Maybe you’ve heard about the hype and are eager to see how an event can drive your brand awareness. Or, your brand has a virtual event idea aimed at increasing revenue, but you are not sure of the right way to do it. Virtual events are one of the best ways to boost revenue and are great for increasing digital clout in 2021. Here are the seven best virtual event use cases that your brand needs to consider:
Virtual summits are by far the biggest style of virtual events that can be hosted. Virtual summits mimic real in-person conferences as much as possible by hosting a variety of speakers and virtual offerings during a set period of time. Try to think of an in-person conference but in the virtual space with virtual attendees. The virtual summit offerings might include multiple speakers, product demos, session topics, workshops, and other ways to connect with both the presenters and attendees.Virtual summits can be useful for building brand awareness, lead retrieval, and for generating content with a long shelf-life.
Often times a virtual event will host a keynote address that promotes the main themes of the summit. An attendee can take in the keynote address as long as they register for the session. Depending on the goals of the virtual summit, you might think about hosting free sessions for the public, which could offer useful teasers promoting the value of the event. Virtual summits are a great way for diverse groups of people to connect over ideas, trends, and best practices!
Use Case Example: Global Women Empower Virtual Summit, which was held in October of last year, took to the virtual space to advocate their mission of advancing women’s lives and creating paths of change for women throughout the world. This virtual summit created a digital experience that enabled attendees to connect with others, collaborate, cultivate success, and inspire others long after the summit ended.
Virtual trade shows and expos are focused on showcasing products, services, or aspects of an industry with the goal of promoting new products, innovation, or collaboration. In a virtual setting, the trade show takes place in a way that is similar to physical trade shows or expos and each kiosk or trade booth can be organized within the virtual platform. The primary goal of a virtual trade show or expo is in creating an immersive virtual experience. You will lose a lot of the tactile engagement that can be found with an in-person trade show, so a virtual trade show or expo needs to still hold a lot of value, or attendees won’t consider attending. In order to generate excitement and value, an event organizer can market the virtual trade show by providing a first look at key industry products. That way, industry experts understand that this virtual trade show is no different from any physical event and is a leading industry event that they need to attend.
Use Case Example: The 2021 Digital Summit series uses in-person, virtual-only, and hybrid event styles to appeal to a broader audience. The Digital Summit series goes to different cities in North America to appeal to the local crowd while tapping into the interests in a range of industries. From B2B marketing to Creativity and Small Business Management, the Digital Summit series is capitalizing on topical issues while using the virtual event to promote these ideas. Virtual Workshops & Webinars Virtual workshops are virtual meetings that focus on providing smaller bites of content to potentially smaller audiences. Unlike a virtual conference or virtual summit, the virtual workshop is hosted in smaller time increments, such as a few hours, and the workshop is designed to promote one thing only. The workshop should allow attendees an interactive experience as they are there to learn from the presenters and engage with the information being shared. The goal of a digital event is to share knowledge. These workshops can be great from a marketing perspective as building brands, skill-building, and thought leadership.
Virtual workshops, like physical workshops, also offer a great form of continued education for working professionals. Similarly, a regular webinar series is a great way to keep interested customers engaged with a brand. While they do not encourage breakout sessions like workshops do, they can highlight select aspects of a brand’s products or industry to really break down concepts or insights.
Use Case Example: Like many schools, Dalhousie University's Norman Newman Centre for Entrepreneurship is presenting a professional development workshop series, hosting online workshops that engage students and attendees on issues like entrepreneurship, tackling climate change, pitching ideas, and boosting skills for artists. The workshop series explores a range of ideas and is available online at select times throughout the winter.
A virtual conference series is very similar to a virtual summit. As a large-scale event, a virtual conference series can span a few days or weeks and it hosts numerous presenters to provide their given expertise on a particular topic. Since the virtual conference spans a longer period of time, this allows more opportunities for participants to attend. Virtual conference series offer opportunities like ongoing audience engagement, the ability to collect valuable data on the attendees, and smart ways to repurpose content from other events. Use a virtual conference series as part of your brand’s marketing strategy. With an event of this style, you can not only provide value to attendees but also receive more content for bigger marketing campaigns.
Use Case Example: Microsoft’s Ignite will kick off on March 2, 2021, showcasing to new users the latest tools of the platform as well as Microsoft’s latest cloud technologies. Microsoft’s three-day conference style will allow people from all types of organizations, agencies, and the general public to interact with best practices and practical insights of the brand. Virtual Happy Hours Popular throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to digital work environments, virtual happy hours are a great way of connecting with colleagues, friends, and other working professionals. A virtual happy hour, which does not have to involve alcohol, can function as a regular meeting held between a group of individuals that want to connect over a shared experience but cannot do so in person. Virtual happy hours do not necessarily need to be about work, and in a time where virtual meetings are on the rise, you might encourage more people to attend if you did not talk about work. It can be a powerful team building exercise.Connect with small groups of people within the same network or simply gab with friends over a mocktail. Virtual happy hours are a great way to stay connected to those people you do not want to stay socially distant from!Use
Case Example: Women in Sports and Events (WISE) hosted a spattering of virtual happy hours in the fall of 2020. In June, the San Francisco chapter allowed attendees to come together for a few hours of merriment, which included casual discussions, breakouts, and their choice of mocktail or cocktail.
Virtual Lunch and LearnsA common mode of communication and knowledge sharing are lunch and learns. However, with more and more individuals taking advantage of remote workspaces, and businesses needing to switch to the virtual environment due to COVID-19, there is an increased need to keep some of the professional routines. Holding on to virtual lunch and learns, or virtual breakfasts for that matter is one way to stay connected, continue with professional development, and get good food in our bellies! Not only will these events promote you or your brand as an expert in a field, but you also show yourself as more sociable and adaptable.
Use Case Example: Hosted by Enterprise Nation, this lunch and learn will educate attendees on how to generate sales in 2021. To encourage attendees, the lunch and learn is actually hosted around dinner time, but it features key speaker Lynne Kennedy to provide experiential tips on sales tactics for a new year.
Hybrid events are another great way of allowing individuals the opportunity to attend an event online. However, contrary to the previous examples, hybrid events have both a physical event portion and a virtual event portion. Hybrid events have been allowed during the pandemic so long as events were following guidelines set out by the jurisdiction. By keeping the event in the hybrid format, event organizers were still able to host large-scale events and provide a ton of value, while also recognizing the seriousness of the pandemic. Hybrid events are a great fit into any marketing strategy as it offers flexibility to event attendees. Like virtual summits and virtual conferences, attendees can choose to attend any portion of the online event that works within their schedule. Hybrid events also allow individuals to connect in new and engaging ways, since some attendees are attending digitally while others are in person. Use this to your advantage to generate new discussions around your brand and the topics being promoted at the event.
Use Case Example: On March 26, We Can Code IT hosts its FlexCode Java Full-Stack Coding Bootcamp, allowing individuals to dive into coding at their own pace. The hybrid event is based out of Cleveland Ohio, U.S., and is a multi-week program. The program is prepared to move to digital if COVID-19 quarantines are required, allowing attendees a lot of flexibility. As these use cases demonstrate, virtual events can play a pivotal role in bringing new products to market, increasing brand awareness, supporting educational experiences, bringing communities together, or sourcing solutions for problems facing our society.If you are ready to use a virtual event to market or grow your brand and business, you need an agile platform like Accelevents to support your goals and create a valuable attendee experience. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you!