More individuals and teams are working remotely than ever before. However, team building and morale in your business or organization are still dependent on human connection. What to do? Keep in mind that the virtual event is a versatile medium and can accomplish double duty as a tool for both business-focused gatherings as well as morale-building activities.
Workplaces are using virtual corporate events to inspire, engage, and connect their remote teams through interactive activities and experiences. And as necessity has improved the overall quality of virtual events in recent years, with some planning and inspiration you can create an innovative virtual experience that fosters collaboration and teamwork among staff.
- What are Virtual Corporate Events
- How to Plan Your Next Virtual Corporate Event
- 5 Tips for Your Next Virtual Corporate Event
- 10 Ideas to Inspire Your Next Virtual Event
- Kaltura Virtual Events
- Final Thoughts
What are Virtual Corporate Events?
As you might guess, virtual corporate events are gatherings that happen online without in-person contact. Virtual corporate events allow the type of business and team interactions that aren’t possible during social distancing orders, or when your staff is geographically separated. They’re also a frequently cost-effective way for professionals to connect with other professionals.
Virtual events can be as personal, interactive, and engaging as in-person events except geared more directly toward remote and hybrid teams. Only lack of creativity or the perception of tedious video meetings as part of the weekly grind is what holds your online events back from being a unique and engaging opportunity for all involved.
How to Plan Your Next Virtual Corporate Event
To get the ball rolling planning a virtual corporate event, your first step is to consider and layout your event strategy and determine how the event goals can best be met within a virtual environment. Another key factor is choosing a virtual event platform; this is a big factor in what capabilities you’ll have to realize your virtual corporate events. Make sure you take some time and do your research to zero in on which virtual platform will best meet your needs.
The thing to keep in mind when putting together a virtual event, as we mentioned above, is that online events can be every bit as compelling as physical events. However, they’ll require the same attention to detail and an even more creative approach. Your best bet is understanding how to use the virtual format to your benefit and giving plenty of opportunities for communication and engagement.
We’ve dispensed virtual event planning advice here on this very blog, so we won’t recap all of it here but encourage you to take a look at the linked article, which also includes a virtual event checklist and more in-depth considerations for your planning stage.
5 Tips for Your Next Virtual Corporate Event
Looking for some professional-grade tips to evolve your events beyond a bland mass-meeting via video call? Look no further:
Keep it high quality!
Just in case this needs to be said: production value should be top-of-mind for you. This isn’t the Super Bowl or the Oscars, but businesses are sometimes notorious for low-effort video and meeting content. Use the best camera and audio you can bring to bear, follow video best practices, use creative and attractive branding and be prepared to visually engage your attendees. Even small-scale events like webinars can benefit from an interesting virtual meeting space and some subtle graphical and audio enhancement.
And if you’re putting on a real, once-a-year “Event!” type event: go ahead and treat it like the Super Bowl or Oscars. Make sure you do your absolute best within what your budget allows. Your audience will recognize the effort!
Make it engaging!
Similar to enhancing visuals and audio to draw the audience in at your events, your content’s quality should be high as well. Crisp content livened up with slides, visual presentations and even jokes (though exercise caution) will draw your attendees in as a willing audience.
Q&A’s are a great way to engage a live audience after presenting the material. Let them interact with guests and presenters and ask questions to mentally sort through the info they just received.
Keep it short and to the point
Your best event is going to run on time and stay on message. Let your audience know you value their time.
Or break effectively into sessions. If it’s a long event or you just have a lot that needs to be presented, break it into discrete sessions that stay on topic. Make sure there’s time for both personal breaks and communication and networking between participants.
Nothing says, “This is an event that is happening!” like engaging with real-time. For your attendees to experience that “you had to be there” feeling, you need to create that excitement with things like live keynotes and timely content and interaction.
Polling …live is a great way to keep the audience alert as well as invested in the event. Use your platform if it’s full-featured enough. If not, phones are available to all!
Notifications You can use push notifications on phones/devices during your event to engage your audience without distracting them. Promotion also doesn’t need to end on event day, create some FOMO for those who aren’t there! (see also the next bullet point…)
Cross Over to Your Website Make sure your web presence reflects that the event is happening, and create a space there that can carry over useful info from the live event (FAQs, content sharing, etc.)
Encourage (and enable) networking
Relating to both engagement and taking enough breaks, make sure there are social and professional-networking components to the event for your attendees to take advantage of. This is also a big value add for your attendees: most people attend in-person events to socialize and network with like-minded people as much as for the “main course.” An excellent virtual event platform can help here as it will have in-app features for networking and communication.
