What Makes A Good Online Church Platform For Virtual Events?
Covid has irreversibly changed the industry of virtual events as we know it. Since then, we’ve seen how it’s caused a major increase and development in virtual events. And from the looks of it, churches have taken full advantage of these technological advancements.
From online church services to virtual conferences, church-wide virtual run events to smaller team events, churches have begun to master the tools crafted for virtual events.
Whether it may be live streaming services for churches or interactive digital tools, now more than ever, churches have the tools they need to run successful virtual events - from conferences to church services, to outreach programs and more.
These resources are not only out there but can and have been utilized for successful virtual events. So how can you successfully carry out virtual run events? Let us break it down for you.
What Does It Take To Run Successful Virtual Events?
In order for virtual church events to be successfully carried out, there are a few things you need:
- There are an endless number of reasons your church might be hosting a virtual event. Is it an outreach event for the wider community? Is it a conference to equip church leaders? Perhaps it is a get-together to help your ministry team bond.
In order to host virtual events well, it's essential to know what occasions will be optimal if hosted in an online format.
💡 Tip: If you're looking for fellowship and virtual event ideas for your ministry, we've come up with some virtual fellowship ideas for online engagement.
- Just like with in-person events, how will people hear about your virtual event if you don't get the word out? There are a few key areas of communication that need to occur as you plan your virtual run event.
- In the same breath as communication, knowing who will be involved in your event is just as important. Who will you have working at your event and how will you put together your team? Or if it is a small group event, who will be attending, and will different tasks be delegated?
- Tools and resources:
- Your church can't have a virtual event unless there are digital means to host the event experience! Will it be real-time church live streaming or a pre-recorded webinar? Knowing what online church platform or virtual events platform is crucial to this.
Planning when to host virtual events
When to plan virtual events?
There are a variety of occasions where virtual events would be the most appropriate setting to host your event. What events are best suited for a virtual run event setting?
- Conferences and Training: Invite guest speakers as well as attendees no matter where they are geographically. Save recordings of talks and workshops for later educational use.
- Church-wide events: Across church campuses, for those who are traveling, sick, or without a means to physically attend, having a virtual event or counterpart to your event can be a game changer.
- Pre-recorded: If you are working with pre-recorded content, hosting a virtual event still offers opportunity for real-time community engagement with the content and with the congregation.
- Midweek Events: It can be difficult for many to make an event scheduled midweek. Planning for a virtual event format creates accessibility and flexibility for many.
📖 Read more: How Are Online Conferences Helping Churches To Grow?
But what would that look like and how will we know for sure that this is the best choice for my digital community?
The Growth Of Virtual Team Events For Churches
Churches are now using virtual events for a number of purposes. As we mentioned, one of the main ways virtual run events are used is to train their teams. More and more churches are choosing virtual team events over in-person training for their team members. But why?
For all of us who have worked from home, we know just how much commute time was been saved thanks to remote work meetings. In the same way, for the ministry team member with a full schedule of serving on the weekend, a full-time job, and kids to pick up from school each day, virtual ministry training and online team events provide an opportunity to be equipped in the midst of a busy life.
Whether it may be attending a conference, workshop, or webinar, virtual events for your church's ministry team can make a huge difference in making training accessible to your team members and those hoping to serve.
Aside from training, virtual team events for your church create opportunities to touch base with your ministry teams, check-in, team bond, and pray for one another throughout the week. Virtual team events make it possible to schedule even short midweek meetings. No more worrying if everyone will be able to make the drive after work. No more worrying if they can rush home in time to make dinner for the family.
Aside from equipping and meeting with your church team, virtual events serve can many rich purposes for church. Be sure to take the time to consider how your community may utilize virtual run events to create efficiency and growth for your members.
How Virtual Run Events Are Evolving
Actual events churches are holding online today include everything from holiday parties and Easter Services online to digital conferences in the metaverse.
The way in which virtual run events take shape is evolving just as our digital world changes and evolves as well. As technological innovation shifts, the way that virtual run events look will too.
With the rise of virtual reality (VR), online meet ups and events, there's no saying that events like this will be popularized as well. However, it's highly questionable that virtual events in this form sustainable and accessible as we head into the future. You can read about what Virtual Reality's impact on the Church World might look like.
