• Lorie Grooms, CMP

virtual event: making the decision

In March the events industry changed. The pandemic limited the ability for the industry to thrive like it had previously, because we couldn’t safely gather. Many events were simply cancelled or postponed, while others found a way to transition to a virtual environment.

As a three-part series, I’ll discuss the virtual event process from…

  • Making the decision

  • Signing on the dotted line

  • The actual event

For events that decide to go virtual, the ability to find the perfect platform can quickly become difficult. Trying to pinpoint the one that will be the best fit for any event can become overwhelming and time consuming. There isn’t one platform that is perfect for every type of event and there may not be one that fits the event exactly. Instead of looking at multiple options and becoming wowed by all the bells and whistles, that may not be needed, it’s important to know what the specific event needs are first. Here are some key questions to map out in order to determine the event needs, before signing a contract with a virtual platform:

What is the purpose of the event?

  • Education

  • Social

  • Sales

  • Recognition/Celebration

  • Motivational/Inspirational

  • Entertainment

  • Fundraising


What are the components of the event?

  • General session

  • Keynote speaker

  • Breakout sessions

  • Roundtables

  • Networking

  • Sponsorship recognition

  • Exhibiting

  • Award ceremony

  • Board or committee meetings

  • Just for fun sessions

What unique features will be included?

  • One-on-one appointment matching

  • Food or swag box delivery

  • Exercise and relaxation (yoga, 5k, meditation)

  • Demos (cooking, mixology, art)

  • Gamification (points tracking, scavenger hunt)

  • Entertainment (music, magic, comedy, trivia, animals)

  • Happy hour or lounge

  • Membership Resources

Will the event be live, recorded, or a combination?

How will attendees, speakers, and other stakeholders interact?

  • Not at all

  • Public or private text chat

  • Video

What type of analytics are needed?


Are there specific continuing education credits that need to be tracked? What are the requirements/standards from the governing organization?


What is the anticipated attendance?


What is the budget?

While a virtual setting may not be the preferred format for the event, it can offer unique opportunities and it allows for people to connect when in-person is not possible.

…until we meet again!

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