concern for broadcasters and right holders, and remote production is a flexible solution that allows you to cut costs for equipment and staff travel. Since production equipment can be in one centralized location and control remote on-site cameras, your organization can save money on travel and shipping costs. 

When you use remote production, you don’t need to bring a huge team of producers, managers, editors, and engineers to a site. Fewer people are actually needed in the field, which reduces travel costs and expenses like hotel and transportation. You also don’t need to spend money on transporting fragile equipment to the remote site. In addition, equipment setup is much faster, saving time.

  • Centralized resources. REMI remote production enables you to centralize your production resources by bringing audio and video streams back to one centralized production studio. This allows for improved quality and control during the editing process. Human and technical resources are all in one central facility, working within a familiar environment, where they can easily control factors like power, lighting, and sound. 

Your producers, editors, managers, and engineers are also not dependent on weather patterns or limitations at the remote site. They have everything they need set up at the centralized studio. 

  • Increased productivity. A REMI streaming solution also helps improve your production workflow. While your production costs are reduced, your productivity is actually increased, maximizing your production workflow. You would send most of your resources to the actual worksite with traditional production, meaning that your staff members can only focus on covering one live production at a time. Then, your staff needs to return before they can begin working on the next production.

    This process is much more straightforward with a live remote broadcast. Since remote production works over the public internet, there is much less set-up time, and video producers can optimize their resources. Remote production lets you handle multiple production events at the same time. Your production staff can actually manage two different productions during the same day since the production system will be re-used at the next event. Increased productivity means more money coming into your organization while you are saving money on travel costs, moving equipment, and more.
  • Monetized content. Remote production is an excellent way for content creators to monetize their content and is a solution to the evolving nature of content consumption. Viewers want content to be available on a wide range of different platforms. Moreover, audiences enjoy a complete viewing experience, whether they are watching on a tablet, television, smartphone, or computer. 

The remote production model gives organizations and content creators the opportunity to have dedicated camera feeds for delivery to mobile devices and tablets and provides an opportunity for these feeds to be monetized. Remote production offers an economic benefit for rights holders.

  • Low latency. Remote production also shows the benefits of IP technology to offer high speed and high-quality media transport. Multiple audio and camera feeds can be transported to a centralized production facility with low latency over relatively long distances. Plus, with the technology for low latency available, directors can ask the crew at the stadium to zoom or make any necessary adjustments, just as they would in a traditional live production environment. This capability will only be pushed further as the remote production technology grows and evolves.
  • Flexibility. A remote broadcast solution can be set up anywhere and controlled over a network by anyone on your team.  This allows your organization and team members to increase their flexibility and efficiency. This solution allows for improved flexibility for staff members and better distribution of production tasks to others across multiple locations. A graphics operator can assist production in real-time with a second control device. 

Remote film production allows for increased flexibility and efficiency. SmartWorks has highly professional AV production specialists that can work in tandem from a centralized studio and remote location. As we are experts in remote productions, we can facilitate fast communication and react quickly to production changes or challenges. For example, when a producer asks his camera people to do something at the remote site, they will follow those directions immediately.

  • Cloud power. Cloud capabilities allow your organization to customize or change your production workflow at any time. These cloud capabilities provide better scalability and expand with your individual production needs while enabling the safe control, distribution, and storage of your most important media assets in the cloud. Remote production is on the rise, and cloud power gives video producers huge benefits in embracing new network technologies.

Remote Production Solutions

Organizations and broadcasters turn to remote production solutions from companies like SmartWorks to help improve efficiency, generate more content and allow their staff members to work productively from nearly anywhere, especially during the pandemic. Remote production allows broadcasters to do much more with their resources and gives them the opportunity to generate more content and more revenue to meet demand. Broadcasters can focus on using their resources to produce more high-quality content for their viewers while reducing or even eliminating expensive and complicated logistics associated with traditional production.

Remote production helps organizations reduce costs and complexities by reducing the burden of deploying costly resources, the equipment needed to produce everything at a remote location, and the field crew required to manage it all. Remote production also helps you maximize your resources by creating multiple events more efficiently with better attention to quality and consistency. You can focus on accelerating production with IP technology that lets you transport video and audio feeds to a centralized production facility with relatively low latency. You can also create more content by freeing up valuable resources, in turn expanding your live event coverage and generating more revenue.

