The events industry has certainly come a long way since the pandemic was at its peak. 2020 saw the closure of many different venues all over the world.
The future of the industry seemed to hang in the balance. What would become of face-to-face events? How could we possibly even recover? Will in-person meetings become a thing of the past?
Almost miraculously, the events industry found ways to bounce back. Hosts, organisers, promoters, planners — many have come together to hold different types of events.
Soon, there was an uptick in event formats, like hybrid, networking, or virtual events. Many organisations are hoping to cash in on the renewed industry boom.
And, if you want in on the secret, you have to have the right ingredients. Staging different types of events is no easy feat. But it all starts with knowing your goals and objectives.
Here, we discuss the different types of events and what distinguishes each one. Let's get right to it.
A conference is a gathering or meeting of several people to discuss a particular subject matter. In the events industry, conferences are often large in scale. They feature guests and experts from all over the world, sharing insights with an audience.
Industry conferences are corporate events featuring exhibitions, round tables, breakrooms, catering, performances, etc. The goal of a conference varies, depending on the host's or organiser's intentions.
For example, a conference may celebrate the launch of a product or service. Or it could discuss business-related matters, such as a merger or restructuring.
Conferences are often held in person or hybrid. In-person conferences are done in large venues, like conference rooms or exhibition centres. Meanwhile, virtual conferences are done remotely, often with the help of an event management platform.
2. Trade Shows
Trade shows are held to celebrate a new product launch or showcase new technologies. Trade shows are often likened to expos or expositions. These events feature a central theme which ties trade booths together.
For example, an auto trade show may bring car enthusiasts and automotive companies together in an exhibition centre. Attendees will have tons of opportunities to network with one another and form professional relationships.
Trade shows are much more effective when done in person than virtually. One primary reason is that trade shows are meant to be hands-on and engaging.
So, hold a trade show if you're looking to boost your brand recognition or give more exposure to a newly-designed product.
Additionally, they're a great way for customers to learn about your business. Trade shows open up lead generation opportunities and other benefits.
If you're familiar with seminars, then webinars are no stranger. As the name suggests, webinars are online events designed to teach a select group of audience. They can either be pre-recorded or live events that feature informational or educational material.
Many event planners choose to hold webinars for free. Likewise, they can also cover a broad range of subjects, such as politics, event marketing, management, etc. — anything you can think of under the sun.
Unlike conferences, which feature industry experts and professionals, webinars feature regular folk interested in learning about a topic or developing new skills.
Hosting a successful webinar all boils down to the quality of your content and how well you engage your audience.
Be mindful of your sounds, visuals, and other technical event aspects. Use an event management platform to help you track your webinar's metrics or gather audience feedback.
4. Field Marketing
Out of the event types mentioned in the list, field marketing focuses primarily on experiential marketing.
An experiential marketing strategy involves direct engagement between customer and brand. Instead of overtly advertising products and services to the customer, experiential marketing is more subtle but involved.
For example, during the FIFA World Cup in Zurich, Coca-Cola set up a VR (Virtual Reality) instalment in front of a train station. Passers-by who wore the VR headset were treated to the opportunity of a lifetime — performing football tricks with a hologram of a world-famous athlete.
Field marketing events are more intentional. They aim to form and strengthen the bond between brand and consumer through lived experiences.
Similar to a trade show, field marketing is best done off-site. As an organiser, you must choose a location frequented by your prospects or target audience. These event types often lead to sales and opportunities for brand collaboration.
5. Product Launches
Say you're launching a new product in the market. What's the best way to market it? Is it by creating social media ads? Designing a new homepage banner on your website?
Most would argue that the most effective product marketing tactic is through a product launch event.
Product launches, field marketing, and trade shows — these event types often go hand-in-hand. For example, a company can take advantage of field marketing events to showcase an instant scratch remover or celebrate the launch of a new gadget.
Organisations must consider ways to keep the audience engaged and valued when planning product launches. For example, you can introduce your product and offer freebies simultaneously.
Workshops and webinars are often confused together due to their similarities. Both effectively communicate new ideas, skills, and information before an audience. Workshops and webinars can also be pre-recorded or live events.
