Upright’s Guide to Hosting a Virtual Event for Startups

Rachel Jakob
Jun 18 · 4 min read
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They come from far and wide. How to gather startups worldwide in one conference room? The virtual space has allowed companies in most recent times and even more so during the COVID-19 era to connect startups worldwide with a common purpose and onto one platform without ever leaving the comfort of their homes or offices. These capabilities were limited to us just a mere decade ago. Today, the power of global connectivity has grown tremendously and the impact has proven astounding. Upright, a virtual platform for developers relations and outreach, has been utilizing digital transformation and its capabilities to run digital events since 2018. From hackathons to virtual accelerators, they’ve organized impactful international online tech events.

In just 2 months time, Upright received 251 applications from over 60 countries to compete in Celo Camp. Created by Upright, Celo Camp is an eight-week virtual accelerator and competition for over 18 finalist startups building on the Celo blockchain. In most recent events, Celo Camp hosted 2 large scale events in the blockchain ecosystem, the Idea Fair and the UX Audit, where viewers from 6 continents were introduced to inspiring new Dapps at the forefront of decentralized finance to help create a world of equal opportunity.

Why produce a digital event?

The way we plan business related events has shifted tremendously. Adapting to a new way of attending or planning a conference can be strange at first however when you take a step back, the benefits of running virtual meetings and events are significant. The time and resources required in planning a physical conference is not necessary. We can get straight to the point, no flowers and decor necessary, and no need to book an event space, flights, or food and beverage vendors. We can be more efficient in our planning and in the logistics of the event itself and the costs are significantly reduced.

Don’t get me wrong, you can’t replace physically seeing and connecting to people in real life, however, the virtual space lends us alternative ways to still cause great impact, to learn, and have a good time with fellow attendees without expending excess resources, energy, and time. It pushes us to capture, engage, and interact with attendees in collaborative and creative ways. We can still bring flowers and decor through cool UX designs, interesting content through different contributors in the ecosystem, and broader reach through the latest technologies. We can also gather speakers and attendees for a common purpose from all ends of the earth onto one platform without ever leaving the comfort of our desks.

So how do you produce a great virtual event?

  1. Content — Find different contributors in the ecosystem to make the content of the event interesting.
  2. Virtual platform — Use an interactive virtual platform as the event space, such as Crowdcast, Hopin, Zoom, or Run The World.
  3. Marketing materials — Create visual marketing materials using cool and eye catching UX designs as the flowers and decor of the event.
  4. Event engagement — Keep your audience engaged throughout the event by utilizing all possible new interactive tools provided by the platform you are using. Most importantly, encourage your audience to participate in the actual event using these tools. Interactive tools to incorporate in your event may include: Live Q&A with questions from the audience using the Ask A Question tab, through chats, voting polls, call to action buttons, and live streaming your event to increase your reach.

Upright Events as an Illustration:

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Upright’s Idea Fair and the UX Audit brought together a global community of blockchain enthusiasts. The UX Audit hosted 7 international UX experts from various organizations and matched them with 7 Celo Camp teams who won an internal UX Audit competition. Hosted on Crowdcast, there were 7 simultaneous breakout sessions where the UX experts offered custom advice to the teams to help advance and perfect their apps UX designs. The event can be viewed here.

The Idea Fair, Celo Camp’s demo day, showcased the seven top finalists of Celo Camp who presented their Dapps built on the Celo blockchain. Each team presented a 3 minute deck and demo followed by a 3 minute Q&A from the audience. The standout moments included live transactions on the blockchain, a high level of community engagement through the chat and Q&A, and the event also heard from the Founder of Celo, Rene Reinsberg, and Nitya Subramanina, product manager at Celo. Having 200 participants from all over the world and making transactions on the blockchain live was momentous. We’re still talking about it and viewers are still registering to view the event days after.

It is obvious that the landscape of conferences, events, and the way we conduct business is changing. The possibilities for broader reach, increased sales, and connecting people with common interests is now endless. Embrace the change and consider the possibilities. You may find yourself surprised.

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Rachel Jakob

Written by

From a diverse background in management, tech, and health my passions and experiences fuse together in my current role as Program Manager at Upright.

The Upright Blog

A virtual platform for developer relationships and outreach.

Rachel Jakob

Written by

From a diverse background in management, tech, and health my passions and experiences fuse together in my current role as Program Manager at Upright.

The Upright Blog

A virtual platform for developer relationships and outreach.

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