This article is for those who specialise in creating content for events and are looking for new virtual event ideas. I’m talking about those individuals who spend endless hours thinking about providing content that engages the audience. That creates memories that live on in gifs, blog posts and memes. Those creatives are looking beyond the corporate world and considering how to use virtual in evermore creative ways.
We are not thinking about repurposing the corporate event. But exploring how you can repurpose your hybrid and virtual event platforms to team build, sell educational services or provide online entertainment.
As such, we have given our top fun alternatives to the corporate virtual conference or trade show. But before we get into that, let’s make sure you know what you need from your virtual event platform to succeed.
What is the best virtual event platform?
There are many platforms available in the marketplace. Some are simply off the shelf platforms, others designed internally at companies using Microsoft Teams or Zoom at the heart of it. So rather than compare platforms, we will focus on elements you should consider when making an informed decision.
Virtual event design
A key element to the success of any virtual event is flexibility around design. We aren’t talking about customised templates but the freedom to push the brand experience through your virtual backdrop.
We are also not talking about the flaky backgrounds you see on Zoom, where you blend in and out of the scene with a faint halo-like blur around your head. We are talking about professional backdrops by working with your platform providers design team.
Technical capabilities of your virtual event platform
Another critical element to your virtual or hybrid events’ success is your chosen provider’s technical capacity. Consider you can; host polls, real-time two-way communication, networking capacity, robust streaming with solid human, technical support or breakout sessions. You’ll likely need to consider where you are streaming.
- Will it be your organisation’s social media channel?
- A private Vimeo channel?
- Is it pre-recorded on video?
- Would you need to stream from an internal source to your external platform provider?
- How about data?
- Do you need live polling?
For example, if you are team building, would you be keen to see your employee engagement?
All of the above are certainly worth considering. Most importantly is how good the virtual event hosting is? You certainly wouldn’t want downtime affecting your first alternate hybrid or virtual event, so it’s key to ensure you have proven minimum internet supply standards.
Finally, what do you need from your provider? Is an off the shelf solution going to work for your new-found creative alternative? Will plug and play suffice?
Maybe you would like to have a venue where you could film? Somewhere with a green screen or the ability to create a stage set to customise what you’re trying to deliver?
Think about what goes into a service like that, cameras, lighting, studio time, creativity & staff.
With so many platforms out there, finding the production company to enhance the digital event experience is vital.
Showcases’ top virtual event ideas
Now you know what you should look for from your virtual events supplier, it’s time to dive into our top alternatives to the corporate virtual or hybrid event.
The Virtual Comedy Show
The virtual comedy show is a great idea. You can use this for your business as a tool to connect with your comedy club members. Or you could use it to engage with your workforce internally. Many of us pinned to the desk for virtual events that aren’t fun anymore (think Zoom fatigue). Fun is what so many of us need, and it can go somewhat to help improve mental health.
The Virtual Escape Room
The virtual escape room is a classic event which is an actual team building event if not just for fun. This type of event requires collaboration, problem-solving, strategy, planning, pressure, all of the key ingredients to be used to bring teams together in this remote working environment.
You can be super creative with this, working with an events platform provider that consults on your outcome in addition to the provision of service.
A Virtual Treasure Hunt
A virtual treasure hunt can be good for several different situations. From corporate team building to a classroom Easter egg hunt, finding your spin on a historical classic could produce surprising results.
Why not let your team members or class members choose the topic of choice for your virtual scavenger hunt and speak to a virtual event consultant on how you can bring it to life?
Virtual Chef Masterclasses
Everyone loves food. We might not all like precisely the same meals, but a restaurant or supermarket could produce a weekly, fortnightly or monthly virtual chef masterclass by choosing a theme.
What’s surprising is that many people are now hosting their mini-shows on social media with live streaming. You can make this a broadcast or a team competition event. It’s a great way to mix up the use of a virtual event or live streaming platform.
Virtual Fashion Shows
The virtual fashion show. Great for charities looking at virtual for fundraising and brands looking for ever more creative ways to deliver virtual events. Remember when Burberry released their new line on Snapchat?
Well, you can do so much more with a customised virtual or hybrid event platform, especially one that has a studio or greenscreen as an additional service. Using creative virtual backdrops, you can create a whole range of experiences, including interactive viewer participation.
Everybody loves music. You would be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t like some form of music. With a virtual platform, you can do more than just stream someone singing on a stage in an empty theatre or concert hall.
You can take it to another level and use your virtual backdrop to create breath taking visuals and use it publicly or for limited audiences.
Much like a virtual concert, hosting virtual theatre can take the stage’s experience to the screen and into living rooms or to devices wherever your audience is. Covid forced theatres to shut, but they should look to add virtual performances to the calendar.
Imagine experiencing Broadway in Balham or the Royal Opera in Oregon. Theatres could open up their audience participation globally using a hybrid platform and some clever live streaming.
Virtual Team Movie Nights
We like the thought of the virtual team movie night, for companies looking to move to a largely remote way of working, what better way than to organise virtual movies nights for teams, departments or the whole organisation.
You can make this an immersive experience, provide your staff with popcorn or drinks hampers. Go that bit further for the team than you previously thought possible.
Virtual event consultants
Covid-19 brought rise to a healthy number of online platforms that can facilitate live streaming and potentially hybrid events, where life meets virtually.
But to deliver something special. That isn’t platform led and experience first. You need to find event planners or event consultants that can help you and your brand bring your virtual event ideas to life.
Live events are not going anywhere. But the demand for digital events is ramping up, and your brand will have one or two shots at delivering that perfect experience. Get it wrong, and you will lose to your competition.
So take these ideas we suggest and run with them. Don’t forget to Google “digital event planner” or “virtual event planner” to find your “digital event consultant”. Or if you’d like to talk to one of the Showcase Team, we’d be happy to give you some guidance.
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