Best Practices for Building a Virtual Event Run of Show

Best Practices for Building a Virtual Event Run of Show

Your virtual event run of show is crucial to the success of your event. Just like with any event, whether it be a speaker panel, a field marketing event, a TV production, or an awards show, it’s important to organize the run of show from the very beginning – for virtual events and webinars as well. 

A dialed-in run of show helps your event team create a story arc, shot by shot. The run of show also allows your marketing team to plan creative details for maximum visual interest, and it keeps your presenters on the same page and your audience engaged. 

Get started on building your virtual event run of show with these best practices that we’ve developed from producing thousands of events over the years so you can start to best tell your brand’s story today.

What is a virtual event run of show?

Simply put, a run of show is a document that captures the details of everything that will happen during your event. Your virtual event run of show should be very specific; details laid out minute by minute and cue by cue are necessary so everyone knows what’s going on. A good run of show will provide a single source of truth for your event, even as it evolves in the time leading up to the day of your event.

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Why do you need a run of show for a webinar?

A proper run of show not only gives a framework for the speakers and presenters, but it also helps external stakeholders. Preparing the run of show weeks (or months) before your event will help:

  • Your creative team build assets to enhance your show
  • Production gets a sense of what kind of equipment and sets they’ll need
  • Give your marketing team an understanding of the event and how they can best promote it to your audience

A well-done run of show also ensures that the audience is top of mind. The run of show helps you create the experience from your audience’s perspective and will ensure that your focus is on how to best meet their needs. The run of show will also be the guiding light for your content; when you know what your message is, the story you want to tell, and the audience that will be watching, it will help your team focus on the right elements. 

As with most things in life, your event run of show may evolve during the planning phase or during the event itself. Especially with live segments and speakers, you have to be adaptable and adjust when necessary. When the unexpected occurs, the run of show is even more important. If a presenter is late or a video cannot be played, you can look at your run of show, take a breath, and reshuffle elements on the fly without throwing the entire show off.

What should be in a virtual event run of show document?

Not sure where to get started on creating a run of show? We’ve gathered six tips from producing thousands of events and hosting millions of attendees. We’ve seen firsthand what works best – and what doesn’t.

Consider the narrative arc and story you’ll tell.

Knowing the story you’ll tell during your event will then help to influence your run of show. This throughline of info can inform how you organize the content of your event, and it can take your audience on a journey that will keep them interested throughout your whole show.

Having a solid script for key presenters so they know how to move through content in a way that's both engaging and informative for the audience is crucial to the success of your show.

-Genevive Sheridan, Director of Customer Success

Be as detailed as possible in your virtual event run of show.

Your virtual event run of show should be utterly comprehensive, so nothing is left to chance. You may even want to capture what’s happening down to the second or minute, especially when it comes to transitions or cuts between segments. There’s no harm in overplanning; once you get every detail locked in, you can always go back through and see what can be consolidated, so your run of show is detailed without being overwhelming.

Keep your visuals top of mind.

Your show can (and should!) be a lot more than just a sequence of presenters. Once you’ve got the flow of the event down, use your run of show to intentionally plan shots for maximum impact and visual interest. Enlist in-house creative teams or outsource agencies to assist in creating stunning graphics, lower-thirds, and b-roll to enhance the quality of your show.

Incorporate transitions.

Music, videos, and other branded creative assets will help you shift from segment to segment. Plus, the right types of transitions will help bring about a fresh perspective, setting the tone from one segment to the next. So as you’re planning your virtual event run of show, consider what you want these to look and feel like; they’re a seemingly small detail that will make a big difference.

Best Practices for Building a Virtual Event Run of Show

Strategically place breaks during your virtual event run of show.

If your show is long enough to require breaks, make space for them in your virtual event run of show. Consider placing them in spots that complement the content; for example, after a thought-provoking speaker, where the audience will have time to take a break, grab a snack, and contemplate the message they just heard. You’ll also want to plan what will be played during these breaks, such as videos, polls, sponsored messaging, or a countdown clock. 

Keep your audience engaged.

Your segments and run of show will need to be more exciting than just intros and speakers. Be sure to sprinkle in a variety of elements – like pre-recorded content, b-roll, results to polls, interactive games, and surprise guests – so the overall show stays dynamic.

Bring your next virtual event to the next level with a professional and detailed run of show. A virtual event run of show template makes it a breeze to have organized virtual events every time you set out to create a new one – all in an effort to keep your teams on the same page and your global audiences engaged, excited, and tuned in to your message.

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