If you told me six months ago that I’d be producing and performing in shows from my home office via Zoom, I would have told you, “No way!…What’s Zoom?”
Yet, here we are! Making it work in a virtual world. And you know what? There are a lot of reasons why virtual events are actually pretty cool.
Lately I have heard from a number of companies that project that their in-person events are on hold until at least next Spring or Summer. Yep, six or more months from now.
And while born out of necessity, there are quite a few reasons why virtual shows are awesome:
- Everyone gets a front row seat. As a performer, I get to see all the smiles and laughs up close and personal. As an audience member, there’s not a bad seat in the house. This also allows for interaction that would never be possible in a larger theater or conference hall.
- Connectivity to and from Almost Anywhere. With virtual meetings and events, presenters and attendees can sign in from almost anywhere. Since April, from my own home in Charlotte, NC I have hosted events with performers in NYC, Indiana, LA, and even Germany. Thanks to the virtual space, you’re able to source talent and speakers from all over the world for your events like never before. Plus, no more stressing over flight delays or cancellations to make it to a conference!
- Brushing your teeth is optional (but still a good idea). While I do encourage proper brushing, no one’s going to know if you skip a day. And side note: I must say, I’m quite happy with how my stray gray hairs blend in surprisingly pretty well on camera!
- Introducing The “Work Mullet.” Move over, traditional “business in the front, party in the back” mullet hairstyles popularized by Country Music Singer and Achy Breaky Heart Throb Billy Ray Cyrus. There’s a NEW fashion trend sweeping the nation. As reported in this article from The Washington Post, “In the conventional selfie angle that shows off a new blouse or button-down, pants are hardly ever in the picture.” It’s no wonder sales of pants are actually DOWN compared to blouses and shirts. The Work Mullet is “business on the top, PJs on the bottom.” Am I wearing a work mullet right now as I write this article? I’m not telling.
- Budget Flexibility. Travel expenses, catering fees, venue rentals, decorations, etc. are significantly reduced or practically vanish into thin air when you go virtual. This leaves you more flexibility to invest in entertainment and professional virtual production services.
- BONUS: Bring On the Creativity! Our need to be connected has created so many ideas and inventions. Just check out this article for some such ideas. I think my favorite is the pool noodle one.
Looking for some inspiration for enhancing your next virtual event? Here are a few ideas of services I am working on with clients:
- Customized Comedy Shows & Happy Hours – Release those feel-good endorphins, de-stress and strengthen social bonds over laughter
- Fun Game Shows & Trivia Nights – With a dose of friendly competition, get your team something fun to look forward to. Bragging rights included.
- Online Fundraisers – Nonprofits are still in need of funds even if their signature events have had to be postponed. There are lots of ways to engage your audience, spread your message AND raise funds for your cause. (I worked with one non-profit who doubled their funds raised in one night through a live auction in the chat!)
- A Mind-Blowing Magic Show – I am beyond thrilled to represent the World-Renown Entertainer and Magician Chris Dugdale and the virtual adaptation of his award-winning show “Down to 1.” Chris has amazed crowds from Buckingham Palace to The Pentagon. He regularly sells out large theaters, but you can now book him for your company town hall, holiday party, etc. This is a perfect example of an extremely unique opportunity to see a world-class performer in a more intimate, virtual setting that allows for crowd reaction and engagement like never before.
To be clear, I’m NOT saying that virtual events are a perfect substitution for the true connection we get when we’re together in person. But while the need and desire for a meaningful connection still exists, virtual events are a viable replacement while in-person events are on hold.
Now is the time for us to embrace the virtual space like never before… Are you ready?