We hear a lot about planning virtual events, but there’s always big questions to ask before you even get to planning—is a virtual event the right type of nonprofit event? How do you determine if your event should be virtual, in person or just put on hold until things are back to normal?

We’ve compiled 21 key questions to help you get over the first hurdle. This certainly isn’t the end-all-be-all, but it will pose some simple questions that should help you decide whether or not a virtual event is the best plan of action.

Questions to answer.

1. What are the main goals for your event?

2. Do these goals include fundraising, access to donors, creating new donors, emphasizing your mission, or promoting a specific need?

3. What are the ages of potential attendees? (fill in the estimated age)

4. If the majority are over 66, have you considered the local vaccination schedule?

5. What are the current local event restrictions?

6. Would the event have to be scaled back significantly?

7. Is there a cost increase to stay within the directed guidelines? (i.e. plated and served meal instead of buffet)

8. If there’s a cost increase, will the event remain profitable with these amended requirements?

9. What would be the overall optics to the community you serve or the community who supports you if you chose to have an in-person event?

10. Does your in-person event require volunteers?

11. Are those volunteers willing to help given the current climate?

12. Will you charge a ticket price to attend and how would you provide virtual access exclusively to ticket holders?

13. Is there a fundraising (ex: silent auction) component to your event? If YES, Can you make the event virtual and blend this component with your event platform?

14. Are there specific people that need to be contacted face-to-face or do people really need in-person time together in a specific space?

15. Is there an energy to your event that can’t be re-created virtually or can you create a different, but equally effective feel virtually?

16. Do you have strong tech capabilities if you make the event virtual and who will support your team during the event?

17. Can you create video stories in time and within the budget and who will script your stories or event?

18. If this event moves virtual, will the format and agenda need any of the following? (Check all that apply.)

  • Multiple speakers for a panel presentation?
  • Keynote speaker?
  • Breakout rooms for activities or VIP’s?
  • Pre-recorded videos?
  • What platforms are you considering?

19. Can you get a digital sponsor or a sponsor who will specifically fund the platform costs for your virtual event?

20. How will you handle your audience-wide-give-appeal or paddle raise? Can you offer a match for additional donor incentive?

21. Have you considered a hybrid in-person and virtual event?

Planning and promoting your event.

Now that you’re in the process of deciding on the right type of nonprofit event, Firespring has all the tools to help promote your event and make it the best event yet no matter the setting!

download virtual gala guide