10 Questions to ask when choosing a virtual events platform
Producing a high quality business event, whether virtual or in person, takes a lot of hard work, organization, and attention to detail. But all of this can be derailed by a bad supplier. Especially if that provider handles your ticketing and payments - that's how you make money! Choosing a virtual event platform to partner […]

Producing a high quality business event, whether virtual or in person, takes a lot of hard work, organization, and attention to detail. But all of this can be derailed by a bad supplier. Especially if that provider handles your ticketing and payments - that's how you make money!

Choosing a virtual event platform to partner with your event is an important decision. When evaluating potential platforms, keep these 10 questions ready to help you decide if they are the right fit for you.

1. How much will it cost?

This is often the first question our team answers when we take on a new customer is about cost, so we imagine that's pretty high on your list as well. It's understandable: costs and return on investment are critical to your business.

Don't just ask potential virtual event partners what their service charges are. Ask if they have minimum term contracts, monthly fees, or setup fees. Can service charges be passed on to ticket buyers? Passing on fees can lower your overall costs and produce a more profitable virtual event.

2. Will I get the support I need?

Whether you are new to virtual events or a seasoned professional, every event producer knows the importance of a strong support team. You need to know that someone is backing you up if the going gets tough. We're not just talking about your production team; a good virtual events partner should be there for you during the planning, the live show, and the post-show recap to help you be successful.

Communication should be easy and convenient for you. If you don't see a chat button on their website or a way to call and speak with a real person, that's a red flag.

Don't just think of yourself, however. Think about your guests: will they be able to contact ticketing support if they have questions or need help? A good virtual events partner will help you with guest ticketing, so you can focus on producing a great event.

3. How will you help me communicate with the guests?

A virtual event is not just a one-way livestream. Much like an in-person event, engaging your guests in real time is critical to building an enthusiastic fan base.

Ask potential partners if they support live chat during your live broadcast. Also, don't forget the communications before and after the event. Will you be able to email event attendees before the big day to remind them how and when to access the event? Or send follow-up surveys after completion? Learn about integrations with the email marketing platform you use; Will you be able to access customer data so that you can re-market it?

4. Can I customize my virtual event page?

Even if you aren't looking for a completely white solution, you probably want to add some personalization to your ticketing and live streaming pages. It strengthens your brand and gives customers a smoother experience.

Will you be able to add your own logo and graphics? Can you integrate the ticketing form and live streaming on your own website? Ask your potential partners what is possible with their system and the level of support they can offer to help you configure the customizations you need.

Did you know? Passage is customizable for your brand and we even offer a white label solution for advanced options. Schedule a demo to find out more.

5. Can you record and replay my livestream?

Whether your event is fully virtual or hybrid, the ability to record your livestream for guests to read later can help you generate additional revenue. Find a live stream partner who can capture your live stream as it goes, then replay it during specific time windows that you set up or on demand whenever a guest purchases access. One of the perks of virtual events is unlimited attendance, so look for a partner who really helps you maximize that by replaying your event for as many guests as possible.

6. Can I download and schedule pre-recorded content?

Here's a little virtual event secret: Live events aren't always “live”. Some of the best and most engaging virtual events feature pre-recorded segments, or can even be fully pre-recorded and broadcast as a simulated live webcast.

Pre-registration is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, this can lead to better production quality in some cases. It offers guests the privacy and excitement of a live performance, but gives event producers and artists more flexibility on the production side. What happens when an artist's wifi gives halfway performance? With a pre-registration, that's no problem! Ask potential partners if this is an option for your event and what kind of support they can offer to help you set it up.

7. Do you offer different types of tickets?

Just like in-person events, virtual events are not universal. Does your event require general and VIP access? Or maybe a bundle ticket that gives guests access to all the shows in a series? Do you plan to organize in-person events as well as virtual events in the future?

An ideal virtual event partner will be able to handle both types of events, in addition to hybrid events that have both a virtual and in-person component. And you should be able to create as many ticket types - with different price points and different access levels - as your event requires.

8. Which streaming platforms are compatible with your system?

YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook Live, Twitch. There are many paid and free streaming services out there, each with different pros and cons.

Ask potential virtual event partners not only which platforms are compatible with their system, but also if and how they can SECURE access to your livestream. Why bother to produce a professional event if someone can squeeze in?

It's also a good idea to ask them if they have their own streaming platform that you can use. It can help keep things simple for your event so that you don't jump between multiple platforms.

