By Experience

Happily Events Non-Binary & Femme Illustrators

15 Non-Binary & Femme Illustrators To Follow On Instagram

We are always looking for ways to celebrate and uplift incredible queer and femme creators.

For us at Happily, representation is a huge part of our recruitment processes, values as a company and advocacy priorities. Our CEO and 90% of our team identify as female, and every Happily event is produced by 30% BIPOC and 10% LGBTQ+.

Illustrators, artists and graphic designers are just some of our expertises at Happily - and some of our passions. Our own Happily Creative Team is here to elevate any experience or content with full service and multi-dimensional creative services.

We have collected some amazing Instagram examples of non-binary and female identifying illustrators from all over the world and with a range of styles.

If you are a brand, we hope they show you the potential of illustration for your next project with Happily. And if you are a freelancer creator, may these fellow creators inspire your own creativity.

Non-Binary & Female Illustrators To Follow On Instagram

1. Bee

They/Them

Illustrator and Creative based in the UK

@beeillustrates

2. Charly Clements

She/Her

Greeting Card Designer and Freelance Illustrator

@charlyclements

3. Jade

They/Them

Illustrator based in the UK

@nonbinary_baps

4. Jess Miller

She/Her

Graphic Designer and Illustrator based in Los Angeles

@jessmillerdraws

5. Meg

They/Them

Illustrator based in the UK

@megemikoart

6. Bea Muller

She/Her

Illustrator based in the UK

@soleyandthebear

7. Gabriella Grimes

They/Them

Illustrator based in Philadelphia

@ggggrimes

8. Ruby Taylor

She/Her

Illustrator based in the UK

@rubyst

9. Wednesday Holmes

They/Them

Illustrator based in the UK

@hellomynameiswednesday

10. Gemma Correll

She/Her

Illustrator from UK based in California

@gemmacorrell

11. Ashley Lukashevsky

She/They

Illustrator from Honolulu based in Los Angeles

@ashluka

12. Jeannie Phan

She/Her

Illustrator based in Toronto, Canada

@jeanniephan

13. Robin Eisenberg

She/Her

Illustrator based in Los Angeles

@robineisenberg

14. Bodil Jane

She/Her

Illustrator based in Amsterdam

@bodiljane

15. Minerva Gm

She/Her

Illustrator based in Mexico

@minervagm


Are you a freelance creator? Join Team Happily!

Learn more here about being part of the award-winning network that puts on the best in events.

October 6, 2021

 Billie Eilish's WHERE DO WE GO? virtual concert

What Is an XR Studio & Why It Is a Game Changer for Events

There is a world of technology emerging that is ‘changing the game’, as they say. We are talking about technology that places virtual worlds at the centre of a production.

Have you noticed how realistic sci-fi movies are becoming? Or the immersive performances of the 2020 MTV VMAs? That is because they are filmed virtual-first using XR. And basically it means that green screens are so 2019.

BILLIE EILISH XR Studio Example

Image: A behind-the-scenes shots of Billie Eilish's WHERE DO WE GO? virtual concert performed live from the company, XR Studios LA.

So, What is XR?

XR is part of the augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) world of evolving technologies. XR stands for extended reality and combines virtual with a real-world environment. This means that a human can exist within a virtual space, directly feeding into their own experience of that pre-designed environment. So, again, no uninspiring green screens here.

XR technology means that the virtual space is designed first, and then the filming of the talent is done within that extended reality environment. Not the other way around. The talent can then see the virtual extended reality environment they are in, allowing them to work within that space and fully perform and be present in the moment. It also allows for more integrated lightning, camera movements, object placement, and all those little filming details that make a shot feel 1000% more realistic.

Video: Katy Perry on American Idol performing live with a custom XR experience from Silent Partner Studios, with set designed by Yellow Studio. Discover the behind-the-scenes into Katy's XR performance here.

How Does a XR Studio Work?

XR borrows and adapts technologies and software developed by the gaming industry. Software such as Unreal Engine, which allows a complete animated 3D world to be designed.

This custom 3D environment is then placed in real-time on large LED screens that make up the film set and studio. Using cutting-edge camera tracking technologies from companies such as Stype, the movement of the camera is directly connected to the 3D environment on the LED screen. The camera becomes a view into this 360° space, similar to the perspective experienced by a player in a game.

Here is a great little explainer with a behind-the-scenes look into the filming of The Mandalorian with a virtual-first XR studio.

Video: ‘Why 'The Mandalorian' Uses Virtual Sets Over Green Screen’ via Insider

Control your brand’s narrative by bringing a little XR into your work life

For the future of events, XR has many exciting possibilities for our clients As an events company that thrives in the space where technology and creativity meet, here at Happily we are excited to bring this ‘Hollywood magic’ of XR to our virtual and hybrid events, and make this tech accessible to our clients.

Depending on whether you are looking to go ‘Full Mandalorian' or something a little more low-key, Happily can help you take advantage of the virtual-first wonder of XR.

The future of work will mean transforming underutilized physical spaces into the foundation of your remote office environment. So basically, if your office has a conference room that is barely used these days, why not turn it into something way more useful and practical - like, your own custom broadcast studio.

With your own Happily XR Studio you could professionally film and broadcast from your office at a moment’s notice. This will give your brand full control over the production environment to generate better creative, increased content and enriched storytelling.

As a Happily XR Studio is fully customizable to the space, goals and budget of an organization, each one will be unique. We would love to chat to you about what a Happily XR Studio could look like in your office space, as well as our Happily team of specialists for on demand support, so get in touch with us today.

Happily XR Studio Build Before and After

September 20, 2021

Video Content Ideas For Virtual Events

Video Content Ideas For Virtual Events

There are so many ways that original video content can make your event standout from the rest.

The motion, energy and storytelling of video makes it a mighty tool for connecting with your audience. As a brand, you need a video content strategy that is thoughtfully planned, strategically engaging and goal-oriented.

Our Happily Creative Team are video content creators. Our video editors, scriptwriters, artistic directors, animators, producers, music composers - and so many more that make up our on demand services - are at your disposal. So if any of the video types catch your eye, reach out to us and together we can make it happen!

A Happily Guide to Video Content for Events and Marketing Campaigns

Here are 16 popular types of video content and video content ideas for events and marketing strategies.

1. The ‘This Event Was Awesome’ Video aka The Sizzle Reel

A ‘sizzle reel’ is a quick summary and visual story of an event, encapsulating the mood, motive and the resulting outcome of it. When an organization produces an event - no matter the type - there is a lot of work, resources and money that goes into it. So it makes sense that they should brag about their event and how successful it was.

The Objective: To summarize an event by showcasing the highlights in a way that is entertaining and informative to watch.

What They Could Look Like: As a ‘sizzle reel’ has a lot of information to convey, they are best edited to a fast-pace, and a 60 second maximum is a good duration for viewers' attention tolerance and to be published on social media. If necessary, there can be an extended version of a ‘sizzle reel’.

Side Note: For a multiple-day event or summit, we often make a ‘sizzle reel’ for each day, as well as for the event as a whole.

Why They Are Impactful: They allow a brand to continue to drive brand awareness through an event, even if the event is already over. A ‘sizzle reel’ expresses the level of energy and engagement that the event had, connecting that energy and engagement to the brand. However, to achieve this the ‘sizzle reel’ should be edited and distributed as soon as possible for maximum impact while the energy of an event still lingers.

Where They Can Be Used: They serve as ideal visual assets for any media outlets reporting on the event, allowing you to control the narrative of your event. The footage from the ‘sizzle reel’ will be valuable when promoting and marketing similar events in the future.


2. The ‘From the Live Stage to Online Content’ aka The TED Talk Concept

While a ‘sizzle reel’ is very general and focuses on the event as an event, the ‘TED Talk concept’ zooms in on the content and adapts it for an online audience. This we refer to as the ‘TED Talk’ because TED Conferences really popularized and perfected the transition of a live keynote presentation into polished online learning content.

Instead of simply allowing filmed content from a summit, workshop or virtual event to only exist within a livestream, the ‘TED Talk concept’ takes that raw live footage of that juicy content and edits it before publishing it online.

The Objective: Add a higher production value to footage of live learning content through the editing process to make the final result more engaging for an online audience.

What They Could Look Like: In the editing process you are able to cut out anything that may disrupt the flow of a presentation for an online audience. The ”um” “so” “like”, for instance. We are also able to edit in different camera angles and build a more dynamic viewing experience, as well as make sure the footage and audio are respectfully looking and sounding their best. Cutaways to slides, graphs or video from the presentation can also spruce up a dense information session.

Furthermore, and most importantly, you are able to professionally and fully brand the video with an opening sequence, a watermarked logo and include any credits that should be mentioned. This is valuable if the video is shared, embedded or downloaded by someone else to ensure that your brand (or your sponsor’s) is not lost.


3. The ‘You Have 30 Seconds to Make An Impact’ Video aka The Spot

This is the most classic 30- or 60-second marketing video. The details and breakdown of a product are not the focus, but rather using emotion and storytelling to generate brand awareness and intrigue to learn more. Apple’s livestreams make beautiful spots that get dual purposed in their event to cue up a new product unveil, as well as in product pages on their website.

The Objective: To spark interest in your brand or product through immediate engagement.


4. The ‘Let Us Walk You Through This’ Video aka The Explainer

In a world of YouTube ‘How-To’ videos and turning to Google for answers to all questions, an ‘explainer’ video is familiar, breaking down and exploring the service or product. It can be more general, or it can go in a more instructional direction.

The Objective: Teach the consumer how you want them to interact with your brand or product by showing a user-friendly experience, through language and messaging that is accessible, clear and casual.


5. The ‘Show Them Why They Need This’ Video aka The Product Demonstration

While an ‘explainer’ video focuses on explaining the ‘how to use it’, the ‘product demonstration’ is more centered around ‘how it will change your life’. This usually includes placing the product in an ‘everyday’ situation that allows them to instantly understand how that product will positively impact them.

The Objective: Demonstrate a benefit (or multiple benefits) of a product in a way that is relatable to your target audience.


6. The ‘Our Company Is a Cool Place to Work’ Video aka The Company Culture

A ‘company culture’ video isn’t really about a particular product, but is rather focused on establishing your brand identity from the inside out. Typically it could answer questions like; what your brand stands for, your mission, what drives you, and what your brand cares about. It is like the ‘LinkedIn’ of video content; talking about your brand as a company first.

The Objective: There are really two. The first is to highlight the ethos of your brand to potential customers, building brand trust through transparency and personal connection. The second is to establish the brand as a modern, inclusive workplace. This will capture the interest of new talent to grow the company, and also enable a deeper connection between the brand and the consumer.

Why They Are Impactful: More than ever consumers want to know who they are giving their money to, and want to support brands that believe in the same things they do; such as equal opportunity, social issues, climate action, LGBTQI+ rights, mental health, women’s rights, fairtrade etc. The power of a ‘company culture’ video is saying ‘we care about the same things you do and our brand is an active force of good’.

What They Look Like: The most straightforward examples will center the employees as the stars. Netflix even created a whole brand around this idea called ‘We Are Netflix’, which has its own content and social channels on YouTube and Instagram.


