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Adapting In-Person Events to Virtual Events

Events & Conferences Sep 15, 2021
This post was originally shared in October 2020, and updated in September 2021.

The uncertainty of COVID-19 over the last year and a half has made organizing events like fundraisers, team-building exercises, and conferences even more complicated than usual. Despite relaxed regulations, the changing nature of the pandemic can impact an event any time, which is why it's crucial to have a plan B.

Among the many lessons we've learned over the last year is the importance of flexible planning. Hosting an in-person event but uncertain it will go ahead as planned, or have made the decision to switch from in-person to virtual and unsure how to make it work? Here are some things to consider to help avoid the stress and headache of a last-minute switch.


  • Create a team to help manage your event - Having a group of people to rely on to help manage the event will make it easier to handle last-minute changes and cancellations. With remote teams at the top of everyone’s mind, most digital platforms now come standard with collaborative features that allow multiple team members to share access to online tools. If you’re organizing a scavenger hunt through GooseChase, for example, our Co-Managing feature allows multiple people to collaborate on game creation and execution together. This allows users to work together to create mission ideas and split up game management tasks such as awarding bonuses, messaging participants and sharing updates on social media.

  • Be mindful of cancellation policies - You don’t want to get stuck paying for a venue you won’t be able to use if plans change closer to the event time. In the current climate, event spaces typically offer reassurances due to Covid-19, so make sure to review the venue’s cancellation policy and non-refundable deposits before signing a contract.

  • Engage your audience - Strategize options for engaging a virtual audience. This can include implementing games, FAQs, live panels, polling throughout the event, and chat rooms for your attendees to interact with one another. Modifying activities to include participation from attendees’ family and/or roommates is a great way to engage your audience. Many people are being bombarded with Zoom meetings and work calls while working from home, so allowing them to include their friends and family can mean the difference between an obligatory event people feel they have to attend or a fun casual experience they can enjoy with their loved ones. We’ve noticed a large increase in at-home GooseChase games that involve the whole family or groups of friends, and have created some missions that are specific to virtual events that can be done from anywhere, with any team. Check out this blog post of virtual mission ideas to get you started.


  • Utilize a virtual event platform - Whether you are going to be using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or another event platform, make sure you have considered your options well ahead of the event date. There is a great variety of options for virtual events and they can vary based on how many people you expect to attend, the type of formats you’ll need for presenting, the goal of your event and more. If you’re between platforms or aren’t sure where to start, Aventri has created an in-depth blog about what features to look for in a virtual event platform.

  • Create an online presence - This can be as simple as an email list so that you can quickly notify attendees of changing plans. Event landing pages are also a great way to keep all of your info in one place for attendees to review. We’ve broken down the advantages of creating a landing page for an event, along with tips on what to include here.

  • Get creative - Having a virtual event gets rid of a lot of event perks, like free food and swag. If you are looking for a way to divert catering budget/venue costs, try setting up a system to send Ubereats/Skipthedishes gift cards to participants or order "catering" directly to their door if the event goes virtual, or send some free swag you likely already purchased for the event. People love free food and it’s an extra way to make your event stand out from others.

  • Get sponsors - Having companies sponsor your event is an excellent way to help mitigate the costs of running an event and can get more attendees excited to join. Choosing reputable sponsors that are relevant to your industry can increase awareness of your event and allow you to reach a larger audience. We’ve put together a blog post on how to get sponsors for your next GooseChase game.


  • Prioritize making it easy for participants to join - People are already getting bombarded with new apps and software to install and create accounts on, and that itself might be an annoyance that stops them from wanting to attend your virtual event. Choose platforms that offer seamless options to help make it as easy as possible for attendees to join. For example, our very own GooseChase app that is used to participate in digital scavenger hunts, doesn’t require players to create an account, taking away one more hassle for potential participants. Make sure you keep the user experience in mind when evaluating online platforms you want to use.

  • Ensure quality content - You want to make sure the content you’re presenting will be valuable and engaging. Here are a few content forms you should try to include in a virtual event:

    • Pre-recorded educational sessions from speakers
    • Video Ads from sponsors
    • Video Product showcase from exhibitors
    • Content for Live Polling
    • Content for Q&A Sessions
    • Engagement activities
  • Do a test run - Last but not least, you want to test run your virtual platform prior to the event to make sure you resolve any technical issues before the event date. Have your event team download the necessary platforms, test any presentations and visuals, along with engagement functions like live polling and games. For GooseChase organizers, the Game Manager allows you to invite team members to create a copy of your game, in order to run a test game to see how they are received before you launch them to your audience.

Planning an event during a global pandemic doesn’t have to be as stressful as it sounds! Ensuring you have options for the eventuality of a pivot to a virtual event can save you time and money while still allowing you to host a successful event with your target audience. Implement some of these tips and tricks that are relevant to your specific event and you’ll have a much more enjoyable planning process and still achieve your event goals.

Consider adding a virtual GooseChase scavenger hunt to your next event for a fun and unique way to engage participants. We have tons of sources for increasing virtual participation and have been included in many events as a tool to get attendees to interact and have fun!

Click here for a full breakdown of how to run a remote scavenger hunt using GooseChase.

What is GooseChase?

GooseChase is an online platform that helps organizers create and run digital scavenger hunt experiences for team building, learning, public engagement, or a variety of other events. Sign up and try creating a free recreational game, or contact us to learn more about our enterprise solutions!