10 Ideas to Inspire Your Next Virtual Event
Here are ten inspiring ideas to get you in the zone for planning virtual corporate events. For those who are still new to the virtual event paradigm, the first list will help you understand the options and make your online events into something special. If your virtual corporate events have been “all business” so far, the second list is alternatives for creative and fun gatherings that are still business-appropriate. Feel free to try any of these out… or maybe you already have. If so, let your imagination run wild and come up with your own twist:
For business events:
- Online Trade Show
Trade shows are a staple of virtual corporate events now that so many events have gone online. A great way to accomplish this is to create a virtual showroom where you can book client appointments.
- Online Training Events
Informative, motivational, essential: online training is another mainstay of virtual corporate events which already thrived before social distancing. You can engage employees and pass on needed training effectively with a live instructor or facilitator. The flip side of this is as a “for fun” event, where you can provide virtual classes in nearly anything from yoga to mixology.
- Immersive Environments
You can spice up virtual events by modeling an environment based on a physical space. It could be as familiar as an office space or corner bar, something more ambitious like a conference center, or even an exotic location like a tropical resort. If you create a unique look and feel at your event and make the environment simple for attendees to navigate, you’ll give them something to talk about.
- Gamify Your Sessions
More of a “recommendation” than strictly an event type: gamification is an excellent way to engage people digitally. Award points for activities (such as answering presenter questions or making networking connections), create leaderboards for quizzes and contests, and consider prizes or perks to award attendees who come out on top.
- Virtual Awards Gala
Virtual conferences have become common but what about virtual awards? This could be as large as an industry event or as intimate as giving your employees the opportunity to walk down a (virtual) red carpet for their annual contributions to the organization.
For morale-building, networking, and fun:
- Virtual Holiday Party
This doesn’t just have to be the end-of-the-year bash; you can have some fun with a gathering geared towards any holiday or season!
- Virtual Music or Comedy Performances
Musical and comedy performances have translated well to virtual event spaces, either as entertainment within a larger program or just a perk for employees’ enjoyment.
If you feel brave, this could even encompass virtual open mics for staff to loosen up and hang out with each other.
- Virtual Happy Hour
Potentially a staple for many since spring 2020, but keep in mind you can take advantage of the online format by choosing a visual or activity theme, watching movies or shows, curating playlists, and other creative twists.
- Virtual Casino
This is a particularly effective strategy for a fundraiser. Give your attendees the option to have some fun playing online versions of casino games like blackjack, poker, and roulette, while collecting for a good cause. For a fun staff event, you can also do purely virtual “stakes” with a leaderboard and give a prize to the biggest virtual winner.
- Health and Wellbeing Events
On the opposite end of the spectrum from grabbing drinks, you can organize workouts, meditation breaks, and other mental and physical health mindfulness.
Kaltura Virtual Events
When looking for options to plan virtual corporate events, we’ll recommend our own advanced virtual event solution Kaltura Virtual Events as the platform of choice. It’s our mission to make sure all your virtual events can be on-brand and simple to create and execute. We can provide high-quality video streaming, best-in-class engagement and interaction features, and a reliable platform from which to launch content and live interactions … in other words, we’ll give you the best possible foundation and the rest is up to you!
Kaltura Virtual Events is fully featured to help virtual corporate events through the planning stages into execution and follow-ups. During the planning and setup stages of your virtual event, you can take advantage of our agenda-building capabilities as well as fully customizable landing pages and preset event templates. We have 5 main templates, which can either be implemented as-is as well as reused or reworked: Interactive Webinar, Town Hall and Large Broadcast, Single Track, Multi-Day Multi-Track, and Flagship Event.
Our Flagship Events template is particularly geared toward those “Once-a-year and one-of-a-kind” types of events and comes with the full advantages of our platform as well as excellent production support from our teams. On a smaller scale, the Interactive Webinar format can be a great option for a team meeting. Our templates have robust features for individualized modification and are intended to keep you 100% on-brand, as well as make it possible to extend your reach by scaling up and adding tracks and content.
Kaltura Virtual Events also features out-of-the-box integrations as a modular framework for your SaaS tools including conferencing clients, marketing automation platforms, and data analytics. On a larger scale, our automation features can empower you to use your event to create personalized, customized, and automated live marketing that puts you on track for follow-up campaigns. We enable hyper-personalization for all attendees, including personalized agendas, selecting topics of interest during registration to content recommendations, customizable layouts, personal media collections, and other options to significantly individualize any virtual event experience.
In short, it may take a little extra effort and ingenuity but it’s possible to create virtual corporate events that keep your audience attentive and engaged. The key is to make sure there is quality content, engagement opportunities to draw them in and allow for data and feedback, and a versatile and reliable event platform on which to build your virtual experiences. Since we’re likely to see continuing interest in virtual and hybrid events, it’s never too late to ramp up your strategy and get ahead of the curve.
Ready to set up your virtual corporate event? Check out Kaltura Virtual Events!