7. The ‘How We Make Our Product’ aka The Product Development

In general, people just love to experience new and interesting things, and that can mean learning about processes that go into what you make or do. Through the lens of storytelling, this could be anything from showcasing the craftsmanship, creative development, the manufacturing, or distribution of your goods or services.

The Objective: Connect quality, expertise and trustworthiness with your brand and product.

Why They Are Impactful: The more an audience feels involved and knowledgeable of the processes, the more invested they will be in your product or service.


8. The ‘Peek Behind the Curtains’ aka The Behind-The-Scenes

People love to feel like they are getting an exclusive look into a brand or company. The ‘behind-the-scenes’ concept has always been popular, and that is because it works so well. It can be a video that is simply filmed behind-the-scenes and casually shows the office spaces. Or it can be more of a direct exploration and tour of the behind-the-scenes.

The Objective: Create a closer and more familiar relationship between the creator and the consumer.

Why They Are Impactful: Just like a ‘product development’ video, people will connect more with a brand that they have a fuller understanding of - even if it is something as trivial as seeing the office spaces, the product warehouse, design workshop or whatever it may be.


9. The ‘Here Are Our Consumers' Video aka The Customer Testimonial

This is all about connecting satisfied customers with your brand and product. These customers could be people of influence, other brands, or simply a member of the public.

The Objective: Showcase how your brand has created success stories and that it is trusted by other people outside of the company.

Why They Are Impactful: By associating success stories and satisfied customers with your brand, people are more likely to feel secure in their decision to engage with your products.


10. The ‘We Are Human’ Video aka The Employee Portrait

People are social creatures. We connect deeply to the emotions and personal stories of other humans who are ‘just like us’. This type of video takes the power of storytelling, generates strong emotions and then directly connects those feelings back to your brand.

The Objective: Show the ‘heart and soul’ of the company, allowing viewers to connect with and relate to the brand through human-to-human empathy, compassion and shared experiences.

Why They Are Impactful: Viewers can engage with you on the most human of levels, by bringing your brand ‘down to earth’ and away from values of money and profit. It says ‘you can trust us, because this business is made up of passionate, genuine and hard-working people’. The ‘employee portrait’ video is also notably appropriate for nonprofits that are rooted in local communities, to strengthen their ties and trustworthiness in the community.


11. The ‘We’re In This Together’ Video aka The Community

Feeling connected in a workplace, in a community - to other people in general - is important and powerful. A ‘community’ video showcases an array of faces, emotions and greetings that brings people together with a shared experience and team. These people could be employees, or a group of people united in a common goal. It could be grids of faces saying a message in unison, individual greetings, or a group filmed together. There is a lot of room for creativity in this video.

The Objective: Create a sense of interconnectedness and family by seeing and/or hearing from everyone in it.

What They Could Look Like: The most straightforward example of a ‘community’ video is each local team, branch or department of a national or international brand, recording little videos that are then edited all together. This type of video can also be particularly relevant for remote workplaces as well, bringing together people who may otherwise be separated by distance or offices.

Where They Can Be Used: It is ideal for more inward-facing purposes - that’s to say, not for external marketing content. They are perfect for virtual events, onsite summits or communal gatherings where the brand itself is being celebrated.


12. The ‘This Needs Exploring’ Video aka The Web Series

Producing a web series is an ever growing popular way for brands to create a collection of video content that is unified in a common goal or message. You can think of them as short videos that take place in or orbit around your brand. These days, ‘web series’ can be more commonly attributed to a Playlist on a brand’s YouTube account, or on IGTV.

The Objective: Create continuous or evolving content that explores a single idea or theme that is advantageous for the brand to be associated with, or to be giving a voice to.

What They Could Look Like: The content could be a continuous story or a series of one-off episodes, with each video having a standardized template and aesthetic to unify them. It could focus on something a little more trivial, such as showcase standard questions with each episode featuring a different guest answering them. Or it could be something a little more instructional, such as training or cooking videos.

The creative ideas for the concept of a ‘web series’ are endless, however, no matter what, they should be entertaining and engaging for your audience. This should be done not only with the content, but also with a high production value, with motion graphics and professional editing.


13. The ‘We Are Highly Invested In This’ aka The Branded Mini-Documentary

This is like the ‘company culture’ and ‘web series’ joining forces to create an extended film that feels and is produced much more like a cinema experience. It would typically take a company value and use the storytelling style of a documentary to deep-dive into it. Although the content may not focus on the company or product, the film and its message is directly associated with ‘being important’ to the brand.

The Objective: Give resources and a platform to a topic that a brand wants to be positively connected to, and be seen as a thought-leader or advocate in that space.

Where They Can Be Used: This would be treated much more as a feature film, then a video. A brand could build and host a premiere event around releasing the mini-documentary, with accompanying branded panel discussions or Q&As. This is an ideal opportunity to continue connecting your brand with being a thought-leader or advocate of the topic of the mini-documentary.


14. The ‘Long Form Commercial’ aka The Branded Short Film

This is like an extension of the environments, moods and storylines that brands seek to create in a ‘spot’ video. In the same way that music videos can be extended into more ‘short film’ territory, so can a brand with a commercial. These films seek to turn a brand into a cinematic-worthy story - into a work of art.

The Objective: Use storytelling and the art of film to connect brand identity to an aesthetic, emotion or style.

Where They Can Be Used: Just like the ‘mini-documentary’, a ‘branded short film’ should have a premiere event and be treated like the piece of art that it is. It could also be screened as part of an onsite summit or virtual event. Once it is premiered, it can then be made available on social platforms, such as YouTube, to be actively engaged with by your audience through shares and comments.


15. The ‘Shout Out To Some Amazing People’ aka The Exhibitors

As marketeers and event planners, we know how vital exhibitors are to a summit event. Attracting and securing exhibitors is easier when you are able to offer them creative, engaging and worthwhile exposure during your event. Video content can create that offering for you to bring to a potential exhibitor.

The Objective: Use video content to craft more brand mentions for exhibitors.

What They Could Look Like: There are many ways that you get creative and incorporate an exhibitor into any of the video types mentioned above. For example, adapting the ‘employee portrait’ into an ‘exhibitor portrait’.

For a virtual event, something closer to the ‘community’ video that edits together messages from all exhibitors works really well. The idea could be that exhibitors send in a 15 second video that introduces themself, their brand and their product or service. It is then all edited together, or into several smaller videos, and played between program items and used as little ‘breaks’ throughout the broadcast.


16. The ‘Social Media Friendly’ aka The Instagram

This is less of a ‘video type’ as we have described throughout this blog post. However, social media still needs a separate mention and a little examination as viewing video content via Instagram is different than it is on YouTube.

The rules of thumb when it comes to editing a video for Instagram is a 60 second maximum duration and a 1:1 or 4:5 ratio for the Feed and 9:16 for IGTV or Stories. Bonus points for including text captions for any speech, which is ideal for accessibility and viewing without sound.

The Objective: Adapt content to be optimized for viewing on Instagram.

What They Could Look Like: A prime example of what adapting content for Instagram looks like is the ‘sizzle reel’. It should be edited primarily in a 16:9 ratio for a standard screen size and for YouTube. However, an adapted 1:1 or 4:5 ratio version should be used for sharing on Instagram.

When it comes to longer form content - which in the case of Instagram is content more than 60 seconds - you have two options; publish the whole thing on IGTV, or ‘slice it up’.

For example, let’s look at a 15 minute keynote presentation from a live event (aka the ‘TED Talk concept’). On YouTube it would be published in its full cinematic 16:9 ratio. However, that is not optimal for Instagram. So one option is to edit a vertical 9:16 version and upload it to IGTV for people to watch the entirety without leaving Instagram. On the other hand - or maybe both? - that learning content can be ‘sliced up’ into a 60 second, 1:1 or 4:5 ratio ‘golden nugget of information’ from the presentation. It functions both as a taster for people to want more, and as a standalone piece for viewers to feel that they just learnt something new.

September 17, 2021

Motion Designers On Instagram

20 Motion Designers On Instagram To Inspire Your Creativity

Whether you are the brand or the viewer, we all know how impactful video editing and artistic design can be. And those two elements come together in motion design.

Also referred to as motion graphic designers and animators, motion designers create art that moves, and that animation is part of the design. It is a subset of graphic design so most motion designers are also illustrators or graphic designers.

Video editing, video production and graphic design are just some of our expertises and passions at Happily. Our own Happily Creative Team is here to elevate any experience or content with full service and multi-dimensional creative services - including on demand motion designer services and on demand animation services.

We have collected some amazing examples of motion designers from all over the world and with a range of styles and forms.

If you are a brand, we hope they show you the potential and beauty of motion design for your next project with Happily. And if you are a freelancer creator, may these fellow creators inspire your own creativity.

Motion Designers On Instagram To Inspire Your Creativity

1. Manon Louart

She/Her

Motion Designer and Illustrator based in France

@manonlouart

2. Georgie Yiannoullou

She/Her

Motion Graphics Designer and Art Director based in the UK

@georgieyanadesign

3. Mat Voyce

He/Him

Type and Motion Designer based in the UK

@matvoyce

4. Thomas Burden

He/Him

3D Illustrator based in the UK

@thomasburden

5. Carmelo Barberá

He/Him

Director and Visual Artist from France based in Spain

@carmelobm

6. Johanna Jaskowska

She/Her

AR Artist based in Spain

@johwska

7. Ryan D. Anderson

He/Him

Animator and Visual Artist based in Canada

@itsryandanderson

8. James Curran

He/Him

Animation Director based in the US

@slimjimstudios

9. Jonathan Lindgren

He/Him

3D Artist and Animator based in Sweden

@jonathanlindgren.motion

10. Erica Anderson

She/Her

Animator based in the US

@ericaofanderson

11. Henrique Barone

He/Him

Motion Designer and 3D Animator based in Canada

@henriquebarone

12. Ryan 'Cloaking'

He/Him

Animator and 3D Artist based in the US

@cloaking__

13. Cindy Suen

She/Her

2D & 3D Illustrator, Animator and GIF Artist from Hong Kong, based in New York

@cindysuentw

14. Eva Cremers

She/Her

3D Illustrator and Animator from The Netherlands

@evacremers

15. Andrei Staruiala

He/Him

Motion designer based in Edinburgh, UK

@andreistaruiala

16. Eleanor Ngai

She/Her

Designer and Illustrator from New Zealand based in the UK

@eleanor.ngai

17. Chris 'Crispe' Phillips

He/Him

Creative Director, Illustrator and Animator based in Australia

@crispegram

18. Stephen Ong

He/Him

Animation Director based in the UK

@stephenonguk

19. Nuria Boj

She/Her

Illustrator and Animator from Spain based in Scotland, UK

@nuriabojn

20. Samantha Jones

She/Her

Animator based in the UK

@iam_samjones


Are you a freelance creator? Join Team Happily!

Learn more here about being part of the award-winning network that puts on the best in events.

September 15, 2021

Event Marketing Manager Graphics Banner

What Is An Event Marketing Manager & Why Your Events Strategy Needs One

As Seth Godin once said, “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic.” And that is why mastering the power of experiences is vital for a brand.

