Virtual events are a great way to promote a brand, product or service online. They can be interactive and really fun to participate in, but they also have the added bonus of being budget friendly – perfect for companies that are strapped for cash!
Virtual events are also important, because they help reach a large target audience. They also allow for interactions between the attendees, which can be an especially powerful tool when used correctly. For example, virtual conferences require responses from speakers in virtual workshops and keynotes. The more activity there is over the web, the more people will want to attend in return to have their questions answered, and engage in more online activities.
These types of events can also be a great way to make a name for yourself as a leader within your industry.
We’ve put together a quick list of virtual event ideas to help you brainstorm your own virtual event:
Host conference presentations
If you’ve got a conference presentation on an interesting topic, why not run it as a virtual event? This means that lots more people will get the chance to hear what you have to say and benefit from your experience. They’ll ask questions and share their own stories with you, extending the global reach of your event.
Not only does this mean you can get your message out to a much wider audience, it also means that people from all over the world could be joining in with your virtual conference. You can choose what time of day or night you host it for everyone and allow people from every continent to learn about topics relevant to them.
Tie-in with another event
Many events are scheduled around the same time, so they work well for tying in to your virtual event. For example, you could use the Olympic Games to promote a new website on fitness equipment. If there are no scheduled events that relate to what you’re offering, you could always try holding a themed event – it’s a great idea for when you’re short on money but still want to hold an event!
Create buzz around your brand, product or service
Virtual events are the perfect opportunity to create something buzz-worthy. If your virtual event is interactive in some way, try holding a contest where participants have to post photos of themselves doing something related to what you’re promoting. You can use these photos on your website or social media pages, which will promote the event through people’s networks.
Networking events are an excellent way of bringing people together who might not meet otherwise, either personally or professionally. You can organize these at one time for everyone to take part in or outsource them to an event management company.
Encourage speaker panels
Virtual events allow for a few different types of speakers. Some just lecture on their area of experience, while others will actually have discussions with the online audience. In the latter case, it is important that there are question and answering sessions available throughout the event. Having moderators chosen from among the listeners is also another good idea for virtual events. This allows for a more interactive experience, and gives everyone a chance to interact with the speaker in some capacity.
Involve some of your brand ambassadors
Virtual events are a great opportunity for brands to show their appreciation to their customers. For example, if it’s the customer’s birthday then why not hold an online celebration? It will help you to get in touch with your customers and establish more of a personal connection.
Promote an issue or social cause
The best way to get people involved in some issues is by holding virtual events – it’s the perfect opportunity for them to contribute without having to go out of their way. For example, if there was a charity associated with your brand, you could hold a donation drive or give them the opportunity to contribute through purchasing specific products. You can also encourage people to tweet about the issue using certain hashtags – this will help spread awareness and create some buzz around it!
Introduce new product ranges
Virtual events are great for introducing new product ranges. For example, if you were a clothing retailer and you had a new line coming out next month, you could hold an event where people can pre-order the clothes they want for a discounted rate.
Hold virtual seminars or webinars
Webinars are popular with both participants and brands for several reasons: they’re interactive, they’re great for brand building and they’re budget friendly. You can use them to talk about your new ranges or promote products; you could also discuss upcoming promotions with participants.
Conduct polls and surveys
Another method of organizing virtual events is through polling and surveys. This can be done at the start and end of each session, so that people will feel like they have contributed something throughout the event. It is also important to plan ahead when it comes to the different types of activities that can be done. What software is needed? Will there be space for people to interact with each other during the event? Is it possible for outsiders to join in on the fun as well, or will they need their own account?
Launch a new website
This is an idea that’s perfect for ecommerce businesses! If your business is getting ready to launch a new website soon, why not use a virtual event to help promote it? You can give people the opportunity to sign up for updates about your website launch, or even sell pre-launch products.
End with an activity
Virtual events are interactive, so they should have some kind of activity at the end! For example, you could hold an online game where participants have to answer questions about your brand or products to win a prize. You can also hold a contest where participants have to submit photos of themselves doing something related to what you’re promoting, which not only promotes your products but encourages community participation.
Selecting Virtual Event Ideas That Work
Regardless of the event you’re holding it’s important that there is some kind of goal in mind – otherwise why bother having one in the first place? Think about what you want to achieve from the event, and consider whether your objectives will be met if it is a virtual event.
Virtual events are designed for all kinds of reasons – there’s no right or wrong reason to have an online event! But it’s important that you start by determining what you hope to achieve from it. If you’re unclear, ask yourself or your team what they think the main purpose of the virtual event is and why we’re having it in the first place?
There are an endless number of virtual event ideas that you can implement, but before you do there are a few things to keep in mind.
Choose a topic that is specific and relevant to your company’s industry
This means more than just choosing something you know will be popular in your organization. Look at what is trending with other businesses in your field and choose accordingly — for example, if everyone is talking about the latest technology in multi-channel marketing, then getting ahead of the curve and hosting an e-learning session on this topic will put you in the spotlight with others who are looking for quality training materials.
By choosing a talk or panel discussion that isn’t too broad, but still captures attention from multiple audiences, your virtual event can become a perfect platform for introducing current products while also showcasing new ones. In turn, this could help to generate leads which you can take to the next level by running a follow-up campaign with them after the event is over.
Ensure your virtual event has multiple ways for prospects and customers to engage
This means incorporating live Q&A sessions, video testimonials, interactive polling features and webinars into your virtual event idea planning. You may even want to consider hosting two virtual events back-to-back, one for business professionals who are looking to consume content during their working hours (and thus expect more formal presentations) and another that caters to consumers who might be inclined towards informational videos or panels which include audience interaction.
By creating separate streams that allow everyone to participate in way most comfortable for them will help keep your virtual event engaging for all who are involved.
Be sure to enhance participation using social media
Social media has taken the world by storm, so it’s no surprise that people are looking for ways to take advantage of this trend at their next virtual event. By including an interactive hashtag in promotional materials, you’ll be giving attendees another way of connecting with each other and spreading ideas about your business throughout the social sphere. Tweeting about the company’s efforts on Facebook will also help broaden awareness even further, bringing more prospects into the fold.
Not only that, but having a presence on various popular networking sites will help keep your brand top-of-mind among those who aren’t able to attend live or watch later as recorded content.
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