After experiencing a virtual event’s advantages during the lockdown, the demand for these events increased. While physical events are not going anywhere, virtual events have begun making room for themselves in the events industry.
After having the option only to attend virtual events and conferences due to the pandemic last year, we realized it indeed isn’t so bad to have to sip a coffee curled up on the couch and watch an event. The increase in demand for fun Virtual Events has pushed companies to give their audience a wholesome experience. Fighting for customer attention online has now begun a task. It is one thing to get your people at your event; it is another task to retain your audience during a virtual event.
What comes to you when you talk about hosting a successful Virtual Conference? A lot of money into big tech? That does not always have to be the case. Hosting a virtual event is a task, no doubt. Plenty of thought and planning goes into hosting a virtual event that will keep your crowd on their feet.
There are so many successful events that have taken place with the simplest ideas and concepts. Remember that you need to ensure that you give your audience a good experience; no doubt, however, your content is the reason people invest in coming to your virtual event.
Following is a mix of virtual networking ideas, both big and small, that you could use for your next virtual event.
1.Live Games and Contests:
Live games and contests are a great way to build up team spirit. You can have your audience grouped into smaller teams and have them compete against each other. You can also incorporate such games on the same platform that you are using to host your event.
Contests end up as a great way of creating hype about your virtual event. You can organize a contest and where people come and talk about their business ideas and creations. You can even have a contest to entertain your audience with people coming about, displaying their talents, and then having the audience vote for their favourite contestant. In this way, the audience gets to participate in the voting to avoid biased decisions. You can also invite a panel of reputed people in the field and have them select a winner.
2. Invite guests’ speakers
Inviting guest speakers for your virtual event can increase your event’s reach and turnover. Having a guest speaker also brings in a different perspective to your event’s theme. Most importantly, listening to people with diverse expertise can broaden one’s outlook on a topic. Let your virtual event be a two-way street. Let your audience interact and ask the guest speaker questions. Have a virtual moderator continually check the chats in the chat section and keep the panel updated about what the audience in the chat section has to ask.
3. Polls and Q&A
Polls and Q&As have always been used in Virtual Events. You can incorporate these features in your virtual event and have people vote and share their opinions on a particular question. A polling system can give you a good insight into what your audience thinks about a specific topic.
You can incorporate Q&A sessions in your event by taking in questions from your audience on the topic. If you have a guest orator for the event, you can have your audience ask them questions on the subject that they spoke on.
4. Recipe Night
I bet there will be several people on your team who are excellent chefs. Some of them may have discovered that they know to cook during the lockdown. Any which way, cooking together will be so much fun and wholesome.
Your teammates could pick one recipe for the night that they will be making themselves and cook together.
5. Live Concert
Give your audience what they are craving for already! Due to the Pandemic, most of us could not enjoy a good musical concert. This, however, cannot stop us from having a virtual concert.
You can invite a good band or even one of the famous singers too for your audience. A music breakout session for your audience at the end of an event is a great way to let them sit back and relax after the continuous session of power-packed knowledge is the best way to end your virtual event.
6. Treasure Hunts
If you are hosting a virtual event, you can keep clues in different rooms that people can look out for. Or you can have riddles placed in each room, and the person who answers it gets to go to the next place (closer to the prize). Treasure hunts are a great way to keep your audience hooked on the virtual event.
You can set up riddles around your sponsors’ products throughout the treasure hunt, giving the sponsors good exposure during the virtual event.
7. Real-time illustrations during sessions
While your Engaged Audience is busy listening to the speaker, you can have an illustrator live onboard making artwork either related to the theme of your event or have him or her capture the entire essence of the event and creatively illustrate it.
You can then use this image for printable backdrops, etc., or you can even mail it to your audience once after the event is done, along with your thank you mail.
8. Live Competitions
Conducting live competitions is another way of bringing your audience together. As part of the competition, you can also use your sponsor’s products that the audience can try, or you can arrange games so that your sponsors are getting good exposure while they are having fun. In this way, you will keep your audience entertained and, at the same time, help market your sponsors.
9. Live Virtual Musicals
One of the most important things that people had to miss out on during the pandemic was going out, meeting new people, and having the time of their lives at a live concert.
