Get Ideas

We're seeing a huge range of innovation with client efforts to creatively respond to the quarantine, and it's important to share the good news and strategies that seem to resonate in this unprecedented time. Please check out these successful digital performance and campaign ideas from our clients, and share your own with us. We'll keep adding to this list as we find new creative approaches to digital performances & fundraising campaigns that generate revenue, drive engagement, and support communities.

How can I make my virtual performance format work?

It can be challenging as an audience member used to live experience to try to get the same feeling from a screen.  In reviewing video analytics and in our own experience, here's what we're finding works when adjusting to a virtual format:

  • Make sure you're capturing good data and helping your audience escape distraction.  Facebook and Youtube are great "top of your funnel" platforms to gather audience and get the word out, but they're not going to share audience contact information with you.  Structure your links and viewing experiences to lead back to your website and your calls to action to get people onto your mailing list or into your donation forms.  This also avoids the distraction that platforms like Facebook and YouTube build into their designs.
  • Free performances with requested donations are seeing far more audience engagement than ticketed performances.  Asynchronous archived performances are seeing more engagement and national or even global engagement than one-time-only you-had-to-be-there performances.
  • The "killer feature" of the performing arts is the ability for artists to connect and respond to audiences, and for audience members to connect with each other - Netflix and YouTube don't do this effectively or in an emotionally intelligent way. Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and YouTube Premiere are all great platforms to create this back-and forth response using their chat functionality, but it takes rehearsal to be fully emotionally present in these formats.  On Zoom, create opportunities for your audience to open up their mics to share their voice and their breath.
  • We're seeing that most audiences are spending 7-10 minutes on an online experience on average before getting fatigued.  This can be extended by helping audiences take a break from their screens and get into their bodies and into their senses. Episodic short work can fit into fractured attention spans; Back and forth conversations and online classes provide opportunity for engagement; and just helping people take a moment to stand up, dance, shift their perspective, and use other senses can help reinvigorate them for 30 - 70 minute performances.
  • If you meet someone on Zoom once, they're a stranger.  If you meet them twice, they're an instant ally.  Leverage this effect to enrich your online community.  Point to things that are working and how people can help.  Not everyone has money right now, and not everyone has time, but for those people who do have money and time, they've often never had more motivation to use that money and time to help their neighbors and allies.  
    • Extend your reach to live video platforms. Ask a local designer or videographer (who may be looking for work) to help you mix video and use Streamyard or similar tool to go live to YouTube Premiere and Facebook Live at the same time, meeting different audiences where they are.

Embedding Livestreamed and Virtual Performances

You can embed links to live performances on YouTube, Vimeo, or Twitch directly into your website. You can copy/paste the link URL into the content field on any page or post and it will resize automatically to fit any browser window. There is no need to set an iFrame or specific widths or heights.

Facebook Live events are also great, though those typically only happen on Facebook, so you'll want to link out to those events.

To host private, ticketed events, you can use these instructions to create private-access pages.

If you want to capture the traffic on Google Analytics, send your audience a link to your website with the link embedded as opposed to sending them the video link directly. Send a support request if you set up livestreaming and want us can monitor the server traffic for you. 

For high-quality multi-camera streaming, it is recommended to contact a videographer in your local area. We're happy to recommend one of our partners who specialize in capturing live events on the West Coast or in the Chicago area.

Attached are some tips on recording from our friends at ArtLab Chicago (they're available for recording support!)

Groundplan & Groundplan Theme Tips


Marquee. We have a marquee function that can put a strip of text across the top of your site. This is linkable, so most of our clients are using this to link to their page for COVID announcements. Here's more.

Promos. These are the three items in the sidebar on event pages and pages without tabs. Here's how to update those.

New! Home Page and Landing Page pop-up. Includes an with an image and call to action button. Use it for announcements with more text or that need more emphasis on your home page or landing page. More details here.  

Online, Postponed, Rescheduled and Cancelled performances 

As of Groundplan 1.5 (released week of 4/13/20), Set the performance type to Postponed, or Canceled and update the Sold Out text to what you want the button to say. This will turn off ticketing links.  

Leave performance types set to "Postponed" and update the Ticketing URL if you'd like to send them to a unique link, for example if you would like to ask them to donate their tickets or have info on when performances will be rescheduled.

Once a performance is rescheduled, modify your Date & Start time and set Event Instance Type to "Rescheduled".

For Online events, set your Ticketing URL and optionally set a remote URL where your online event will take place.  This defaults to the Event Detail page for the event.

Read more about all performance types.