The concept of virtual events emerged when the world was following distancing norms and staying indoors. It is why everyone, including all the industries, accepted this idea with open arms. Virtual events allowed them to interact and remain in touch even after being socially distanced.
There are various kinds of virtual events being hosted globally; one of them is business events. To understand what they are all about and how you can host one, read this blog till the end.
What are Different Types of Virtual Business Events?
Different types of virtual business events:
1. Webinars: They are workshop sessions where the speaker presents a lecture to the audience on a specific topic. In simple language, webinars are the web equivalents of seminars. They are hosted for a larger audience and can be live or pre-recorded. Since they are conducted over the internet, people from any part of the world can attend any webinar.
2. Online Meet-Ups: Virtual Meet-Ups are online gatherings where people sharing the same interests meet and engage in conversation. A virtual meet-up can be formal or informal, depending on the host, the occasion, and the agenda. Businesses and organizations can host either public meet-ups that allow random people or public meet-ups that are restricted to a particular audience group.
3. Virtual Expos: Virtual expos are the platforms that bring the brand representatives and audience on the same page. The objective behind hosting a virtual expo is to exhibit products and services. The exhibiting brands can also use the platform to introduce a product or service into the market. These events enable the audience to learn about different products and interact with several brand officials on a single platform.
4. Virtual Summits: Virtual summits or virtual conferences as they are widely known are virtual formal gatherings targeted at a smaller audience. The agenda behind hosting a virtual summit is to have discussions, keynote sessions and interact with fellow attendees and business representatives. Events like summits or conferences are hosted to clear the audience’s doubts and achieve corporate goals.
5. Virtual Workshops: Virtual workshops are conducted to deliver learning and training experiences. Web workshops allow attendees from all over the world to connect to the coaches, learn something new and listen to some of the most prominent global coaches and experts. Virtual workshop platforms come with several audience engagement tools that allow the participants to interact and ask questions. These tools add to the authenticity of the workshops and give them a closer-to-real experience.
How to Plan and Host a Memorable Virtual Business Event?
Here is a step by step guide to plan and host virtual business events:
#1 Set Objectives: To begin with, set event objectives for your business event. It will give you clarity.
- Start with the kind of virtual event you want to host.
- Note all the learnings and takeaways you would want your participants to take with them at the end of the event.
- The audience you want to target.
- The reason for conducting the event, which can either be increasing audience reach, gaining monetary benefits, promoting the brand, or introducing any product in the market.
#2 Pick the Right Date and Time: Now that you know the objective behind hosting the event, it is time to go through the calendar and look for a suitable date and time. While picking up the date and time, make sure the one you choose does not clash with any other important event. Pick the date that will ensure maximum audience participation. Along with it, if you are considering setting the right time, look for an hour that you know is generally a leisure hour. In short, do not take it lightly and do some homework before landing on a particular option.
#3 Prepare the Agenda: The next step in the planning process is preparing the event agenda. Here are the points that you should consider while planning the agenda-
- The number of attendees.
- Itinerary of the event.
- Speakers of the event.
- The duration of the event.
To execute your planning in the best way possible, research and make pointers of what topics the audience is interested in listening to these days. It will help you gain clarity and ensure that your efforts do not go wasted.
#4 Look for a Suitable Virtual Meeting Platform: The next and probably the most crucial step to execute an impressive virtual event is to get your hands on a suitable virtual event platform. Since there are several platform options available to choose from, it is quite natural for the organizers to get confused. To ensure you pick the best platform, look for the features mentioned below:
- Audience engagement tools
- Networking Options
- Multi-Device compatibility
- Seamless Interface
- In-event analytics
#5 Send Meeting Invitations: Now that you have decided the platform to go with, it is time to send invitations regarding the event. If it is a private or in-house event, send the link to the platform to all the registered attendees. However, if it is an open-to-all event, the step that you need to follow is described below.
#6 Promote the Event: If the event you are hosting is a public event, make sure you spread the word about it. When we talk about promotion, make sure you take all the steps that you think can make a difference. Use paid media specialists, agencies, traditional media, and other methods for the event branding. The reason we insist on this is that it will decide the number of people who will attend the event; in short, the success of your event.
#7 Host a Run-Through: This is a crucial step that you should not skip at any cost. No matter how professional you are at hosting web events, conducting a rehearsal session before the event will help you know the technicalities of the platform. It will reduce the chances of things going wrong on D-Day and enable you to handle things even if they do.
#8 Analyze the Event and Send Feedback Forms: Once the event is over, do not forget to go through the in-event analytics and analyze what went right and wrong. Use the data to measure the success of your event. Also, as soon as the event gets over, make sure you send feedback forms to all the attendees. It will help you understand their perspective and build effective relations with the audience.
We hope this guide has helped you understand what a business event actually is and the steps you need to take to plan an unforgettable one.