The pandemic has taught us that every industry has to find a way to survive during times like the pandemic.
Along with the Events Industry, several other industries have had to shift to hosting their events online.
Hosting a virtual concert for your event can give your audience a good time to sit back and relax the symphonies virtually.
10. Mindful activities
Kickstart your virtual event and uplift the mood of your Live Audience with the help of a few mindful activities. If you’ve never tried online meditation, you should. It is just as effective.
Based on how your virtual event is scheduled, you can slip in some time to take your audience on a mindful journey. You can incorporate meditation, yoga, or have a fun Zumba session for all your attendees before the virtual event. This can give an excellent start to your virtual event.
11. Incorporate Engaging environments
Have you ever wondered why video games do well amongst youngsters and even elders?
Well, there is no doubt about why and the reason for that is its User Experience. These games are designed to keep a player hooked on the game.
Similarly, incorporating an environment different from how regular websites look will give your virtual event an edge over the other events.
12. Attract Talent
Invite well now people as guests to your event and have them pump up your attendees’ spirits and get the event going.
Having a star come to your virtual event, and having them speak can raise the hype about your event. You can also advertise this pre-event to attract more people. A well-known person in the same field as you are in will be better.
13. Cooking or a cocktail class
Having your team dive into and learn a new skill. Such an excellent way to do something fun and out of the routine. You can invite a chef for the day, have him, or instruct the team to make a new recipe.
Doing fun things like this can help build your team spirit together. When Hosting Events of this kind, it will be a good idea to send your team a cooking kit before the virtual event begins. This one doesn’t have to be a competition. Instead, it is an excellent way of working towards creating something together.
14. Trivia Night
A trivia night is a unique way to have fun and, at the same time, learn about new things and test your knowledge. This is an excellent way of educating yourself while having fun. You could host a trivia night for your team. This is a perfect way of getting to know each other and learning from each other.
15. Virtual Dress up
Do you remember how we’d play pretend as kids? Well, this game could turn into a good team bonding night.
Your team can come dressed up as different characters, and the rest can guess what they are. Each one could also imitate their characters and introduce themselves or stay in character throughout the virtual event. To make the virtual event more interesting, you’ll even play a round of the sinking boat game.
This is a game where you pretend that a boat is sinking, and you’ll have just one life jacket. Each one of the characters should explain why they deserve to have the jacket and why the other one doesn’t. This game can get quite interesting depending upon one’s creativity and knowledge about one character. You can also have a panel to decide on who is the winner.
16. Team movie night
This one is my favourite! So, what if the theatres are closed or no-good movie screening? You can always have a movie party together but in your own homes. There are several platforms where you can watch movies together, like Rave and Netflix Teleparty. However, these Platforms require people to have an account on the respective platforms. The next best option is to watch it over zoom. Either way, watching a movie together is always fun. You can even have a WhatsApp group to chat on while watching the movie.
17. Hashtag trends
The hashtag trend is a great way to increase and create hype about something over social media. Your team can well use this trend to do something good for society as well. You can maybe start a trend to install a house plant in your home. If you have ample garden space, you can even pant a sapling and watch it grow.
When starting with it, you can take a picture of it and upload it with a hashtag and tag your team members, asking them to do the same—this a great way of giving back as well. You can come up with several ideas and do it together and get the hype going on social media.
18. Virtual dares
And the fun has just begun. You can come up with so many dares that your teammates can do. This can be quite a fun task to do together. Just make sure that this doesn’t go out of hand. Remember that you cannot force anyone to do the dare. Come up with a list of dares that your team will most likely have no problem doing. There are several activities that one can pick from for such dares.
19. Virtual activity- a – thon
While it’s all fun to be doing activities together, doing it for maybe a week or so, if anything, will only build one’s relationship with the rest of the team. There is a list of activities that your team could do together. You can workout and check your progress against your peers, have a movie marathon, have a cleanliness drive in your respective localities. Once done, you can update your peers with your progress. This activity will help in team building, but it can also help once improve leadership skills to take up a project and do it.
20. Social Media Challenge
There are so many challenges that influencers have been coming up with. You could come up with something of your own and tag the rest of the team to do it. You can also take up a trending viral video challenge and incorporate what your company is about, create a reel and post it on Instagram or tik-tok.
