Event Management

Why Virtual Event Planners Should Start Thinking Like TV Producers

Skift Take

When was the last time you attended a virtual event as compelling as your favorite binge-worthy TV show? By approaching virtual events like TV producers, planners can duplicate this show-quality experience and take future events to the next level.


We already know that most audiences today are online; from watching a show on Netflix to attending a brand’s consumer conference, people are tuning in via their phones, tablets, and computers. This means that event planners need to meet their market where they are — in front of a screen — and provide content that’s comparable to the latest streaming sensation.

As the lines begin to blur between virtual events and TV shows, the expectations for event professionals are shifting as well. Planners today are now having to double as TV producers or showrunners, and while this may sound overwhelming, the reality is that you can adapt with relative ease. Here, we delve into how virtual event planners can reframe their job title to virtual event showrunners and begin to create more elevated experiences for their audience.


Virtual Events and TV Shows: More Similar Than Different

Many similarities exist between virtual events and TV shows, especially with sophisticated tech readily available. Even though you might feel daunted by the thought of adapting your event planning skills to the seemingly intimidating role of a TV producer, the reality is that you’re pretty much already doing it, as these two fields of work increasingly overlap with each other.

The showrunner

A showrunner is responsible for all creative and managerial aspects of a TV show — making sure everyone sticks to a budget, ensuring the actors are happy, and overseeing writers and creative direction. Simply put, they create and manage the overall vision of the show.

Sound familiar? That’s because the role of a showrunner shares many similarities to the duties of an event planner, like managing the entire event experience, crafting engaging stories, and working with speakers.

Sets and venues

TV shows and virtual events are, for the most part, broadcast from a venue or set, ranging from exotic locales to at-home offices. And, much like TV sets, not every virtual “venue” can be the same, as the story and audience needs differ for each event.

For this reason, it’s just as vital for event organizers to select a virtual venue with the right design as it is for showrunners to find a set with the right atmosphere. For example, Brandlive’s suite of platforms offer different virtual event venues for various use cases: Allhands, for company-wide town halls; Streams, for high-quality webinars and event series; and Showrooms for product launches, kick-offs, and training sessions.


Great events, like great TV shows, tell a story and generate an emotional response in the audience. Just as scripts and storyboards are essential to TV production, a well-designed run of show is necessary to craft and deliver a solid event narrative. Careful consideration of the session topics and the story arc that runs through an event will help to keep your audience invested and engaged.


The Emerging Skills Needed for Exceptional Virtual Events

In any profession, there’s always room to learn and grow, and that’s no different in the world of event planning. For optimal success in this industry, it’s not just a matter of choosing the right tech partner or incorporating the latest trend. Instead, it’s a more holistic vision that involves reimagining the way we approach and produce events. This means adapting our skill set to deliver the most engaging and meaningful event experiences possible.

Have a TV producer mindset

Think about the big picture when designing your event without skipping the details; this process includes formulating the story arc and overall theme, which can then help you craft both your content and the event experience accordingly.

Get friendly with your tech

While it’s good to become familiar with the production elements involved in your virtual and hybrid events, there is no need to stress about becoming a tech expert. By choosing a virtual venue with the flexibility of Brandlive’s platforms — coupled with the right customer support team on your side — you can stay focused on highlighting your message and making sure your next event is a success.

Utilize data to drive audience engagement

Understanding your event analytics is crucial to creating engaging experiences that your audience will be excited to tune in for time after time, just as they do with their favorite TV show. For this reason, the right tech partner should provide you with a robust set of analytics so you can stay ahead of audience expectations and keep your “ratings” high.


That’s a Wrap

By reframing your thought process around producing a show and cultivating some new skills, it’s possible to create engaging, TV-quality virtual events — from town halls to seasonal product kick-offs to customer conferences — that audiences will be excited to watch.