Now that it seems remote work and virtual events are here to stay, many of us are looking for virtual events ideas for companies. As the name implies, virtual events are gatherings online without in-person contact. However due to the rushed and impromptu nature of online meeting substitutes in the early days of pandemic stay-at-home orders, or for that matter lack of creative presentations pre-2020, virtual events sometimes have an undeserved reputation as “not as good as in-person.” But well-executed virtual events can be as personal, interactive, and engaging as in-person while catering more directly toward remote and hybrid teams. So, head on below for a primer to virtual events ideas for companies, we’ll help you flex your creative muscles finding opportunities for staff engagement.
- The Importance of Virtual Company Events
- Types of Virtual Company Events
- 5 Virtual Event Ideas for your Company
- Kaltura Virtual Events
- Final Thoughts
The Importance of Virtual Company Events
Virtual events at your company provide an excellent and cost-effective way for professionals to connect with other professionals, something particularly critical when your team is unable to meet in person or is already geographically separated. They can also expand inclusivity, removing personal or physical barriers to attendance. Outward-facing virtual events allow your company to brand- and audience-build and provide valuable visitor data and insights. Inward-facing events are excellent opportunities to strengthen employee relationships, teamwork, and morale (depending on whether your focus is business or social). And we of course can’t ignore the recent pandemic–virtual events are also key when safety is in question for meeting in person.
Types of Virtual Company Events
As the above section suggests, there are broadly two types of virtual events that companies engage in: business or social. Beyond that, there are many kinds of events that can happen online. If you’re looking for virtual event ideas for companies, the first decision is which category of event (business or social) you need to put on. Some events, like online conferences, may straddle the two categories.
“Business” should be self-explanatory. Virtual business events encompass things like virtual trade shows, webinars, virtual training, etc. Virtual conferences are becoming a staple of company events after social distancing pushed many events online, or perhaps your company is partnering with other businesses to contribute to an industry conference.
Online staff meetings and training are another mainstay, one that was already thriving before social distancing. With a live instructor or facilitator in a virtual environment, you can engage employees and pass on needed information or training effectively. In addition to being essential interaction, they can also be informative and motivational.
These events are for morale building, networking, and fun–not that there can’t be any enjoyable or engaging aspects of a business meeting, but that’s usually not the focus! The “social” flip side to online training, for example, is virtual classes “for fun,” where outcomes aren’t crucial. The social component of learning together takes front and center.
5 Virtual Event Ideas for Your Company
With the basics laid out, here are some virtual event ideas and what type of role they play for companies. These events generally fall in the “social” category, but with ingenuity, they can also inspire more-engaging business events. Not every business meeting can also be a comedy show–but the creative presentation definitely helps keep things fresh! Here are a few ideas to get the gears turning:
- Virtual Performances
Music and comedy performances translate well to virtual spaces. An outward-facing event would be an exercise in branding and audience building: your company sponsors some type of popular performer or performance. An inward-facing one might be a reward for employees. As a social event, these can even encompass virtual jam sessions or open mics where staff can loosen up and hang out with one another.
- Virtual Parties
We won’t pretend it’s the same as a black-tie event at the Hilton with deluxe catering, but a virtual party is a way for company staff to get together when other options are unworkable. As mentioned above, just like a virtual conference, virtual parties can serve both business and social functions. Consider something like a virtual awards ceremony: there is both a business function and a social function. Similarly, people dressing up and creative use of backgrounds will help make this type of event feel like more than a very large video call.
- Virtual Happy Hours/Virtual Socials
These have been a staple for many since spring 2020. Adult beverages are optional–you can take advantage of the online event format by choosing visual or activity themes for a virtual get-together, screening movies or shows, curating playlists, and much more.
- Virtual Contests and Games
It’s no secret that “online” is often synonymous with “gaming.” For a corporate-appropriate spin, you can do virtual quizzes or trivia, or even organize a “virtual casino” for a fundraiser. Competitive staff events can do purely virtual “stakes” with a leaderboard awarding a prize to the biggest virtual winner.
- Health and Well-being Events/Virtual Learning
We mentioned “for-fun” virtual learning classes above: you can present virtual classes in anything from yoga to foreign languages, to mixology. To promote physical wellness, you can also organize workouts, meditation breaks, and other health mindfulness.
Kaltura Virtual Events
When producing virtual company events, we’ll recommend our own advanced virtual event solution Kaltura Virtual Events as the platform of choice. Kaltura’s mission is to ensure your virtual events can be simple to create and execute and on-brand. We provide high-quality video streaming, best-in-class engagement and interaction features, and a reliable platform to launch live content and interaction.
Kaltura Virtual Events is fully featured to help virtual corporate events through the planning stages into execution and follow-ups. During the early stages, you can take advantage of our agenda-building capabilities as well as fully customizable landing pages and 5 preset event templates.
Our templates can be implemented as-is, or reused or reworked: Interactive Webinar, Town Hall and Large Broadcast, Single Track, Multi-Day Multi-Track, and Flagship Event. “Flagship Events” 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 and excellent production support. On a smaller scale, the Interactive Webinar can be a great format for a team meeting. Our templates have robust, individualized modification features intended to keep you 100% on-brand and make it possible to scale up, add tracks and content, and extend your reach.
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.
In closing, virtual and hybrid events are becoming the norm and it’s best to use your creativity now to find virtual event ideas for your company (or companies) and get ahead of the curve. Plan as best you can, understand when a business- or social-oriented event is required, and remember a great virtual event platform can make a huge difference in your outcomes.