Pearls: Extreme Makeover — Virtual Events Edition

By Nicole Tobias

If you’re like me and have been to an absurd amount of online gatherings, you’re probably ready to throw yourself out a window (virtual or otherwise). And if you’re an event planner, you know how difficult it is to get people to join your virtual event. It’s great we have technology to stay safely connected with others, but sometimes going to another online happy hour feels like having more laundry to do when you swear you just did it yesterday.

The reality is that online events will probably continue through 2021, which sucks. Fortunately, there are some ways to make online events suck a little less for your attendees.

Don’t come hangry

As Snickers® would say, you’re not you when you’re hungry. Sometimes being hangry can turn you into one of The Real Housewives, flipping tables and cussing people out for bringing a birthday gift to a birthday party. Be sure to have a meal or snack in hand to combat the hangry side of you. Even better, have a meal or snack delivered to your attendees. We recommend hitting up our friends Pittsburgh Pickle Co. for a treat.

Inject some fun into it

Online trivia only works for so long before it becomes as bland as a rice cake. Take it from Lil Nas X who had a concert on Roblox, or IT Cosmetics who offered free online makeup classes. These events are unique and intriguing compared to everyone sitting on a Zoom call staring at each other in awkward silence, or worse, in forced conversation. You’d be surprised how drastically everyone’s mood can change from a programming switch up.

Change your scenery

I’m sure whatever décor you’ve got on your desk looked better 11 months ago when you didn’t see it everyday for eight hours straight. Spice up the scenery for everyone. Is moving to your kitchen too distracting? Take your backdrop somewhere under the sea or to the Louvre. We’ll also not-so-shamelessly plug an Oyster friendly backdrop. Your beige walls will thank us.

Know your limit and be comfortable with it

FOMO is real, but so is online event fatigue. There’ll be days when you’re ready to show off that nice sweater you drunkenly bought, and days when you can’t be bothered to change out of your coffee-stained hoodie from high school. As the event coordinator, you can create a relaxed environment. Let participants know they’re not pressured to have their camera or sound on. And if you are the participant, it’s okay to not go. Workout, draw yourself a bubble bath, take a nap or take a trip to Target. Do what you need to do to recharge and take care of yourself.

Raw ideas to real results. Creative agency based in Pittsburgh, PA.