What Events Make the Best Virtual Events – Video Tips
Even before COVID-19, virtual events were a hot topic in the events industry because they offer the ability to reach a wider audience, save money on venue space and travel expenses and offer an overall logistically simpler experience. With the significant impact that the coronavirus and social distancing orders have had upon our world, the conversations surrounding virtual events have moved from a nice idea to a literal necessity.
There are a number of big questions to ask before planning a virtual event, and all online events are not created equal. You know, there is something impersonal about a father daughter dance taking place via FaceTime, or a virtual conference attendee live chatting with a "virtual" exhibitor. So let’s take a look at our picks for the best types of events for going virtual!
Virtual Meetings and Webinars
Both small and large business meetings can be conducted virtually via Zoom, Google Meet, Go to Meeting and many other online platforms. From 2 to 2,000+ participants, this is a cost effective way to conduct business meetings and conferences with little to no social physical contact.
Additionally, the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of this method is appealing to attendees and organizers alike. They are relatively easy to set up and take a lot less time to plan than in-person events. And you can use all your online marketing tools like email, social media and event websites to promote your events.
Just remember that most attendees wait until a week or two before you event to sign up for virtual conferences and online events, so keep reaching out to them up to the last minute.
Virtual Training and Continuing Education
Training classes and continuing education courses work great in a virtual environment! Leaders/facilitators can interact with attendees, answer questions and provide real-time feedback, all while making it easy for people to attend from wherever they are.
Some platforms even allow you to evaluate understanding and solicit feedback through live quizzes - making this a highly measurable way to administer training. If you conduct the same virtual training sessions over and over, you can also pre-record your standard training video and play it for the first part of the session, then take a live Q&A session at the end. This can save you lots of time and hassle.
Virtual Interviews and Product Launches
If we have learned anything in the last months in quarantine, it’s that the media did not skip a beat in producing “live” shows remotely. From late night talk shows to news productions, interviews have not slowed down! While traditionally hosted in-person, both interviews and product launches are great candidates for virtual events. You can record an interview from across the globe, show off your product, get great footage for future promotions and even have the potential to monetize or repurpose recordings.
So those were the best virtual event types ... now let's take a quick look at the worst.
The worst events to take to a virtual format include:
- Trade shows and exhibitions - These rely heavily on sales and marketing activity as well as meeting people face-to-face, neither of which translates well to a virtual platform.
- Networking events - Ever tried to meet new networking partners and create lasting business relationships via an online chat or video? If you haven't, trust us ... it's super difficult and doesn't hold a candle to the bonds you can quickly forge face-to-face.
- Social events - The conviviality and personal, intimate experiences of weddings, parties and celebrations are best experienced in person. Virtual happy hours are nice, if you want to create lasting memories, wait until you can host your social events in person.
- Fundraising galas - These are about creating an immersive experience (think great food, amazing entertainment and heartfelt emotions) so the event organizer can generate funds for their non-profit. Ask any charitable fundraiser and virtual events are not nearly as effective vs. live in-person events.
We hope these quick tips help you decide which events to pivot to virtual and which to just reschedule for when people can meet face-to-face. We also hope they help you to think outside the box in taking others to the next level - virtually!
For a more in-depth look at planning and hosting a successful virtual event make sure to check out this comprehensive guide to virtual event planning. That’s all for today folks - we’ll see you soon for more Quick Tips for Event Pros!