The Instinct Handbook for Virtual Events

After 8 months of practice, we like to think we’ve perfected the art of the virtual event… and luckily they’re not going away any time soon! We’ve run cook-a-longs for Plymouth Gin with celebrity chef Mark Hix, MALFY Gin and Secret Speyside whisky masterclasses, not forgetting our recent champagne tea for QVC with the much loved Ruth Langsford. Of course, we’ve also had our nose to the ground for virtual events held by non-instinct clients, so we can learn from our peers.

There have definitely been a few bumps, but here’s what we’ve learnt along the way:


  • Is your event desirable? – Whatever the concept is, it needs to be appealing, whether that involves a celebrity guest or an interactive angle that will capture people’s attention. If you’ve planned for a 1 hour event, attendees need to be kept engaged until the very end!
  • Is it unique? – With zoom fatigue on the rise, virtual events need to be more innovative than ever to cut through.


Customer Experience

  • Interaction is key – Whether your attendees are invited press or paying consumers, they want to feel involved, so ensure the host/talent interact with the audience to make the event feel intimate and sociable.
  • Any questions? – Your audience may be shy, but ensure the host reminds them to ask any questions in the chat section.
  • Get the tunes on – Music at the beginning helps to create a relaxed and convivial atmosphere.
  • All about the Insta – A slide showing social handles and hashtags should be shared during the event as well as in the chat section, to remind attendees to share their experience!



  • Is your host TV savvy? – Using talent with TV experience helps with the feel and flow of the event, as the format should be exactly like a TV show – all smiles and regularly addressing the people at home!
  • Manage expectations – Virtual events are new to us all, so share examples of previous virtual events early on in the briefing process, so they know what’s expected of them.
  • Plan for prompting – If there are a lot of key messages or social handles for the talent to remember, try prompt cards held by a crew member.



  • Use multiple filming devices – We found phones to be much better quality than our laptop cameras, with the ideal set-up being 2 close up shots and 1 central wide angle shot.
  • The lighter the better – Use as much lighting as possible, positioning a ring light behind each phone camera
  • Practice makes perfect – Have a practice zoom call from the location as early as possible on the day, to check camera angles, lighting and WIFI connections.