Virtual events are no new. They’ve been around for some time. However, virtual events have changed and developed over time, especially from 2020 onwards. While some businesses find virtual events easy to handle, others find it hard to wrap their heads around virtual events. Let’s learn How to Organize Virtual Events and the types of virtual events.
Others aren’t even aware of what might qualify as a virtual event and what doesn’t. This means they don’t know what type of virtual event works well with which business.
How to Organize Virtual Events?
With virtual events becoming such a significant part of marketing worldwide, this places such a business at a disadvantage. Since they are of various types, a business needs to know the best types of virtual events for its various functions and needs.
If you are unfamiliar with what virtual event is best for a particular purpose in your organization, you are in the right place. Below, we discuss the best types of virtual events for various organizational functions. But before that, let us consider the three “W’s” of virtual events.
The Three “W’s” of a Virtual event
A virtual event is an event primarily held on the internet/online. The attendees gather in a virtual setting through the internet to discuss, interact, and learn about some common interests. The event could be of any size, from a massive conference call to a live stream/broadcast with millions of audiences.
The main attractive thing that pulls the organizers to >> use virtual conferences and events << is that they are cost-effective and easy to organize at scale. Virtual events also offer essential digital tools for performance analytics, data collection, and audience engagement.
The ability to record keynotes before the event, repurpose the content after the virtual event, and provide a hyper-personalized experience to the audience is essential, both to the attendees and the host. Virtual events are a convenient way of connecting with peers and even learning more on a topic of shared interest. The audience can join the event from any location and at the convenience of their offices or homes with just a decent internet connection.
The best kind of virtual events needs neither specialized equipment nor professional knowledge, besides inviting a professional in a field as the guest or keynote speaker. The participants need a smartphone or a computer with a webcam and are connected to the internet.
The Best Types of Virtual Events & How to Organize Virtual Events?
The first and most common type of virtual event is a webinar. They are prevalent, and you may come across a webinar on any topic of your interest almost any day of the week. Webinars will find their way into your email inbox, social media feeds, or even through banners beside a related article.
The word “webinar” is the short form of a “web seminar,” which means a specific topic discussed by an instructor or host and some attendees in some small groups.
They are generally in the form of video meeting(s) happening in real-time. Interactivity usually is limited to the attendees submitting their questions for Q&A when the webinar ends, responding to polls, and chatting.
The host is also likely to include presentations through web pages, multimedia content, and PowerPoint. Webinars can also be presented on-demand or live. However, on-demand is quite a passive experience. Webinars are ideal for single-track streams of educational content that have limited interactions between the audience and the host. Other excellent reasons for putting a webinar include lectures, tutorials, panel discussions, and product presentations.
Virtual conferences (online trade shows, virtual fairs, exhibitions, virtual summits, and open days) gained popularity before the pandemic. Virtual conferences demonstrate some considerable benefits. The virtual conferences accord their attendees an opportunity to access the events remotely. The keynotes, panels, breakouts, and networking events in a virtual conference happen entirely online.
The engagements in a virtual conference might be passive, like watching a keynote speaker live with a chat window at the sidebar, or maybe intimate and active, like a breakout conference room where the audience can communicate one-on-one or even see each other. Virtual conferences also include several streams, commonly called multi-track events. However, virtual conferences need intensive coordination similar to an in-person event. It includes setting up sessions, scheduling and inviting speakers, and facilitating communication among different participants.
Virtual conferences are ideal for annual large-scale events which attract attendees in a multi-track, multi-day format with live or recorded presentations and opportunities for networking. Virtual conferences are best for community building, lead generation, and brand awareness.
Besides business purposes, virtual events are also used for entertainment. This mostly happens at the end of a conference or a webinar to give the audience something they can look forward to. Virtual entertainment was common during the pandemic, proving that virtual events have an endless reach.
5 Keys to Awesome Virtual Events
Online Training (Including Onboarding, Online Classes, And More)
From traditional education/ certificate training and one-off workshops to onboarding the new hires, online training comes in various forms and covers lots of ground. Here, the focus is always on learning. The critical aspects of online training events are for the host or instructor to present the information thoroughly or clearly or for the audience to interact with the host seamlessly.
They also allow the audience to collaborate with the other audience and provide for the evaluation of the audience’s understanding of a topic. Content- and screen-sharing are standard features of online training virtual events. Online training is ideal for continuous employee training, onboarding, virtual classrooms, and the popular enterprise training methods.
In webcasts, videos of an event or a conference are live-streamed. They are designed to reach a large audience across the globe. A webcast means broadcasting content on the web. For instance, Apple introduced the iPhone X in Steve Jobs Theatre. The event was followed by millions of audiences worldwide, resulting in pre-orders selling out in 24 hours.
These events are a combination of in-person and virtual components, either recorded or live. It might be a panel discussion or a live lecture being streamed to the audience over the internet that can follow and comment. It can also be as complex as a combined virtual and in-person event with a rich interactive experience for the remote and live participants.
These events leverage the benefits of virtual conferences and in-person events. The event capacity isn’t limited to what can be achieved in a physical space. The audience doesn’t have to visit the venue unless they want to. This is the best type of virtual event for functions that need a physical presence. Still, the host wants to offer an option for remote attendance, reach an audience that cannot attend the event physically, or reach a wider audience.
There are various types of virtual events, as discussed below in the How to Organize Virtual Events guide. However, each is useful for a specific purpose. For instance, what webcasts can achieve best might not be achieved by a hybrid event. Hence, you need to know the best types of virtual for your purpose or function. Regardless, observe the three “C’s” of virtual events: content, coverage, and Connection.