But how do you transform a multi-day conference into a virtual social event, with networking opportunities, instructional sessions and the knowledge gained from attendees?
A virtual social event demands the same level of attention and care as a physical one. Both events need you to successfully promote the event, engage your attendees, create beautiful and memorable moments for them, and demonstrate the success of the event.
Location and on-site attendance are the only things missing. However, you can create an engaging event that extends far beyond a computer screen if you conceive of virtual social events as participation-driven, value-added experiences rather than just one-off presentations or webinars.
We want to give you 5 virtual event ideas for companies that can easily be put into action.
Let’s get started.
How to organize a virtual social event for companies
1. Virtual conferences
The benefits they bring to organizations have allowed them to become very effective, fast and innovative ways of communication. Whether in the form of online videoconferencing, webinars or web conferences, they have the great advantage of connecting with several people at the same time no matter where they are.
Their applications are infinite, as well as very useful, giving the possibility of: carrying out meetings between the different headquarters of a company, establishing an immediate videoconferencing system with its workers from anywhere in the world, and even promoting the services of a company without the need to use several physical spaces, but a single virtual meeting room.
VR conferences make it possible to make important decisions quickly and efficiently. This type of meeting can immediately bring together several people involved in a project, offering them the possibility of eliminating scheduling problems, travel or time constraints.
2. Remote team meetings
Telecommuting is gaining more and more ground, and whether full-time or part-time, it is a formula that is becoming more and more widespread. Remote employees are bringing about a real change in mentality with respect to the old perception we had when it came to performing our professional tasks.
This paradigm shift has completely changed the interaction between the company and the employees, between whom there must be an effective digital relationship. It is therefore essential to have tools that help to optimize remote communication, increase productivity and reduce costs.
The goal is to create common virtual spaces where employees and managers of the organization meet, and for this, the contribution of virtual worlds is the key. Great virtual event ideas for companies are essentiell for the success of an event.
3. Virtual classrooms
Digital transformation has also revolutionized the way knowledge is acquired, and this has a major impact on companies. Business training is one of the fields that is undergoing the most changes, and virtual learning is currently taking on a major role in Human Resources departments.
For this reason, online training is currently the most widely used educational model in the corporate sector, regardless of the type of business or market niche where the company is located. The advantages offered by this system, such as time and cost savings, flexibility and accessibility, among others, make it an essential tool for employee learning.
In this sense, the use of virtual classrooms in business is especially important, tools that allow the creation of immersive and very real experiences for the training of their employees. They are like a virtual campus, but adapted to the learning of the companies’ staff, offering their professionals more resources and fewer limitations than traditional methods.
4. Team Building
Teamwork is one of the most valued competencies of a professional in his or her activity within the company, since performing tasks together greatly improves the performance of employees and, as a consequence, that of the company. For this reason, more and more organizations are opting to include in their business policies actions designed exclusively for their employees.
In the beginning, they were only face-to-face activities, but nowadays Virtual Reality has made possible the irruption of online Team Building, virtual events that allow employees to live unique experiences remotely, participate in virtual games or interactive chats in which they can share ideas and experiences.
Among the options that we can currently find in the market, one of the ones that is having the greatest impact on Team Building activities for companies are the Virtual Escape Rooms, games in which employees can participate from any device. It is only necessary to have a connection on their cell phone, tablet or computer.
5. Virtual Speed Networking
The power of networking as a business communication tool is unquestionable. It has been so for years, and will continue to be so to an increasing extent, since it allows to make the company known, create contacts and access new potential customers.
These events typically last between 45 and 80 minutes. Webinars allow participants from around the world to listen virtually and join one or more presenters to deliver the topic. Companies can host free webinars or charge guests to join, using online payment systems. They often employ video conferencing capabilities that allow for Q&A, the option to show live or pre-recorded video, and the opportunity to make the event available after the event as on-demand.
The type of event has been successful with 100 percent virtual attendance due to its unique instructional nature. Internal and external training are examples of this.
2. Hybrid internal events
Town hall meetings, sales kickoffs, company-wide events, training, divisional meetings and other events fall into this category. In addition, internal hybrid meetings are used to communicate a company-wide message when not all personnel are gathered in the same area for companies that span nations, even continents. While it would be ideal to bring all employees to your company headquarters, it would be prohibitively expensive and time-consuming to schedule.
