Why virtual is the new ‘real’ when it comes to corporate events.

Virtual Event on Zoom

I don’t know who the first person was to say that necessity is the mother of invention – but I’m certain that he was 100% correct!

The madness brought on by Covid-19 has caused more companies to reinvent themselves than at any other time in the history of our civilisation, and the list is growing every day.

By way of example, we’ve seen the highly successful Mercedes Formula 1 team take time out to address the task of making a breathing apparatus that would keep patients out of intensive care.

And we have seen numerous spirits companies dedicate some of their distilling capability to churning out hand sanitiser.

It wasn’t that they didn’t have these capabilities in the past – but they simply never put their minds to these tasks.

And that’s central to what I’m talking about today – change of mindset.

Virtual entertainment has opened up international markets and is bringing indiscriminate opportunities to businesses of all sizes.

Founder of Find A Venue, Sean Gleeson, was quick to spot the potential in this space, and launched a brand new virtual events company Zoom Party.

Sean Gleeson Quote

Check out the short video below or view their range of packages on Zoomparty.ie

As a highly experienced corporate entertainer, my own entertainment world was turned upside down overnight by Covid-19, but after the initial period of looking like a rabbit caught in the headlights, we’re now looking to find ways of fighting back.

In my own case, I’ve pivoted overnight away from ‘in the flesh’ performances to offering a virtual experience to corporations or event managers who are looking to stage an old-fashioned sales conference or seminar or product launch – but in an online environment.

Shane Black Virtual Mind Reading Show - Dr. Evil Meme

At first glance, this sounds like an impossible task.

But if you change your mindset, then a whole new world of possibilities suddenly opens up to you.

I know what I’m talking about here, because I’ve already featured in over a dozen virtual conferences, transforming my act from a person-to-person affair to an equally impressive version of the same thing.

And guess what – I’ve had feedback saying that the act works even better, in some ways, in the virtual world.

I put this down to the fact that everyone (and sometimes even their pets!) has a front row seat, and can see everything that I’m doing from a couple of feet away through their screen.

Shane Black Mentalist & Magician - Virtual Zoom Show

As to how it works in practice, I typically deliver a 30-minute show on Zoom or whatever platform the event organiser has decided upon.

In most cases, the content is exclusive to the company that’s staging the event, so I’m happy to incorporate things like products, services, branding, key messages or conference themes.

From my own personal experience, here are three simple tips from getting the most out of your virtual event:

  • Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Lots of things can go wrong with a normal convention or event, but now you have to add in the perils of using technology. That’s not to say that the technology won’t work – but you need to be really confident about using it in front of your audience. There’s nothing worse than hearing “hold on a minute, I’m trying to restore the audio”.
  • Keep it shorter than usual. It may be possible to hold the attention of your audience for a whole day in a live setting, but this is much more difficult in the virtual world.
  • Be mindful that many of your audience or contributors may be working from home, so if a two-year-old child wanders into shot at any stage, just relax and enjoy the moment. This is what normal looks like these days! 

Other than that, your virtual event can be just as powerful as the old-fashioned kind – but with the added benefit of saving a small fortune on hiring a venue, providing accommodation for delegates, etc.

And people who need to ‘attend’ don’t waste time in travelling from home to the event location – possibly from overseas.

Shane Black - Mentalist now offering virtual entertainment

So all in all, what was recently seen as making the best of a bad situation has now become a form of communicating to key audiences that’s absolutely right for the high-tech and time-poor world that we live in.

And whether you’re talking about your mentalist or your keynote speaker, remember that they can still react and interact with the audience in real-time, playing their part in building team morale and bringing your audience together from all corners of the globe.

Shane Black Corporate Entertainment -Virtual Mind Reading Show

If you haven’t tried it yet, I can’t recommend the virtual route highly enough.

All you need to pull it off successfully is to change your mindset – and forget about the ‘old normal’ for the foreseeable future.

If you’d like to discuss the detail of how a virtual performance works – and how it can add so much to your online event, please don’t hesitate to contact me for a chat – strictly without commitment or obligation on your part.

Stay safe – and keep washing those hands.

Shane Black
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