How Does A Virtual Event Work?

Side view of woman at desk looking down writing in notebook in front of laptop with phone in stand and ring light onFor a successful, high-impact virtual event, you’re going to have to put in some time planning and organizing. In fact, you’re going to want to treat it the same way you would any other in-person event. But don’t let that weigh you down. With video conferencing solutions at your fingertips, plus all the features you need to engage, present and create dynamic meetings, you can pull off a successful virtual event painlessly.

A virtual event is a gathering that takes place online. It’s where a group, community or audience comes together to communicate and share an experience. It could be social, or business-oriented. Perhaps it’s a conference, or maybe it’s a mixture of virtual now and in-person at a later date. Either way, an event should evoke a sense of networking and community. After all, it draws like-minded people to bond and chat over similar topics.

With a virtual event, you can bring audiences together while marketing your company’s product or service. It’s a win-win solution!

So how does a virtual event work? Launching one that successfully positions your product or service in a good light, makes your audience feel welcome and provides an opportunity for networking or connection, all starts with reliable digital tools.

Hardware Requirements: It’s best to use a device that has a big enough screen to keep tabs open. A smartphone is appropriate if you’re an attendee, but as the host, it’s advisable to use a laptop or desktop. Ensure you have a mic, camera and speakers either internally on your device or you can upgrade externally.

Software Requirements: You will need a video conferencing tool that is easy to use, intuitive and doesn’t require equipment or a complicated set up.

After you’ve got your tools ready, depending on the type of virtual event you’re hosting, you’ll have to market and advertise to get attendees. You can try:

  • Reaching out across social media
  • Sending out an email blast to your contacts
  • Hosting Facebook Live events to generate awareness
  • Creating paid content

Expecting a good turn out? Then don’t forget the power of good marketing. If your message isn’t targeted and promoted, you run the risk of poor attendance. Once you’re able to reach your intended audience, then you have to provide exciting and engaging content. Content is king, after all!

View of woman through ring light, presenting to camera on device, posing against blank wallWhat do you have planned? Think about some activities you want to include in the layout of your event like special guests, presenters, motivational speeches, meditation, gamification, contests, videos, etc.

Since attendees won’t be taking up physical space, it’s up to you to formulate how you want to set up your virtual space. Decide how much interaction is feasible or how forward-facing you will be. Will there be a Q&A session or polls? How about presentations, keynote speakers, chat rooms, and breakout rooms or other ways to interact? Depending on the type of virtual event you have in mind, your structure will take shape to support what you want to say and how you want to say it.

There are 4 main types of virtual events that include:

  1. Webinars
    Used to hold attention for approximately an hour to two hours, a webinar provides the opportunity for attendees from around the world to join in and soak up the content of the presenters. Webinar-focused virtual events are educational, tend to be a one-off and are usually well-attended as they are niche and informative. They can be pre-recorded or live, and are perfect for internal and external training.
  2. Virtual Conferences
    With a focus on live events, a virtual conference is more dynamic. It’s what a normal conference would be except hosted online. They include multi-session content (break out rooms, sessions, presentations and speakers all happening simultaneously) where the attendee can build their own itinerary and watch live now or watch recorded content later.
  3. Internal Hybrid Events
    These events are part in-person and part virtual. For example, it’s not advisable to send the whole team to headquarters, but a few can be selected to go, while the others tune in virtually. This type of virtual event works for companies who want to gather employees across different countries, continents and offices. Perfect for product launches, company socials, business development, upskilling, new recruit orientation, etc.
  4. External Hybrid Events
    For those outside the organization, an external hybrid event allows those who are unable to travel to the event to still attend virtually. These events can be user or industry conferences or “discovery days” for franchises, for example. They also require much more planning, production and finessing.

If you want your virtual event to be set up for success, include the following must-have components:

  • Event website with clear and detailed info
  • Event registration and confirmation emails
  • Live presentation content (speakers, special guests, presentation, etc.)
  • Live, one-way audio video
  • Q&A time
  • Chatbox interaction
  • Recorded content
  • Feedback surveys

Smiling woman at home seated on floor, writing in notebook while interacting with device attached to ring lightHere are a few Do’s and Don’ts for hosting a virtual event that gets you a high attendance, and makes attendees feel like their time is well-spent:

Don’t Lose Your Audience
Maintain a dynamic flow by keeping your audience engaged. Ask questions, and get answers in the chat box. Draw people in by using short bullets on slides while speaking through your presentation. Incorporate engaging visuals and use virtual lounges to encourage networking and collaboration.

Don’t Narrow Your Impact
Public or private, ensure you take the necessary steps to create additional content from the event itself. This could be behind the scenes footage, clips of presenters, or a highlight reel that lives on social media.

Do Choose To Partner With the Right Platform
Know the kinds of video conferencing features you want to include and which one is the most user-friendly, intuitive and pain free technology to use so you can communicate clearly and effectively. Look for screen sharing and live streaming to YouTube capabilities, for example.

Let FreeConference.com help you design a virtual event that gets you noticed. Get your brand out there with a free video conferencing solution to provide your product the exposure you’re looking for. Use the wide range of tools and features to enhance your offering while presenting a dynamic message.

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