Whether or not our eyes can take more of it, virtual events are here to stay. In fact, the global event industry may not fully return to ‘normal’ until at least 2023. This poses a specific dilemma for B2B marketers in Asia who may already be running out of ideas on how to promote their products to more clients.
After all, what better way to network and build rapport with other businesses than through in-person events and gatherings, right? But as Asia’s leading virtual event platform, we’re here to tell you about the many ways you can effectively make use of the virtual format to your advantage.
As we near the coming of another year, we want you to stay ahead of the game. And so, we handpicked 10 of the best virtual event ideas you can use to create more exciting and engaging virtual experiences for your customers. Bonus! We’ve indicated ideal company types and industries for each one— you’re welcome.1. Sales Team-led Virtual Events
Best applied by: E-commerce / consumer-driven B2B companies
First off, let’s get to the bottom of your event content and how you can drastically improve it. The simple answer is to get your sales team to give as much input as they can. Because if they’re not being hands-on in your event planning, then your event is missing out on some really valuable features.
How do you ask? Well, think about it, sales teams and/or representatives are usually the people who interact with customers and vendors to find out how a company can serve them better. Their job largely includes identifying customer and audience pain points that need to be addressed. Therefore, your sales team can be of great help in generating the most in-demand event topics and activities for your attendees.
This could make all the difference in event registration, flow, and overall success. On top of it all, they would be the best people to collate valuable post-event feedback from customers. Take it from us when we say: don’t miss out on all the benefits their department can bring to your event.2. Magazine Show Content Format
Best applied by: Media and education-related businesses or companies relying heavily on content to sell their services
Any event organizer can learn from magazine shows’ very effective way of informing viewers while keeping them hooked to a program. If the term seems new to you, a magazine show is a “television program that presents a variety of topics, usually on current events, in a format that often includes interviews and commentary.” In short, it’s basically the format of most entertainment, news, and documentaries these days.
To keep your guests tuned in, try modeling your event program or presentations to that of a magazine show. Space out talks and panel discussions with multimedia presentations, segments filled with powerful story-telling, and maybe even live interviews or Q&As with your virtual audience. All in all, just do your best to make sure there’s never a dull moment and your event will most likely be a HIT.
3. Convention-style Virtual Events Via Breakout Rooms
Best applied by: Established B2B companies expecting many clients/ attendees
A survey found that “67% of virtual event attendees report that having opportunities to participate and interact with the speakers and other attendees makes them more inclined to stay, listen, and engage.” This in mind, gives your attendees more reasons to stay by offering a selection of activities using breakout room options of your event platform.
Treat your event like a convention where people can jump from one interesting activity to another. One room can be used purely for networking with other attendees, while in another you can hold a special talk, in others you can even host games, auctions, film viewings and whatnot. Lastly, assign different hosts or moderators for each room to welcome guests and lead them into the room’s agenda.
4. Ted Talk-inspired Video Conferences
Best applied by: B2B startups offering innovative and unconventional products and services
TED talks are genius. They’re usually only around 10-18 minutes long but still manage to pack a punch on live audiences and remote viewers alike. Aside from the crowds of people willing to line up just to see a live talk, most of their recordings also garner millions of views. Their secret? TED curator, Chris Anderson, explains in the following paragraph lifted from Ted Talks:
“It [18 minutes] is long enough to be serious and short enough to hold people’s attention. It turns out that this length also works incredibly well online. It’s the length of a coffee break. So, you watch a great talk and forward the link to two or three people. It can go viral very easily. “
Now that you know this, why not produce Ted Talk-inspired segments in your event? Invite popular thought leaders and have them prepare speeches on subjects they’re passionate about. Make sure they’re as impactful, inspiring and straight to the point as these bite-sized monologues.
Also, consider recording it and uploading it on your company’s social media platforms for post-event promotions. Who knows? Your virtual event might go viral too.
5. Live Product Launch
Best applied by: Tech and SaaS companies, which regularly release new versions of gadgets and software
Admit it, home shopping channels are quite entertaining to tune into. This in mind, when launching a new product or service, live product launches are a surefire way to generate some buzz. After all, it is your job as a B2B marketer to get customers excited about your offerings.
Build hype around your product by highlighting its useful and innovative features. Avoid getting too technical about it, but rather, emphasize how your product or service is going to solve your customers’ pain points and ultimately, make their lives easier. You may opt to do a public livestream or invite prospects to an exclusive virtual product launch for added intrigue.
