At Harry Walker we have hundreds of speakers worldwide, who are offering compelling virtual programs, and over 70 years experience providing customized programming for event planners.

We can walk you through all of the options for virtual programs, from moderated Q+As, to panels, to highly-produced multi-day conferences.

 

We are helping clients turn live events virtual daily. While our business is the “Content” of any program, our Logistics Team has worked on hundreds of events that have gone Virtual.  Below is a guide to the best advice for planning your next virtual event. 

Rave Reviews From REAL Virtual Events Happening NOW


Virtual Production Solutions

Turn your Presenter into a Pro with Simple Technology Tweaks


  Studio In A Box

Example: Steve Forbes at home: What’s Ahead

For those who want a better quality than can be provided with most home equipment, there are instant streaming packages. While there are some speakers who have their own equipment, it’s not that difficult to provide good equipment to any speaker. A “Studio in a Box” can be easily shipped to your presenter. These packages include:

 
  • Camera Package 
  • Lighting Package
  • Audio Package 
  • Plus cables and friendly “how-to” instructions that instantly turn any Presenter into a Pro 

While the Harry Walker Agency does not provide equipment, we are happy to introduce you to some of the partners we’ve worked with who can give you costs and help you with your event. Just call us now >>


 

Studio In A Box – Advanced

Example: OprahTalks at home: Apple 

What if you want to take it up a notch? Or if you want your audience to be able to interact? How do you make sure everything will work?   

It’s actually not that complicated. There is equipment you can add on to a “Studio in a Box” that will give you different camera angles. There are different platforms for delivery that will allow your audience to ask Questions live. There are ways to make sure that only your invited audience can participate in your event.     

You can add onto an Instant Streaming Kit and have a Technical Producer involved who can help you manage all the equipment, conduct rehearsals, manage the Q & A and provide general guidance.  

What does this cost? There is no one size fits all and a lot depends on how many features you want to add on to the “Studio in a Box.”  

Again, while the Harry Walker Agency does not provide equipment, we are happy to introduce you to some of the partners we’ve worked with who can give you costs and help you with your event. Just call us now >>


Create a "Virtual" Reality 

The same planning and care you gave to your audience experience at "live" events apply to virtual events. The good news is there are simple tools you can use to immerse your audience in your event. 

Immersive Environments and Interaction

You can literally create a “physical” space using Virtual Tools. You can have a “lobby” when your guests enter the meeting. You can have  Expo Booths.  You can have Networking Sessions and Meet and Greets and Photo Sessions. We’ve even handled Virtual Book-signings for events. 

We have hosts kicking it up a notch by producing their events using "Virtual Reality (VR)" or "Augmented Reality (AR)" that literally brings participants into the event. Augmented reality is a hardware filter we can use to see our world but with an image, sound, or effect on top of it. It’s most commonly used through apps on smartphones. Virtual reality, on the other hand, is a totally immersive experience that often requires a full headset and controller system to enjoy.   It’s not that different than producing a standard Virtual event. This option does require professional production assistance. If you want to go this route, and don’t have your own partners just call us and we can introduce you to partners who are skilled at producing these kinds of events.    

Examples of elements that help create a "real" experience: 

 

Virtual Conference Platform Demo

 

Product Demo using AR Experience

 

360° Virtual Tour of Universal Studios

 
 

 

 

 
 

Zoom tutorial for Breakout Rooms

 

Video demo using Fundo for a Meet & Greet

 

A Facebook Live Virtual Book-signing

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Guide Your Audience Through the Event 

It's important to remember that many attendees may not be used to navigating and attending a virtual event and may need a little help.

Many virtual events are creating “intro tutorials” for their audience as they log on. This video acts as a brief tutorial that introduces attendees your meetings different features and instructs your audience on how to interact with the various components of your event.  

Making sure everyone is comfortable with the platform and familiar with how the event will work is an important step in ensuring attendees take advantage of everything you’ve implemented and get the most value out of it.

Check out this video TXF: Trade & Export Finance made for their attendees ahead of their virtual event to hightlight the new features of their platform >>

 

Welcome Your Audience

The same goes for creating an “Intro” for your event. It can be as simple as a screen with music or you can make it much more elaborate with a host, graphics, videos and much more. This is also a great place to showcase your partners and sponsors. Here’s how Simmons University handled that when their Leadership Conference had to become virtual >>

SAP/QUALTRICS showed a high-quality and entertaining sizzle reel introduction of Academy Award-Winning Actor MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY ahead of his keynote to their employees. An audio excerpt from his motivational talks over a series of his famous film clips primed the audience for his engaging and inspiring virtual remarks. Watch this Intro Video >> 

 

Outros and Transitions

Each segment of your program can have an “outro” or a “transition. This helps create continuity for your program and keeps the audience engaged. It’s also a great way to showcase partners and sponsors as this example from Okta illustrates >>  

Re-Imagine Presentations using Technology to Hold Your Audience's Interest 

Events always told stories. Technology offers a chance to enhance that story and re-imagine the presentations. 

Virtual events offer an opportunity to make programming more interesting to remote audiences by keeping program segments shorter (Think TED Talks) and incorporating elements that enhance the presentation and extend your reach by being widely shareable and postable.  

 

Add High-Production Value to Content

One way to really enhance presentations and keynotes is pre-recording them. You can still add “interactive elements” live, but the presentation itself can be recorded. This option can help overcome technical issues like connectivity as well as practical issues such as planning around different time zones

Here is an example of Entertainment Entrepreneur SCOOTER BRAUN's pre-recorded keynote with visuals for Goalcast >>

This option does require professional production assistance. If you don’t have your own partners just call us and we can introduce you to partners who are skilled at producing Virtual Events. 

