Wanting to plan a corporate event but not sure how? Well, let us share with you 10 of the best virtual event ideas you should have during this season!
As many of you may know, 2020 is the year where many things had to change, especially the part where social gatherings are cut to a minimum. This came especially hard on the events industry where all events have to come to a stop, be it weddings, functions or even wakes. However, this does not stop the event planners from planning their events. They have found different ways to connect with their audience, one of the ways is moving to the virtual world. Many blog writers are constantly typing out different virtual event slang and virtual event glossary, this way many audiences can keep up with the latest buzz words going around and they won’t be left out of the loop.
One main finding from all these virtual events is the importance of your engagement with your audience. Many of you must have heard of the show called TED talk, this show has inspired and even educated many people however, did you know that the length of a TED talk is only 18 minutes, regardless of who the speaker is.
One of the curators at TED talk explained a simple rule called the 18-minute rule, where 18 minutes is long enough to be serious but also short enough to hold your audience’s attention. And apparently, the length also works as incredible as it is offline, with your online groups. That’s why one mistake many people make while planning an event, is employing an A-list celebrity or a troop of performers.
There is such action as trying way too hard to be entertaining to your audience, a way to avoid it is, to just simply build up a buzz before your event, engage with your audience during the event itself, and then, just leaving them happy that they joined your event.
Creating an event hashtag
Many may ask just how do you create buzz for your event and attract people to join? Well, one simple way is by creating an event hashtag where you can use it on social media and encourage your participants to do it as well. By doing this you will start creating a searchable group for your event where you can disseminate information and create interest among the group. On top of that, the hashtags you create would also serve as an advertisement for your event across all your social media platforms.
When it comes to hashtags, the top 2 social media platforms people would think of will be Instagram and Twitter. However, little do you know hashtags also work on Facebook! Sure the results would not be as good compared to the other 2 platforms and it also does not work the same way as they do but hashtags on Facebook are searchable. You just got to create an awareness of it and spread the news regarding your event and the hashtag.
As for our fellow corporate friends, you can ask your colleagues to help share and spread the information of your online event or even just share the hashtag to their friends and family or even ask them to share it on their social media platforms. This way it will help to create a bigger buzz for your event and many more people would start to know about it.
Send out event swag bags
Besides creating an event hashtag, another way to create buzz is where you can send out swag bags to your participants. Swag bags commonly contain items that are relevant to your event, it can include Corporate gifts, customized items or a mixture of them. One example would be sending out a customized bidders’ paddle if your event were to include a charity auction, this way it will add a little fun, excitement, and realism to the auction for your participants.
Other examples would be when there are breakout rooms with entertainment, which might require some relevant and hands-on items like wine for wine tasting, clue cards for a mystery game, or even a yoga mat for exercises that would be happening during the event.
An idea for our corporate businesses that are doing an online event, you can tie in Corporate gifts to your event hashtag. You can send out customized t-shirts with the company’s logo, customized socks, power banks, water bottles or even journals and notebooks. With that, you can ask your participants to share a picture or video of the items they have received and of course sharing it on their social media pages with your event hashtag.
By doing that, you are now building interest and creating buzz for your event and your participants are also helping you to create brand awareness across the virtual world.
Virtual gift bags
What’s the difference between a swag bag and a virtual gift bag one may ask. Well, virtual gift bags are less effective however they are friendly to your pocket as they are certainly cheaper compared to swag bags. If you are on a tight budget but would still like to present your participants with some gifts, then getting virtual gift bags is the way to go. They are also very helpful when you have limited time where you are not able to mail out your swag bags in time or you have too many participants to hand out your items to.
Virtual gift bags can include many different things, a few ideas of what to include in them would be gifts cards, food delivery vouchers, e-books, virtual lessons, subscriptions or even memberships. Items that can be useful and intangible could be added to your virtual gift bags for your participants.