6. AR/VR Simulated Events
Best applied by: High-end B2B brands with a focus on setting new market trends
Virtual reality is the next generation of virtual event solutions. It’s the closest thing to mimicking the personal touch of in-person events minus the hassle of logistics. Best of all, you don’t have to spend a ton of money on VR equipment; top event platforms can help you create the virtual event environment of your dreams that are easily accessible via common smart gadgets.
Say goodbye to ordinary video conferences and hello to futuristic, highly interactive, and state-of-the-art online events. Imagine how exciting it would be to participate in an event where you could ‘walk’ around a uniquely designed venue, customize an avatar that resembles yourself, and sit side by side with other attendees. 10/10 would attend!
7. Gamified and Team-spirit Focused Events
Best applied by: B2B companies looking to ramp up team-building efforts
Adding a game or two to your event’s programme can instantly ramp up attendee engagement and interactions. Who doesn’t love the thrill of competitions and the promise of a reward, right? Encourage teamwork and a sense of community with the right games and activities in your agenda.
For virtual game ideas, consider the following:
- Spin the Wheel & Raffles
Create a multi-colored wheel like the ones you see in-game shows, then fill it with exciting rewards for your participants. You can give out vouchers, exclusive merchandise, or better yet some cash prizes. If you don’t feel like getting crafty, you can opt for a simple (but equally thrilling!) raffle game where you could still give away prizes to lucky registered participants.
- Virtual escape rooms
Promote team spirit by transforming virtual breakout rooms into “escape rooms” where designated members are given a series of puzzles to solve and missions to accomplish for a time limit. First team to finish or “escape” gets the top prize, of course. This game will be great for team-building efforts within your business.
- Trivia games
This one’s the easiest to pull off and you can go about it any way you like, opting for a solo or group game. Just come up with the right questions to ask your attendees. It can be topics of common knowledge, or within your specific field. Someone may ‘raise their hand’ or unmute and if they’re right, they get a prize—or maybe just some bragging rights.
- Scavenger Hunt
Encourage participants to explore (and appreciate) your event platform by organizing a virtual scavenger hunt. Integrate image clues, pop-ups, and even word puzzles across your platform, and whoever ticks off all the things to look for wins.
8. Roundtable Discussions
Best applied by: Budding B2B companies who want to establish industry authority
Ever thought about having a smaller virtual event? Roundtable discussions are a common event type U.K. marketers use where everyone can have a fair share of screen time. And since there are fewer guests, it also allows for more intimate and meaningful interactions.
You don’t even have to hire a host; probably just a moderator to keep the agenda organized. Consider inviting a mixture of industry experts and customers. The former can talk and inform the latter about a particular subject then, your customers can share their insights on it and so on.
For example, a coffee solutions company invites several coffee connoisseurs to discuss with cafe owners the ideal factors they look for in a coffee shop. The information these coffee enthusiasts will relay to cafe owners would surely benefit their business and they will be grateful to the coffee solutions company for organizing such a valuable event.
9. Online Gatherings
Best applied by: Businesses in the manufacturing sector planning whole day virtual conferences with big shot clients
If you literally want to go the extra mile and wow your attendees, you can never go wrong with sending them some event merchandise, catered meals or lunch vouchers from a reputable restaurant and other event collateral. This could just be the best among the best of ideas yet—I mean, who wouldn’t want to be at the receiving end of so many goodies?
Using surplus funds, you can even go so far as to deliver gift baskets and special welcome drinks for a superb impression on VIP clients. This way, even though your event can’t be in a fancy venue, you can still bring the grandeur of the program to your participants. What a great way to elevate your event!
10. Wellness-centered Virtual Sessions
Best applied by: Companies’ cultural and team-building activities
Help your attendees combat “zoom fatigue” by keeping their well-being in mind as you plan your event. Before starting the virtual event, you can prep participants with some stretches or breathing exercises. You may lead this yourself, play a demonstration video or even hire a wellness coach for an added wow factor.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the optimal attention span of an audience (or the average time humans can stay engaged in a talk) is only around 20 minutes. That said, we also suggest squeezing in as many breaks or breathers in your program. Give your customers and business partners time to grab a bite, take a pee break, or look out the window.
Then again, if you’ve already hired a wellness coach, they can also guide your participants in some quick meditation sessions. Moments of mindfulness could really help refresh your audience’s presence of mind as they go about your event. Set yourself apart from other B2B event organizers by helping them destress after a series of activities
Interested in our solution?
You may want to have a chat with our event consultant.