You can also have a mix of creative and insightful content and put it out. Good content helps improve Event Engagement. You can incorporate these video ideas to raise awareness about your cause and attract donations.
21. Virtual Gala
Hosting a virtual gala is an excellent way of hosting a Fundraiser. Have a bottle of wine given to your attendees beforehand for them to sit back and enjoy the virtual event. While the gala will be held on screen, you can still have everything that a gala would otherwise have.
You can have the auction virtually, arrange for virtual entertainment, dance, etc. If possible, you can send your virtual audience a box of goodies beforehand, or you can even arrange for dinner to be sent earlier to their homes.
You can give your audience the complete feel of a gala all the way while they can still be sipping wine curled up on their couch, or they can even use the fine evening as an excuse to dress up like how they otherwise would for a grand gala.
22. Video Game Challenge
Ah! If you’ve got some gaming fans in your team, they are going to love you for this! You can host a virtual event with an entry fee and then can split it among the winners. You can host a video game that is suitable according to your business and have people join in.
You can host a game, keeping in mind your audience. You can even advertise the virtual event to more people in your niche and get in more players.
23. AI-Generated Recommendations
This Virtual Networking Idea, with the help of AI, is quite a thing nowadays. Of course, like in the case of a virtual event, you won’t be able to come across and meet people like the way you do at a physical event. However, there are several AI-generated networking connection recommendations that you can use to bring together people of similar interests. Many platforms use these techniques to bring people of similar interests together.
24. Speed Networking
Speed networking is a way of having people meet each other fast for a short amount of time. Once the time is up, the platform will direct you to the next person. This kind of networking is quite productive wherein they can exchange their contact details if they feel they found their conversation to be productive and want to get in touch after the virtual event.
Speed networking helps increase productivity by cutting down the time, and giving a person enough time to interact and have a brief conversation, giving only relevant discussions.
25. Birds of a feather breakout session
The people who are already a part of your virtual event have something in common and are present at your virtual event. You can have a breakout session for your people in the virtual event on a particular topic. Having a good topic of discussion for your audience will help bring valuable insights into the subject. Having a breakout session for like-minded people to discuss can help them network with each other and give some good outcomes on the topic.
26. Gamify connections
Nowadays, it is difficult to keep people hooked on one thing for a long time. If they don’t find it interesting, they’ll move on. It is a task to keep people engaged in doing something constantly. There have to be some incentives attached for staying at a virtual event for a longer time. For example, Duo Lingo is an app where people can learn different languages. This app has incentives at different stages.
Thus, keeping a user motivated to complete the different levels in the app. You could have such incentives for people showing up for your virtual event, an incentive for them in between, and something towards the end as well. These incentives can have a time-bound where the audience can benefit only during that time.
27. Pre-event chat rooms
You can enable your chat rooms even before your event has begun using some Event Platforms. This will allow your audience to connect before the event. The people attending your virtual event are mostly like-minded. This gives them so much to talk about. Enabling your chats beforehand will allow them to interact with the other people at the virtual event, making it more comfortable interacting and getting the discussions going during the virtual event.
28. Audio only discussions
Yes, there is an alternate way to running virtual events without having to strain your eyes looking at your screen the entire time. Audio-only discussions can be proved to be more productive and cost-effective to host compared to an on-screen event. Here, you do not have to stare at the screen continuously for hours. You can tune in to the audio and listen to it while doing other chores at home.
29. Virtual Lounges
The events platform can have a room for people to go and spend time. Each sponsor can have a separate lounge where people can join in and discuss the product. These virtual lounges can help build the relationship between the sponsor and the audience. In case of any uncertainties or queries, the sponsors can directly communicate with the audience and answer them.
Just like an in-person event, virtual events can have the same essence of communication. If the audience is interested in the products or service, they can get in touch with the sponsor directly. You can consider this idea as one of your next virtual conference ideas.
30. Ad space on your live stream
For your live stream, you can have a banner and pop-up at the side of your screen which brings out the best of Business. You can also sell ad space to your sponsors where their ads are displayed and have the option for people to click on the ad if they want to learn more about the sponsors’ business.