Live Remote Broadcast Equipment

Wondering what equipment you actually need for a live remote broadcast? Here is a breakdown of some of the best live streaming equipment for remote broadcasting:

  • Video cameras. One of the most important pieces of equipment for a professional live remote broadcast is a video camera. Thousands of different live streaming cameras are out there, including entry-level, prosumer, and professional cameras. The entry-level cameras are typically cheap and lightweight and range from $300 to $700. Prosumer video cameras have decent connectivity and a few manual controls and range in price from $800 to $3,000. Professional cameras are durable with higher build quality and high-resolution sensors for excellent image quality.  These cameras usually range from $1,500 to $25,000. 
  • Audio equipment. Audio quality is often more important to viewers than video streaming quality. There is low to medium quality audio live event streaming equipment, such as built-in microphones on entry-level and prosumer cameras, medium to high-quality audio equipment like built-in microphones on professional cameras, and professional quality audio equipment like XLR microphones.
  • Mixing equipment. Mixing equipment enables you to capture multiple video or audio sources and switch between them during a live remote broadcast. We recommend considering factors like user interface, physical size, inputs and outputs, automation, connectivity, and onboard processing when looking for the right video mixing equipment. Consider the number of input and output channels, digital inputs, auxiliary and monitor buses and outputs, control through a network app, and on/off or mute buttons.
  • Encoders. Organizations often choose to use video encoding to compress files without compromising the quality. You can use video encoders to reduce file size, reduce buffering for streaming video, change the resolution or aspect ratio, change the audio format or quality, or meet a particular target bit rate.  Video coders can also convert obsolete files to modern formats, make a video compatible with a specific device, or make a video compatible with a particular software or service. 
  • Mobile live streaming equipment. You need a different setup for mobile live streaming than you might need for streaming from a studio. We recommend purchasing a handheld smartphone gimbal, a multifunctional octopus tripod with a ball head, a compact on-camera microphone, and portable lighting gear for mobile live streaming.
  • Video streaming accessories. You also need a few miscellaneous video streaming accessories for live streaming.  These include cables, tripods, batteries, and light stands. 

SmartWorks Knows Remote Production

If you need remote production, look no further than SmartWorks for all of your remote production needs. We have over 15 years of event planning experience. As a result, you can trust us to handle all of your event planning needs. We’ll ensure every detail of your event is handled with precision and care from start to finish. 

The 10 Best Virtual Fundraising Ideas 

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there has been a global increase in virtual fundraisers as companies pivot towards tech-based solutions to adhere to the current social distancing protocol. Despite initial skepticism, many organizations have executed their virtual fundraising ideas with enormous success. 

You can adapt many traditional fundraising options, like peer-to-peer fundraising and benefit concerts, to take place online. In most cases, the newly scalable nature offers unlimited money-making potential.

For some, the adoption of technology as a replacement for in-person events seems daunting. However, virtual fundraising offers significant advantages. Unlimited guest lists, decreased costs due to digitization, and less stress adds convenience to online fundraisers.

 

What is a Virtual Fundraiser

 

A virtual fundraising event occurs entirely online, allowing participants worldwide to take part — provided they have a solid internet connection. Virtual fundraisers come in many forms, including webinars, conferences, auctions, fairs, and concerts. 

The use of technology like live-streaming, video, social media platforms, and specialized peer-to-peer fundraising platforms replaces the need to meet physically. When coupled with smart online marketing campaigns, virtual fundraisers can cause an influx of donations. 

A significant advantage is that many one-off events can now reoccur with relative ease and convenience. New technologies also support the automation of time-consuming manual processes, allowing you to devote more time to targeted marketing campaigns.

From gift matching to gala evenings, here are some popular virtual fundraising ideas:

Masterclass Workshops and Conferences

 

People love receiving value for their money. If your online fundraising ideas involve more than just asking for donations, you could organize a one-off or series of masterclass workshops. There’s no limit to the types of lessons or number of attendees, meaning profits are scalable. From cooking classes to music lessons and DIY, the list is endless. 

What’s more, if people can’t attend the event on the set date, you can upload the videos online and repackage them as courses that clients can buy throughout the year. Better yet, you could arrange a multi-day virtual conference, selling day-passes, event-specific, or all-inclusive tickets. And you won’t even need to worry about organizing ticket sales — you can automate this process with online software.

 

Live Stream Performances

 

Live performances make great virtual fundraising events, especially since most large gatherings have been prohibited due to global lockdowns. You’ll provide welcome entertainment for those stuck at home or the office while helping struggling artists by offering them a small percentage of your pre-sold ticket sales.

If the artists are willing, you could arrange a Livestream Q&A after the event, providing a rare and exclusive opportunity for the audience to connect with them. Stand-up comedians, theatre performances, and live music tend to work best. Not only will you raise funds, but you’ll also introduce artists to new audiences.

 

Online Auctions

 

From getaways to personal items to artworks, almost anything can be auctioned when targeted at the appropriate donors. With the right mobile apps, you can automate the process and deliver immediate notifications to bidders. They can conveniently bid throughout the day, no matter where they are. 

Online auctions also mean that bidding can stay open for a more extended period, allowing greater participation. Alternatively, if you want to generate more buzz for your online fundraising event, you can always host an auction via Livestream.