Use breakout room
There are many different ways of engaging your participants and gaining their interest and attention for your event. One way is by using breakout rooms, where they help to tailor specific engagement experiences for the participants during the event. These breakout rooms can be a meaningful part of the event where the participants are able to enjoy the fun entertaining line ups planned for them. But of course, if you are planning to have a breakout room/session, you would need to have a facilitator to ensure the group engagement and also keep the breakout groups small so it would be easier for people to mingle as well as allowing the facilitator to manage the group with no problem.
Many people might have faced this type of problem before especially in the corporate world, where we struggled to collect information during physical events, however now with the planning of virtual events being at the tip of our fingers we can simply change that.
By using polling apps, we can now easily ask our participants questions in real-time during the presentation as the event is happening and if you like, you can get your answer instantly as it can become a part of your presentation where you engage your participants in answering your questions. By doing so, you will keep your participants engaged while being able to collect the necessary information along with valuable feedback.
What is gamification many may ask, well let me explain it to you? Gamification simply means the usage of game design elements in a non-game context or in another saying, it is simply wherein every job there will always be an element of fun in it. And once you find the fun, your job will become like a game to you.
So when corporate companies or anyone is doing an event it would be best to include game elements into it, like leader boards, point systems, rewards programs, prizes, and many more. It can be a powerful motivational and engaging tool. However, you have to ensure that you set a goal for the outcome you would like to achieve. This way your gamification will not become a distraction to you during the event instead.
Incorporate a good cause
This year has not been nice to anyone, the health crisis being faced is global, charities, zoos and the arts. By wanting to incorporate charitable actions into your events you will be allowing your participants to feel good and be more engaged during the event.
It would be best to ask for corporate donations and hold a charity auction, event hosts can also allow charities or non-profit organizations to have a free virtual booth at your event. You can also allow your local businesses to have a live stream during your event to promote their business and create awareness about their brand.
And of course, you can also combine your good cause with gamification where to build interest in the event you would need to ask your participants to raise money for a good cause prior to the event. By having a leader board and a set goal, you can then provide an award ceremony during the event for the participant who raised the most money. By doing that, you are not only doing a good deed but also engaging and appreciating your participants’ pro-activeness during your event.
Offer sponsorship packages
There are many different ways of sponsoring an event, from sponsoring swag bags to sponsoring event entertainments there are plenty to offer especially at a virtual event. Corporate businesses can sponsor virtual events starting with just selling banners and pop-up spaces and even to having branded breakout rooms for the participants.
Sponsors can also be featured in the introduction of the event or even be shown on a full-screen break advertisement during the event. By doing so, you are creating awareness of your business to potential customers and on top of that by offering sponsorship hosting sessions, along with a Q&A section it will allow the sponsors to interact with the participants or even better have a 1 to 1 appointment which will allow better engagement and interaction.
During an event, entertainment is the key factor in attracting and engaging your participants. Be it a breakout room or a happy hour at the end of your event, it is always important to hire a professional entertainer. Whether it is a comedian, a karaoke session, wine tasting, or even a live performance from an artist, these acts will definitely leave a lasting impression on your participants.
For corporate events, airbrush events can be virtual entertainment for their participants. Where, as you are engaging and interacting with your participants, you can also paint them a corporate gift. This form of unique branding will certainly draw in the attention of your participants and even future potential audiences. On top of that with the Corporate gift designed during the event, they will be posted and mailed to your participants after the event and by doing so, you are ensuring to continue to spread your brand.
Planning and running a virtual corporate event has definitely cost a lot of time, money, and effort, but how was the end result of it? Did your participants enjoy the event? Was the information given to them during the event useful and eye-opening? What was their favorite part during the event and is there anything that they would like to see an improvement in if there is a future event?
While the memories of the event are still fresh in their minds, you should send out a post-event survey with the questions above. Of course, you can also add in other relevant questions that fit your survey, and with the results of the survey, it will allow your next event to be even better than the last one.
To sum it all up, when you are planning an event be it on a personal level or corporate level it is important to always remember these steps in order to allow your participants to enjoy your event and wanting them to come back for more. Event planners would always need to remember the importance of audience engagement and interaction in order for a successful event, and the lasting impression is imprinted on their audiences, in order for a much more successful event in the future.