Digital Event Production: 7 Tools to Wow Your Virtual Attendees

May 4, 2023
Meisha Bochicchio
Meisha Bochicchio
Senior Content Marketing Manager at Goldcast

Table of Contents

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As digital events become a staple in modern B2B marketing strategies, attendees are expecting to get more and more out of their time spent at events. And as the invitations come flooding in, the companies that stand out are those putting in the work to deliver the ultimate event experience.

But anyone who’s tried it can tell you, out-of-the box digital event production tools aren’t going to get you there. According to our survey of over 500 digital event attendees, only 10% rated their experience as ‘excellent’.

If you’re serious about elevating your events, you've got to get serious about using the right production tools. At Goldcast, our event platform was purpose-built for B2B marketers who are short on time, but big on brand experience.

After working with some of the best B2B brands in a variety of event types and formats, we’ve rounded up seven must-have digital event production tools to help you wow your attendees and consistently win higher show rates.

Here’s what we’ll cover

  • Event planning vs. event production
  • Why digital event production is not the place to cut corners
  • 7 digital event production tools to win more attendees

Event planning vs. event production

First things first, what actually is event production? A good place to start is with what it’s not.

Event production is not the same as event planning.

Digital event planning covers all the pre-event considerations: dates, budgets, platform, registration process, etc. It also includes the prepwork for all the on-the-day stresses, from managing the event team to keeping to a tight run of show.

Digital event production, however, is all about the concept driving your event.

Event production is an inherently creative act. It’s the process of figuring out how you're going to bring your big idea to life. This includes all the elements that make it memorable, from your presentation designs and AV essentials, to finding and selecting the right platforms, partners, digital event apps and plugins.

Digital event production is about making your attendees feel like they’re part of an experience — not just another online event.

💡B2B marketing is going through a fundamental shift and event marketers are at the center. For more on the differences between event planning and event marketing, don’t miss our breakdown on Event Marketers vs. Event Planners.

Why digital event production is not the place to cut corners

We’ll be honest, the world of digital events is only going to get more competitive from here.

Registration rates are down as inboxes overflow with invites. Show rates are dropping as calendars fill up weeks or even months in advance. And yet, many digital events still look and feel like just another webinar.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, digital event production has to be high on the list. Here are just a few of the benefits a well-produced digital event can deliver.

  1. Strong event production provides an immersive attendee experience — one where the attendee ‘feels’ the event strongly enough to remember it. (And hopefully sign up for the next one. 🙌🏻)
  2. Though seemingly small, the right technical features create a sense of anticipation and excitement beyond any run-of-the mill webinar or digital event.
  3. By leveling up your production you also level-up your branding capabilities, creating a seamless experience that drives the right kind of awareness.

The key to making it happen lies in your digital event toolbox. The good news is, there are far more options today than many event marketers realize.

7 digital event production tools to win more attendees

#1. Fully customizable event branding

Digital event branding is made up of your unique voice, message, values, and most importantly — the event’s reason for existing in the first place.

These are crucial elements for any marketing event but unfortunately event branding has long been an afterthought for many legacy platforms. Until recently, event marketers have been forced to hack together clunky systems and fragmented software in an effort to elevate their events.

As a result, event platform providers have finally begun to focus on developing customizable features capable of delivering a richer brand experience for attendees — but not all of them are nailing it.

The right digital event platform will come with custom branding capabilities, such as:

  • Fully-customizable registration pages
  • Multiple logo placement options
  • Custom fonts
  • Custom stage backgrounds
  • A branded favicon
  • Branded call to actions, name cards and chat banners
  • Customizable reminder and follow-up emails

👉🏻 Need to get the creative juices flowing? Scroll through a gallery of our favorite examples with 11 branded digital events from real B2B event pros.

#2. Buffer video

When it comes to digital events, there is no down time.

Every second is an opportunity to interact, promote and ultimately, accelerate the revenue pipeline. Among the many digital event horror stories, awkward pauses and chronic buffering will forever top the list.

That’s where buffer videos come in real handy. Here again, not all buffer video tools are created equal.

