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4 things to consider when starting virtual offerings

The Bókun Team • April 14, 2020

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In my last post, “ 4 Things People are Searching for That We Can’t Ignore ,” I talked a lot about new emerging search trends as people seek out new things from self-quarantine. I also suggested that it’s a great time to brainstorm new experiences to offer virtually.

What I didn’t discuss in any depth is “How.” Once you’ve determined what your virtual product offering is, then you need to determine what technology to use to get your virtual experience to your customer. But, don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Your smartphone, tablet, or laptop you already own likely has a high-quality video camera built in. There is no need to buy a fancy new camera; just prop up your mobile device to make sure it isn’t moving — simple as that.

Let’s spend this time looking at various video conferencing opportunities. If you’ll recall, here’s how the market looks from a Google Trends search behavior perspective:

You Probably Want to Use Zoom

By now, everyone has heard of “ Zoombombing ” cases where unwanted guests have disrupted everything from elementary school classes to AA meetings. There are a number of things you can do to protect your virtual product:

  • Password protect your event. This can be done when scheduling a new meeting.
  • Lock your meeting from any new attendees after your booked guests join. You can do this through the “More” option on the Participants panel.
  • Limit screen sharing capabilities to only the host (unless your activity requires your participants to share their screens).

You Should Start with the Free Version

You’re likely interested in saving costs wherever you can, right now. If you’re running a private 1-on-1 activity, the free version allows for unlimited meeting length. Otherwise, there’s a 40-minute limit on group meetings of up to 100 attendees. That said, since self-quarantining became the norm, Zoom has been granting an extraordinary amount of lenience regarding the time limit.

Do you need more attendees, unlimited meeting length, reporting, or recording capabilities? Then consider the paid options.

You Might Want to Experiment

One size rarely fits all. Maybe you’ll prefer a different solution because it’s easier to operate from a mobile device. Maybe there are regionalized options that suit your audience better like Line or WeChat. Maybe you want to install a dice-rolling bot to make your D&D campaigns run more seamlessly. In most cases, it doesn’t cost anything to experiment.

Let us know if you have an opinion! Many of you are already using a variety of different applications and may have great success (or horror) stories. Your experiences are valuable and could help other tours and activity operators.