It took a global crisis to help us realize that virtual events can be successful and profitable.
And, in more than one way, we’ve found that they can be better than in-person events.
Lower overhead costs mean you’ll have more resources at your disposal. You can spend these resources to provide an engaging experience and market the virtual event to reach an even wider audience.
And with no travel costs to incur, you’re sure to have more attendees.
That’s not all.
The numerous types of virtual events available have opened up fresh and exciting ways for brands to:
- Market their products and reach new markets in ways traditional marketing methods cannot achieve
- Educate and entertain customers without breaking the budget
- Engage with their workforce and provide a great employee experience
It doesn’t end there.
If you invest in the right event tech, you can collect deep insights into who your attendees are, and track every movement and action they make. You can capture and analyze these data to host even better virtual events in the future.
Curious about which types of virtual events should be a priority?
Let’s get into it.
The Types of Virtual Events You Should Start Planning
Whether you’re an HR manager, a marketer, or even looking for a job in communications, it’s important to know about the different types of virtual events you can host. Here are some ideas on the types of virtual events you can organize in 2023.
1. Virtual Conferences
One of the most typical types of virtual event is the virtual conference.
Like a physical conference, a virtual one can have keynote speakers and panel discussions between experts in topics attendees have an interest in.
This is a type of virtual event that can help you reach a wider audience while still saving costs. And you can invite popular speakers from around the world to attract a higher attendance.
That makes it ideal for events whose target is a lead generation and building brand awareness.
Video conferencing services like Zoom make it possible to host these conferences and make them more interactive. For larger audiences, you can always use dedicated webinar platforms.
By using features like live text chat, participants can make comments without interrupting the session. You can create interactive video conference breakout rooms, as well, where you can subdivide participants into smaller groups.
These features give you flexibility as to how you run the virtual conference.
For instance, if you’re marketing a Metaverse QR code generator to business owners, it can start as a general passive virtual event where your leads watch the keynote speaker with a chat window in the sidebar where they can ask questions.
This can be followed up by a more interactive breakout video conference room session. Here, they can communicate one on one with the marketing lead and have a more immersive learning session.
And guess what?
You can use your lead generation software to save data related to all those who registered for and attended the conference. This data can come in handy to move people further down your sales funnel. You can also categorize them better due to the breakout sessions where you’ll get an idea of how interested they are in your services.
2. Online Training and Development Workshops
Another type of virtual event you should consider is online training and development workshops for employees.
Training employees is essential for gaining and retaining top talent. Research shows about 74% of employees would consider quitting their job for lack of career progression.
Image via CareerAddict
There are plenty of effective methods you can use in your learning and development programs to help employees achieve this career progression, though. Here are some examples:
- Instructor-led training (ILT): This resembles a traditional classroom class, but in this case, training is delivered remotely using video conferencing software.
- Microlearning: Training delivered virtually in short lessons of less than 10 minutes duration. These sessions may not necessarily be live sessions. Delivery can be through video or collaboration tools like Slack.
- Interactive training: This involves actively engaging the learner in the training through branched learning scenarios.
When your employees have the flexibility to access learning materials anywhere at any time, they’ll have a better learning experience. And it’s due to this flexibility and effectiveness that so many brands are now selling online courses to both businesses and individuals.
That said, it’s important to create timelines and quizzes to keep the employees engaged and accountable for completing the training.
But online training isn’t only for employees.
You can also use it for customer education. You can show them how to get the most out of your products, introduce them to new products, give them training on your partner program, and more.
3. Virtual Tradeshows and Exhibitions
The reason you invest in marketing methods like SEO, social media marketing, and email marketing is to maximize your leads.
Virtual tradeshows and exhibitions are types of virtual events that provide the same benefit.
Due to the high engagement and wide reach, these types of virtual events create, you’re able to meet new leads and tap into global markets effectively.
As an exhibitor, you’ll have a virtual booth where you can educate potential customers on what you’re offering and the value it can bring them.
Be sure to choose the right event organizers though. Or if you choose to do it yourself, be sure to choose a virtual trade show platform that:
- Offers live chat tools to enable visitors and exhibitors to interact
- Makes it possible to impress attendees within a stunning 3D environment
- Supports cross-device functionality
- Enables exhibitors to create branded booths
- Provides comprehensive reports that you can use to learn about attendee behavior and improve future events
Ticketing options and sponsorship opportunities mean the overall cost of the event will be low compared to a live event, but the benefits will be high.
4. Virtual Games and Competitions
Incorporate games and competitions into your virtual customer education programs. It’s a creative way to educate, interact with, and entertain customers while also rewarding them.
For instance, you can create a ‘match it’ game to improve product recognition. Have participants match a product to its packaging, key ingredient, or the solution it offers.
Virtual games and competitions are also great virtual events you should hold for your employees as a team-building activity.
For instance, a virtual escape room can help encourage your employees to collaborate in finding creative solutions. Hosting online murder mysteries can help them build their problem-solving skills and teamwork.
Building these skills in fun virtual games will reflect in their teamwork and productivity in the workplace. It’s particularly helpful for bonding if your team works remotely.
5. Virtual Health and Wellness Events
Many employees may be operating whilst feeling overwhelmed. They have to deal with deadlines, targets and more.
Introducing virtual health and wellness sessions into their day can increase productivity and engagement, and boost your employee retention rate.
You can also incorporate wellness activities into all the various types of internal and external virtual events you host. It helps you deliver more value to your attendees.
Break up sessions with a meditation break. Or hire a fitness instructor to lead a short and fun aerobics session to get participants to work up a sweat, de-stress, and relax.
Adding health and wellness sessions is a pleasant twist that’ll boost engagement and improve the attendance of future events.
Over to You
There you have it, five crucial types of virtual events that should be on your calendar in 2023.
From helping you retain employees to generating leads that can help boost your bottom line, there’s a lot that virtual events can do.
To make the most of them, take note of who engaged with your content the most and how often, which sessions got the audience to participate, and more. Use this data to improve your future events and get an even better ROI.
About the author:
Gaurav Sharma is the founder and CEO of Attrock, a results-driven digital marketing company. Grew an agency from 5-figure to 7-figure revenue in just two years | 10X leads | 2.8X conversions | 300K organic monthly traffic. He also contributes to top publications like HuffPost, Adweek, Business 2 Community, TechCrunch, and more.
This was originally posted on SpeakerHub Skillcamp.