All events and productions have a purpose that usually boils down to business growth of some kind, whether it be driving sales, building communities, or brand awareness. An events strategy that is crafted and coordinated with marketing and business objectives in mind is powerful. So, cue the introduction of an Event Marketing Manager.

The specific tasks and responsibilities of an Event Marketing Manager will depend on the scope, complexity and types of experiences, of course. So below is just a general outline to understand how a Happily Event Marketing Manager could contribute to your event.

Event Marketing Manager Graphics Banner

What is event marketing?

Event marketing is the experiential promotional strategy of a brand, service, or product through memorable experiences or events. This can include giving out free samples at a festival, sponsoring a social mixer, hosting a weekly book club, organizing an expert talk, having a pop-up shop and much more.

It differs from ‘traditional advertising’ in the sense that instead of bombarding a crowd with details about your brand, event marketing takes a more personalized approach that is anchored in an experience.

Here is an example of event marketing from one of our Happily Case Studies with Louis Vuitton.

What is an Event Marketing Manager?

In general, an Event Marketing Manager will lead a brand’s event marketing plan. They can work directly with marketing and sales leadership to outline key events, marketing messaging and event goals. As well as determine the return on investments, coordinate the registration process, and develop ideas for promotional initiatives.

They can also build relationships with customers and sponsors, as well as negotiate and execute contracts with vendors, and all pre- and post-event communications.

An Event Marketing Manager can develop strategies with leadership based on brand objectives, and be responsible for ordering and tracking event collateral. They can also analyze, track, and report ROIs and MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) metrics, as well as CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems such as email marketing.

Ways a Happily Event Marketing Manager can support nonprofits and corporations

Here are some benefits of an Event Marketing Manager:

  • Build strong affinity for your brand so people associate positive vibes and trustworthiness with your company
  • Increase brand awareness through connecting brand with other trustworthy influencers, festivals, brands and events
  • Grow sales through nurturing more personable relationships with audience by harnessing the power of storytelling and experiences
  • Advance database and lead generation by optimizing attendee registration and management
  • Develop niche and personalized marketing strategies to reach targeted audiences
  • Generate detailed reports analyzing return of investment prior to an event
  • Track and interpret the results metrics following an event eg. new social media followers, RSVPs, revenue, media mentions ect.
  • Create a centralized and focused event marketing strategy customized for specific objectives and KPIs
  • Craft smooth and clear lines of communication to attendees and guests surrounding an event for ongoing interactions

Need an Event Marketing Manager? Tag Happily in!

Hire our specialists on-demand to help with ongoing experiential marketing and media production tasks that don’t require a full-time employee. For a low monthly fee Happily makes it easy to expand your team with friendly, talented, and responsible team members just in time.

There are over 50 different types of specialists roles across Happily’s five studios - Strategy, Creative, Web, Broadcast, Experiential - that you can tag in. Such as a Event Marketing Manager, Program Manager, Producer, Sponsorship Strategist, Video Editor, Technical Director or Web Developer.

Find more information here.

Looking for freelance jobs?

If you're an Event Marketing Manager join Team Happily to be a part of the award-winning network that puts on the best in events.

Create an account here to get started.

September 3, 2021

Happily What Is A Producer And How Would They Make A Production A 1000% Better?

What Is A Producer & How They Make Everything 1000% Better

As you are assembling your kick-ass production team with Happily, every specialist will have a specific role to play, taking your event to the next level.

We are going to explore the role of a Producer. Their specific tasks and responsibilities will depend on the scope, complexity and type of experience, of course.

Every Happily event is unique, and Happily teams are customized, so below is just a general outline to understand overall how a Happily Producer will, can or could contribute to your event. (Spoiler alert! They are amazing.)
Happily What Is A Producer And How Would They Make A Production A 1000% Better?

What is a Producer?

They really take the wheel behind-the-scenes of a production. It could be an onsite or virtual event, an intimate fundraiser or a massive week-long summit - no matter the scope or complexity, an events producer can be involved.

In event planning they supervise and coordinate all practical aspects of an event and oversee the ‘ground forces’ that will be present on the day of the event, such as the AV team, keynote speakers, Backstage Leads ect. The level of communication between these ‘ground forces’ is the responsibility of the Producer.

A Producer typically creates a detailed run of show (ROS) for the event or live broadcast, manages the ground staff, and schedules, as well as leads all those team meetings. If the event requires (eg. a live broadcast) they can call cues and ensure that every beat of the ROS is met by the right person.

Is an Executive Producer different?

What a Producer doesn’t usually do is have much involvement in the creative, strategic and overall vision of a production. They take the goals, concepts and general outline established by the leadership or the client and get the wheels turning.

An Executive Producer is a different type of producer. They would be part of that leadership team, sitting above a Producer. An Executive Producer will co-create the experience with the client. They oversee all the components of the project, from creative vision and pre-recorded videos to custom micro. An Executive Producer is more ‘bigger picture’ than a Producer.

How would your event benefit from a Producer?

Stress be gone!

They'll manage and be thinking about the 10,000 little details that create a successful production so you don’t have to. You can keep your energy for the ‘bigger picture’ stuff, or so you can take a step back and enjoy the event, knowing that the behind-the-scenes will be running smoothly without you.

To-do lists will be conquered.

No matter the scale of an event, there is always a very long and growing to-do list. Having a production that is organized is vital. Producers will bring structure, be delegating tasks, providing detailed production documents, ticking things off that to-do list, and just get. stuff. done.

Problem solving is no problem.

Producers will resolve any issues that may come out of nowhere during the middle of the event. They are decision makers, who are assertive and capable if something unforeseeable were to happen.

Strong communication between all the teams.

We all know how important strong communication is, just you know, in life. A large part of a Producer's job is to create and support wonderfully harmonious communication between any various teams, as well as with you. They will keep everyone on the same page, and make sure everyone has the information that they need to do their job.

Have a Plan B and a Plan C.

They are the ship captain who can see an iceberg from a mile away. Sometimes things just won’t go according to plan, and if that happens they can anticipate any issues and have already thought about or discussed or planned what to do in that situation.

For example, if a microphone onsite stops working, there will be a spare one handy. If someone cuts out during a virtual event, they might have a video ready to play.

A wealth of knowledge.

Producers are event professionals who will be able to provide for you the expertise and knowhow of putting together an event. They can bring all the experience you need for a successful production, offering advice, presenting alternatives or explaining any bumps in the road they foresee.


Need a Producer? Tag Happily in!

Hire our specialists On Demand to help with ongoing experiential marketing and media production tasks that don’t require a full-time employee. For a low monthly fee Happily makes it easy to expand your team with friendly, talented, and responsible team members just in time.

There are over 50 different types of specialists roles across Happily’s five studios - Strategy, Creative, Web, Broadcast, Experiential - that you can tag in. Such as a Producer, Sponsorship Strategist, Video Editor, Technical director or Web Developer. For more about our On Demand click here.

Looking for producing jobs?

If you're a Producer, join Team Happily to be a part of the award-winning network that puts on the best in events. Create an account here to get started.

August 19, 2021

Cynthia Steele Hero Image

Specialist Spotlight: Cynthia Steele

Our Happily specialists are diverse, talented, creative, and just plain awesome. So every week we are proud to introduce you to one of them.


The Happily specialist under the spotlight:

Name: Cynthia Steele

Pronouns: she/her

Location: Washington, DC

Happily Role/s To Date: Associate Producer, Backstage Manager


Hey there, have you met Cynthia?

She is an experienced event management professional with a specialty in the performing arts. She has over 20 years of experience producing live television concerts, festivals and symphony orchestra tours in the US and internationally. Cynthia is the Executive Director of National Society of Arts and Letters - plus, she is a mom, a classical musician, a fitness instructor and runs marathons in her spare time!

Cynthia Steele Hero Image

So Cynthia, what is your superpower?

I like to think that I'm exceptionally good at making everyone feel welcome, a valuable part of the team, listening to client's needs, and making a plan to move forward. Building relationships and executing a plan.

When you're not working on a Happily production, what are you up to?

I do triathlons - I train for Ironman triathlons and also running/marathons. I get a little obsessed so if anyone wants to talk about swimming, biking, or running - hit me up!

My side hustle related to this was as a triathlon/running blogger and influencer back when Instagram was taking off. That's why my IG handle is "yousignedupforwhat" - my blog was called You Signed Up for WHAT?! because I love big challenges.

It was really popular but it's been quiet there for a while because I started managing social media and doing event work for triathlon-focused organizations and got busy! I'm about to start blogging again since I miss it - it will expand into hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, and other adventures. I sign up for ALL the things.

What do you enjoy about the freelancer life?

I love working as part of a team to bring a project to a successful, high-quality completion. I've been exposed to a range of topics, industries, and people working with Happily that I never would have experienced before the virtual space!

Which Happily production are you most proud to have been part of?

It's hard to pick just one, but I loved the Techstars Staffcon. It was a big, complicated, interesting event and we had a great team from Happily, as well as great partners on the client side. It made me miss working as a team to produce live events.

What are you looking forward to the events industry?

My career has been focused in the performing arts and also endurance sports (running and triathlon). I worked in orchestra management for many years, and the past year and a half have been devastating to the arts. I'm really looking forward to in-person music, theater, dance, and festivals/competitions.

There is nothing like the first note/beat/step in a live performance! Also, it has been challenging to run arts competitions virtually since artists have varying degrees of access to spaces, technology, editing expertise, and equipment.

What makes you happy?

I have three kids who make me really happy! Also, the aforementioned running and biking, along with hiking and backpacking and anything outdoorsy. Also I've learned to sail the past few years - it's such a cool endeavor to learn to harness the power of the wind and the mechanics of the boat to move forward.

Who else needs a coffee?

Listen to Cynthia in conversation with Sarah Shewey, Founder and CEO of Happily, via Instagram Live.

Tune in to Coffee O’Clock every Tuesday 10am PST as Sarah Shewey jumps on Instagram Live at @teamhappily, to give a quick update on all things Happily and chat with one of our Happily specialists. Here is a playback featuring Cynthia from Tue 27th, July.

Template-Freelancer-Social

Are you looking for freelance event jobs? Create an account and become a Happily specialist.

July 30, 2021

Josh Govier Hero Image

Specialist Spotlight: Josh Govier

Our Happily specialists are diverse, talented, creative, and just plain awesome. So every week we are proud to introduce you to one of them.


The Happily specialist under the spotlight:

Name: Josh Govier

Pronouns: he/him

Location: New York City

Happily Role/s To Date: Broadcast Clock, Video Engineer, Video Editor


Josh Govier Hero Image

Hey there, have you met Josh?

He is an audio engineer and videographer from New York. He has a strong passion for technology, the arts, and all of the places they intersect.

As a side hustle Josh fixes bikes and is very passionate about music. He plays the bass guitar and has played shows throughout NYC and the North East.

So Josh, what is your superpower?

I consider myself to be a very multifaceted person. I am very curious and I love to learn, because of this I have been able to serve a lot of roles within the production industry.

I have worked as a sound engineer in live, studio, and video environments, as well as working on the post production end. I have also worked on the video end as a camera operator and editor. One of my biggest accomplishments as an editor was working on a music video called “Cold Cold Coffin” by Dennis Dunaway, which went on to win several film festivals and was screened at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

When you're not working on a Happily production, what are you up to?