However, the similarities end there. Workshops generally focus on teaching specific skills and techniques for a particular industry.
Organisers can hold workshops virtually or in person. Some examples of workshops include theatre classes, using image editing software, or a workshop for coding. In a workshop, the audience is considered "students", while the host or organiser is an expert who will facilitate the session.
7. Team Building
Team building events feature a group of people, usually company employees, participating in various activities. The event's goal is to encourage employees to communicate and work with one another towards a common objective.
For example, a business may hold team building events requiring participants to solve puzzles or escape rooms. Team building activities can also be less casual - employees will be given a real-world business situation and have to devise strategies to address it.
These types of events were popular before the pandemic, but virtual activities slowly replaced them. Instead of going to a location on-site, companies opted to hold a virtual team building, which includes seminars, presentations, games, etc.
8. Sales Kickoffs
Businesses hold internal sales kickoff events to showcase a new strategy and engage with their sales teams. These types of events are usually scheduled at the start of the business's fiscal year and will feature different activities:
- Live performances
- Breakout sessions
- Keynote speeches
Businesses will often invite other stakeholders and partners to join their sales kickoffs. If they wish, they may also provide event sponsorship services. Not only does it help strengthen their professional relationship, but it also makes the event worthwhile for the attendees.
9. Private Events
Private events is an umbrella term referring to networking events, summits, board meetings, departmental conferences, and other corporate events. Event planners can hold these event types in person, hybrid, or virtually.
Any successful private event focuses on providing the most value for key shareholders, customers, and other esteemed guests. The goal is to ultimately drive revenue generation by maintaining loyalty to these critical corporate figures.
If you're planning to hold a private event, use a dedicated event management platform. You'll have access to several features that can help track event KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
Also, event management software ensures the event remains confidential and private - away from your competitors' prying eyes and ears.
10. Fundraising Events
Fundraising events aim to raise awareness and generate money for an organisation (usually not-for-profit). Almost all event types can be transformed into a fundraiser if there is an opportunity to raise money.
The success of any fundraiser hinges on the goodwill of the donors, partners, and volunteers. But instead of making a simple cash donation, participants will have a chance to engage with one another.
For example, you can plan an autism awareness fundraiser featuring live performances from people with special needs. The proceeds will then go to a foundation or a charitable event of your nomination.
Exhibitions are an all-too-familiar sight in the events industry. These events can come in multiple formats. The idea is to showcase a collection of objects, items, artwork, etc.
Exhibitions are often held in person in select venues like galleries, convention centres, shopping malls, gyms, etc.
But, virtual exhibitions are also on the rise. Organisers can set them up on an event management platform and customise them as needed to remain consistent with the theme and branding.
Conclusion About Types Of Events
With so many different types of events, it can be overwhelming to choose the best one. Event marketing is not a one-size-fits-all strategy.
Ultimately, organisers must have a clear understanding of event goals and objectives. Do you need to raise funds for a cause? A fundraiser would be a good fit. Do you need to have a company-wide discussion on a new business partnership? Conferences or sales kickoffs may do the trick.
Whatever event you're planning, using the right event management system is key to success. What are you waiting for? Try a free demo of EventX now! From seminars to career fairs, and more, we've got just the technology to hold awe-inspiring events for your audience.
Frequently Asked Questions About Types Of Events
What Is A Major Event?
A major event is any function with at least 200 or more attendees. Some examples of major events include:
- Corporate dinners
- Exhibition shows
- Music festivals
How Do You Plan An Event?
Event planning can be overwhelming. There's a multitude of factors to consider, not to mention the financial aspect. But here's a simple checklist that can guide you:
- Establish your event goals and objectives
- Determine an event type
- Work with a team
- Set a date and venue
- Market your event
- Plan the flow of the program
- Secure sponsors, guests, speakers, exhibitors, etc
- Use the right event management platform
- Gather feedback and measure the event's success.
What Is A Social Event?
A social event refers to any social gathering of a group of people. Social events can be parties, functions, galas, contests, etc.
What Are The Key Pillars Of Event Management?
Event management is the art of planning, creating, and maintaining an event. It has seven key pillars or foundations, namely:
- Event platform