15 Virtual Event Ideas and Best Practices

Written by:
Chloe West

virtual event - header

While we’re all practicing social distancing and in-person events all over the world have been cancelled, many businesses are turning to virtual events to still spread the word and inform their customers.

Running a virtual event can be a great way to reach a large audience while still following social distancing best practices and government regulations.

To help you plan your virtual event and ensure it runs smoothly, we’ve put together a guide full of ideas and tips for your upcoming event.

 

What Is a Virtual Event?

A virtual event can be a conference, a live stream, or any type of event that takes place online. The key word is that the event is fully online.

These can be incredibly powerful as they vastly increase the number of people who can attend. Remote attendees are able to join from all around the world. You’ll also have access to top-tier presenters who can easily participate from home.

Even if you plan to charge for this event, people are more likely to invest because they won’t also have to worry about paying for travel and lodging. 

And with so many remote tools available, it’s never been easier to create, promote and host a virtual event.

 

Ideas For Your Next Virtual Event

Or these could be ideas for your first virtual event. Whatever the case, let’s start planning!

Here are four quality virtual event ideas that have proven successful for others and could be a great idea for you to take advantage of.

Online Conference

An online conference, summit or whatever else you want to call it can be a great way to educate your audience from afar. 

You can create different sessions throughout various times of the day for virtual event attendees to pick and choose from, just like during a regular, in-person conference. Just choose the best virtual conference platform for your needs and start planning.

Here’s one great example of an online conference put on by Neil Patel. His Content Marketing Virtual Summit had various one-hour sessions and attendees had access to the itinerary beforehand so they could listen in on the topics of their choice.

virtual event - online conference example

Another way to create and host an online conference is the way the Global Growth Marketing Virtual Summit did it, by offering the conference content on demand as soon as attendees purchase their ticket.

virtual event - online conference example

Webinar

A webinar is a shorter online event, but can still be a great way to get the word out there about your business or launch and inform or educate your audience.

Webinars are like online presentations where the host speaks overtop a slideshow for a live, virtual audience.

Many times webinars will even have live chats for the host or speaker to answer questions in real time while the virtual event is going on.

Visme hosts weekly webinars to demonstrate how to get the most out of our tool, so these types of virtual events can be used in all kinds of ways.

virtual event - webinar example

Online Workshop

While hands-on workshops where you walk students through how to do something and end each workshop with a completed project are often done in person, this can absolutely be turned into a virtual event as well.

Whether you’re showing your students and attendees how to create an ad, a content strategy, a presentation or something else altogether, you can host one of these online by streaming a presentation or video of yourself.

There are several different types of online workshops you can put together as well, each valuable to your audience.

Live Stream

You can also host a live stream on social media or another live streaming platform as your virtual event. This is a great way to host a virtual event on a budget as well, because you can use an already established platform to share your content.

Just post an announcement on the platform you plan to host your event on to let your audience know that you’ll be hosting an online event.

Take a page out of Visme’s book with our launch party of Visme Unleashed, where we went live on Facebook to share the news.

virtual event - live stream example

 

Virtual Event Tips and Best Practices

You want your virtual event to go smoothly, right? Take notes from these virtual event tips and best practices to ensure you create the best possible experience for your attendees.

 

Create a plan for your virtual event.

First things first, you have to create a plan for the event you plan to put on. How big do you want to make it? What type of event will you hold? How will people register, and will there be a cost for attendees? If so, what will the cost be?

These are all important things to determine before you make it any further in your virtual event idea, and you can customize a plan template like the one below to help you put together your virtual event ideas.

virtual event - event plan template
Customize this event plan template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Find top-notch presenters.

Want to really make your virtual event one to remember? Make sure you research the best and most well-known experts in your industry and reach out to see if they’re interested in becoming speakers or presenters.

You can create an infographic or document explaining your upcoming virtual event to potential speakers and send it out to the people you hope to recruit.

One Visme user created an infographic to share the details of his virtual summit with speakers and was able to generate a 70% closing rate for speakers who agreed to participate. Take a look at his infographic below.

virtual event - speaker outreach infographic
Create your own infographic today!Try It For Free

Get event sponsors.

To help with promotion and generate some capital for your event, reach out to various sponsors to see if they want to partner with you for your virtual event.

You can put together an event pitch deck or customize the one below to let potential sponsors know about your event and how many attendees you expect, what speakers will be participating and more.

virtual event - pitch deck template
Customize this event pitch deck template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Promote your event.

Time to put together another plan – your promotional or marketing plan. And you can easily do so with the social media marketing plan template below.

virtual event - promotional plan template
Customize this promotional plan template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Find the right channels to promote your virtual event and be sure to create promotional graphics to share across the board.

