Understandably, the advent of virtual events came to shake the very core of the industry. With countries shutting down and social distancing measures put in place, virtual experiences are the only choice planners have to stay afloat. this is not a bad thing, of course, – now more than ever, people have the need to feel connected. To share their stories. To establish meaningful relationships with others, even if it’s at a distance. Putting together incredible virtual events shouldn’t be seen as something you have to do, but rather as something you want to do.
Thankfully, most event profs seem to be handling the transition quite well. At Endless, we’ve made it our mission to help make this transition as seamless as possible, by providing all the knowledge and tips surrounding the playing field of virtual events. However, there are still quite a few misconceptions flying around regarding the differences between a virtual event platform and a virtual event production company. Long story short, they’re not the same, and you need both to put together a successful experience. But there’s a lot more to it than just that. To better understand how they differ from each other and why they’re both necessary right now, keep reading below for our expert breakdown of these ideas.
Imagine Your Virtual Event Is Like A Chair…
You bought it at a particular store that only sells its furniture in separate pieces. This means you need to put it together yourself. To do this, you’ll need some nails. There’s absolutely no way you can assemble your chair without them! And the same goes for your virtual event platform – much like the nails, there’s no way you can throw a virtual event without one.
However, the nails are simply not enough – or at least, not enough if you want to be able to sit on the chair and not fall flat on your bottom! You’ll need plenty of other things in your toolbox – a hammer, a screwdriver, a saw, some varnish, and a brush to make it look shiny and beautiful. Well, in the scope of producing your virtual event, this would be your virtual event production partner. This is what we do best here at Endless – we’re not just the nails you need to assemble the event, we’re the entire toolbox that will ensure you end up with the coolest chair ever!
So, What Does A Virtual Event Platform Do, Afterall?
Obviously, a virtual event platform is an integral part of the entire experience. Remember, you still need the nails to assemble the chair. This platform is the place through which you, your attendees, your speakers, the sponsors, and the entertainment will connect. Much like an in-person event needs a venue where everyone comes together, a virtual event is inevitably in need of a platform where attendees can gather.
Just like venues – there are dozens of platforms available in the market. Some are simple and straightforward and offer minimal features. Others are more complex and allow you to include things like breakout rooms, polling, and chat rooms, all things that you should consider in order to further engage your audience.
But just as nails are a critical component for a chair’s structure, the venue or platform used is only a part of the event experience, not the whole package. You still need the rest of the tools in your toolbox to assemble the chair, and you still need the AV, production, and catering to put together an in-person event. So, what does this mean for a virtual event? Well, it means you also need to have a virtual event production company on your side!
How Can A Virtual Event Production Company Support Your Needs?
A virtual event production company will be your toolbox. Ideally, you’ll want to look for professionals who’ve been in the industry for years and know the ins and outs of virtual events. At Endless, we’ve been there, done that, and have all the T-shirts to prove it. This is exactly why we know what is needed to create a successful and unforgettable experience for your attendees!
It helps you make the right decision platform-wise
We’ve already touched upon the fact that there As you’ve likely seen, there is no shortage of options to choose from. Virtual event platforms seem to be popping out of everywhere these days, which makes it even more confusing for planners to know exactly what the best solution is. This is where a virtual event production company comes in! The people behind the team have put effort into studying all of these options for you, and know exactly what each platform can do for your event. As such, once you meet with them and explain the vision you have and what you’d like for it to entail, they can match you with the solution they know will fit your needs better. No need for you to do hours of research and still be unsure of the choice you made – the virtual event company does it for you!
It will make an effort to repurpose past costs
Considering the current state of things, it’s very possible that your in-person event was canceled, and you’re now trying to pivot towards virtual events. The problem here is, you probably already incurred costs associated with the in-person event you were expecting to plan. And you probably feel like you might as well say goodbye to that money. Well, a virtual event production company will be delighted to sit down with you and learn about where you already spent part of your budget. And they’ll be happy to see how you can repurpose some of it because there’s obviously no need to reinvent the wheel on things like scheduling platforms, apps, and attendee management software. Instead, the team will look at how these things can be used in your virtual event, which means you won’t have to part with the money you already put into the in-person event.
It will design the perfect anatomy for your event
Not all virtual events are the same. Even though it’s easy to believe all of these experiences will inevitably look like the boring old webinar, having a virtual event production team on board will empower you to make the experience unique and as close to an in-person event as possible. Things like breakout rooms, small meetings, sponsor activations, and entertainment are still possible. And a virtual event production company will know exactly how to make them happen, as long as you share your vision with them. This ends up tying in with the choice of platform we mentioned above, which is why we encourage you to hire the best people, instead of going with the so-called “all-in-one” platforms that offer no support, no direction, no production, and no tailored solution.
It can train your speakers and arm them with best practices
Speakers have their work cut out for them with the advent of virtual events. We mentioned this many times before, particularly on our audience engagement article, but it’s always worth repeating. They now have to be more charming, engaging, and interesting than ever in order to hook the attention of the attendees. And this gets a lot trickier when dealing with the competition that comes in the form of children, dogs, Netflix, and so on. And many speakers have no experience doing virtual events, so how can they be expected to succeed? Well, a virtual event production company will offer you the option of assigning someone on the team to train your speakers one-on-one. This will include all the best practices associated with engagement, background, content, and the presentation itself. Setting your speakers up for success is setting your virtual event up for success!
It’s a valuable backup that you’ll wish you always had
When planning an in-person event, would you forfeit camera operators? Lighting experts? Engineers and sound technicians? All in all, would you risk planning an event without surrounding yourself with experts in their respective fields that assure a level of production excellence on all fronts? No, of course not! And the same is valid for virtual events. The paradigm might have changed for all of us, but virtual events are just as tricky, and call for production of their own. You still need people who know how to build a website and are comfortable with live-streaming technology. Specialists who know the best way to ensure audio, sound, and lighting quality. And most importantly, dedicated assistance in case something goes south, a lifeline, and point of contact that will stick by your – metaphorical – side from start to finish.
All in all, a virtual event production company offers a holistic solution for your virtual event
Remember the chair analogy? Well, after reading up to this point, you’ve probably realized why we present the event platform as an integral part of the process, and the virtual event production company as the entire toolbox. At the end of the day, the people you hire and surround yourself with will be concerned with choosing all the right bits and pieces to put together your virtual event, thus creating a tailored and customized solution that meets your needs, your goals, and perfectly aligns with your vision. An event production company knows exactly what screwdriver you’ll need, which hammer will be the best, and what brand of varnish will make for the best combination in order to assemble the chair of your dreams!
Conclusion: Hire Your Own Virtual Event Production Company!
It’s completely understandable that in the midst of all the insanity, things get hazy. Planning a virtual event is brand new ground for pretty much everyone involved, so rest assured you’re not alone! Hopefully, now you understand what the major differences between a platform and a virtual event production company are, and why your best bet is to find the people who’ll get you through this.
Remember that you can always download our virtual event planning checklist if you’re in need of further assistance. Or, if you’re ready to take the next step, then chat with us today and request a quote. We can make that chair happen together!