After a lot of trial and error over the last two years, event organizers have realized that there are a number of benefits to hosting virtual events. From accessibility and low travel costs, to creative venue options and endless customizations, hosting an event in a virtual world mimics the unique experience and connection that in-person events offer.
But hosting a successful virtual event is more than just replicating your typical face-to-face program. Check out our five step guide to hosting a successful event in the Metaverse!
1. Establish a Goal
The basics of planning for virtual and in-person events tend to be the same. Before establishing a budget, selecting a venue, organizing marketing materials, and creating content, it's important to set a goal for your virtual event to keep the planning focused.
Understanding the purpose of your event and what value you will offer to attendees is key to success. Some questions to consider when in the planning phase include:
- Will our sessions be hosted live or pre-recorded?
- What functionality do we need in a virtual venue?
- Is our audience familiar with the platform we’ve selected?
- What tools can we use to further engage with our audience?
2. Select the Right Venue
Next, it's time to decide what venue will be the best fit for your event. When planning an event on a Metaverse platform like Virbela, there are many spaces that can be customized to fit your needs. Some of the most commonly used event spaces in Virbela include:
The Virbela Speakeasy: This venue offers a virtual setting for live music, comedy shows, award galas, social events, work gatherings, parties, and more. Avatars can easily dance along to their favorite artists or use the emotes panel to laugh at a comic’s material.
Auditorium: Hosting a keynote speaker or panel of thought leaders? The auditorium can accommodate hundreds of users, all with the same perks as the best seat in the house! Using stage zoom, participants can view slides and videos from the speaker in full-screen view.
EXPO Hall: The Virbela EXPO Hall was made to create realistic interactions for virtual exhibitors. The number of total booths can be easily scaled depending on the size of your exhibition and vendors have the ability to fully brand their booth and upload all forms of content.
3. Prepare Attendees for Success
Hosting an event in the Metaverse often requires attendees to use new software that they may be unfamiliar with. To ensure your event runs smoothly and your attendees have the best experience possible, we recommend creating some guidance on how to navigate your chosen Metaverse platform.
For example, GameStop created a video to help their conference attendees learn how to navigate Virbela ahead of their event and ensured they had access to explore their private event campus before the conference began.
4. Make Time for Connection
According to the Event Manager Blog, keeping attendees engaged is the biggest challenge of virtual events. For this reason, many organizers have selected Metaverse venues rather than other webinar platforms, as they are more collaborative and replicate the social interactions that happen when attending an event in the real world.
When hosting an event in Virbela, you can take advantage of a number of functions and spaces dedicated to connecting with others. Using the web boards in any Virbela venue, organizers can host interactive polls or live Q&A sessions using tools like Slido. In the auditorium, private volumes can be turned on around seats to allow for easier networking between attendees. In The Virbela Speakeasy, there are a number of private volumes where attendees can speak away from the crowd and without distraction.
Whether you bump into someone on campus while exploring or have a dedicated networking space set up, people experience a sense of presence when attending Metaverse events.
5. Have Fun
Our number one tip for hosting a successful virtual event? Have fun! Virtual platforms feel like games to many users, so embracing that aspect and dedicating time for unique experiences in your event program will make the event more memorable for attendees.
We love to throw dance parties with live music, like this one with DJ Jazzy Jeff, or setting up an arcade where attendees can compete in classic games like Space Invaders or Super Mario Brothers in between sessions.