3. External hybrid events
These meetings are for those who are not affiliated with your company. User conferences and industry conferences are also possibilities. These events require a higher degree of video production to ensure that virtual guests receive the same level of service as in-person attendees. Attendees who are unable to attend the event can still participate and learn at these activities. It is a challenge to provide the same experience at external hybrid events, as in-person attendees can network more effectively and interact with information more efficiently than virtual attendees.
4. Virtual Conferencing
Virtual conferences, like in-person conferences, are organized around a complicated, live agenda that contains keynotes, sessions, breakout sessions and more. In addition, virtual social events can include information from many sessions, as well as community engagement features. While virtual social events are not as effective as in-person events in lead generation and networking, they allow participants to view keynotes in real time, create their schedule from relevant on-demand information and interact with other participants.
Now, how do you turn a traditional event into an online experience by hosting a virtual event? Continue reading for more virtual event ideas for companies.
The Coronavirus pandemic will undoubtedly force you to adjust the way you conduct yourself in your work and personal life, but it will also provide you with a reason to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. While transitioning from a physical to a digital event has its problems, if you stay organized and make sure your participants are prepared, you stand a good chance of having a successful outcome.
Step 1. Make a schedule
Because virtual social events don’t allow everyone to be in the same room simultaneously, management is key to staying on track. Participants can be on the same virtual page by creating a schedule for the day, week or however long your event lasts. A schedule for the day helps set expectations and ensures that presentations and performances are on time. Remember to incorporate natural breaks throughout the day when planning a virtual social event schedule, just as you would when organizing an in-person event.
Step 2. Send a notification outlining the event guidelines.
While live-streaming an event from home may seem less formal than meeting in a public place, there are still rules of digital etiquette and decorum to follow. Make sure everyone knows how to mute their microphones and take turns speaking, especially if your event contains numerous speakers or interactions. This will prevent the speech from overlapping or becoming incoherent. A brief email clarifying these principles should be sufficient to eliminate unwanted interruptions or misunderstandings.
Step 3. Verify that all participants have the necessary hardware, software and meeting links.
Verifying that each participant has the right equipment and understands how to access the meeting is an important consideration when preparing for a virtual social event. Attendees will almost certainly need specific equipment or peripherals to stream in real time with a good connection. If they don’t, they may be completely shut out of the event.
Reliable conferencing equipment, good hardware and software components, plus a secure Internet connection are required. Is it possible for attendees to join the meeting using their web browsers, or do they need to install a particular program or programs before the session begins? Let them know early and tell them what to do. Make sure all meeting URLs, passwords, and procedures for connecting to the meeting are sent out in advance.
Step 4. Set up the attendees’ virtual social event.
There will always be user error when it comes to technology. Virtual social events are not all the same. There are many video conferencing tools as well as event technology alternatives available. Don’t take the digital literacy (or lack thereof) of your attendees for granted. It’s ideal to produce a guide for attendees prior to the event that explains how to get to the event, the sessions and more.
Allow guests to try to initiate sessions or send messages prior to the start of the event. This will reduce guest stress, reduce the flood of inquiries on the first day of the event and create a better overall event experience. This handbook does not need to be outdated. Will there be a host for your event? Consider asking them to make an introductory video that both teaches them and is humorous.
Step 5. Make use of eye-catching graphics
Visuals have as much impact on virtual social events as the vocal parts. It is crucial to add visuals that complement rather than detract from your presentation or meeting. Along with the verbal message, consider using relevant charts or graphs, maps, info graphics or even video clips. Visuals should keep your audience interested and listening, so if your graphics are interactive, that’s even better.
Remember that some of your participants will be visual learners who like to learn through pictures, images and colors, while others will prefer to learn through audio. However, collaborative communication benefits everyone by opening up new ideas and clarifying complex techniques, so if possible, ask for audience participation and involvement.
Instead of canceling your events, turn them into engaging digital experiences. The opportunity for knowledge sharing and face-to-face interaction still exists; it just looks a little different right now. You can practically host any event!
From trade shows and leadership conferences to weddings and other key milestones. With the right technology and a reinvented strategy. So for a fantastic digital experience, stay organized, set ground rules and keep your visuals. You now received lots of virtual event ideas for companies. We hope your next virtual social event will be a success.