Guide to Hosting a Great Virtual Festival

Lately, festival seasons have seen many ups and downs due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus. Indeed it was devastating not seeing the live performance of your favourite band/artist on the stage with that vibrant atmosphere of summer fiestas. Truth to be told, we all know times like these leave us with no option but to come up with innovative ideas and host events virtually.

No doubt, the look and feel of a virtual festival will be completely opposite to in-person ones. But hey! The good part is we did not stop! Today, Festivals are catching up fast and many found this as a great opportunity to level up the playing field far beyond Covid-19. It enabled them to enhance unprecedented global reach, lowered their cost overheads, and captivated virtual attendees. Isn’t that something!

Running or hosting an online festival is similar to that of traditional ones. In fact, in many aspects, the logistics are way easy to handle. The main difference is the virtual event setup. Below is a guide to help you set up and run a great virtual festival seamlessly.


First things first, before we get into planning a big-fat virtual festival you should have a vision. Decide what type of an event you want to host. Reach out to people who have hosted a successful online festival already. Check out how existing festivals have managed to switch to virtual. Thoroughly research and get insights about the event you are planning to host for a smooth and effective experience.


This point is really important as you may not know which event is happening on the same date as yours. As a result, you may have less attendance and we just can’t afford that! Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing, know whether there is any other festival running in your target genre on the same date of your event. Choose a correct time and date by keeping the different time zones in mind and prevent running at a time when your target attendees are already attending another event.


An event page is a place where your attendees get to know about your festival. So, make sure to use simple tools that provide a professional-looking website. This is important because it gives your potential prospects a chance to acknowledge more about the festival and decide whether it’s worth investing their time.

4. Create Compelling Content

Ensure good quality content for your virtual festival. Quality content builds anticipation and compels your audience to stick to their seats in anticipation of even better content. While delivering a good experience, this anticipation also forms the base of your new-found reputation.


Since there is no on-ground venue, you must choose a virtual event platform to host the event. There are hundreds of platforms to pick from – so consider the following criteria to help you choose the right one for your needs:

  • Your target audience: Conduct analysis to find out where the target demographic wants to hang out. Millennials, for example, are considered to use Instagram, while Facebook Live and YouTube are more widely used.
  • Cost and profit motive: Online platforms are comparatively cheaper than physical ones as you save a lot of cost on traveling, accomodation, food, venue and more. However, if you wish to sell tickets, you may need advanced software to monitor entry to the event which may be costly.
  • Password security: Password authentication requires you to create a password that users must enter in order to join the interactive film festival.
  • Geographic and Referrer Restrictions: In addition to password protection, this functionality allows you to limit content to users in a certain geographic region. Referrer limitations prohibit people from pirating the content by embedding the virtual event solutions.

6. Create accurate plan to Maximise your reach and event Visibility

To increase the number of submissions and participation, create a plan to increase visibility and reach. You may do so by following Alternatives:

  • Present good value: industry recognition, cash prize and/or a platform to propagate a social cause, are some of the things a potential performer desires. Be creative and try to incorporate them in your marketing communication.
  • Advertise via media: by gaining a mention in media, tremendous awareness can be created for your event which may attract submissions. Utilise your contacts in the media and convince them to mention your event. Writing attractive press releases may also attract favourable mentions in the media.
  • Partnerships: Identify businesses and influencers with whom you can partner. A well-thought-out partnership arrangement can help you build the momentum you need.
  • Blogs: start publishing blogs well before the event commences. Bloggers bring out the recognition that is required to increase submissions and attendance. You may offer free tickets or compensation fees to your bloggers for promotions.
  • Efficient submission experience: go digital and share your submission links. Frame proper rules, regulations, and deadlines which will be displayed on the website.

Submissions invite revenue in online festivals. If you plan to monetize submissions, then make sure you get a payment gateway for it.


A virtual festival is not geography bound. The platform is virtual and the event takes place over the internet thus ensuring a wider audience. However to achieve that you are required to have a digital marketing strategy that covers content, social media, and search marketing. The audience responds well to video marketing. Know your targeted audience and design custom compelling messages to convince them to sign-up. You can leverage a wide range of marketing tools for little to no cost at all. Plan effective marketing strategies to encourage more audiences to show up.


Today, virtual festivals are viable to host any kind of event. With the integration of virtual reality, cultural festivals are providing attendees with augmented experiences. This contradicts expectations as smart products are rapidly infiltrating activities that were traditionally reserved for person-to-person encounters. Overall, recent technological developments in most sectors represent the power exerted by young connected users.

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Saanvi Patel
I am a professional writer and blogger. I’m researching and writing about innovation, webinars, Hybrid events technology, virtual events Platforms, and the latest digital marketing trends.

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