Planning Your Virtual Event!

lights on afterschool people outside

This year our Lights On Afterschool celebrations might look a little different, but there are still plenty of ways to showcase the important role afterschool programs play in our communities in a safe, socially-distanced way. Holding a virtual event is one way to ensure that you can connect with students and families while at home. Here are some tips to help you plan the perfect virtual Lights On Afterschool event.

How to Get Started

Pick an activity

  • Looking for ideas for an engaging virtual event? Check out our Event Themes and Ideas page for inspiration!
  • Just like in-person events, participants are more engaged when they are a part of what is happening. Get creative with ways to make sure invited guests aren’t just spectators but participants!
  • Ask different students to present or share, hold frequent polls to gauge interest or answer questions, use breakout rooms to have smaller discussions – these are just a few ways to make sure your event is inclusive!

Pick your virtual platform

  • Consider what features you’ll need based on the event you’re holding. Will you need break out rooms for groups to discuss their answers for your “afterschool trivia” game? Will you need to share your screen during a presentation? We recommend Zoom for most virtual events.
  • Want to play an online board game? There are many free versions of games available online – like this free version of Codenames, or these minute to win it games.
  • Use Discord to create free accounts to chat and play together with small groups.

Finalize the date and time

  • While commutes might not be an issue when planning a virtual event, meal time is. Unlike an in-person event where you can offer food or snacks, try your best not to plan your event when families often sit down for dinner together.
  • Planning for shorter events is also encouraged! Understanding that right now many students and family members are spending the majority of their time in front of a screen, plan for your event to be 90 minutes or less. Finding ways to be online together but doing activities off screen is also encouraged – like doing an arts and crafts tutorial!

Recruit your event team

  • Suggested roles include event chair, technology lead, media and public relations lead, and manager of VIPs and RSVPs
  • If the technology you’re using is new, give the technology lead as much time as possible to familiarize themselves with the platform you choose and the agenda for the virtual event.

Find out more at the link below