With lockdown still ongoing across much of the world, virtual events are your go-to channel for bringing your audience together for the foreseeable future.

There are many things you need to get right, but choosing the right format of the virtual event for your business is one of the most critical.

Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular and proven virtual event formats, as well as some ideas about when they could be the right choice.

  1. Virtual Conferences
    These are actual conferences or summits where speaker panels and audiences congregate virtually for social,interactive and hopefully fun information-sharing. Technology options are available today that let you use multi-track sessions, speakers and breakout sessions invirtual environments, in ways that simulate interactions at “live” events, conferences and shows. The virtual element allows for extensive personalization and other ways of making sure everyone is engaged.
  2. Webinars
    The host prepares a presentation, session, class or workshop to be delivered to an audience over the internet. The participants can watch, listen and join in – the best webinars encourage deep levels of audience interaction.
  3. Virtual trade shows
    There are gatherings and events that your audience can join in with wherever they are located, meaning the numbers participating can be higher compared to a live event, and the barriers to attending are much lower. Networking and live feedback are encouraged too.
  4. AMA sessions
    AMA means Ask Me Anything and the attendees can interact with a guest speaker or a celebrity with topics relevant to the brand. The interview style adds engagement and the format is often refreshing and different.
  5. Podcasts
    Content is uploaded onto a hosting service in the form of audio or video. High production values make the experience more pleasant for the audience, though there is no real-time interactivity. Podcasts can be a great way of communicating news, offers or current events.
  6. Onlineperformance or music concert
    A hugely popular concept these days, the artists perform while the audience enjoy from the comfort of their homes. A great way to reward virtual engagement with your brand.
  7. Virtual meetups
    The purpose is free-flowing rather than unidirectional communication, almost like the normal catch-ups and meetups we are used to doing in person. These usually work best as invite-only sessions for selected guests.
  8. Live games,contests and streaming
    These days, a great way to engage are also games which can be organized by sponsor companies and hosted professionally amongst the online group of participants. The formats can range from competitive to just-for-fun types.
  9. Health and wellbeing virtualstreaming
    These include Yoga, Zumba, and general fitness programs which can be held online based on invite-only format. The core focal point is fitness and not marketing. Participants can learn and do at the same time, thus getting the highest value for their time and money. Subtle in-stream branding is also possible – think a fitness guru using sponsored fitness gear!
  10. Workshops
    Teach your audience something new in the form of an online workshop wherein a focussed and interested audience arrives to listen and learn. You can advertise the session and the requirements for the workshop beforehand so everyone knows what they can expect to learn, and what they will need to take part. Take them through the lesson step by step.
    If the technology is sound and fits your budget, virtual conferences can be a great format. You can choose to use avatars to add personalization, or leave them out if they don’t fit the format or could be a distraction. These avatars can be super cool, though – networking with the other participants’ avatars and even exchanging cards!

If the technology is sound and fits your budget, virtual conferences can be a great format. You can choose to use avatars to add personalization, or leave them out if they don’t fit the format or could be a distraction. These avatars can be super cool, though – networking with the other participants’ avatars and even exchanging cards!

Picking out the best virtual event format for your brand

The core considerations when selecting the type of virtual event for your brand can be:

  • Goals of the event
  • Timelines your event needs to fit to meet business goals and strategies
  • Resources like money and technology at your disposal
  • Finding the right vendor for the right kind of event
  • The profile of your company and the event and whether they match with each other

If you need help choosing the right format, please write to our tech partners at sales@buzznationmarketing.com.

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