I have a lot of side hustles and hobbies, most recently I have gotten very into cycling. It’s a great activity to stay in shape, socialize, and for me it really helps with my mental health as well. I will be doing a bikepacking trip around The Finger Lakes with 2 of my best friends later this summer. I have never gone on a trip like this before and I am super excited!

Working on bicycles has also been a side hustle for me. One of the impacts of the pandemic has been a shortage in bicycles, I am very handy and taught myself how to repair bikes. First building some old mountain bikes and hybrids up for my family, and more recently for friends and neighbors. It has been very fulfilling to make old bikes ride as good as new, getting people back into the sport, and keeping bikes on the road and out of landfills.

What do you enjoy about the freelancer life?

I enjoy the freelance element of production as variety is the spice of life. Events have been a big part of my life for a very long time. As a teenager I was very active as a musician. My band played everything from local fundraisers and venues throughout NYC. I have always felt such fulfillment by bringing people together and bringing joy and entertainment to them.

After college I shifted gears to streaming concerts, and running live sound. Doing so has allowed me to meet so many incredible artists, make new friends, and travel to beautiful places. Working with different teams, tools, and environments keeps me on my toes and allows me to explore different opportunities and interests.

Shifting gears to more remote projects in this past year has allowed me to reinvent myself and really explore my passion for streaming which I have really enjoyed. I look forward to seeing how streaming will be integrated in hybrid events as COVID restrictions lift.

Which Happily production are you most proud to have been part of?

Out of all the projects I have worked on with Happily, I am most proud of the most recent, Herman Miller’s Virtual Pride. Editing on this project was a challenge as we had a lot of content to put together on a very tight timeline. I put in some long days which led to a really wonderful event which showcased many talented performers and artists from the LGBTQ+ community. Attending the virtual fundraiser was incredibly moving for me. It was so nice seeing people from around the world brought together by this event, as well as raise funds for Outright International.

What does your work day usually consist of when working on a Happily production?

When editing for Happily I like to get a nice early start to my day. I feel sharpest in the morning so I like to front load my work as much as possible. I start my day with a nice healthy breakfast and sit down at my desk. Once I have completed my first round of edits I will send those out to the client for review. At this point I like got get some exercise in and have some lunch. By the time thats done I fine tune the edits based on the feedback I have received from clients.

I’ve been working from home long before COVID so I have built out a really nice work space. I custom built a studio desk, acoustically treated my room and I have 2 nice big displays and a great pair of studio monitors that really immerse me in my work.

What makes you happy?

What makes me happiest in life is the wonderful people surrounding me: my family, friends, and my partner. They bring me so much joy through their humor, wit, and kindness. I sincerely appreciate their support of me to try new things and take risks. If it wasn’t for them I would not be where I am at today.

Is it coffee o’clock, yet?

Listen to Josh in conversation with Sarah Shewey, Founder and CEO of Happily, via Instagram Live.

Tune in to Coffee O’Clock every Tuesday 10am PST as Sarah Shewey jumps on Instagram Live at @teamhappily, to give a quick update on all things Happily and chat with one of our Happily specialists. Here is a playback featuring Josh from Tue 13th, July.

Josh Govier IG Live Gif

Are you looking for freelance event jobs? Create an account and become a Happily specialist.

July 16, 2021

Arthur Kozlovski

Specialist Spotlight: Arthur Kozlovski

Our Happily specialists are diverse, talented, creative, and just plain awesome. So every week we are proud to introduce you to one of them.


The Happily specialist under the spotlight:

Name: Arthur Kozlovski

Pronouns: he/him

Location: New York City

Happily Role/s To Date: Technical Director, Timekeeper, Associate Producer


Arthur Kozlovski

Hey! Do you know Arthur?

With over 10 years of experience as a director for event production, Arthur's work focuses on collaborative and community-driven initiatives.

He is also the Founder and Operations Director of Community Bread, a queer-owned livestream and resource platform for marginalized artists aimed to offset economic hardships caused by the pandemic.

So, Arthur, what is your superpower?

I would say that I am great at facilitating collaborative environments in which teams can objectively communicate through any obstacles that we may encounter, collectively.

Do you have a side hustle?

I founded and run Community Bread, a livestream & resource platform dedicated to queer & marginalized artists aimed to offset economic hardships caused by the pandemic. Together with my two partners, we’ve been able to raise over $20k for struggling artists and LGBTQ+ charity orgs across the world over the past year.

What does Pride Month mean to you?

Pride is not bound to a single month, but to our collective existences as we share our stories, our struggles, our victories and come together to celebrate the beautiful world and the vibrant people that help shape it.

Can you tell us about a Happily virtual event that you're proud to have worked on?

The Door Dash IPO launch was the most challenging and exciting project that required creating, managing and ensuring 20 live experiences happened simultaneously and flawlessly over the course of one hour. This required careful planning to account for all possible variables that could affect each stream and virtual room, in addition to training and managing teams and talent across the country. It was incredible to watch it all come together so smoothly!

How would you describe your working style?

My approach to working with many different teams is always to facilitate a level of trust and transparency amongst the groups I am involved with. Every individual comes from a different background and provides various skills, and in order for a project to be successful, we must all work together and be honest with what we can and can’t do. There is always a way to provide support if everyone is clear about their capabilities and limitations. Communication is key!

What makes you happy?

What really makes me happy is watching people explore, create and share their visions, especially in collaborative ways which produce something much more special than if it was created independently. I believe that the magic of our existence is sharing the joys of life, and facilitating these collective initiatives is what truly brings me joy.

Who else needs a coffee?

Listen to Arthur in conversation with Sarah Shewey, Founder and CEO of Happily, via Instagram Live.

Tune in to Coffee O’Clock every Tuesday 10am PST as Sarah Shewey jumps on Instagram Live at @teamhappily, to give a quick update on all things Happily and chat with one of our Happily specialists. Here is a playback featuring Arthur from Tue 22nd, June.

Arthur Kozlovski IG Live GIF

Are you looking for freelance event jobs? Create an account and become a Happily specialist.

June 25, 2021

Amanda Novoa

Specialist Spotlight: Amanda Novoa

Our Happily specialists are diverse, talented, creative, and just plain awesome. So every week we are proud to introduce you to one of them.


The Happily specialist under the spotlight:

Name: Amanda Novoa

Pronouns: she/her

Location: Orange County, California

Happily Role/s To Date: Breakout Lead


Amanda Novoa

Hey there! Have you met Amanda?

Amanda's passion for event production stems from her love of collaboration. It's her joy to be a driving force in seeing a project come together. She creates a calm and organized atmosphere where individuals can present their best work. Plus, she is fluent in Spanish!

So, Amanda, what is your superpower?

In both life and at work, I’m exceptionally good at being kind, calm, and being the voice of reason in a sea of crazy. ;)

Do you have a side hustle?

When I’m not in my show calling super hero outfit, my side hustle is being “Maestra of the Realm” (aka HR Manager) at an amazing water and supplement store in Orange County, CA. Check us out thewaterbrewery.com and @thewaterbrewery on IG

Why do you love working in virtual events?

Virtual events allow a unique kind of intimacy. The speakers are right in front of the attendees faces instead of far away on a big stage. I’ve seen how virtual events have been more impactful because of this.

Seeing a CEO give a keynote presentation right in front of you hits a little different. But don’t get me wrong, the in-person component is still crucial, especially for team building and bonding. And I personally can’t wait to be back in-person more often!

Can you tell us about a Happily virtual event that you're proud to have worked on?

I loved working on both the 'Youth Survivors Coalition' for youth survivors of breast cancer and on 'We are Home with FWD.us' where members of congress met with individuals to hear how immigrant communities are being directly impacted by certain policies or lack thereof.

Both events served important causes and I was able to see the direct impact they had on their respective communities. I think it’s amazing that Happily prides itself on working on altruistic events such as these and I’m excited to be involved with more!

How would you describe your home working style?

My work space is also my bedroom. I’m fortunate to have a good sized room so I can angle my camera in a way that doesn’t show my bed. Right next to my desk I have a 3-gallon glass container of water from @thewaterbrewery of course! So I don’t need to go far in the middle of a show to stay hydrated. There’s also plenty of sunshine and plants in my room, which makes it a nice environment to be in for some of those longer days.

A work day with Happily usually starts off with a cup of tea, opening up Zoom, and renaming myself to Happily | Role | Amanda. You’d be surprised how many people think my name is Happily. :)

Amanda Novoa Desk

You pivoted from working on real world events to working on virtual ones. How was that transition?

I spent most of the pandemic avoiding virtual events. I decided I would wait until things came back to in-person. I figured I would only be waiting a few months… Thankfully, a colleague and friend of mine, Laurea De Ocampo, told me about Happily and the Shadow Program so I decided to give it a shot.

I’m glad I did because now I’m working on plenty of virtual events. My advice to anyone starting out is to check out the Shadow Program!

What makes you happy?

Sunshine, hiking, fresh healthy food, clean water, vacations, teamwork, music, family, friends, a great book, traveling, unity <3

Who else needs a coffee?

Catch Amanda in conversation with Sarah Shewey, Founder and CEO of Happily, via Instagram Live.

Tune in to Coffee O’Clock every Tuesday 10am PST as Sarah Shewey jumps on Instagram Live at @teamhappily, to give a quick update on all things Happily and chat with one of our Happily specialists. Here is a playback featuring Amanda from Tue 1st, June.

Amanda GIF link to IG Live

Are you looking for freelance event jobs? Create an account and become a Happily specialist.

June 4, 2021

Lindon Chen Banner

Specialist Spotlight: Lindon Chen

Our Happily team is diverse, talented, creative, and just plain awesome. So every week we are proud to introduce you to one of our team members.


The Happily team member under the spotlight:

Name: Lindon Chen

Pronouns: he/him

Location: New York City, NY

Happily Role: Growth Marketing Director


Hey! Have you met Lindon?

He is a passionate growth and digital marketer having worked in Big Tech, political campaigns, nonprofits and the underground music scene. Plus, he can speak Chinese and French!

Lindon Chen Banner Images via Instagram @lindon

So Lindon, what would you say is your superpower?

I've spent my adult career working in the digital marketing space (at an agency, at Hillary for America, at a measurement startup and at Facebook) and became a SME in paid media advertising and data analysis. For a while, I combined those skills while working in sales, so I had fun selling advertising solutions to help businesses grow with advertising and data.

In life, I pride myself on being a link what connects and brings people together - whether that's working cross-functionally between sales, product, marketing, etc., introducing my creative friends to each other to work on awesome projects or bringing a group of wonderful humans together for a party - I love when I can build a community of like-minded people to get stuff done!

Do you have another side hustle or hobby?

The queer techno community in Brooklyn is so important to me - they are my chosen family away from home. Before the pandemic, I used to work in nightlife as a promoter - using my digital marketing skills and network of ravers - to help femme promoters bring more people to their events and maximize their ROI. Before coming onto Happily, I've worked as an event producer too! I used to book and throw concerts and raves in college, and continue to help party planners in Brooklyn execute their logistic plans.

