When creating a virtual event, you chiefly focus on gathering expert speakers to discuss topics that are on-topic and relevant to the audience. But for a truly memorable experience, it is important to add sessions or activities that step away from the main topic; a touch of fun, movement, or socializing that will add spice and balance to your one-ingredient dish. In this post, we share a few virtual event ideas for your next event.
- Why set up virtual events for your company?
- Top virtual event ideas
- Keeping employees engaged through connection
- Kaltura’s virtual events solution
Why set up virtual events for your company?
Virtual events are all about forming a community around a shared interest and raising brand awareness. They can be either internal or external.
Internal virtual events will help your company create a greater connection with and between employees, nurture company culture, celebrate outstanding commitment, communicate, and train. Internal virtual events also do wonders for your employer branding.
External virtual events are focused on creating and nurturing an audience around your brand, product, or industry. Ultimately, you’ll want to set up this kind of event to grow your audience, raise brand awareness, showcase your industry expertise, collect target audience data, and generate leads.
15 Top virtual event ideas
Whichever type of event you are planning, you can use any of the following virtual event ideas to break the monotony, refresh the participant’s mind, and keep your audience engaged. These events can also fill a specific purpose, like facilitating networking and bonding. Feel free to give them your personal twist and adapt them to your event’s specific use case.
Business-Focused Virtual Events Ideas
Nothing creates a family atmosphere in an organization quite like an award ceremony, recognizing employee achievements and milestones. Who brought in the most leads? who’s an out-of-the-box thinker? Who’s been with the company for 5, 10, 15, or 20 years? Who’s shown exceptional initiative? There are so many reasons to hand out awards and let your people know you see and value them. You can give out framed awards of excellence or, if your budget allows, you can make the event memorable with pampering weekends and other prizes.
Social Virtual Events Ideas
Social virtual event ideas are meant to bring people together and make them interact. Nothing brings people together as food does. Invite a star chef to lead the session and have everyone join in from their kitchen. Of course, it’s best to send out the list of ingredients a few days ahead to give everyone the time to go grocery shopping. Or even better, have grocery bags delivered to the participants’ homes in time for the event.
A cocktail-making class is an excellent alternative to the cooking class. It’s easier and everyone can enjoy a little buzz from the safety of their homes (drink responsibly). You can have a happy hour after the class where everyone can sample and comment on their concoctions and have a laugh. Don’t forget about participants who don’t consume alcohol out of religious considerations or other reasons. Include an alcohol-free cocktail recipe for them.
A classic and favorite among virtual event ideas, Pictionary needs no introduction. You can get straight to playing. All you need is an event solution that boasts an integrated virtual whiteboard, like Kaltura. But you can also use a free solution like Google Jamboard.
Sports & Fun Virtual Event Ideas
Paint and pint
It’s a perfect combination. Painting gets the creative juices flowing while the beer (or wine) loosens the tongue. Invite an art instructor to host the painting workshop and make sure every participant has a fine drink to quench their thirst. Have your participants share their creations and discuss them.
Fitness class (yoga/ pilates)
Including a yoga session in virtual events is fast becoming a staple. And for good reason. Yoga is relatively easy and safe to translate to a virtual format and, being a physical and mindfulness activity, it’s a perfect break from the mentally tiring speaker sessions. Plus, it shows your commitment to your participants’ health. Consider a session of laughter yoga, if your specific audience can’t do any of the physical variants.
Another classic virtual event idea that needs no introduction. Bingo is a thrilling game and even more so with the promise of a great prize. You can also give your bingo game a twist or theme to make it more original (e.g., funny-hat bingo, drag bingo with a cross-dressing caller, food bingo, …). A chat function is essential here if you want your participants to interact and have fun during the game.
Online scavenger hunt
In a scavenger hunt, participants need to collect items and complete challenges within time limits. A simple Google search will yield plenty of virtual scavenger hunt ideas so you don’t have to start from scratch. You challenge participants to find items around the house, or you can keep them comfortably in their seats and find items online (links, articles, pictures, video or audio clips, …). Use a theme to keep things interesting and discuss the challenges.