You can also have the banner pop-up during the event when the sponsor’s name is showcased or give the sponsor a shout-out.
31. Add sponsorship to event apps
If you are going to be taking your event virtual, you should be considering making event apps for your business so that all the information about the event is available in one place on the phone. Having an event app is necessary. An app can also display your sponsors’ brands for people to know more about them. If your sponsor is giving out any offers, it can be displayed on the app for the audience to know about it.
32. Brand transitions slides
Don’t waste an opportunity to promote your sponsors. You can keep promoting your sponsors during breaks, breakout sessions, presentations, and even during the time between while shifting to the next set of the event. Thank your sponsors during the event. In short, whenever there is a slot open, don’t let it just pass by. Instead, make the best out of it and promote your sponsors.
33. Get sponsored event games to boost engagement
Having an interactive and engaging way for your audience to spend time at your vent can increase the event’s exposure even more. You can ask your Sponsors to sponsor virtual games for your event.
Several event apps can incorporate the gaming feature in their apps. There are also several types of games that your event’s platform can include. Your team can further group up and compete against each other.
34. Partner with sponsors for CSR initiatives
This is one of the most unique and beautiful ways to make use of your sponsorship as they are the Event Stakeholders. You can ask your sponsors to maybe give something to the ones in need of either food or donate a certain number of clothes to children on the street, or donate essentials to the healthcare workers.
Partnering with a sponsor to give back to society is the best way of giving back and working together to do it. Projects like these hold so much value and are always the best option to go for. This virtual event idea can also increase your brands’ credibility because you care about the environment and others and are ready to give back.
35. Sponsored virtual event bags
We all love a bag filled with goodies! (even if they are virtual ones) You can give away to your audience a couple of sponsored goodies. The goodies can contain gift cards, vouchers, or discount coupons, etc. This can be sent to each of them by mail. You can also give gifts to your audience an actual bag of goodies before or even after the event. Show your audience that you are grateful to have them at your event, and you are most likely to see them attend your event the next time as well.
36. Host a giveaway
Hosting a giveaway is an attractive way to increase engagement. You could host a giveaway before your event, and as a part of the task, you can even ask your followers to tag their friends in it. Host a giveaway with a list of three tops that a person should do and then announce the giveaway winner at your event. Giveaways are a great way to increase the reach of the event.
You can collaborate with your sponsors and host this giveaway. This will also give a good reach to your sponsors.
37. Surprise attendees with home delivery
Since your attendees will not be attending the event in person, you still want to make their experience at your virtual event worthwhile. You can send your attendees gifts over to the homes to elevate their virtual event experience. Along with the gifts, you can also give them a thank you note as an appreciation note for then having taken their time out of their busy schedules to attend your virtual event.
38. Incentive registrations
If there is one thing that can help create a buzz amongst people besides celebrities tweeting, it is free incentives. When announcing your event, give out a limited number of incentives to people who are the first to register. Keep an attractive incentive and let it be exclusive only for the initial registrations.
If this doesn’t create a buzz about your event, I don’t know what will.
39. Post-event thank you gift
Consider sending your attendees a post-event Thank you gift with a small thank you note. Being grateful to your attendees and letting them know that you appreciate them is a fantastic way to maintain your relationship with them.
Your attendees will not forget you after your event. This, too, counts as a good attendee experience and will spread the good word of mouth.
40. Provide high production value content on demand
The people attending your event attend it because of the value they are about to receive from it while having an Event Engagement. Create valuable content at all times. I would say over-deliver at every step of your event, right from the planning to the execution and delivery. Host an event that is top-notch and leaves your audience with something to take away from it. If you give out more value, you will continuously get an audience who will come to you for your authenticity.
Building a good community around your brand is important. By providing valuable content to your audience repeatedly will help you gain their trust in you. And trust is the key most important factor if you want to retain and grow your community in the long run. A good event is a combination of great content as well as a good experience.
41. Create exclusive experiences
When hosting a virtual event, you have to give your audience an experience they may have never experienced before which has a good Sustainable Growth. Of course, you have to scratch your head a little for this one. We always had tons of themes to work with for an in-person event. However, since the industry has now gone virtual, the possibilities now are endless! As technology advances, so will our options to choose from.