An exciting development recently, I've been being cast for editorial and commercial photo shoots, in which I'm feeling happy to uplift the visibility of Asian Americans during a time when it's most needed! I'm also very active on social media in sharing resources and information about what's going on the world politically - I enjoy using my political science degree to truth-share and educate my followers on injustice and inequity, in hopes of ushering a better more peaceful world.

In general, are we going to see any changes in the digital marketing industry in 2021 and beyond as a result of the pandemic?

I'm finding that for a lot of B2B companies like ourselves, in-person promotions, like trade shows, are becoming less and less relevant vehicles for marketing your goods and services because of the pandemic. Building a slick and informative website that speaks to each of your target personas and takes them through their unique customers journeys is becoming paramount. At Happily, we've recently overhauled our marketing website to follow these digital-first shifts and with the help of amazing content marketing content from Stories, we're able to hook more people into our brand using an inbound marketing content machine.

What's one marketing strategy that will never go out of style?

As advertising budgets are shifting away from traditional media (like TV and Out of Home), digital marketing acquisition channels are becoming more and more crucial for business growth.

What has been an exciting challenge for you since started at Happily?

At Happily, I've had the chance to put on many different hats... I started off as a social media coordinator, which evolved into being a Marketing Director for our TEDx conference and the brand, and now I'm working in unchartered territory as a Growth Marketing Director!

I love that I'm afforded the opportunity to learn, grow, and expand my skill set as Happily is growing as well. What I find most amazing out Happily is how mission aligned it is - as a queer person of color, it's really important to feel welcomed, represented, and embraced for being my authentic self. Seldom do you find that at any company! I'm happy to see that many of my queer friends have come on board at Happily to fill various specialist and executive positions to make Happily an even more authentic and diverse place to work.

What makes you happy?

I was half-joking about this the other day in one of my Instagram posts as I was squeezing a Rilakkuma bear, holding a shopping bag from Berghain (Berlin's most iconic techno club), and had a facial mask on - the 3 things that bring me joy are techno, kawaii/cute things, and skincare/self-care.

To help me feel grounded in an increasingly chaotic world, taking the time to take care of my skin, to work out at the gym almost every day, and nourish my creative mind with the music I like bring me the long-lasting joy throughout the days. To be able to celebrate and appreciate those things with my friends makes them even better

Listen to Lindon in conversation with Sarah Shewey, Founder and CEO of Happily, via Instagram Live.

Tune in to Coffee O’Clock every Tuesday 10am PST as Sarah Shewey jumps on Instagram Live at @teamhappily, to give a quick update on all things Happily and chat with one of our Happily specialists. Here is a playback featuring Lindon from Tue 18th, May.

Lindon Freelancer Social GIF

Are you looking for freelance event jobs? Create an account and become a Happily specialist.

May 21, 2021

Women in home with laptop, slack on screen

How to be a Producer & Show Caller for Happily Virtual Events

We've got 5 things you need to know about being a producer and show caller, featuring one of our own Happily specialists.


Here is a quick breakdown:

Event Role: Producer / Show caller

Team Happily Responsibility: Create run of show for the broadcast, manage the broadcast team, as well as schedule and lead team meetings. Plus call the cues during the tech rehearsals and live broadcast.

Happily Studio: Production

Happily Team: Broadcast


Discover the basics as well as some pro tips about being a producer and show caller from Logan, a Happily specialist

1. What is the difference between a producer and a show caller?

The role is the same, but the ‘producer’ part refers more specifically to the organization and leadership in the pre-production stage of an event. The ‘show caller’ part is more specific to the ‘day of’ direction and management during the broadcast.

2. Being a strong communicator is a must-have skill

This is a senior position and will take on a huge leadership role. The producer is the main connection between the client and the Happily team, communicating the needs and desires of the client with the various event specialists requires clear and open conversation and delivery. Plus, of course, those strong communication skills need to ensure that the client and the Happily team have all the information, direction and support that they need.

3. Pro tip: Always have a Plan B (and a Plan C)

The reality of any event is that even with the most organized run of show there is always something that could veer off track, and always something unexpected that could pop up. You must prepare for the unpredictable. Having something pre-planned up your sleeve in an ‘emergency’, such as a video or crossing back to a presenter, will mean make or break in the heat of the moment. (Bonus tip: share this Plan B with the team!)

4. Pro tip: Reply to emails and correspondence ASAP

The pre-production of a virtual event means a lot of emails and a lot of chats on slack. The producer is responsible for keeping the whole project moving forward, so answer those questions from the client and reply to those doubts from a team member promptly.

5. Pro tip: Listen to the client

Essentially the producer’s primary responsibility is to create the virtual event that the client is asking for, that meets their requirements and reflects their brand. So actively listening to the client is vital in producing an event that meets and exceeds their expectations.

If you’re ready to join team Happily, create an account and become a Happily specialist.

May 20, 2021

Sarah Shewey on Back of House LIVE from Hopin

Happily Hops into 'Back of House LIVE' with Hopin

Sarah Shewey, our Founder and CEO, is the inaugural fireside guest on Hopin’s new Back of House LIVE series.

They chat about Sarah’s innovative cyber wedding, the best bits of working across timezones, and Happily’s commitment to carbon zero events. Oh and why virtual events will still be vital even when in-person events are possible again!

Happily heads back of house with Hopin

Hopin is a virtual venue that has multiple interactive areas focused on connection and engagement. Their free show and podcast ‘Back of House LIVE’, co-hosted by Anthony Kennada and Lauren Sommers, is an events industry talk show that includes interviews with thought leaders from the events world. Happily was honored to have our Founder and CEO as the first guest!

Listen to Sarah Shewey in this snippet from Hopin’s ‘Back of House LIVE’ and read on for some quick takeaways.

The cyber wedding that broke the internet

When Sarah and Colin’s wedding was abruptly cancelled due to COVID 19 in early 2020, the pivot to a virtual wedding was quick and mighty. Sarah describes how she fully embraced the challenge to create a truly unique experience and wondrous cyber wedding celebration unlike anything you would have thought possible. Plus, she explains how their story came to headline the Daily Mail in the UK, and why the experience helped her discover the power and potential of virtual events.

The creative process and the wonderful experience that I had with the cyber wedding helped me to commit to virtual and continue to rethink experiences in an online format.

Sarah Shewey, Founder and CEO, Happily

Sarah and Colin Cyber Wedding

The benefits of Happily’s international network of independent event specialists

  • Having a team across the world and in multiple time zones means there is always someone working and a project can progress quickly
  • Happily prides itself on our ‘short runway’ to producing events and we are able to take advantage of varying time zones when a client comes to us at the 11th hour
  • The diversity of people and cultures is what Happily is all about
  • Our pool of talent is not restricted to any one country or culture
  • There are more opportunities for event specialists that speak multiple languages, if our clients need

It’s great to be able to schedule people on different time zones, so we get assets and project direction on the west coast, it moves over to the east coast, moves over to Asia, moves over to Europe, and then you have a final pre-record edit that is ready the next morning.

Sarah Shewey, Founder and CEO, Happily

Happily is committed to sustainable and carbon zero events

  • 90% of an event's carbon emissions come from flights and removing that need for travel (and going virtual) is the number one climate change solution when it comes to producing an event
  • Happily offsets any virtual event carbon emissions (from computers, etc) by planting the corresponding amount of trees in our Happily Forest
  • We produced a robust and informative TEDxHappily Countdown event that you should check out for much more on this topic and our mission

Fly less plant more

The benefits of virtual events even when in-person events are possible again

  • Virtual events are here to stay!
  • They are an important tool for event producers to sustain interaction and connection with an audience or community
  • The minimal cost compared to in-person allows a higher frequency of interaction with an audience
  • Communities can stay connected between large, tentpole in-person events with virtual events throughout the year
  • The minimal cost compared to in-person allows opportunities for smaller, more niche events within a community

For anyone who did events before [the pandemic] you remember it was always ‘how do we keep our community together throughout the year’ and it was like ‘maybe a Facebook group?’ We all laugh now because of course we are just going to be doing lots of virtual events…

Sarah Shewey, Founder and CEO, Happily

More information coming right up

Here are links to resources and random stuff mentioned in this interview:

May 17, 2021

Felecia Happily Freelancer SEO

Specialist Spotlight: Felecia Fierro

Our Happily specialists are diverse, talented, creative, and just plain awesome. So every week we are proud to introduce you to one of them.


The Happily specialist under the spotlight:

Name: Felecia Fierro

Pronouns: she/her

Location: Tracy, California

Happily Role/s: Production Assistant and Backstage Manager


Freelancer Felecia Fierro Blog Image

Images via Instagram @feleciafierro

Hey there! Have you met Felecia?

She is a performance-driven, tech-savy, passionate events professional with over 14 years experience. From trade shows to executive retreats and weddings to galas, both digital and live - Felecia can produce it all!

Felecia, what would you say is your superpower?

I would have to say how to build a network and knowing when to use it.

Do you have a side hustle?

I'm a creative, so of course! Outside of owning a creative events company, I also dabble in photography.

Why do you love working in virtual events?

I love that despite us being in a pandemic, virtual events has enabled people to continue to come together - which we all crave! And as a bonus virtual events allow people from all over the world to meet in one place from the comfort of their own homes.

How long have you been part of the Happily network?

I have been with Happily for about 4.5 years. I have extended the types of events, managing onsite for a festival and adding speaker prep and management to my skill set as well as producing many virtual events over the last year.

Can you tell us about a Happily virtual event that you're proud to have worked on?

As cheesy as it may sound, I'd have to say all of them! It is truly an honor to be trusted to help a company grow its brand and be able to deliver a high-quality experience for attendees. I will say the wedding I produced for a Happily client does hold close to my heart as I was able to build a personal relationship with the couple and still keep in touch with them today. We do tend to have the best clients!

Freelancer Felecia Fierro Blog Image

Image: Screenshot of Felecia as a Happily Backstage Manager with Stacey Abrams and Gary Stewart for the 2021 Startup Grind Global Conference.

How would you describe your home working space?

My home office style I would describe as clean and chic. Lots of clean lines with pops of color and overly organized! I'm a planner so it no surprise there! Working on a Happily event the day starts with lots of coffee as I run through the run of show and double-check the flow of the show. Then it's snack prep and go time! I always end with a giant thank you to my supporting team because without them I can not produce a great event!

You pivoted from working on real world events to working on virtual ones. How was that transition?

I had already started to include a virtual component to events I was producing. However, COVID was a major push to go all digital. Producing a digital program is much like producing an in-person event. However, there is an element of surprise as to when speakers will show up and the quality of internet connections, lighting, and sound that you just have to be ready for. Plan for the unexpected and always have 3 backup plans on the ready and if all else fails be ready with a video to run!

What makes you happy?

Without a shadow of a doubt my daughter! She is a sassy 16-year-old with a giant smile and proves to be my motivation day in and day out. And also coffee!! :)

Who else needs a coffee?

Listen to Felecia in conversation with Sarah Shewey, Founder and CEO of Happily, via Instagram Live.

Tune in to Coffee O’Clock every Tuesday 10am PST as Sarah Shewey jumps on Instagram Live at @teamhappily, to give a quick update on all things Happily and chat with one of our Happily specialists. Here is a playback featuring Felecia from Tue 27th, April.

