Getting Started with Virtual Events

What is a Virtual Event?

Simply put, virtual events are gatherings that occur online. As varied as the traditional events they supplement, these events bring people together to achieve a purpose, be it a celebration, networking, or business — anything that builds interpersonal connections. From parties, concerts, and live streams to corporate events and webinars, virtual event platforms allow people to come together safely and effectively.

As you might expect with such a broad range of possibilities, platform and service companies focus within the virtual event umbrella, providing support for specific event elements or styles. From experiences and music to catering delivery, our directory includes hundreds of companies specializing in virtual, live, and hybrid events. We can help you find the right providers for your next special occasion.

Benefits of Virtual Events

Virtual events are here to stay. We are redefining how people gather in an increasingly interconnected world; geographically diverse employees and a wider client base guarantee that virtual event benefits are substantial. These events will remain as important as their live and hybrid counterparts as we move forward into a new way of doing business.

Since there are no venue fees or travel expenses to consider, the cost of an event can be considerably minimized. This is a huge consideration for small companies looking to grow, budget-conscious nonprofits, and even individuals planning large events, such as weddings. The lower entry cost frees up valuable budget space for higher profile presenters and entertainment, wider outreach, and increased visibility.

The possible reach of a virtual event is also much larger than that of its traditional in-person counterpart. Have clients in Beijing and leads in Paris? There is no reason not to include them when sending out invitations to your sales conference! Looking for a new market for your business to break into? Host a product launch and invite prospects from around the world! The potential to reach ever greater audiences is a massive advantage for any sort of business venture, from established corporations to freshly launched musicians.

When beginning to plan a virtual event, keep a few things in mind. Who is your target audience? What type of event do you want to host? What is your budget? Will you need specialized services, such as DJ or AV production services?

Perhaps the best place to start, though, is at the end. What is your goal in hosting a virtual event? A ticket-based concert will have dramatically different needs than a college informational session or a corporate team-building event. Determining what success will look like to you will allow you to tailor your platform and services to your needs. Options are much less overwhelming with a well-envisioned plan guiding your decisions.

And there are options! Our virtual event directory can help you find the perfect match of services to bring your event from conceptualization to reality. With hundreds of listings to choose from, you can connect with a team to help you succeed. Our goal is to provide you with the information to make informed partner decisions and plan an event that meets your goals.

Virtual Event Examples: What Works?

man throwing basketball in front of virtual fans
Image Source: https://www.nba.com/news/virtual-fans-help-restart-atmosphere

The NBA relaunch of the 2019/20 season is an excellent example of a company that used a virtual event platform to deliver value to both viewers and players. Projections of fans watching games at home were broadcast in the Orlando arena, and new mics, cameras, and audiovisual technology helped bring the game experience to viewers at home. This event worked because it found new and innovative ways to increase audience engagement from home, even including virtual cheers.

The Tomorrowland electronic music festival in Belgium more than doubled its usual audience from 400,000 to over a million in 2020 by creating a totally immersive event map covering 8 stages. They also took advantage of a digital platform to host workshops, webinars, and games. By expanding their scope and reach, they were incredibly successful in drawing in a much larger crowd than they could have hoped for in a more traditional setting.

One-time events are one thing to pivot into a virtual world and a whole series is another. The New York Times shifted their always-relevant Events series to a virtual platform during the pandemic to continue bringing world-class content to their eager audience. Each event presents Times journalists and experts discussing a topic of interest, and utilizing a virtual platform has enabled them to reach audiences near and far.

Sadly, though, not all events are successes. Synchronous attendance numbers can be low, technical issues can interrupt your message, and a lack of effective networking opportunities can hobble an event and cause it not to live up to expectations. Simple and effective ways can help prevent this from happening to you. They all start with proper planning and forethought. 

  • Ensure that all attendees receive ample information and incentives to attend beforehand, including technical support contact information. 
  • Train all presenters and staff on the technology you choose and test all equipment, platforms, and services in advance. 
  • Vary presenting styles. Ensure that attendees can interact with presenters and event staff and also with sponsors and each other. 

While it is impossible to foresee everything, adequate planning and proper event support can significantly reduce issues and resolve them quickly should they occur.

Planning your event begins with choosing the right partners. That’s where we come in. Browse our directory with hundreds of companies that specialize in virtual, live, and hybrid events. We can help you find and engage with virtual event companies with the experience and know-how to work with you and bring your vision to fruition. You want an event that exceeds all expectations—we want to help you.

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