Online events are taking off and the opportunities are massive and just beginning, according to Jim McCarthy, co-founder and chief executive of Goldstar and Stellar Tickets.

Speaking at last month’s TheTicketingBusiness Forum 2020, McCarthy encouraged live events organisations to take the leap into virtual events, if they have not done so already. He laid out a five-step guide that will help newcomers avoid some of the common pitfalls and improve their odds of success in the digital events sphere. Watch the full session below:

Stellar Tickets is a streaming and ticketing platform for premium events that was founded earlier this year by McCarthy in response to COVID-19 forcing the wide-spread closure of venues and cancellations of in-person events. The platform, which has already hosted hundreds of events, combines ticketing, streaming, and promotion to help organises produce and manage streams with HD video and audio, plus real digital ticketing, customer data, reporting and Stripe payments.

McCarthy’s ‘Big Five’ for online event success starts with basing a show on an act or a title with a built-in following. While this doesn’t necessarily mean events need a mega star, they do need someone with a fanbase that has a social audience and cares about the artist. This will give organisers a formula to base their marketing strategy on.

The second point is that quality matters and it is important to create high production value per dollar. The third point, which closely connects to the first, is that there needs to be a solid marketing plan.

McCarthy said: “For any show to be successful you’ve got to get it out there. The core audience with the following should be the cornerstone of your marketing plan. Duplicate lists and find people like the following that may be interested – you can broaden your audience and create a global niche.

“Just because it is online, it does not mean people are going to find it automatically, so it’s important to have a solid marketing plan in place.”

The fourth point of McCarthy’s ‘Big 5’ is to make sure there is a proper tech set-up and do a full pre-check. As he explains, “nothing brings a party to a halt like technical issues.”

Last but not least, he states the importance of providing a great show-going experience. McCarthy says the basics like ticketing should be seamless and audio and video should be top quality. However, he also highlights the need to make these online events fun and energetic through different elements, such as pre-show chats, which he said has proved to be one of the most exciting elements of an online show.

He concluded: “Organisations that emerge from this with these skills in hand will have massive financial and reach advantages compared to those people who don’t use this time to do so.”

Save the date: TheTicketingBusiness Forum 2021 takes place between 21-23 June, 2021…