It’s no secret that the state of the planet has led to a huge pivot from in-person events to virtual events. While it’s understandable why so many brands are jumping on board to virtual events, this has led to a saturation in the online events space. So, it’s your job to breathe some creativity and engagement into your new events strategy.
Here at vConferenceOnline, we have been helping brands like yours host virtual events for over 10 years and want to offer you some insights on the different events you can host to engage attendees, generate leads and close deals.
Research shows that virtual events are cheaper to execute than in-person events and have the ability to reach a wider audience. In fact, since so many brands have hosted virtual events after the pandemic started, many companies report that virtual events are here to stay even when the world goes back to normal.
To inspire your next event, here are the 7 types of virtual events that we see and some tips on how you can host such an event successfully.
What is it?: Webinars are the most popular type of virtual event. They are composed of 1-5 speakers and can reach an audience that spans the entire globe. The goal of these events is to educate, promote thought leadership and to generate leads. The average webinar lasts 1 hour and leaves time at the end for questions.
Pro tip: Utilize polls and a Q & A period to maximize the engagement during your webinar.
What is it?: A roundtable event consists of multiple speakers weighing in on a topic in one session. There is a moderator to make sure everyone gets heard. Usually the goal for this type of event is to generate new leads and establish thought leadership with intelligent discussions.
Pro tip: Don’t incorporate a sales pitch into your event. Consumers are smart and can spot a sales effort in seconds. Be sure you’re adding value and your event will go swimmingly.
Conferences and Summits
What is it?: A virtual conference aka a summit lasts for 1-3 days. This type of event features a variety of speakers and more attendees than the other types of virtual events. Conferences and summits usually aim to incorporate all the functionality of an in-person event. This includes conference halls, virtual libraries, networking lounges, vendor booths, and sponsors.
Pro tip: After your conference runs, make the sessions available online to attract new eyeballs and generate leads on an ongoing basis.
What is it?: Virtual trade shows feature vendor booths and presentations that showcase a product or service. Networking and lead gen are central themes to these types of events. Usually the vendor booths have webcam functionality to humanize the feel of a virtual trade show.
Pro tip: Monetize your trade shows by charging vendors to be part of your event. Keep in mind that you need to show value to these vendors which usually comes in the form of how many attendees are signed up for your event. This means that the monetizing component comes after you start marketing the event and signing up attendees.
Employee Hiring and Training
What is it?: From job fairs to recruit new talent to team building in a virtual world to training a large amount of employees–virtual events are a great way to engage with your workforce. In an increasingly virtual world, brands need events like this to maximize the potential of their workforce.
Pro tip: Productive employees result from great communication and humanized interaction. The more you can bridge the gap from a desire for in-person communication to the reality that business is done remotely, the more talent you will harness from your employees.
What is it?: Virtual workshops are all about education and providing value to the people who join your event. Oftentimes, the thought leadership and teaching is extremely enticing to attendees and they’re willing to pay to attend these types of events.
Pro tip: In order for attendees to get value out of your workshops, limit signups to a small group so that you can give customized strategies to the attendees. This will make your workshop feel exclusive.
What is it?: Fireside chats have gotten really popular in the startup space and are compiled of a moderator and a speaker or speakers. The goal with these types of virtual events is to reach potential consumers in a humanized and conversational way.
Pro tip: Find a moderator that resonates with your target consumers. They need to know the questions to ask and interact at an engaging level with the speakers.
What is your favorite type of virtual event? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!