Everything you need to know about virtual events is here.
Whether it’s a hybrid event or a virtual conference, they’re both becoming more common and popular. It’s right that we look deep into them and understand more about these online events. With my expertise in everything virtual, I’m here to expound on this topic for you.
What are Virtual Events?
These kinds of events are completely held online. With online events, speakers, panelists, and the audience can all participate from anywhere in the world. It can be held from social media or a virtual event platform. An online event usually has collaborative sessions that are all streamed online.
There are many events held virtually and even more platforms and virtual event software to hold them in. It’s a completely new and virtual experience for both guests and organizers.
Types Of Events Done Virtually
A virtual event or session can cover anything under the sun, much like an in-person, live event. However, there are four main types of virtual events held on different platforms.
Here are the 4 types of online events:
Webinars are usually done for marketing purposes, especially when it’s done for free. It lasts anywhere around 45 to 80 minutes. There can either be one or many speakers. Free webinars are a way for businesses to get engagement from potential customers. Webinars used for marketing purposes usually revolve around the product or service that the presenter wants to promote. The main goal is to offer new knowledge to virtual attendees and global audiences. This is also why Q&A sessions are common with this type of virtual event.
Virtual conferences are a lot like in-person conferences. It’s a live event with keynotes, breakout sessions, and more interactive sessions. The main goal of a virtual conference is for attendee engagement and networking opportunities. A virtual conference platform should allow more rooms within one big room to let smaller groups discuss and network.
Internal hybrid events
Internal hybrid events are used to announce a message to an entire company or group when not all attendees or guests are in the same place. Internal hybrid affairs should have interactive features that allow anyone attending to interact with others, even if they’re in different locations.
External hybrid events
External hybrid events are much like internal hybrid events, but they’re made of a global audience outside of an organization. There’s a higher video production requirement for these kinds of events. There can be virtual booths, legitimate event tech, all helping in engaging attendees from around the world. It’s not just a simple live broadcast because the exhibitor or organizer should aim to engage both in-person and virtual attendees.
8 Things to Include and Do at A Virtual Event
You should properly organize virtual events if you want to engage your guests effectively. Your event content should be clear and in order before launching the event. It’s important to know what you should include.
Here are the 8 things to include in a virtual event:
1. Event website
If you want to give your event more hype, it’s best to have an event website where they can find all the details. It will be easier for people to understand more about your event with a website. All your event marketing efforts will also lead to one place, which is your website.
2. Event registration
Of course, you can’t have an event without having registration. It’s how you secure and track attendees. Having a registration will also give more engagement early on.
3. Live presentation content
Events are more fun if your presentation is live. Whether you have a webinar or a networking event, having a live presentation adds charm to your event.
4. Live, one-way audio/video
Event technology is important, so take the time and effort to improve your audio and video to give both attendees and sponsors a great time.
5. Question and answer
People always want to learn more, so allow them to ask their burning questions with a Q&A. Many successful online webinars and events have a Q&A or open forum to provide space for attendees to ask and widen their knowledge.
6. Recorded content
Some people prefer having recorded content because then, they can go back to the content at a different time when they need something. It’s also easier on the part of the organizers.
7. Interactive video conferencing
Interaction is key. An interactive conference will create more buzz and engagement if you want a more successful event.
8. Feedback surveys
You want to know if what you did was a success, so giving feedback surveys to the guests, speakers, and even staff will help you understand what you did right and what you did wrong. It’s how you can improve for your next event.
5 Examples of Online Events
There are many examples of events held online. People also keep coming up with more ideas as time goes by. The more exciting your thoughts are, the better for everyone.
Here are 5 examples of online events:
Example #1: Live Games or Competitions
You can host games and competitions online. Whether in-person competitions or e-games, they make for great online activities. The virtual platform matters a lot in this kind of online event because you have to make sure that everyone can watch the game properly.
Example #2: Virtual Concert
Concerts aren’t only done in person. You should give the audio and video a lot of focus and effort for this kind of event because that’s how you can provide the best experience for the guests.
Example #3: Virtual Trivia Night
Virtual trivia night is a fun use of virtual activities. They’re best used for small and medium organizations as a team-building activity. If you’re looking to improve bonding and engagement in a team, this is the way to go.
Example #4: Virtual Fundraising Events
You can raise funds virtually, yes! Virtual fundraising events are a great way to get people together for a common goal.
Example #5: Virtual Networking Events
Everyone wants to up their networking game, so a virtual networking event is a great way to help people improve in their career and personal development. Although it can be a little more challenging, virtual networking is a great opportunity for everyone.
6 Best Platforms To Use When Hosting A Virtual Event
Your virtual events platform matters greatly to your event, so choosing the right platform for your virtual event is important. There are many virtual event platforms around, but not all of them will work for you.
