Building A Virtual Event

As you read this my life is in chaos!  My work life at Lighthouse Conferencing, focused on helping build a perfect virtual event, is great, but at home? Oh man!  My family and I are smack dab in the middle of a fairly major home renovation. And, this home renovation happens to be the home we’re living in!

Let me paint you a picture of what the house looks like right now: there’s plastic hanging all over the walls that makes it look like a murder scene, we haven’t had a kitchen since January, and every day we lose more and more livable space.

On this project, we have a team comprised of three key people and roles: our interior designer, our architect, and our general contractor.

As I’ve been working with each of these individuals, I have realized how analogous a major house project is to building and running virtual events.

Our housing project started with a vision.  My wife and I spent a lot of time talking, dreaming, watching HGTV, and scoping out a budget.  All great virtual events start the same way.  A vision on how to share big ideas and amplify engagement of your target audience.

The next decision is a MAJOR one.  Do we hire professionals who are known to work at a high level and do amazing work (at a proportionately higher cost and budget) or do we “Do It Ourselves” (DIY)?

If I were going to install some basic light fixtures or tile a small area, I’m probably going to go to Home Depot, watch some YouTube videos and do it myself.  But even on these projects, I’ve noticed that since I’m not a pro, the tile job has flaws. The lines aren’t straight.  The fixtures wiggle. It’s just not pro-style.

On the big home project?  I’m partnering with the very best pros I can afford.  I’m not messing with my vision of an amazing house. Nor do I have time to make this a full time job, and this really isn’t my area of expertise.  When things get complex and when they are of the utmost importance to me, I want it done right! This is not a time to get cheap or try to do it myself.

This is also one of the biggest decisions anyone makes in the virtual event space.  There are several options out there in the market place and sometimes DIY is a good option.  If the event is smaller, or of less importance/complexity, a DIY approach may be the right fit.  However, if the event is super important, like an Investor Relations Operator Assisted Call reporting your financial health to the public, or an amazing Virtual Trade Show bringing together the best and brightest in your industry, then you need to hire pros.  No questions.  This is not something you can handle on your own. And that’s okay because at Lighthouse Conferencing we have you covered!

Remember the team I rely on to make sure this house project doesn’t go sideways?  Well, we are exactly like your interior designer, architect, and contractor all in one for your biggest visions, ideas, and virtual events!

Interior Designer

Before this project I never would have thought I’d ever work with an interior designer in my life. Now I can’t imagine ever working without one again!  Our interior designer is a trusted advisor. She knows us, our style, and most importantly, what we want the finished product to look like. Everytime I write a check for her services, I look at my wife and note that the higher rate our designer charges is for her experience. In the end, she is saving us a ton of money and heartache even if her fee is higher than most of her competition.  The old adage, “You get what you pay for”, has never rang more true in this instance and especially in virtual events.

At Lighthouse, every virtual event begins with a vision, then goes to our team who is your “designer”.  It is our job to take your vision and translate it into the best format and tool to achieve your goals.  With an Operator Assisted Call, our team designs your event, much like a producer and director would design a live theatrical event.  If your message requires a webcast or Virtual Engagement Conferencing / Virtual Environment having a designer is required. Every aspect of these events are custom, branded, and designed to accomplish your goals. This is not a plug and play, one size fits all situation.  Each event must be “designed” for every customer.  Sometimes I think we should change our tag line to: “We only do custom!”

Architect 

While our interior designer has helped us translate our vision into reality, and is watching the design elements through the process, she’s not an architect. Our architect designed the walls and structure. Understanding the intricacies of space and flow and applying those to our existing situation.  Sure it’s easy to build on a blank piece of paper, but the real magic happens when someone is able to take what you have and make it better.  I like to think our team at Lighthouse does exactly that.  In addition, while we (and our designer) could create a fantastical vision, it is our architect’s job to say “no”.  He would let us know when things wouldn’t work or sometimes we’d have to bring in a structural engineer to see if our crazy ideas were even possible.

Lighthouse does this by managing expectations.  We tell our clients exactly what we can and can’t do with their virtual event. We’ve seen enough virtual events to know where the hazards lie and while we don’t like it, we will tell our clients “no” if we think their idea or tweak to their event will end up poorly.

General Contractor 

This is like the Lighthouse Conferencing Client Happiness team and your virtual event project manager rolled up all in one.  Our GC is all up in our business!  He’s around all the time and doing the real work. He knows where the skeletons are buried and has a long history and knowledge of our project.  This is how we view your virtual event.  There are components built on top of components and they all work together to give you the best event possible.  Our contractor has been doing this for 30 years.  And he’s just about seen it all. Same for the Lighthouse Conferencing team. We’ve been in this business since 2001 and have experience in just about every type of virtual event – although we’re improving and inventing new event ideas every day!

The other thing I like about having a GC rather than approaching this from a DIY perspective is that he’s accountable!  He owns any mistakes, refinements, etc.  If I were doing this, the only person I can have come fix it to my satisfaction is the person looking at me in the mirror.

Lighthouse stands by our work and we won’t stop working on your behalf until it’s perfect.  I love the saying “Don’t do your best. Do MY best!”  And we embody that. If you hire us, we feel that we need to do YOUR best. And we will guarantee you’re happy.

Lastly, our building team has been working together a long time.  After this experience, I would never consider hiring a designer, architect, and contractor that have never worked together before. Their collective shorthand and ability to understand one another’s needs and vision only comes after years of working together.

Much like the team at Lighthouse, we work collaboratively to make sure your virtual event is the event of your dreams.  We have a proven process of collaboration and communication that ensures our team is always in the loop and working together to make sure your biggest ideas shine!

Allow us to help you build your perfect Virtual Event

About Marc Gutman

Marc Gutman is the Chief Events Officer at Lighthouse Conferencing. He has over ten years of experience in Conferencing and Collaboration services and is dedicated to Lighthouse's mission of being a different kind of conferencing company. When not sharing his passion for remote meetings and collaboration you can find Marc enjoying time with his wife and three small children, cycling, snowboarding, kiteboarding, playing golf and generally enjoying the outdoors of Colorado. Find Marc on and LinkedIn.

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Marc Gutman is the Chief Events Officer at Lighthouse Conferencing. He has over ten years of experience in Conferencing and Collaboration services and is dedicated to Lighthouse's mission of being a different kind of conferencing company. When not sharing his passion for remote meetings and collaboration you can find Marc enjoying time with his wife and three small children, cycling, snowboarding, kiteboarding, playing golf and generally enjoying the outdoors of Colorado. Find Marc on and LinkedIn.

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