Use testimonials to share social proof and give your business and event credibility, especially if this isn’t the first one you’ve hosted.

 

Live tweet your event.

If you’re putting on a major, multi-day online conference, be sure to live tweet quotes from the speakers throughout.

One great way to prepare for this is make sure you have your speakers’ scripts beforehand so you can create your graphics before the event and be ready to share them after each quote is spoken.

You can customize social media quote templates like the one below to share with your followers and get them interested in learning more about joining the rest of the event or making plans for the next one.

virtual event - quote template for sharing expert quotes
Customize this quote graphic template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Share informational tidbits on social media.

You can also share informational tidbits from the online event on other platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram Stories.

Put together some of the top lessons from each speaker to share on your Instagram Stories with an animated template like the one below.

virtual event - instagram stories template
Customize this Instagram stories template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Be sure to use the same look and feel (or just your company’s branding!) for each one of your slides so they match and create a cohesive story.

 

Present slides online.

This can work for pretty much any type of virtual event you plan to create. Having your information packed into a presentation deck can help you to more easily teach and your attendees to more easily learn.

You can choose one of our beautiful, professionally designed presentation templates to customize for your event, like the one below.

virtual event - presentation template
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Or you can take advantage of one of our three presentation themes with hundreds of available slide layouts to choose from and customize.

virtual event - presentation theme
Explore Visme's presentation themes for your next event!Browse Now

We have three theme options available: Modern, Simple or Creative.

 

Provide event access year-round.

While you work on next year’s event (if you’re hosting an annual virtual event), offer access to past events year-round so that potential attendees can get a glimpse of what they could expect from your next event.

This is a great promotional opportunity as you have tons of content currently available, teasing the awesomeness that people could expect from your next event.

 

Provide different levels of access.

Offer some portions of your event completely for free while charging for some of the more premium parts of the event.

For example, you could live stream some parts of your virtual event for free, while charging for premium access to some of the other, more exclusive sessions.

You can create a pricing table or customize the one below to let your attendees know what comes with each level of access.

virtual event - pricing table template
Customize this pricing table template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Test your software and tech beforehand.

The last thing you want is to have a major tech malfunction during your large-scale virtual event. 

Keep someone on hand for troubleshooting at all times and be sure your team has done plenty of test runs before the big day.

Use software that you know well to host your event, and if your event is large enough, consider reaching out to their teams to see if someone can assist in ensuring you’ll have no technical difficulties.

 

Make your event as accessible as possible.

You want to help ensure your event is as accessible to any possible attendee, and the best way to do that is to make sure you incorporate features that allow visual- and hearing-impaired attendees can also consume your content.

Add captions to your speakers’ videos when you can, especially if they’re recording ahead of time. Make sure that your presentation slides have large enough font in them that no one will be straining to read.

Consider what other elements of accessibility you could add into your event to ensure every attendee has a great time.

 

Create a hashtag for your virtual event.

Get your attendees talking about the event online by creating a hashtag they can include in social media posts.

Encourage attendees to share information they learn on their own social channels. You can also create a library of social media graphics that match your event or company branding and give your attendees access to customize or share them.

 

Start Planning Your Virtual Event Today

Ready to start putting together a virtual event that will keep everyone safe while also promoting your business and educating your audience? Let’s get to it!

Sign up for Visme to create your presentation slides, promotional graphics, event plan and all other visual aids you’ll need to get your virtual event up and running.

SPEAK LOUDLY. SPEAK VISUALLY.

65% of the population are visual learners

Create, share and download beautiful visuals with the world’s most versatile and powerful visual communication tool.

Create Your Design. Sign Up Free
 
We’re stingy and don’t share emails with anyone.

About the Author

Chloe West is the content marketing manager at Visme. Her experience in digital marketing includes everything from social media, blogging, email marketing to graphic design, strategy creation and implementation, and more. During her spare time, she enjoys exploring her home city of Charleston with her son.

One response to “15 Virtual Event Ideas and Best Practices”

  1. Grant says:

    We work with a lot of different venues in NYC (We are an event industry planner) and we are starting to plan a lot of virtual events for clients. We find it’s critical to create hype around the event event though it’s virtual. No one ever wants to go to a dull party!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Create Graphics That Convert

Want to create stunning visual content that converts better? Start creating engaging content within minutes with our easy drag-and-drop software. Access 100+ beautiful templates, 100+ free fonts and millions of images and icons right now.

Now Available: Become a Certified Presentation Expert for FreeTake the Course
Now Available: Become a Certified Presentation Expert for FreeTake the Course