 

 

Get Creative and Involve Your Audience 

The days of passive audiences are over — audiences are more likely to engage when it’s a two-way conversation. Audience involvement is easy in a  Virtual format. We’ve worked on events with online Q&A, polls, or even quizzes. Some events are involving their audience by making them part of the program. They are interviewing an attendee or getting a large group involved in a dynamic chat room.    

 

Virtual Entertainment

It’s likely you’ve seen many examples of “Virtual Entertainment” already. It’s really easy to incorporate these into your event. One of the earliest examples was One World: Together at Home.  

We’ve done many events with these elements, which can be live or pre-recorded.   

Grammy Award-Winning composer and conductor ERIC WHITACRE brought his unforgettable combination of speaking and music to the TED conference-- where his talk went viral and racked up over 3.8 million views

View Video >>

 

Real-Time Illustrations and other "Breaks" During Sessions

One fun way to create a “Break” and introduce mini-modules of content is to bring  an  artist on board to create real-time illustrations (digital live scribing) or engage your audience during Panels or Content segments by creating artwork live to illustrate program points (like a live power point). 

Award-winning New Yorker cartoonist LIZA DONNELLY adds an unforgettable element to every engagement through her multimedia, "live drawing" presentations, in which she draws on her iPad live as she speaks, and has the images shared simultaneously. The approach makes for incredibly dynamic, captivating presentations, that engage audiences on a visual and auditory level. Amid the coronavirus, Donnelly has been capturing the many ways the pandemic is impacting people and society. and sharing her drawing process daily on Instagram LiveAt a recent event, tweets of praise from audience-members included: “@lizadonnelly keynote + live drawing + tips = inspired ”; “@lizadonnelly Yes. This. 100% So grateful to have the chance to listen to you”; “Gotta love technology --watching @lizadonnelly live draw on screen :)” 

 

Health and Wellbeing Activities

Many hosts are incorporating Health and Wellbeing Activities into both their internal and external events. It’s a way to create interesting programming and offer a value to attendees.   

PADMA LAKSHMI and MICHAEL SYMON are just two of the Celebrity Chefs we represent who have hosted “Cooking Demos.”  Watch Padma's Video >> Watch Michael's Video >> 

Bestselling author, thought leader and activist GLENNON DOYLE and Olympic Gold Medalist ALLYSON FELIX joined Athleta's Power of She Celebration of Women, which included a high energy, entertaining way to involve the audience with celebrity trainer Megan Roup. Originally planned as a live event, Power of She was livestreamed to 20K participants as a Zoom Conference that was free and open to the public. View a video clip >>

 

Online workout before GLENNON DOYLE's and 
ALLYSON FELIX
's sessions for Athleta

 

More Ways to Make Your Virtual Event Stand Out

Involve Your Sponsors and Partners 

Sponsors can easily be woven into webinars, videos, or other platforms in non-intrusive ways. Due to the fluidity of online events, package levels can be developed that come with different commitments and price points. A blend of large sponsorship packages and customized items will help you reach a wide selection of potential sponsors.   Here’s how Simmons University showcased their sponsors during their Virtual Event >>

Use Incentives

Hosts are using Contests, Scavenger Hunts, virtual Swag Bags, Polls and Quizzes to keep audiences engaged.   

As part of their event, Google SheetsCon did this very effectively. The Audience participated in a contest to win one of 25 swag bags. To win, participants had to share something about the event on social media using the dedicated event hashtag, or visit at least 5 of the sponsor booth pages during the event. It was hugely popular.   

Google SheetsCon Swag

 

Unite Your Audience Behind a Common Purpose

Collaboration and camaraderie are strong forces of engagement. We’ve all used this technique for our live events. We raise money for our Foundation or an effort we all support. Virtual events are really embracing this technique. One of our colleagues, WME partner Richard Weitz and his daughter Demi, organized a pandemic concert series to spotlight the work of United Way Worldwide in helping residents in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, New York City, New Orleans and Philadelphia.  

What started simply, and privately, as a fun way to connect while celebrating a 17-year-old’s birthday while in quarantine grew into a virtual fundraising phenomenon that crossed the $1 million mark during a concert event that featured the mayor of Atlanta, R&B superstars and Hollywood power players teaming up to raise money to support COVID-19 relief efforts.

 

Richard Weitz and daughter Demi raise money for COVID-19 relief efforts

 

Tangibles Keep Your Event Memorable for Virtual Audiences

Incorporate something tangible as a keepsake for your virtual audience. As a way to stay connected to you, your sponsors or your event content, you may consider sending a swag bag to your virtual attendees, or allowing them to purchase directly from your event portal. One highly effective programming idea is to follow up a virtual speech with a queued book signing. Invited audience members sign into a digital room and are queued up and advanced just as in a live book signing. During one-on-one time with the speaker, a book or book plate is signed in-the-moment with the personalized inscription, then mailed to each audience member as a keepsake. HWA can help you procure the books and we have experience for how to run the virtual book signing.

ALEX RODRIGUEZ signs memorabilia

 

Ways to Keep the Conversation Going

Keep Your Event Going Long After It's Over

Repurposing content allows you to leverage the content after the event. You can include bite-size videos for YouTube, recap blog posts, use sharable slides, and audio content for iTunes or other podcast outlets. And to help manage costs, you can offer content behind paywalls if the content is relevant and valuable.

Repurpose your content post-event to keep the event fresh in your attendees' minds 

 

The Big Bonus — Metrics

Digital tech is second to none when it comes to capturing specific lead information and audience data. Many software packages and providers even offer built-in dashboards or support that can break down your audience and event performance. Don’t know what platforms are most appropriate? We’ve worked with dozens of platforms and are happy to introduce you to partners who can help. Just call us >>

Dashboard example of capturing attendee data