Virtual Event Designs for Planning Inspo from Kristin Banta
A year of virtual events and webinars has left many planners – and attendees! – tired of the typical talking heads on video and home studios. Instead, everyone is longing for fresh creative designs and environments that virtually take them to new locales and destinations.
To provide a little inspo, Kristin Banta of Kristin Banta Events recently gave us a tour of some of her favorite virtual event designs and shared insights into how the virtual event designs came about.
Check out these creative designs and tips to elevate your virtual event to the next level. And if you’d like to learn more about bringing an immersive experience to your virtual events like these examples, book an exVo demo to learn more.
Out-of-this-world Virtual Event Design: Ramon Foundation
For this blended conference and trade show format, the client wanted something that felt like attendees were living in space, explained Kristin. “We were also inspired by some of the vendors – including SpaceX – to blend fantasy with reality in a cool way.”
In keeping with the theme of space, travel, and exploration, with the flexibility of the exVo platform, Kristin shared how attendees could look out the windows of the virtual venue to see the Earth, the Moon, and even satellites. “If you remember The Jetsons cartoon series, it was just like what George, Jane, Judy, and Elroy saw every day!”
Kristin also added, “And let’s be honest, we all want to take a break from our homes and home offices these days. One of the perks of designing for virtual is that we can give attendees a special experience – something they wouldn’t normally see.”
Kristin shared that in the real world, with an out-of-this-world design like this, “I’d have to be thinking about how we can’t block this exit, we need to make sure the fire marshal approves, or we need to use fire-retardant materials in any of our builds. Plus, I’d be juggling and adhering to physical venue limitations or budget restrictions that would prevent me from creating a satellite to float outside the windows.”
According to Kristin, one of the perks of designing for virtual is that planners aren’t “puppeteered by traditional install or budget confines. We can take what’s in our brains, and the world is in our oyster, so to speak, to make these ideas happen and bring them to life.”
Conference Care Virtual Event in exVo
She explained how this design is slightly different from the first example because it’s more of a typical conference experience. “For example, we used a large floating logo to mark a central bar area for the main host and exhibitors to meet with attendees.”
“We also divided the space into two sections,” shared Kristin. “On one side, there are video presentation areas where vendors can meet with attendees to talk about their platforms and brand.”
Kristin also talked about the use of a traditional keynote presentation area too. “What’s nice that as attendees come through this area, they receive an announcement to come to the main stage – just like what happens in a regular in-person conference.”
She added, “Plus, with exVo’s capabilities, once attendees are in these spaces, they can start networking with each other easily. The video chat features make it a more user-friendly, tactile experience.”
According to Kristin, another unique aspect of this particular virtual event design was the after-party area. “Attendees teleported up to the rooftop, which in this case, was an outdoor venue space in Mexico. Just like in real life, there are lounge vignettes and cabanas for virtual attendees to meet up with others. We even had a DJ playing in the background and had cocktail tutorials happening behind the bar – making it a multi-dimensional experience even though it’s happening in a virtual world.”
Virtual Event Design Tips
When it comes to design for virtual events, Kristin shared the following tips:
- Start with the objective. Whether it’s a conference or a brand launch, in-person or virtual, the design should speak to the mission behind the event itself. To do so, understand the client’s objective, and what success looks like to them. She added, “And just as important, think about what you want attendees to walk away with from this event.”
- Harness the fantasy aspect. “We all want to get away from our offices, so have fun using your virtual designs to give attendees an adventure and experience they can’t have elsewhere.”
- Let your imagination run wild. With virtual, you can literally create anything the client, exhibitors, sponsors, or speakers need. Kristin shared, “Use creativity to create a fun destination – no matter whether it’s a corporate or social event.”
- Use virtual to expand a live event reach. Even as live events start to come back, why not continue to allow people from all over the world to come to your event? If they can’t physically attend, create a virtual design that allows them to see and speak to people the same way.
- Try combinations just like you would in real life. “Designing for virtual is almost like blending SimCity and interior design,” said Kristin. “When I start designing, I start by pulling available virtual inventory into a staging area and trying different combinations to see how placements look and align with the brand.”
- Continue to design with intention. “I come from a world where my whole job is to find the small details that tell the brand story, or the client or host is incorporating little touches that are highly relevant to the story we’re trying to tell. With virtual event designs, it’s a little harder to “micro-style” so we rely on bigger virtual visual elements to support that main message.”
- Allow time. Like any traditional design process, virtual event design goes through multiple iterations before it’s first shown to clients for review. “Once we receive feedback, we create and show additional looks until we get to the final design – just as we would adjust based on client feedback for any in-person event,” said Kristin.
As these examples show, virtual event design isn’t limited to physical structures or budgets. Planners and designers have the freedom and flexibility to unleash their creativity.
See more virtual event design inspiration by watching the full Event Design in the Virtual Space Q & A with Kristin Banta webinar.