 

Virtual Game Nights

 

Virtual game nights are fun ways to promote community and boost donor participation in a light-hearted, interactive way. You can host them on Facebook Live or Zoom. Or, you can create an element of exclusivity by hosting them on Clubhouse. Virtual game nights can either remain one-off events or a series of tournaments where you charge a participation fee that goes towards your cause. 

They’re easily sellable to groups of friends, families, and even companies looking for team-building activities. Bingo, pub quizzes, murder mysteries, scavenger hunts are the most common, while video-game tournaments are also gaining popularity. 

 

Glamourous Galas

 

There’s no need to cancel your annual gala just because you can’t meet in-person. Combine elements of other virtual fundraising ideas like live stream performances, distinguished guest talks, and game nights for an unforgettable evening. Alternatively, you can also keep it unstructured and casual, like a dinner party. 

If you’re going with a themed gala, you can offer guests recipe suggestions or reach out to local restaurants and have them deliver ready-to-eat meals to everyone. This extends your and your donors’ support to businesses adversely affected by the pandemic. When it comes to doing good, it operates like a two-for-one virtual fundraiser. Other suggestions include sending out gift packages ahead of time with fun dress-up accessories and edible treats.

 

Virtual Races

 

These live stream online charity events are easy for donors who are already fit and great motivators for those needing to improve their physical health. Cyclathons, 5Ks, and dog walkathons have low entry barriers and promote peer-to-peer fundraising. Plus, you don’t need to enforce an age restriction, so your fundraising potential is immediately increased.  

You can base race fundraising on the stipulation that participants complete a set route or particular distance within their own time. When you empower a large online community, you encourage people to post their achievements, advancing your cause. Finding a local fitness brand to sponsor prizes provides further incentives for people to participate. If successful, your virtual race could even turn into a monthly event. 

 

Online Garage Sales 

 

Ask interested community members and organizations to participate in your online fundraiser by donating items they wish to sell in an online garage sale. You can set up a marketplace on existing platforms or design your own website to list items. Once you’ve collected an inventory, you should allow buyers to preview the collection before they go on sale to increase publicity. 

A first-come-first-serve garage sale is bound to produce interest, especially if you’re selling high-quality goods at reasonable prices. Even if people aren’t interested in what you have to offer, they might share sale items with interested friends, family, and colleagues. If your inventory doesn’t sell at once, you can set up notifications alerting buyers to discounts.

 

A Sailboat Race

 

Sailboat races refer to a type of virtual fundraising where supporters are divided into teams and compete to be the first team to raise the highest number of donations for a given cause. Organizations set up their fundraising goals and give teams a deadline to meet, usually with the possibility of winning coveted prizes. 

To make it more fun, ensure each team has its own fundraising page. Virtual fundraising thermometers can display progress to show how much money teams accumulate in real-time, creating a sense of competition and camaraderie towards a good cause. You can also combine this type of online fundraising event with virtual giving days (where donors are encouraged to donate as much money as possible), game nights, and walkathons.

 

Gift Matching 

 

Gift matching involves finding an organization or corporation willing to match the money you raise with your online fundraisers. This can have project-specific or annual fundraising goals. For example, if you make €500, the organization will donate the same amount of money, increasing your earnings to €1,000 without any catch. 

Many companies already have corporate social responsibilities that include philanthropy efforts. In fact, 65% of Fortune 500 companies are reported to have gift-matching programs. This is one of the most lucrative online fundraising ideas because you can apply it to many fundraising events that you’re already offering, allowing you to double and sometimes even quadruple your funds with minimal effort. 


Recurring Donations

 

Some individuals enjoy donating to charitable causes without having to actively participate in a virtual fundraising activity. You can set up personalized email campaigns encouraging supporters to donate regularly. If they don’t feel like donating monthly, make it easier for them to set up a recurring activity with a debit card order option. Some companies need to write off money for tax purposes, and unlike gift matching, they can donate as much or as little as they like without being obligated to match a specific amount.

You can encourage greater participation by including a web link in your email that outlines how you plan to use the funds and showcases how far away you are from achieving your targets. We highly recommend setting up a range of focussed donation tiers. This structure reduces pressure on supporters, as they’re far more inclined to donate when given a specified amount rather than having to guess an acceptable sum. 


Work with SmartWorks


SmartWorks can help you turn your virtual fundraising ideas into world-class virtual events. We’ll work side-by-side with your corporate event planning team, creating seamless events from start to finish. We can also help you with AV production and answer any questions you may have regarding how to plan virtual conferences and live stream events.  

SmartWorks excels at simplifying the event management experience. We can handle all of the logistics of your event, from start to finish, ensuring it is a success for everyone involved. Start planning your virtual fundraising event today!