Felecia Freelancer GIF

Are you looking for freelance event jobs? Create an account and become a Happily specialist.

May 7, 2021

Streaming Engineer Role SEO

How to be a Streaming Engineer for Happily Virtual Events

We've got 5 things you need to know about being a streaming engineer, featuring one of our own Happily specialists.


Here is a quick breakdown:

Event Role: Streaming Engineer

Team Happily Responsibility: Manage streaming keys and integrations, inset all assets and brand wrappers into the broadcast stream

Happily Studio: Technical

Happily Team: Broadcast


Discover the basics as well as some pro tips about being a streaming engineer from Luke, a Happily specialist

1. Are there varying types of streaming engineer roles?

Depending on the event and the requirements, streaming engineers could be in charge of the main broadcast, or simply a breakout room.

2. Being detail-oriented is a must-have skill

As you are responsible for building and giving life to an event, so many of the tiny little details are in your hands, and it could mean make or break to the success of the event. From the correct Zoom settings, the video quality, audio sync with the livestream, and the exact timing of all the motion graphics, videos, presenters ect. into the broadcast. Every little detail needs to be checked, and then checked again.

3. Pro tip: Have (very) fast internet

We recommend an ethernet connection (not wifi) to maintain a steady bitrate throughout the livestream. A 'bitrate' is the quality of the video and/or audio being uploaded to the chosen platform, and it is so important. Your internet speed will determine what bitrate options you have. Platforms such as Ookla Speed Test will tell you what your current internet speed is.

4. Pro tip: Have a desktop computer

Streaming through OBS is resource-intensive, and can be really hard work for a computer, or laptop. If your computer crashes, that would be disastrous for the live event. So, having a reliable desktop computer that can easily handle a complicated livestream with multiple programs running is e-ssen-tial.

5. Pro tip: Know the ROS like the back of your hand

The ROS (run of show) is basically your step-by-step, second-by-second manual of the livestream, and is your everything. In broad terms, your job is to follow the ROS to the T, and bring it to life. So, knowing, studying, clarifying and asking questions about the ROS of the event is crucial as a streaming engineer.

If you’re ready to join team Happily, create an account and become a Happily specialist.

May 6, 2021

Alex Wiltse SEO pic

Specialist Spotlight: Alex Wiltse

Our Happily specialists are diverse, talented, creative, and just plain awesome. So every week we are proud to introduce you to one of them.


The Happily specialist under the spotlight:

Name: Alex Wiltse

Pronouns: he/him

Location: Scottsdale, Arizona

Happily Role/s: Showcaller, Streaming Engineer and Happily Hour Host


Alex Wiltse for Freelancer Friyay Images via Instagram @jayco_tv

Hey there! Do you know Alex?

With over 10 years of experience at the intersection of major media, live-streaming, and technology, Alex prides himself on his versatile skill set. He describes as someone who is able to adapt to almost any need within the rapidly increasing industry of virtual event production.

So, Alex, what is your superpower?

I like to think, and have been told, my greatest skill is improvisation and adaptability. It may sound silly but it happens a lot with tech! Feeling like I just pulled a Doc Brown and seeing three computers come together and work in tandem, with wires hanging from my ceiling and threading over my room because that's just how to get the best quality... well, it appeals the 7 year old in me who always wanted to be a mad scientist.

Do you have a side hustle?

I'm actually a talent manager! I have an agency partner in LA who has some really cool TV clients while I focus on finding social media creators that have the potential to make it in the traditional acting world (with some training, of course), and I help them curate their content to grow in a direction that'll help them make that transition. I also occasionally am a casting producer for various gameshows when they need me, like Match Game, Game of Talents, and The Hustler!

Why do you love working in virtual events?

For me, it's the vision of where this can lead. In my mind, genuinely 90% of live TV could be produced remotely. It would make the industry so much more accessible for aspiring talent and crew, and it would make it so much more do-able for people who don't want to "move to Hollywood for the dream!" sort of thing. With my setup now (thanks to Happily) and the stuff I've played around with alongside Chris and JC, it's something I want to champion to the industry: Why even use a studio for more than the main talent if anything? It's cheaper, MUCH more environmentally friendly, and allows for far more eager minds to be a part of the team.

What inspired you to join Team Happily?

I was brought over by a friend of mine, Brielle. She's a Happily stream engineer pretty often, too. I used to stream on Twitch as a hobby (But secretly hoping I'd be Twitch famous, of course) and she was like 'Hey! The DNC needs livestream people'. and I'm just not the kinda guy to ask questions, and just said 'okay I'm down'. Best decision ever.

Can you tell us about a Happily virtual event that you're proud to have worked on?

I think it would be the Startup Grind summit. Working three days back-to-back at roughly 14 hours each... that brought me back to being on-set... but from the comfort of my own desk. I loved every minute of it. And what a cool event to be a part of!

How would you describe your home working style?

I'm someone with pretty severe diagnosed ADHD, so I have a pretty strict routine with myself so I don't get distracted and can stay on track. Every morning I wake up and steam 4 eggs, make a piece of toast, and air-fry 6 strips of bacon. Then I go down the street to my local coffee shop and get a Lucky Charms latte. Only the healthiest. On Happily event days, since I live in a Tiktok Content House that I manage, I make sure to announce to the house that it's an "on-air" day and everyone has to be quiet between X-Y hours. Then I get set up on my PC's and get ready for the show.

Freelancer Alex Wiltse Home Space Set Up Image: Alex's monster set-up!

You pivoted from working on real world events to working on virtual ones. How was that transition?

The transition kind of came by force with COVID. I was an events manager for a tech startup until Feb of 2020, then, well, we all know what happened next. Fortunately, my love of streaming and tech made it very easy to transition, since I was already using the tools that we would end up needing.

For advice... hmm... I would say try to be tech-forward. I know that sounds a bit generic, but what I mean by that is to really be aware of technology and learn as much of it as you can. This space is going to stay here and only continue to grow with time. And tech can be very hard for some folks to understand, but honestly, you can learn just about any of it on YouTube. If there's something you want to learn or don't know, take the 15 minutes to watch a video on YouTube that explains it. I promise it'll come in handy.

What makes you happy?

I am happiest when I'm outside adventuring or entertaining people via performing arts. Living in Arizona, one of my hobbies is exploring abandoned gold mines. (Don't try this at home) and there's something about the Indiana Jones feeling that brings me a special joy. As for acting and entertaining, it comes in all forms. If I have anyone laughing, I'm doing what I'm meant to be doing! Daily for me is my mom. She's had such a life of trials and tribulations that her strength inspires me every day to keep going and anything I can do to make her proud brings me daily joy.

Who else needs a coffee?

Listen to Alex in conversation with Sarah Shewey, Founder and CEO of Happily, via Instagram Live.

Tune in to Coffee O’Clock every Tuesday 10am PST as Sarah Shewey jumps on Instagram Live at @teamhappily, to give a quick update on all things Happily and chat with one of our Happily specialists. Here is a playback featuring Alex from Tue 20th, April.

IG Live Link to Freelancer Alex Wiltse GIF

Are you looking for freelance event jobs? Create an account and become a Happily specialist.

April 23, 2021

Freelancer: Katarina Cody Hero Image

Specialist Spotlight: Kat Cody

Our Happily specialists are diverse, talented, creative, and just plain awesome. So every week we are proud to introduce you to one of them.


The Happily specialist under the spotlight:

Name: Katarina Cody

Pronouns: she/her

Location: Los Angeles, USA

Happily Role/s: Broadcast Manager


Freelancer: Katarina Cody Hero Image

We'd love for you to meet Kat!

She has a powerhouse work-ethic backed by organization and a passion for music. She specializes in being able to keep projects on track, connecting the dots, and finding creative solutions. Kat prides herself on her ability to plan for the unexpected and integrate philanthropic thought into business.

So, Kat, what is your superpower?

Being able to prepare for situations with a solid plan and pivot when things change!

What do you like to do in your freetime?

I absolutely love camping, hiking, exploring, and traveling.

Why do you love working in virtual events?

I love being able to have less impact on the environment and climate change through virtual events. I also think virtual events allow for more collaboration from people who are across the country and around the world.

What inspired you to join Team Happily?

I heard about Happily from a friend who I worked on a few events with and decided to join the team because the events that Happily produce truly make an impact.

Can you tell us about a Happily virtual event that you're proud to have worked on?

I worked on 826 Valencia's Fundraiser and it was by for the most memorable one. It was my first event with Happily and I thought it was amazing to see people who were all great at their craft come together to help support a non-profit who is amazing at what they do.

You pivoted from working on real world events to working on virtual ones. How was that transition?

I transitioned to virtual events due to the pandemic and the need to continue to work and bring meaningful connections to people. While virtual and in-person events are very different, they also have a TON of similarities. I found the best way to transition was to dive in head first, do the research, trust my gut, and listen to experts around me. Just do it and make sure you have good internet.

What makes you happy?

Connecting people and giving back makes me happy! I always try to make sure I check in with the people I care about and help out those around me when I can.

Is it coffee o’clock, yet?

Watch Kat in conversation with Sarah Shewey, Founder and CEO of Happily, via Instagram Live.

Tune in to Coffee O’Clock every Tuesday 10am PST as Sarah Shewey jumps on Instagram Live at @teamhappily, to give a quick update on all things Happily and chat with one of our Happily specialists. Here is a playback featuring Kat from Tue 13th, April.

Coffee OClock IG Live with Kat Cody

Are you looking for freelance event jobs? Create an account and become a Happily specialist.

April 16, 2021

How to be a Video Editor for Happily Virtual Events SEO image

How to be a Video Editor for Happily Virtual Events

We've got 5 things you need to know about being a video editor, featuring one of our own Happily specialists.


Here is a quick breakdown:

Event Role: Video Editor

Team Happily Responsibility: As part of the pre-production team, they edit video assets needed for the livestream. In post-production they may create a ‘sizzle reel’

Happily Studio: Creative

Happily Team: Graphics


Let’s talk about the role of a video editor! Hear more about why this role is so important for a Happily Producer, Kari Mulholland

Hiring a solid video editor is a make or break position for the success of your event.

Kari Mulholland, Producer, Happily

1. Why is a skilled video editor particularly important for the team?

They make aesthetic and creative decisions that will greatly impact the internal workflow, the final outward-facing product and the lasting entertainment value of the event.

2. Understanding team workflow is a must-have skill

As they are usually only in the early pre-production stages of an event, their actions will affect the rest of the production team. The Video Editor’s understanding of the creative and technical flow of the team after they are no longer actively needed, will ensure that the video files can be easily utilized and understood by various team members down the pipeline.

3. Pro tip: Always have the brand aesthetic in mind

You are editing a video to represent a client, or company, or brand - so you must stick closely to their established brand guidelines and graphic line. Although there is always room to add your own creativity and flair, it must be consistent with the client’s brand styling and overall aesthetic.

4. Pro tip: Be organized and label files clearly

Your edited video files will be handled by many other team members and roles. Having all your files and exports well organized and correctly named will ensure there is no confusion or headaches caused by them down the production pipeline.