9. When will I be paid?

It's huge. Especially these days, getting quick access to income from your tickets can make or break a business' cash flow.

A good virtual event partner will transfer ticket funds as they arrive, within two business days of each sale. If your provider wants you to wait until the end of your event, or if there is an extra time to send you funds, ask why.

10. How are you going to help me earn money?

Ticket revenue is only a small part of an event's overall revenue strategy. When you attend an event in person, there are opportunities for upselling merchandise, VIP experiences, and concessions, as well as sponsorship packages and other sources of income. Don't settle for a partner who ignores them just because your event isn't an in-person affair.

Do they support the sales of goods? Is there a way for guests to donate or tip live performers during your event? Can they offer social discounts, which give guests an immediate discount for sharing your event with their friends? A robust system should also allow you to easily incorporate sponsorship packages into your event.

Looking for a new virtual event partner? Our team will be happy to answer these and any other questions you may have! Schedule a demo today or get set up right away with an onboarding call.

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Whether it’s your first time with a kit, or your hundredth all-grain brew, you need to ferment it in something suitable. Most of the time your possibilités are between a bucket and a carboy. Carboys or demijohns look nicer, especially if they’re glass, but can be a pain to clean. Food-grade plastic buckets lack glamour, but are practical – just make sure you get one with a close-fitting lid that’s suitable for an airlock. As with most things there are more expensive options, but while they’re good, they’re not necessary. You can find buckets and demijohns at Brew Store or The Malt Miller.

If you’re making beer, then you need to be rigorous about cleanliness during the brew. VWP is an absolutely no-nonsense cleaner and steriliser for getting everything ready beforehand. During the brew, a no-rinse sanitiser is invaluable. Between the two, spoilt and infected beer shouldn’t be a problem. You can buy cleaning products online from Brew Store and The Malt Miller.

Invest in some airtight plastic conteneurs. Malt, kept dry and cool, should be fine for six months, but get rid of it after that – you’re only going to get stale flavours if you use stale malt. Likewise, dried yeast will keep, if sealed and chilled, but it will lose potency and reliability. Hops do not improve with age. Be doubtful of any before last year’s harvest, however cheap.

While a good book is an invaluable reference, there will be a time you come across something that flummoxes you. It’s very unlikely you will be the first, and just as unlikely someone else hasn’t discussed it. From the magisterial, if abondant, How to Brew by John Palmer to the uncountable forums and blogs discussing minutiae, such as Brewer’s Friend, there’ll be something to help.

Avoid large amounts of table sugar, cane sugar or dextrose as fermentable sugars in your homebrew. They will ferment out completely and leave a very dry, almost ‘cidery’ flavour to your beer. This is what is recognized by many as the ‘homebrew’ taste. If you are looking for an easy way to improve this, swap these sugars with dry malt extract.

Most coffret beers are designed to appeal to a wide range of people and therefore have a fairly simple flavour that it not very bitter. They are also generally bittered by using hop extract that adds bitterness but little hop flavour or aroma. Boil some water and add ½ an ounce ( 14 grams ) of any hop variety known for their flavour and aroma characteristics for 20 minutes. This will add a much improved change to the flavour of the beer. Add another ½ ounce ( 14g ) for the last 5 minutes of the boil to add a pleasant hoppy aroma. Simply strain the ‘hop soup’ into your fermenter with the rest of the top-up water. These simple hops additions will make a remarkable difference to your coffret beers.

to wake a packet of dry yeast up and ensure that it is ready to start work as soon as it is pitched, try rehydrating it. Boil a cup ( 250mls ) of water for 5 minutes and then pour it into a sterilized container. Wait for the water to cool down to at least 80°F/27°C and sprinkle your packet of yeast over the top. Leave this for about 15-30 minutes, when you should start to see it get nice and foamy. Once your wort has cooled enough, pitch this and it will start fermentation much earlier.

If you would really like to get things started, follow the process above but add a tablespoon of dry malt extract to the water before boiling it. After pouring the water to a jar, add your yeast when cool enough and place cling wrap over the top to protect from the environment. Leave for at least quarante cinq minutes at room temperature and you should start to see fermentation activity.

The length of time for fermentation on the side of your kit beer can is almost definitely not long enough. The manufacturers are in the of selling product and these indications will make beer, but it won’t be great beer. This should be extended out to 10-14 days.

