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Make Your Virtual Event Stand Out In 2021

Reading Time: 3 minutes

How many virtual events did you produce last year? One, two, or too many to count?

2021 continues to be another year full of virtual events. The difference?

Your supporters are now accustomed with Zoom, Facebook Lives, and donating online. They’ve attended the “old event” repurposed for online and will now be looking for something more engaging to hold their attention.

You got your feet wet and probably tested a lot of new tools last year. Now, it’s time to level up and build events purposely for virtual consumption.

Over the course of last year, I continued to research the top virtual events tools and better understand what it took to make an event more exciting and interactive for participants.

Do You Know Your Audience?

The first step to putting together an engaging virtual event is to understand the likes and dislikes of the audience you’d like to attend.

  • Do they have kids? Will the kids be present?
  • What shows are they watching?
  • Do they like to dress up or dress down?
  • How old are they? Mostly male or female?

Pull your team together and generate a series of questions you can start to uncover. What kind of virtual event makes sense based on your cause and the people in attendance.

You can also pull some demographic data from your social media channels and poll your audience online for event suggestions.

Is Your Ask Visual and Urgent?

In 2020, there was an unprecedented urgent need for nonprofits to raise funds due to the pandemic. The pandemic still holds steady in the news, but it’s not as jarring as last March. The pains and struggles felt by many are still very relevant. That needs to be highlighted and communicated clearly.

During your virtual event, it’s crucial to outline and help visualize your Impact Goal(s).

Impact Goal: $X = the specific area in our cause we’re looking for support for

Example: $10,500 = Supporting 3 student’s state college tuition

You can have multiple Impact Goals for your virtual event, but it’s important to apply visuals, stories, etc. to each goal for a greater emotional appeal. This also helps supporters more clearly understand where funds go.

Incentives for Virtual Event Participation

Virtual events leave room for lower retention rates if the event doesn’t provide ways to engage back.


  • Integrate LIVE and pre-recorded content into your event. Live content allows you to communicate with the comments section, live donations as they come in, and acknowledge people in real-time.


  • Hoppier is a great platform for sponsors and participants. Attendees receive virtual spending cards that can be branded with sponsor branding to be used before, during, and after the event. You can set up all the customizations, where they can spend the funds, etc.


  • Missing photo booths? Snapbar has created a virtual photo booth to easily integrate into any virtual event. This is a great way to encourage social sharing and continued sponsor awareness that lives on after the event.


  • Raffles! Create multiple opportunities to win raffle items throughout the evening based on participation in the comments or chat. Use a tool like Wheel of Names to enter in everyone who commented to pick a winner.

About the writer

I’m Dana Snyder! An entrepreneur, digital strategist, and passionate conscious consumer. I founded Positive Equation in 2017 with a focus on helping nonprofits cultivate passionate online audiences of donors, partners, and advocates using social media.

Currently based in Atlanta, I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with Movember, Dress for Success, USTA, Honest Company, Sports Illustrated, American Idol, The Global Foodbanking Network, The Gary Sinise Foundation, LA84 Foundation, and many more on their digital strategies.

Want to learn more about how to use Facebook & Instagram for your nonprofit? Check out my DIY course here. 

To book a social media audit to align your business goals with digital strategies to attract new donors, click here!

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