5. Pro tip: Be a storyteller

Remember that video editing is not just cutting several shots together in random order. It's telling a story. No matter how ‘simple’ a video edit may seem, finding a way to bring emotion and entertainment through building a narrative is what makes an engaging experience.

If you’re ready to join team Happily, create an account and become a Happily specialist.

April 15, 2021

Specialist Spotlight: Tiffany Hammons

Specialist Spotlight: Tiffany Hammons

Our Happily specialists are diverse, talented, creative, and just plain awesome. So every week we are proud to introduce you to one of them.


The Happily specialist under the spotlight:

Name: Tiffany Hammons

Pronouns: she/her

Location: Los Angeles, USA

Happily Role/s: Backstage Manager and Breakout Backstage Manager


Specialist Spotlight: Tiffany Hammons

Hey! I'm Tiffany

I have more than 6 years managing Event Production from experiential events, pop-ups, and major conferences. I oversee the day-to-day logistics of everything; production from behind the laptop to the event site. I have also successfully launched a drive-in theater in August 2020 as the Production Director.

What is your superpower?

I am high energy and all smiles! In life, and at work, I am exceptionally good at spreading a positive vibe and keeping the energy up in the room!

Do you have a side hustle or hobby?

I am also a Group Fitness Instructor! I have experience teaching HIIT, Circuit Training, and leading youth dance fit classes.

Why do you love working in virtual events?

I enjoy how virtual events have the same capabilities to keep audiences engaged with main stage events that have breakout sessions various rooms for participants to join, and the ability to have direct interactions with participants through video and chat features. Virtual events allow companies to have these intimate interactions with their participants that they may not have had at all at an in-person event.

What inspired you to join Team Happily?

I heard about Happily through an internet search and signed up right away! I loved the idea of joinging a network of indusrty peers! We all share the same interest to create and produce rockstar events all year long!

Can you tell us about a Happily virtual event that you're proud to have worked on?

The Doordash event was most memorable for me. I had the opportunity to Manage one of the rooms available for participants to join during the event. The talent for the room was also a fitness intructor and we had such a great time woring together building the run of show (RoS) and creating engaging cues and talking points to execute during the event. I loved seeing it all come together once the event was live and the particpant response was really great!

What does a day working as a Happily freelancer look like for you?

I work in my living room and usually open the patio door so I can pretend I am outside! And typically once I open my laptop in the morning, it stays open for most of the day! When working on a Happily event I really don't have too much else going on, I even turn off anything else in my house that uses wifi, to be sure I am operating at the best speed for the event.

You pivoted from working on real world events to working on virtual ones. How was that transition?

2020 was a crazy year, and really forced people to make unexpected changes. I was one of those people, I had never thought I would be working in the virtual event space, but when the opportunity came about, I knew it was something I could succeed at. I had a lot of experience working Zoom and online platforms and was anxious to try something new! For anyone who is thinking about getting into virtual events, PLEASE go for it!! There is so much to learn and many new experinces to have that are just as fulfilling as in person events!

What makes you happy?

In my daily life, I find happiness in FOOD! Seriously, a hot bowl of Raman or crispy brussels sprouts truly bring me pure bliss!!

Who else needs a coffee?

Watch Tiffany in conversation with Sarah Shewey, Founder and CEO of Happily, via Instagram Live.

Tune in to Coffee O’Clock every Tuesday 10am PST as Sarah Shewey jumps on Instagram Live at @teamhappily, to give a quick update on all things Happily and chat with one of our Happily specialists. Here is a playback featuring Tiffany from Tue 6th, April.

Coffee OClock Link to Freelancer Tiffany Hammons

Are you looking for freelance event jobs? Create an account and become a Happily specialist.

April 9, 2021

How to be an Associate Producer at Happily SEO image

How to be an Associate Producer for Happily Virtual Events

We've got 5 things you need to know about being an associate producer, featuring one of our own Happily specialists.


Here is a quick breakdown:

Event Role: Associate Producer

Team Happily Responsibility: Manage the run of show (ROS) for breakout sessions and breakout teams

Happily Studio: Production

Happily Team: Breakout


Discover the basics as well some pro tips about being an associate producer from Arthur, a Happily specialist

Understanding where we might encounter variables that don’t necessarily fit our plan and how to navigate them and communicating that; I think adaptability is one of the biggest things we need on a project like this.

Arthur Kozlovski, Associate Producer, Happily

1. Where does an associate producer fit in the team?

An Associate Producer is added to a broadcast team when the event has 5 (or more!) breakout rooms. They work closely with the overall Producer, leading the ROS of the Breakout Rooms and managing all staff involved with the Breakout Rooms.

2. Adaptability is a must-have skill

Be open to feedback, listen to your team and be flexible to how things are approached. In the video interview above, Arthur expands on this idea and explains why it is so important as an Associate Producer.

3. Pro tip: Accommodate each unique breakout experience

More often than not, no two breakout rooms are the same. Have a baseline set of requirements for all the Breakout Leads, but also customize directions based on the experience (eg. a panel discussion vs a cooking class).

4. Pro tip: Foster fluid communication

As the buffer between the Producer and the Breakout Leads, constantly check-in to make sure that everyone has the knowledge and direction that they need.

5. Pro tip: Be analytical of your own directions

Seek and fill any holes in the Breakout Leads’ understanding of the ROS, altering your own instructions to ensure they have all the guidance they need.

If you’re ready to join team Happily, create an account and become a Happily specialist.

April 8, 2021

How to be a Clock and Timekeeper for Happily Virtual Events SEO image

How to be a Clock and Timekeeper for Happily Virtual Events

We've got 5 things you need to know about being a clock and timekeeper, featuring one of our own Happily specialists.


Here is a quick breakdown:

Event Role: Clock and Timekeeper

Team Happily Responsibility: Keep time and cue talent for breakouts based on the ROS (run of show)

Happily Studio: Technical

Happily Team: Breakout


Discover the basics as well some pro tips about timekeeping from Kevin, a Happily specialist

Overcommunicate. So if you have any questions, ask them early and ask a lot of questions - no one at Happily gets mad if you ask too many questions. It’s always better to be overprepared.

Kevin Rabinovich, Clock and Timekeeper, Happily

1. Clock or timekeeper? Is there a difference?

During a Happily broadcast this role is referred to as the clock, but in a breakout scenario it’s the timekeeper. Tasks vary slightly between these two settings, which Kevin explains in the interview above.

2. What tech is needed for this role?

You’ll need the Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) and the My Stream Timer app. Both of these programs are free to download.

3. Pro tip: Ask lots of questions

Consider setting up a one-on-one with the producer or livestream engineer (eg. there may be a particular speaker they anticipate will go over time).

4. Pro tip: One size does not fit all

Fully customize and add slides for a Happily virtual and/or speaker based on notes from the producer, or any issues you anticipate. (eg. adding an additional slide to gently nudge a speaker into the next item).

5. Pro tip: Do your homework

Even before a team Happily rehearsal, go through the full ROS on your own. This will help you anticipate any problems, ensure your tech is good to go and ultimately that you come off as the professional that you are.

If you’re ready to join team Happily, create an account and become a Happily specialist.

March 31, 2021

Client Testimonial with Splash

Client Testimonial with Splash

Hear what Camille White-Stern of Splashthat.com has to say about working with our virtual events team at Happily.

Here is a quick video from Camille about her experience;

Camille White-Stern continues with some questions from our Founder and CEO, Sarah Shewey.

Sarah: Camille, can you introduce yourself, where you work, your role, and what kind of events you are organizing right now?

Camille: Sure! Hi, my name is Camille White-Stern, I am the Executive Coordinator at Splash which is an event marketing software company. My role is unique. I am sort of like the right hand to the CEO, so I work very closely with him and the rest of our executive team, and I also plan a ton of events. I plan events for our team - their internal events like our all-hands, cultural events, our annual offsite holiday events; and then I also get to work closely with our marketing team and produce events for our customers. I work with sales sometimes to produce events for prospects that we’re targeting. And a lot of the events that I’ve been planning recently are workshops, they’re webinars, and sometimes it’s just a party, just to party, kind of virtual events. So kind of all over the map. But the goal of these events is really just to create human connection, especially in this time. We are all working from home in quarantine, so it's been really interesting to navigate the virtual event landscape during this time.

SplashVE

Sarah: And can you tell us a little bit about… when do you use Happily to help you with your event?

Camille: So, I have learned that I just need to reach out to Happily as soon as I know what the next date is for my virtual event. I am reaching out to Happily and I am securing them as my tech support. The reason that I love working with Happily, and using them as tech support on my virtual events, is that it really just gives me one (or sometimes more than one) less thing to worry about. As an event planner we all know it can get crazy, and navigating virtual events is something new for me. So, to be able to have Happily on these events with me, and providing just invaluable tech support really takes a lot of the stress and anxiety out of planning and execution of events for me.

Sarah: Awesome! Can you tell us a little bit more about… what are the things like Joy does for you that is a really big help? Just describe a little bit more in detail what you’re delegating.

Camille: So, Joy is amazing. Joy is on the Happily team. Working with Joy, she basically works with me as a sort of like a technical event producer. So she’s, right off the bat, asking important questions and helping me figure out... ok, you know I’m obviously gonna tell her what the format of the event is going to be - but she will then walk through and make sure she has a clear understanding of the run of show for me.

If we have to figure out any cues for breakouts, or for launching poll questions in Zoom, (we use Zoom a lot at Splash for our virtual events but there’s a ton of other great tools out there). And Joy is... she knows so much more about Zoom and how to produce a successful event on Zoom, that it just takes a lot of time out of the planning process for me. If I have a question, I can just slack Joy and say “Hey Joy! Is it possible for us to open up 30 breakout rooms in a second breakout, but only 5 breakout rooms in the first breakout?”. So, whenever I have a technical question I can go to Joy or the Happily team.

And in terms of executing the event - once Joy has gotten this very clear rundown of the event not only for the content side but the technical side - then during the event, she is in constant communication with me. If things need to change on the fly, she’s just adapting and adjusting immediately, which, you know, happens a lot in events.

Before the event, she’ll send me a recap... We do a tech check - a rehearsal - to make sure everything is working, we test all the settings. She’ll send me a recap - very detailed, so that I can review it and confirm, or I have the opportunity to say “actually we’re gonna change this thing in the run of show.”

And then after the event, she always offers the opportunity for me to get my feedback: what went well, what could be better for next time, we can do a debrief if there’s any major issues that we really need to investigate. Even if I don’t ask, Joy is going to follow up and say “Hey, I realized why we had some difficulties with breakouts in the last event. It's because these people joined the Zoom, and they left the Zoom, so they didn't have an assignment to a room.” So just having that extra level of insight and support, and just the detail-oriented work that Joy does is… it’s just unmatched. I honestly don’t want to do virtual events without Happily!

SplashUplevel

Sarah: We love you! For our last question: what kind of events or what kind of customers, or maybe both, do you think should consider using Happily?

Camille: Seriously everyone. If it’s a meeting, you might not need tech support. But if you are planning a virtual event - even if it’s on the smaller side and you only have, you know, 15 to 20 people - it’s just really nice to have Happily’s support on a call, because like I said, you can focus on the content and engaging with the attendees, while Joy (or someone else from the Happily team) is focusing on making sure your event is still running smoothly. And like I said, if anything pops up, I can slack Joy on the side and ask her to look into something for me, or if she notices an issue she’ll reach out to me and bring it to my attention.