Although your beer will be carbonated after about a week in the bottle, leave it for a few more to allow for the flavors to settle. This is especially relevant for beer made from kits as it will help remove some of the biroute found in young/’green’ beer.

In order to efficiently multiply and get to the of converting sugar to alcohol, yeast needs a sufficient amount of oxygen in your wort. If brewing using malt extract this can be reached a few ways including by shaking the water you are using to top up your wort, or by pouring it from a great height into your fermenter.

Don’t be too worried about removing your beer from the primary fermenter as soon as fermentation has finished. The Autolysis that you are seeking to avoid will take well over a month and in most cases a solo stage fermentation is fine.

If you are looking to control fermentation temperature, place the fermenter in a grande container of water to cool it and prevent temperature fluctuations. Wrapping a wet towel around it and pointing a fan at it cools it even more through evaporative cooling. A few frozen plastic bottles of water are also perfect for cooling the water and your fermenting beer.

If you insist on using a two stage fermentation, use a bottling bucket ( or something else with a spigot ) for a primary. That way you only need a length of hose to rack into the secondary. The spigot will also be far enough off the bottom that the trub will get left in the primary with little extra effort – just tilt the fermenter forward at the end.

The activity of your airlock should only be seen as one indication that something is happening. There are many others indications and a faulty seal on your fermenter could stop anything from happening in the airlock.

The starting cell count is usually quite low with liquid yeast d'environnement. If you make a yeast starter about a day before brewing, you can avoid some potential issues from under-pitching the yeast.

If you are trying to cool a partial boil, place the whole brew pot into a sink or tub of cold water. You may need to change this water a few times but it is far easier to cool a small récipient of wort in a temperature conductive container ( i. e. your brew bocal ) than a grande amount of liquid in a fermenter. Adding your cooled wort to even colder water ( or ice ) in the fermenter will serve to cool it even further and should hopefully get you close to yeast pitching temperatures.

Dry yeast packets are perfect for new homebrewers. They have a nice high cell count and are very easy to use. Hydrating these takes very little time and will help get fermentation sérieux earlier.

Get into the habit of sanitizing everything that will come in contact with your wort or beer after the boil.

Extract kits have come a long way from the dusty back shelves of Boots of yesteryear, and give you a simple, affordable way to try out the hobby with very acceptable results. Established breweries like St. Peters and Woodfordes have decent packs in shops and online at about £20, for example from Wilko or Brew.

Use a no-rinse sanitiser… This shouldn’t need an explanation and I am yet to hear of a real reason not to

Following on from above – Don’t use bleach as a sanitizer…ever. It is to rinse out and if any comes in contact with the maltose in your wort it has the potential to completely ruin your batch. There are so many better products available that this shouldn’t even be a consideration

Whatever sanitizer you use, put some of it in a spray bottle for quick sanitation during brew time.

Make sure you read and understand the recipe before you start brewing. Also make sure that you have all the ingredients handy before you start. These seem like simple things but the last 15 minutes can get a little crazy… especially if you started drinking while sanitizing

Beer is very resilient so don’t be too worried if you make a mistake while brewing. Although it may not be exactly the beer you were after, you will probably still have something tasty and worth drinking.

Leave the lid off your brew bocal while it is boiling. The process of boiling actually vaporises chemicals that are not wanted in the beer and they evaporate out. The lid doesn’t need to be completely off if you are having dysfonctionnement maintaining a rolling boil but should at least be enough for the steam to escape.

Keep a record of every beer that you make, no matter how simple the recipe. This record will allow you to recall and tweak your brews when all that remains in the future is a couple of stray bottles and a desire for more

Especially when starting out, keep your ingredients and brews as simple as possible. It is much easier to add to a simple recipe that is missing something than it is to remove from something complex

Start by getting a solid grasp of the sanitization, fermentation and bottling processes and work from there.

If you have a choice, choose a fermenter or bottling bucket with a spigot/tap over one without. The siphoning required otherwise isn’t but it is still one more unnecessary step.

Bulk priming your beer is a simple addition to your bottling process that will add much greater control and consistency in the amount of priming sugar in your bottles.

The quality of your beer will be to the quality of the ingredients used. Always go for the freshest and best quality possible. Always make sure that extract is within any specified dates, yeast is fresh and that hops are nice and green

But most importantly… just relax and remember that you probably aren’t going to ruin your beer – It isn’t as delicate as you think


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