Communication and Promotion for Church Virtual Events
- External communication to the public: Make sure your church members and community hear about the event! Publicize your virtual event where it needs to be promoted.
- Communication with guests and speakers: Will you be inviting any special guests, speakers, or contractors to help set up live streaming services for your church? Be sure you have coordinated with them well how the virtual event will need to be carried out and their part in it.
- Internal communication with the team: You can't run a successful virtual event if your ministry team doesn't know what to do! Be sure to relay the necessary information so they know what to expect and how to assist with the event as needed.
Building a team for your virtual run events
Part of running a successful virtual event includes having the right people to make it possible. Will you need a media team? Who will help welcome people when they log onto your online church platform? Will you have a welcome team?
Here are a few resources we've made for considering teams for your virtual run events:
How To Build The Best Church Media Team
Hospitality Teams for Your Online Church Platform
How to be an Altar Live Host & Greeter
Using The Right Online Church Platform For Events
Finally, a successful virtual event will require the right tools and resources.
To successfully carry out your virtual event you will need:
- The right setup and technical equipment
Depending on what type of event you will be hosting, you may need to prepare your digital setup accordingly. For instance, will you have stable internet if you are hosting the event? If there will be live music, can you ensure high-quality audio in your event? If you hope to host a larger event in a virtual auditorium, you may need to set up live-streaming services with the proper equipment.
📖 Read More: What You’ll Need to Start A Church Online
- The right virtual events platform
Even more than the equipment, the platform you choose for your virtual event will play a huge role in determining how your virtual run event can be conducted.
Not all live-streaming platforms fulfill the needs of certain virtual run events. For instance, while video conferencing platforms such as Zoom or Google Meet may allow you to interact face-to-face in smaller groups, bringing this into larger virtual events comes with its own complications.
💡 Tip: If you're wondering if it's time to say farewell to your Zoom church event, read about 7 ways that using Zoom is hurting your engagement.
On the other hand, if you hope to successfully run your virtual event on a platform dedicated to livestreaming such as Facebook Live or Church Online, this comes with its own limitations. If you hope your church’s live event will be engaging and interactive, simply livestreaming for an audience to watch may not be the best option.
Then what requirements should a good virtual events platform have? For a successful virtual event for your community, we believe that for churches, the online church platform you choose should involve both quality live streaming services for church members as well as real community connection and engagement.
💡 Tip: It’s important to take into consideration the broadcast vs. engagement models of online church. If you haven’t already, we recommend you download the free guide to Online Church Engagement to learn more about this.
Altar Live: More Than Live Streaming Services For Churches
We believe that the right online church platform should allow the virtual run events in your community to run successfully and seamlessly with the right preparation and team. Choosing a virtual events platform can be tricky with the various features, pros and cons that different platforms have.
That’s why our team has made it their goal to design an online church platform tailored just for the needs of the virtual run events of churches and faith communities:
- Church-Wide Congregation Events: Host large events, using tools such as the lobby, rows, and tables for welcoming and personal interaction.
- Outreach Events: Engage with the larger community through face-to-face interactions through lobby, rows, and tables. Track attendance and follow up with newcomers.
- Virtual Conferences: Host a completely new kind of event experience. Allow participants to do more than just watch and listen, but take initiative and choose who they want to talk with. Learn more about hosting conferences on Altar Live.
- Team Training: Wherever and whenever you need, use meeting rooms and share high-quality video and audio. Midweek ministry training at the same time the youth event is happening? Not a problem.
- Weekly events: Regularly connect by utilizing more than just live streaming services for churches. Church services now have added interaction and face-to-face engagement and connection.
“If you are looking for a platform to engage your community online, take a look at what Altar is doing. It’s a way to build community and not just stream your services.” - Angela Craig, Pursuit Church Live
Not sure how this will all look? Our passion is partnering with community leaders to foster real engagement in their communities.
Through Altar's White Glove Service, we'll work alongside you to help your virtual events run smoothly.
Are you ready to host a virtual event that people love?
Schedule a time with our team to discuss what it could look like to engage your event attendees in a whole new way.
➡️ Book a free consultation today