Here are the 6 best platforms to use for your virtual activities:
Eventcube is a fully customizable online events platform. They have a lot of features and allow many different kinds of live events to be held on their platform.
Airmeet focuses on the summit, meetings, and conferences. Every Airmeet event takes place in a virtual ‘ballroom,’ which may be customized in terms of look, depending on the organization’s needs.
Filo is directly integrated with Zoom, so it’s easier to scale your event. You can also expect great quality audio and video from them. And they’re also customizable depending on your needs.
InEvent focuses on B2B virtual events, but they offer more than online events. They’re also helping organizations with hybrid events.
Accelevents is an all-in-one event management platform that allows you to broaden your reach, engage your audience, and build a sustainable community.
Immersive is what Orbits is aiming for. Attendees can fully immerse their virtual selves in events hosted in Orbits. It will be a unique experience for everyone to use this platform.
In-person versus Virtual: Pros & Cons
Both in-person and online events are fun to do and join in. However, not all events will work in an in-person setting. The same goes for virtual ones. Look at how they compare to each other to know which to opt for.
- More Interaction. In an in-person event, interaction is easier. There’s a more loose vibe to the whole event because you’re free to talk to the people. There are no limitations as to how you can interact and how much.
- Personal. Since interaction is easier, the event becomes more personal. You’re more immersed and feel like you’re part of a bigger thing.
- More Opportunities. In-person events have free stuff and more opportunities; let’s not deny that.
- More Expensive. Organizing and attending an in-person conference or seminar is more expensive because of all the logistics involved.
- If you miss it, you lose it. If you can’t attend the event, you lose your chance at new knowledge and opportunities.
- Ease of Access. It’s easier to access a virtual event. You don’t have to drive for hours to get to a venue. It’s accessible from anywhere.
- Long-term Availability. Even after the event, you can access the content and opportunities.
- Simpler. Everything is simpler because you don’t have to do a lot. Click here and there, and you’re part of it!
- Lack of Attention. There are more distractions, so it can be harder for guests to give their full attention.
- Less Immersion. Since it’s virtual, it’s harder to be immersed in the environment. The “feel” may not completely feel like a conference or seminar.
How To Successfully Host A Virtual Event
No one wants a virtual event that’s wrong everywhere. If you’re going to host your virtual event, whether it’s through a Facebook live or a more professional platform, make sure to plan thoroughly to set it up for success.
Here are 7 steps to successfully host your event:
Step #1. Think about your audience, your participants, and your content format
Your number one consideration should always be your audience. All the decisions you make should keep your audience in mind. After all, you want to make sure that they enjoy the virtual experience. If you can figure out what your audience and participants wish to from the content format you plan to give, everything else will follow suit.
Step #2. Plan sessions and dig into the content you want to have for your event.
Once the bigger things are decided, dive into details. Write everything down and categorize them. Be sure to focus on the more important things for your event.
Step #3. Set up the logistic plans for the event.
If you’re not knowledgeable about logistics, get the help of someone who’s an expert at it. Logistics can make or break this for you, so plan them thoroughly.
Step #4. Start inviting attendees and collecting RSVPs.
There are many ways to give attention to your event, so use those you’re comfortable using. You have to collect RSVPs to know how many people to expect. It will help you prepare better for the day itself.
Step #5. Promote your event.
Marketing and promotion are important. If you don’t promote it, not many people will hear about it. It might be a flop if you don’t give importance to your marketing and promotion.
Step #6. Test everything you need before the event.
Before the day comes, have a dry run to ensure that everything goes smoothly. You can’t expect to have a smooth day, so it’s also important to plan for possible difficulties and problems.
Step #7. Get feedback from the attendees.
Figure out what your attendees have to say. If you can hear their thoughts, you know how well you did, and you’ll know what to improve for your next virtual event.
Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you’re an attendee or an organizer, there’s a lot to learn about virtual events. Luckily, we have the answers to all your questions.
How long should a virtual event be?
It depends on what kind of virtual event you have, but it’s a good rule of thumb not to exceed 4 hours.
Should you keep online events as part of your overall event strategy?
If it works for you and your audience, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t!
How much time do you need to plan your virtual event?
Again, it depends on your event and everything you need, but 6-12 months is already a good time frame.
How can you provide value to your sponsors before, during, and after your virtual event?
Allow their voices to be heard throughout, and consider them. This is theirs as much as it is yours. Create content that they will value, too, and allow them the opportunity to create their community.
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Now you know all you need to know about online events. Whether you’re hosting or attending events help virtually, the information you learned will help give you the best virtual experience, even for a hybrid event.