Planning a corporate event? Here are 10 of the best virtual event ideas.
The events industry has completely transformed during 2020, with a large proportion of event planners moving into the virtual world. Bloggers are furiously typing out ‘Virtual Event Lingo’ and ‘A Virtual Events Glossary’ so we can keep up with the latest buzz words.
One of the main findings of many virtual event studies is the importance of engaging your audience. Who hasn’t been inspired or educated by a TED talk? Yet the length of a TED talk is just 18 minutes, no matter who the speaker is.
TED Curator, Chris Anderson, explained the 18-minute rule. “It [18 minutes] is long enough to be serious and short enough to hold people’s attention. It turns out that this length also works incredibly well online.”
You don’t need to employ an A-list celebrity or have a troop of clowns performing behind you. There is such a thing as trying too hard to be entertaining. You just need to build up a buzz before your event, engage your audience during the event and leave them glad they came.
1. Create an event hashtag
Use an event hashtag on social media and encourage attendees to do so too. This will create a searchable grouping for your event, to disseminate information and create interest. As an added bonus, the hashtags are now advertising your event on social media.
There is a myth that hashtags don’t work on Facebook. While they don’t work in the same way Instagram or Twitter hashtags do, they are still searchable. Don’t believe me? Type #worldmentalhealthday into Facebook’s search bar.
2. Send out event swag bags
Swag bags can contain items relevant to the event itself, promotional gifts, or a mixture. If your event includes a charity auction, send out a customized bidders’ paddle, it will add a little fun and realism to the auction. Breakout rooms with entertainment may require wine for wine tasting, clue cards for mystery games, or yoga mats.
Tie in promotional gifts to the event hashtag. Send out airbrushed t-shirts, customized socks, power packs, water bottles, or journals. Ask your attendees to “Show Us Your Shocks” and include the event hashtag. You are now building interest in the event and attendees are creating brand awareness for you.
3. Virtual gift bags
Less effective but certainly cheaper if you’re struggling with budget restraints, is a virtual gift bag. These are also very useful if your timescale doesn’t allow for mailing swag bags out. Virtual gift bag ideas include; gift cards, food delivery vouchers, e-books, virtual lessons, subscriptions, and memberships.
4. Use breakout rooms
Breakout rooms create tailored engagement experiences. These can be meaningful meetings/sessions/workshops or fun entertainment. Use a facilitator to ensure group engagement and keep breakout groups small.
These virtual event ideas are too good not to consider
5. Real-time polling
Where we once struggled to collect information at physical events, we now have a goldmine at our fingertips. Using a polling app, you can ask your audience questions during a presentation and, if you want, the results can instantly become a part of your presentation. This will keep your audience engaged while providing valuable feedback.
6. Consider Gamification
One definition of Gamification is “The use of game design elements in non-game contexts.” Or in the immortal words of Mary Poppins “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and snap the job’s a game.”
Including game elements like; leader boards, points, rewards programs, badges, prizes, etc., can be powerful motivational and audience engagement tools. Ensure you set goals for outcomes, so gamification doesn’t simply become a distraction.
7. Incorporate a good cause
The pandemic is global, charities, zoos, the arts, have suffered greatly this year. By incorporating a charity into your event, you allow your audience to feel good and more engaged in the event.
Ask for corporate donations and hold a charity auction. Allow a charity or non-profit to have a free virtual booth at your event. Allow your local zoo or opera house to live stream to your audience and collect donations.
You can combine the good cause with gamification. To build interest in the event, ask attendees to raise money for the good cause prior to the event. Have a leader board and provide an award ceremony at the event for the attendee who raises the most money.
8. Offer sponsorship packages
From sponsoring your swag bags to sponsoring event entertainment, there is plenty to offer sponsors at a virtual event.
From selling banner and pop-up space, to branded breakout rooms. Sponsor intros to full-screen break ads. Offer a sponsorship hosting session with Q&A time to interact with your audience or 1:1 appointments. Packages can include a sponsored VIP breakout room.
Whether it’s a breakout room or a happy hour at the end of your event, provide virtual event entertainment. Hire a professional entertainer. Whether it’s a comedian, karaoke, wine tasting, or a live artist, it will leave attendees with a lasting impression.
Airbrush Events can provide virtual entertainment during your corporate event, by engaging your audience while we paint them a personalized gift. This unique branded promotional gift will be posted out after the event, ensuring continued brand activation.
10. Post-event surveys
You put a lot of time, money, and effort into planning and running your virtual corporate event. So, how did it go? Did attendees find value in the event? Were training sessions useful? Which were their favorite breakout rooms and why? What was their overall experience with the virtual event?
While the event is fresh in their minds, send out a post-event survey with these questions. The results of the survey will ensure your next virtual event is even better than the last.
Discover for yourself...
If you would like to learn how Airbrush Events is using virtual events to help create more fun and excitement for specialty events, college activities, Birthday parties, retail promotions, brand activation’s and more, you can check it out here to get the juicy details on how we can help you!