You have decided you don’t want to do an in-person event; you want to avoid the hassle, the enormous costs, the inconvenience. Now, you’re ready to dive into the virtual event space…but with what kind of event?
Luckily for you, virtual event platforms are malleable and any kind of event you want to host can be done online. However, before you start setting anything up for your event, you should choose the format, as that changes a lot of things down the line.
What kind of events are possible online? All. But here are a few categories to give you an idea.
Webinars are typically one (or two) sessions – these don’t usually have exhibitors and
feature a smaller “footprint” with a 1-2 page registration site. When the attendee gets to the site, they are taken to the session room during the day of the event, and to the on-
demand menu while the event is in on-demand mode. There is not usually a conference lobby, nor are there typically exhibitor booths. However, both can be added, depending on what you envision for your event.
Online Courses are similar to an online university class, but shorter. These are typically several sessions (usually fewer than 15) usually offered for a fee and starting on a specific date, with ongoing on-demand access for a period of time. This sounds very “variable” – an example would be 12 sessions on a topic, starting on August 1 and available to attendees for a period of 30 days. Typically, there aren’t exhibitors for courses, although sponsors and/or exhibitors are possible. There is usually a class- or session-ending quiz and you can issue a certificate of completion if the test is passed with the score you provide.
Virtual Conferences/Online Trade Shows
These are larger virtual events, typically featuring more than two sessions/presentations. They can include as few as 2 and as many as 150+ sessions running across many days and 12 rooms or tracks of simultaneous sessions. Typically, with an exhibit hall, these events can also be free for attendees, paid or freemium model events. However, all aspects, including the price for attendees, are easily customizable.
Which one works for you?
This all seems very wide-open and variable – there is a lot of overlap between the events. The biggest change between them is what audience you are trying to reach. Webinars are typically free and focused on getting leads for a sponsor or yourself. Courses are focused on teaching and are usually the product you are trying to sell – there is almost never a sales message in this format. Virtual conferences are focused on educating and selling, with the sessions for educating the viewer and the exhibit hall to encourage them to talk to sponsors.
The good news is that all of these event types are extremely successful online. Each event, whether it is pre-recorded and broadcast on a schedule, broadcast live, or allows the viewer to choose when and which session to watch, at some point can allow the viewer to watch at their leisure. With an On Demand section of each event available, you can access a large international audience and spread your message further than you could with an in-person event.
Have any questions about hosting a virtual event and want a great platform that will help you every step of the way? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org