Probably one of the easiest games to play virtually. And flexible, too. You can make the questions themed, you can create teams, you can do it yourself or have a professional game show host present, you can use an application like Kahoot, you can hand out (sponsored) prizes to the winners, … The possibilities are endless, and so is the fun!
Virtual Networking Event Ideas
One of the quintessential virtual event ideas for business events. Participants get limited 101 time in private virtual rooms to connect and exchange ideas. Once time is up, the participants rotate to connect with other participants. The fast tempo keeps things fun and engaging. You will need a virtual event solution that features breakout rooms, for this activity.
AI-generated networking recommendations
This idea is 100% dependent on your virtual event solution. Platforms like Kaltura Virtual events come with AI capabilities that recommend participants with whom you may want to connect, based on shared interests. This feature is priceless and helps participants connect with the right people with minimum time and effort spent. Try doing that in a brick-and-mortar event!
We already mentioned breakout sessions in the speed networking idea, but there’s much more you can do with that feature. Anything that requires breaking up your participants into smaller groups for increased collaboration and engagement is a good reason to invoke breakout sessions. You can create discussion groups around set topics, you can allocate branded breakout sessions to sponsors, or you can organize several activities simultaneously in breakout sessions to save time and offer your participants choice.
Networking is the second biggest reason why people attend virtual events. That’s why you should offer participants ample opportunities to connect, collaborate, and communicate. Chat rooms are a great option and should be available ahead of the event so that participants can start networking as soon as they join.
Virtual Events Sponsorship Ideas
As mentioned before, any game or contest can be offered in partnership with one of your sponsors who could offer their products or services as a prize.
Sponsored swag bags
With swag bags, everyone’s a winner. You can offer a fully virtual swag bag, containing coupons, free trials, or access to content or applications. Or you could send physical swag bags full of tangible goodies and giveaways to the participant’s home address. Either way, you can work with partners and sponsors to offer the most value-packed bag to your participants.
Keeping employees engaged through connection
If you landed on this blog post looking for virtual event ideas for your internal events, it’s safe for us to assume your organization adopted a remote or hybrid work model.
The remote and hybrid work models have proven their value and strengths during the pandemic, and research shows that there’s no reason to turn the tide now that the pandemic is over. A Stanford University study showed that productivity in workplaces increased by 13%, after making the switch to remote work.
But remote workers also reported that loneliness and isolation are big concerns that go well beyond affecting just the employee. Another issue is that the lack of facetime also creates a lack of opportunity. Being aware of these potential issues in remote workplaces is the first step toward creating healthy hybrid/remote work conditions.
HR professionals should invest in events and platforms that foster company culture, create community, and enable employees to forge human connections that go beyond work-related communication, no matter where they are located.
Corporate events are great forums for building community and giving employees a sense of belonging. But it would be remiss of the event organizers if they didn’t offer opportunities to break bread together, partake in fun activities, and do other things than just talk shop. The 15 virtual event ideas listed above address that need!
Kaltura’s virtual events solution
If all the above resonates with you, then your next step should be to adopt a platform in your organization that can realize all the virtual event ideas we mentioned… and more.
Creating events is a breeze with Kaltura’s all-in-one platform, from landing page creation and participant invitations all the way to sponsor packages and on-demand content repurposing.
Whether you’re opting for live or on-demand sessions, you can set up your event in minutes from a customizable template. From there you can easily scale it and customize it to your brand needs.
As for tools and features, Kaltura Virtual Events brings you the full gamut:
- Personalized agendas
- 4K streaming
- Industry-grade security features
- Real-time data and granular performance analytics
- Sponsor packages (branded sponsor booths, lead generation, …)
- Content recommendations and personal media collections
- Engagement features (reactions, polls and quizzes, multiple chat options, …)
- Advanced search features
- Moderation tools
- … and so much more
You can see all these features in action and ask all your questions during a free personal demo, with no strings attached. Hit the button below to book a demo today!