Best Practices for Building Your Virtual Event Run of Show

Every virtual event begins with the big picture — “We’ll stream a global product launch with presentations and demos!” But before you get too far into the planning process, you’ll need to start getting down to specifics. And that’s why a run of show is so vital.

A run of show captures the details of everything that will happen during the virtual event — item by item, minute by minute, cue by cue — for every responsible party contributing to the program.

Here are five reasons your run of show is important


  1. It provides the single source of truth for the event. It ensures that everyone involved is working in sync and following one definitive guide for all cues.
  2. It helps you improve the show. Having a run of show during rehearsals makes it easier to spot potential problems and make needed changes.
  3. It keeps the audience’s needs top of mind. Your run of show helps you envision the experience from your audience’s perspective and focus on how best to meet their needs.
  4. It puts presenters and crew at ease. Everyone knows what to expect when they have a run of show to refer to.
  5. It enables you to respond effectively to change mid-show. Stuff happens with live events — a presenter is late, a piece of media gets cut. With a run of show, you can reshuffle elements on the fly without throwing everyone off.
A great run of show is audience-first, dynamic, and allows the whole team to respond to curveballs mid-show.

Now, about those run-of-show best practices.

Here are seven time-tested recommendations to aid your virtual event planning and execution:

  1. Think of your run of show as a movie, not a checklist. A great show has a narrative arc like a film. Organize your show content to take your audience on a journey.
  2. Be detailed. Your run of show should be comprehensive, so nothing is left to chance.
  3. Look for opportunities to surprise or re-engage your audience. If your run of show is too predictable (intro/speaker/intro/speaker), you may start to lose your audience. Add a variety of elements — pre-recorded video, “commercials,” audience polls, surprise guests — where a boost is needed.
  4. Be thoughtful about where you insert media. Use transition videos where you need a fresh perspective, want to prepare the audience for a presentation, or underscore key presentation points.
  5. Be strategic about where you place any breaks. If your program is long enough to require “bio breaks,” make space for them in the run of show where they complement the content — not just at certain time intervals. Think about what media will play during those breaks, such as music, specific messaging, and/or a countdown clock.
  6. Think about shots, not just the sequence of presenters and other content. Unlike a live event or a video conference, a virtual event is not an experience viewed from one perspective from start to finish. Once you’ve got the flow of the event down, use your run of show to plan shots for maximum impact and visual interest.
  7. Use a platform that gives everyone shared access. You could do your run of show the old-fashioned way — with Word docs, paper, and binders — but that’s incredibly labor-intensive and ill-suited to handle the inevitable changes that come up. A full-featured virtual event platform will do the job more accurately and efficiently — and everyone who needs access has it. In addition, another major benefit of a shared platform is that everyone has access to the most current show information.

Needless to say, Brandlive’s Greenroom gives you all the tools you need to build a run of show in a cloud-based studio and execute your virtual event — including immersive, high-quality video content — without stress.

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