Look for features that offer:

  • No minimum or maximum amount of time required for the buffer video. Two minutes is considered best practice but you should have the option to choose.
  • Ability to upload MP4 files that have been converted from JPEG or other formats so you always get the image you want on the main stage.
  • Option to edit the loop video in case you want to use a different loop video at the end of the event vs. the beginning.

Whether it’s before your event starts, during the time between sessions, or even when your event is over, buffer videos not only fill those awkward silences, they also boost brand awareness. It’s important to do them right.

Think about how you can use a looped video to build intrigue — a DJ playing music to set the scene, a montage of session snippets to whet the appetite, a product demo — the possibilities are endless.

#3. Multiple speaker layout options

Even an event beginner can tell you it’s important to give attendees a voice. But if you really want to bring your event production to life, it’s crucial to give them a face too.

Unlike the basic webinar platforms of the past, those with top-shelf digital event production features will allow you to view as many speakers as you like at any time you choose.

While webinars don’t typically have breakout rooms or networking booths like full-scale virtual events, features like Goldcast’s finely-tuned speaker layout variations give attendees access to up to 30 people who can be present ‘on stage’ at any one time.

This is a great way to encourage further networking and engagement as attendees put a friendly face to your speakers, sponsors, and moderators.

#4. Lower thirds

Wait a sec. What are lower thirds anyway?

Lower thirds are digital event graphics that add additional information to the main visual of your event. And you guessed it, they’re usually found in the ‘lower third’ of the screen.

Lower third elements can include:

  • Name cards: Name, title, role, etc., for your speakers and moderator
  • Stage images: An image that takes over your screen, e.g. a sponsor logo
  • Stage messaging: Text that takes over your screen, e.g. an attendee question, comment or important announcement
  • Stage and event-wide scrolling messaging: Ticker messaging that scrolls across the screen either underneath an individual session or across the entire event

Lower thirds are there to give your attendees greater insight into what they’re watching in a way that’s immersive and on-brand. Don’t let them go untapped!

#5. Use both live and pre-recorded content

The secret to superior digital event production is two-fold:

  1. You have to be organized
  2. You have to keep it fresh

To make both things happen, you’ll want an event production tool that gives you the ability to use both live and pre-recorded content.

Live sessions are a great way to keep your audience engaged, receive real-time time feedback, and keep the momentum strong.

But like any good event marketer, you also need to plan ahead. That’s where pre-recorded event content has your back.

If you’re planning a multi-session event where you want to ace engagement and plan like a pro, why not combine the two and get the best of both worlds?

One of Goldcast’s key attributes that helps minimize risk is the ability to simulive content. You can pre-record the entire show, load it into the platform, and it automatically plays the content. We had a few live sessions at the very beginning and at the very end, but everything in between was pre-recorded.” — Adrian Cohn, Head of Marketing, Smartling

#6. RTMP streaming

This one’s a tad technical but boiled right down, RTMP streaming stands for real-time messaging protocol — the transmission of audio, video and data across the Internet.

But what does that mean for you as an event marketer?

Essentially, if you have an event or session taking place outside your digital event platform, you can live-stream that session for others to view and interact with in real-time. This is ideal for any situation where an event is being hosted somewhere else, say Zoom for example, but you still want to deliver an interactive experience to your virtual attendees.

When it comes to planning your hybrid events, RTMP streaming is the ultimate event production must-have.

#7. Virtual backgrounds

If you didn’t know what a virtual event background was pre-pandemic, you definitely do now.

We’ve all heard a cautionary tale or two when it comes to virtual backgrounds. But get it right and it can be an epic event production feature.

Virtual event backgrounds are a small-but-mighty digital event production feature that allows you to maintain a consistent and professional look, while boosting brand recognition every time you speak.

Lights. Camera. Action. 🎬

In the world of digital events, it really is showtime.

B2B events aren’t made up of content alone anymore. If you want to position your event to elicit a real reaction from your audience, you need to show your attendees what you’ve really got.

At Goldcast, we’re proud to partner with B2B marketers who are always looking for better ways to deliver incredible digital event experiences.‍ Because the new era of B2B marketing is here and events are at the heart of it.

Brands who take action to deliver on attendee expectations today will be ahead of the game tomorrow. With the help of the right digital event production tools, there are endless ways to make that happen.

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