You could have your entire event turned virtual like a gaming platform where people can interact with each other, enter different chat sessions in different rooms, have virtual stalls, and elevate your user experience. You can enable the option of having a virtual assistant to give your audience a virtual event tour until they get the hang of how to go about it.
42. Leverage virtual venues
Even if you don’t want to invest in an expensive Hybrid Technologies, you can still host an event that is simple yet engaging at the same time. Several platforms, like the Microsoft team and even zoom where you can be innovative and set different backdrops to the speaker’s screen, make it more appealing. It is not compulsory to invest in fancy virtual venues; you can have the simplest platform and deliver what you have to offer. The quality of your content and the value that it’ll bring to people will make them want to stay till the end of the event.
43. Backdrops to support cohesion
This concept here is not something new. However, it is one of the affordable and smartest ways of adding valuable essence to your event. You can have the speaker sit in front of a green wall and put in different backgrounds. Improving the look of your event using these simple techniques can still enhance your attendee’s experience.
If your speakers are at a different location, using backdrops can help you keep up with your event’s theme by providing the team in the speaker’s area with the necessary background pictures or videos that need to be incorporated.
44. Revealing quiz
How well do you know your teammate? Well, here is a great way to get to know them better. Play a revealing quiz with your teammates by having them ask others something about themselves, and the rest can guess and answer this. This will give you a good insight into your teammates, how they perceive things and what influences them.
A revealing quiz can give you interesting insights about a person’s life, their values helping you understand them better.
45. Photo of your life
This is such a fantastic idea of getting to know your team members and the important moments in their lives. You can have an entire virtual live session dedicated to getting to know each other better here. You can have your team group some of their favourite photographs and have them tell why it is their favourite.
Sharing the important moments in your life with your team can help build the team’s relationship with each other by taking a glance at their lives and what is important to them.
46. Words with friends
The classic scrabble never gets old. There are several apps where your team members can join for a chilled-out session of words with friends. Not only is this an excellent way to pass the time with your colleagues, but here is also a good chance of learning new words. If you have not tried this before, you can as well try this with your team now.
47. Three truths and a lie
Three truths and a lie! You can use this game for your audience to get to know your sponsors well. You can organize fun quizzes for your attendees and ask them quizzes revolving around your sponsors’ product. Get creative with the sentences. However, you can get creative and come up with fun things to guess. This is another excellent way to advertise your sponsors.
48. Bucket list challenge
Gather your team around (virtually), and start a bucket list that the team can do together remotely. There are several things that you’ll add to the list, like having a Virtual Movie night together, stargazing together from your own homes, cooking together, or enrolling yourselves in any marathons happening in your localities. The list is endless. Whatever things you’ll otherwise do, if you’ll meet each other daily, find ways where you’ll still do it together virtually. You could even add a home picnic to your list. The world is your oyster.
49. Book club Evening
Have your team pick out a book for the meeting and have them read the book in advance. Then arrange for an event to discuss the book. Ask people for their opinions on what they think about the book and their reviews about the same.
Reading no doubt in itself has so many benefits. Give your team a list of book options to choose from your niche or any team building or productivity books to choose from. Atomic Habits by James Clear, the Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill are a few books that you can choose from for your meeting to scrutinize.
50. Campfire night
Another one of my favourites is campfire night! And this one is my favourite for the obvious reasons. You can have your team gathered online with their lights dim in the background, but just enough light to see them, have a candlelit in front of the laptop, arrange for marshmallows, crackers, and cheese and get your virtual campfire party going on, also while organising School Events as well. Not to forget about the classic ghost stories to keep everyone on their toes. Even if not in person, this would still be a campfire night worth being a part of.
There you have it! A complete list of fifty different virtual event ideas to choose from. No doubt that hosting an event is not always an easy task. There is a lot of thought that goes in while hosting an event and Digital Exhibitions. The primary purpose of an event is to make sure that the audience has a great time.
The above lists also show that you don’t always need to invest a lot into big platforms to host an incredible event. It is mostly the simplest ideas that work the best. However, depending upon the type of your event, you now have a complete list of fifty unique virtual event ideas to go with.