Your Guide to Hosting the Best Virtual Gala Ever
Feb 3, 2022 12:18:30 PM
However, hosting an in-person event is still risky, and comes with many overhead costs. Fortunately, event technology has come a long way in the past few years, and it's now possible to host a virtual gala instead.
Planning an online gala can seem daunting if you're new to the virtual event world. But, the process is relatively simple, especially if you use a virtual event platform like 6Connex. Our experts are here to help you understand the tools and event planning logistics behind a virtual gala, as well as provide some creative gala ideas for you to use.
The simple answer is that a virtual gala is the same thing as an in-person gala, except everything is online. However, it’s much more detailed than that. Overall, the goal of a virtual gala is to provide a nearly identical fundraising experience for your guests, even if they’re attending through a computer screen.
Typically, some of the elements you'll need to include in your virtual gala are:
One way to make a virtual gala a bit easier to pull off is to turn it into a hybrid event. In this case, you have a mix of digital and in-person activities so that guests can choose the option that works best for them. When we discuss event planning for your virtual gala, we'll get into both fully digital and hybrid event solutions.
Although a virtual gala won't provide the same kind of one-on-one experience for your guests, you can still make your event as engaging and entertaining as possible.
Now that you have some ideas about what to incorporate into your virtual event, let's discuss the logistics of making it happen. Whether you're hosting a virtual or hybrid gala, here are the elements to consider:
Typically, the objectives of a gala are to educate donors about your cause, highlight the successes you've had over the past year, and raise funds to kickstart the next year. So, you need to break down these goals into measurable elements. For example, if you're going to raise money, how much will you need to earn? What specific achievements have you made since your last gala? These details will help you curate content to share with your donors.
Although everyone knows Zoom, this type of platform is pretty limited when it comes to entertainment and interaction. A virtual event platform like 6Connex allows guests to be more proactive about choosing their gala experience. When looking at different virtual event technology, be sure to consider elements like:
There are a couple of ways to share information about your non-profit with gala attendees. The easiest options are making a video or having live hosts and guest speakers talk to the audience. You can also do a mix of both. For example, you can show a video at the beginning of the event, then turn it over to a guest speaker to welcome everyone to the gala. In the latter case, having a script can help keep the comments tight and ensure that your event is on schedule.
Many event companies have embraced virtual gatherings, so it's relatively easy to work with a company that specializes in virtual entertainment. Best of all, because everything is online, you don't have to be in the same city, state, or country. Also, many virtual entertainment options are cheaper than in-person versions because there's less overhead. Start with your headliner ideas (i.e., a game show or live band) and work from there.
Once you have your platform and interactive content ready, you can plan an itinerary for the night. Keep in mind that virtual events often can't run as long as an in-person gala. It can be hard for guests to stay on a computer for more than two hours, so try to limit your schedule accordingly.
Also, it'll likely take a while to troubleshoot any issues attendees may have at the beginning of the event. One option is to open the event early so that guests can ask questions before the gala begins.
If you're new to the virtual and hybrid event space, let us guide you through the planning process! We specialize in all types of events, from virtual trade shows to in-person conferences. We can help to ensure that your gala runs as smoothly as possible on a reputable event platform. We’ll take care of the logistics so that you can focus on your guests. Contact us today to find out more.