As the centrepiece that combines all the different parts of the online attendee experience into one, the virtual stage has a big say on the success of your online events.
It’s the place where attendees access video content, interact with other participants through a live chat and networking, enter digital experience rooms, take a look at sponsor booths, and generally speaking, access everything to do with the online event.
In fact, it’s really no different to a venue that you’d find at an in-person event. The very same rules still apply. You’ll need to have a virtual stage that is easy to navigate, intuitive, and engaging. So if you want to deliver big on the attendee experience designing an attractive virtual stage should be a top priority.
To take this a step further, let’s take a look at what a virtual stage consists of and how to design one using online events platform, Eventtia.
What is a virtual stage?
At first glance, you might think that a virtual stage is just a simple Zoom or live streaming background. But as you’ll see, a virtual stage goes a lot further than that.
Definition: A virtual stage is a place where attendees access all of your content, interact, communicate, and view event-related info.
Prior to the event, attendees will be given a link to the virtual stage, which they can access by signing in to the virtual stage using the email that they registered with. Once inside, they can then view all of the assets that you’ve prepared for the event.
As a general rule of thumb, the virtual stage will include any live streams, pre-recorded content, the program, a live chat, attendee profiles and then any added extras (which we’ll get to further down).
In other words, this doubles down as your online event portal, providing attendees with a single access point where they’ll have everything they need for the online event.
Note: It’s always worth opening the virtual stage up beforehand so attendees can explore it and access any materials that you might have on offer prior to the event.
Reasons why a virtual stage should be intuitive and easy to navigate
Now that you have a clear understanding of what a virtual stage is, here are three important reasons why you should be looking to design an intuitive and easy to navigate the virtual stage.
- Provide a smooth attendee experience
- Ensure that everything can be easily accessed
- Showcase your brand and communicate a clear vision of the event
The elements of a virtual stage
To show you what the virtual stage looks like, we’ve taken a few screenshots from our Get Together summit, the first is the virtual stage which is what attendees will see when viewing live video content, and the second is the sidebar menu, which opens up after clicking on the contact icon in the top left corner.
- The video player: The centrepoint of the virtual stage, this is where all of your live video content will be streamed. Eventtia offers integrations with Zoom, Google Meet, YouTube, WebEx and custom video players which are embedded onto the virtual stage through an iframe.
- The schedule with what’s next: On the right hand side of the video player, attendees will be able to view the agenda showing the upcoming sessions with the option for them to join them.
- Public chat: In the same box as the schedule, there’s is also a public chat where attendees can communicate with each other and with the speakers. This is your most important tool to get the conversation going and is vital for engagement.
- Language options for simultaneous translation and the virtual stage: The final component of the virtual stage is the ability to offer different language options. The virtual stage can be translated into French and Spanish (we’ll show you how to do this in the video at the end end of the article), and you can also offer simultaneous translations on your video content with an added widget.
- Sponsor logos: Finally, you can put sponsors logos below the video player which will open a link to their website.
Alongside the main stage, attendees can also open up a sidebar, or menu, with more event-related content and information.
- The profile: The first icon is the profile, this includes the same information from the registration form but gives attendees an extra chance to access and edit their profiles with more information (something that will come in very handy for networking).
- The detailed schedule: Along with the schedule of what’s next on the virtual stage, attendees can access the full agenda in the sidebar. This shows them all the sessions in with a description and comes with the option for them to add this to their personal calendar.
- The profile of other attendees: As part of the networking module, attendees can view the profiles of all the other participants. From here, attendees can start a personal chat, view their agenda, and schedule personal meetings with them.
- Sponsors page: The final component of the sidebar is the sponsors’ page. This is a place to showcase all of your sponsors with their own page. Within the page you can logos, banners, videos, a description, and attachments to give your sponsors the exposure they need.
Last but not least are some added extras that you can add to the virtual stage. These go a very long way in enhancing the attendee experience so be make sure to add them.
- Emoticons: Emoticons can be placed below the video player, giving attendees the chance to respond to the content being streamed. When clicking on an emoticon this then pops up onto the video player, providing provides a fantastic way to encourage participation.
- Virtual stage tutorials: By creating a custom module to go on the sidebar, you can embed how-to videos via an iframe, making it much easier for attendees to learn how to navigate the virtual stage.
- Experience rooms: Again with the help of a custom module, you can create experience rooms with on-demand content - such as videos, music players, or photo booths - that can be accessed by attendees during the event.
Screenshots from the Get Together virtual stage
- The video player and main stage where all the live content is streamed:
- An example of a sponsor page with all the assets:
- One of the sponsor's pages:
- Get to know fellow attendees
- Eventtia's tutorial module
- The Calm App meditation room
How to set up a virtual stage with Eventtia
Part 1: How to set up the virtual stage
Part 2: Get Together virtual stage demo