I really think no matter the size of your virtual event, no matter the size of your company or your team, you want to have tech support, and I think Happily just provides the best support out there.

And, I also can’t stress enough: running a virtual event is so different than an in-person event. In the past, I was able to execute events sometimes entirely on my own, with no support - but it would really be impossible for me to execute a virtual event on my own, without support. I can’t play host and - let’s say we have the waiting room enabled - I can’t admit attendees, and be present to welcome guests and make sure I’m checking them in on my Splash app, and things like that. So you know like I said, regardless of the size of the event, I really think you need to have one dedicated tech person - and Happily provides that. So why would I go anywhere else?

Sarah: Awesome! That would be it, unless there’s anything else that you feel like you wanted to mention?

Camille: I mean, you tell me what you want me to say and I’ll say it. I will literally sing your praises from the mountain tops!

Sarah: That’s it. I think that’s great. We love you. Thank you so much. Thank you so so much for using us. We just love helping you and your community honestly, and, like, Joy is in the video but she’s like, “Camille is so great!” So, truly, we love working with you. So thank you!

Camille: The feeling is mutual and hopefully this is a long long partnership.

Sarah: Yeah I know, looking forward to it. So thanks again, Camille.

Camille: You’re welcome.

July 5, 2020

Learnit Hero Image

How To Pivot Your Conference Into A Media Company: Learnit Case Study

Savvy independent conference producers with postponed in-person gatherings until 2021 are now modernizing their websites to offer on-demand content with the help of Happily’s network of virtual event specialists.

By offering on-demand video content, organizers can experiment with new revenue models including advertising, sponsored virtual events, and subscription video on demand. Read on to learn how Learnit, a global education conference based in the UK, quickly launched an MVP of their new custom web platform in less than a month with the help of Happily’s digital community strategists and web developers.

Before Happily On Wordpress

Learnit after

After Happily With custom code

Learnit After

Step One

Custom or out of the box?

The first step is to decide whether or not a custom web platform is right for you. If you are planning to regularly host a variety of content on multiple platforms, then a custom website may be the right fit.

Learnit, for example, wanted their users’ data to be seamlessly transferred between their on-demand content platform to an external platform called Jublia, which specializes in scheduled networking meetings. Happily and Jublia’s web developers worked together to leverage Jublia’s matchmaking and scheduling API with Learnit’s expanded profile data.

In the end, owning your data allows you to create a single sign-on experience that reduces the friction for your user to convert into an action that takes place on other websites.

Step Two

Assemble your team

After committing to the process of re-building your site, it’s now time to assemble a team who can help you strategize around the new business opportunities, design the new version of the site, and put it to code.

For Learnit, we decided to go with an executive-level backend web developer and project manager with a senior level front end designer. While hourly rates may be higher on the executive levels, the time saved in reduced errors can be invaluable for projects with a tight turn-around time.

In the future, we can always save money later by reducing down to a lower level developer once the site is launched. Spending a little more upfront for expertise in the architecture stage though, can truly by invaluable.

Learnit Step Three

Step Three

Build user personas and workflows

Now it’s time to begin to create user personas. This exercise greatly helps the entire team to built empathy for your users and get clarity on the experience design. It will also shine a light on assumptions about your user’s motivations and needs that should be tested before writing code.

In Learnit’s case, we spent two hours getting to understand the organization’s mission, objectives, and core revenue-generating products as well as mapping out the workflow for their two main user personas. This exercise helped us all to determine priorities for building the site and communicating the nuanced interactions that create a Learnit brand experience.

User personas and workflows are critical steps to the start of any new product feature and most definitely for the launch of a new website with your team!

Learnit Step Four

Step Four

Create a sitemap

With a greater understanding for the desired user workflow, we can then layout a visual representation of how the pages on the website will come interact with each other. Like user personas, the sitemap is an essential part of helping everyone on the team know exactly what they’re building.

Moving too fast can get you into trouble sometimes. With a deadline of 10 business days to launch a fully rebuilt website, we made a sitemap only once at the proposal / scoping phase of the project and didn’t get a chance to update it during the sprint.

Lesson learned: a sitemap is truly a living document and, no matter what the time pressures may be, the small time it takes to maintain clean documentation as you go can save hours in confusion.

Learnit Step Five

Step Five

Wireframe and code

Now, the fun part. Design and code! A wireframe is a document that shows where visual elements will go and code is a language by which you can tell the computer how you want it to function.

For the Learnit project timeline, we went straight to high fidelity wireframes presented through Invision so their team could give feedback on their own time. We worked through two different time zones (UK & LA/West Coast), so the ability to communicate asynchronously on designs this way was crucial.

Regular check-ins and good project management software are critical to rapidly iterating on websites during sprint.

Lastly

QA, QA, and release

With everything ready to go, it’s time to test and test again. And again if you need. Oftentimes we will spend more time in QA than we will in actually creating the website. Seeing your vision come to life can often visualize gaps in thinking from all members of the team.

For the Learnit project, we barely had enough time to test properly enough before their desired deadline of Friday morning so we delayed the re-launch announcement to Sunday.

The process often takes longer than you think, so make sure to pad the time and stay close to the updates to help steer the ship!

Interested in having Happily help you level up? Schedule A Call

July 5, 2020

Virtual Wine Tasting

Virtual Wine Tasting on Zoom with AppsFlyer

Every Tuesday at 10am PST on Instagram Live, our founder has coffee via @teamhappily with folks in our network about what they learned from a project they recently worked on.

Today, Cynthia shared about her experience working as a backstage manager of a virtual wine tasting experience in Zoom.

Pre-event prep;

  • AppsFlyer sent wine and a recipe card for guests to have the same experience
  • Happily worked with AppsFlyer IT, marketing, and speakers in tech rehearsals
  • Happily sent audio-video kits to improve the sound and video quality of AppsFlyer team

The program;

  • Opening remarks from executives
  • Wine tasting experience led by a sommelier
  • Hang out, unscripted time

Steal these ideas;

  • Mail a personalized bottle of wine to VIPs and then have the sommelier talk about the wine straight from the barrel room
  • Put a welcome slide up that shows an agenda and housekeeping notes
  • Let the dogs out when you’re ready to make your networking playful!

Some #ProTips on virtual event management;

  • Rehearse your cues in real time, don’t rush through those. Transitions might not be as fast or slow as you think they will be, and every second counts in cyberspace!
  • Can’t talk a speaker or client through a setting? Use the remote control feature to take over

May 5, 2020

How to Hire a Customer Service Associate Fast

How to Hire a Customer Service Associate Fast

This year, Reforge teamed up with Happily to source a customer service and online support specialist during the registration and preparation process for their upcoming Spring Growth workshop series.

However, when it became clear to both parties that the person they hired wasn’t quite the perfect fit for the role, they needed to find a suitable replacement quickly.

Hire customer service specialist

The Happily team sprang into action to help, giving them free Enterprise-level service.

We posted online to a system-filtered list of 811 specialists and had over 250 people respond almost immediately that they were available and interested in the role.

We narrowed down that pool of applicants and conducted a pre-screening and group interview with 12 people to identify a shortlist of talent who were the most qualified and up to the challenge of the role. We presented our shortlist to Reforge, and after conducting a final round of interviews, they ended up hiring not just 1, but 2 people from Happily. Within a matter of hours, Reforge had replaced their staff, confident that they were in the very best hands possible.

Rachael Soares

We spoke with Rachael Soares, one of the Happily specialists hired by Reforge, who shared:

The group interview process was interesting, I’ve never done one like that before. This is my first gig through Happily, and I’m really excited about it. The opportunity is great, and so far, I’m really enjoying my time with Reforge and grateful to Happily for facilitating that connection.”

Of course, we always hope for a great experience right out of the gate, but solving unforeseen problems like this, and ensuring our client’s satisfaction and success, is one of the hallmarks of Happily’s own customer service experience. We are so proud to offer this level of access and service in a pinch!

February 17, 2020

Yellow Umbrella Party 2019

Client Testimonial with the AKR Foundation

Happily teamed up with the Amy Krouse Rosenthal Foundation to produce its first annual benefit party on October 17, 2019, at the Park West in Chicago, IL.

It was a full evening of entertainment, food, drink, and community while fundraising for ovarian cancer research and childhood literacy.

Yellow Umbrella Party 2019

In attendance were Jennifer Garner, John Green, Tom Lichtenheld, and Luke Sital-Singh who entertained the party, and helped fundraise for the AKR Foundation mission. Our team worked closely with Executive Director, Betsy Katten to make the Yellow Umbrella Party a night to remember and honor Amy Krouse Rosenthal in the best way!

Like all nonprofit organizations, this benefit meant a lot to the foundation and those who were there to support it. So it was crucial that we found the right person to work side-by-side with Betsy and her team.

Yellow Umbrella Party 2019

The AKR Foundation utilized our All-In services, which allowed our team to handpick event specialists and set-up the interviews for them. In a matter of a couple of days, Betsy was able to find the right person for the gig and was so grateful for our help she wanted to share her experience!

December 10, 2019

River LA

Client Testimonial with River LA

Jason Foster, the Director of Strategic Partnerships for a non-profit organization called River LA, had a big art exhibit with two guest artists to showcase at a 5,000 person event.

The day before the event, he got the most important call of his life that his wife was in labor. He immediately looked to Happily for a solution to have someone jump in and take over the River LA Art Exhibit.

Within hours, he was able to use the Happily platform to identify the right event specialist for the gig, make the payment for the hire and have her jump on that same day to take over the execution.

We are proud to be able to provide a platform that is designed to help clients like Jason and River LA, who are looking for on-demand solutions for quick turnaround projects. We look forward to continuing our work with River LA in the future and be there for our clients for whatever life throws at them!

December 10, 2019

LUMA's Digital Marketing Summit 2019

LUMA's Digital Marketing Summit 2019 Highlights

The Digital Marketing Summit by Luma Partners is an exclusive experience for CEOs and Executives to connect and cultivate conversations for the future of digital marketing.

Team Happily worked with Luma Partners in the past and was brought back to work on their 5th Annual Summit that hosted 300 MarTech leaders in the Silicon Valley. We were excited to help manage the stage for an impressive guest speaker line-up that had industry leaders from major companies like Oracle, LinkedIn, and Quantcast, discuss exclusive digital marketing insight.

It was a special moment to be able to interact with the attendees and watch them get excited about the forward-thinking discussions they just had in their breakout sessions. Watch more of their sessions on demand and get a sense of what type of projects Happily gets to be a part of and join the fun!

December 10, 2019

 Sarah Shewey on the Real Women in Business with Cass McCrory Podcast

Sarah Shewey on the Real Women in Business with Cass McCrory Podcast

Running the show is not always glamourous and it sure isn't a quick fix to being successful.

Get the real low down on the "Real Women in Business" podcast's latest episode Founding & funding a company, nurturing connections and the force of grief with Founder & CEO, Sarah Shewey and learn more about what it really takes to found, fund, fail, succeed, and be a great teammate from Happily founder Sarah Shewey.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN!

October 28, 2019