Virtual Events


Innovative Virtual Event Ideas to Drive Revenue and Engagement


Ashley Levesque


Even though in-person events are returning, we’re not seeing virtual events and webinars slowing down anytime soon. Rather, businesses and event organizers are exploring innovative ways to leverage virtual events, as part of their SaaS marketing strategies, to captivate audiences and drive revenue. In this article, we’ll explore some exciting and fun virtual event ideas that are sure to not only engage attendees but also boost your bottom line. So, let's dive in!

Hands-on workshops and training sessions

One of the challenges faced by virtual events is replicating the interactive nature of in-person experiences. However, with hands-on workshops and training sessions, event organizers can bridge that gap and provide attendees with a truly immersive experience.

Imagine receiving a package to your home with tangible workbooks, guides, and resources tailored to guide your virtual event experience as if you’re attending a college class. Through interactive exercises and real-time feedback from event hosts and expert presenters, you not only learn theoretical concepts but can immediately apply them in practical scenarios, via your new resources. This greatly elevates the value of the event; bringing the content from thought leadership to actionable for your attendees, giving them something tangible they can leave the event with.

This is a great opportunity to break down complex concepts, getting granular and providing your attendees a clear outcome they can point to at the end of the event, whether it’s a fully completed strategy, campaign, workflow, etc.

Engagement and communication features in your virtual event platform will be key when executing this strategy. For example, among the many webinar planning tools, Demio stands out in providing hosts with real time feedback when the audience participates in polls, downloads handouts, and clicks on CTAs within the session itself. This immediate feedback helps hosts course correct in real time if needed.

Virtual Roundtable Discussions with Industry Experts

One of the benefits of online events is the ease of bringing together top experts from around the world. Host virtual roundtable discussions where attendees can gain insights from professionals in their field in a casual setting. This helps in building a sense of community among participants, while simultaneously allowing attendees to receive real answers to their challenges.

Encourage interaction by allowing attendees to submit questions in advance or participate in live discussions. Dive deep into industry trends, challenges, and best practices. Set up clear topics and guidelines so the conversations stay on point and focused. Consider each table to hold a specific conversation, facilitated by an expert. After a certain period of time, the attendees rotate tables, with the experts remaining. Through this approach, all attendees have the chance to discuss a range of topics with a range of experts, without sacrificing the intimate opportunity to ask questions and get answers. By facilitating relevant conversations, you can position your brand as a thought leader and attract a broader audience.

Imagine the excitement of being able to connect with renowned experts in your industry, all from the comfort of your own home. Virtual roundtable discussions offer a unique opportunity to engage with thought leaders who might otherwise be difficult to access. Whether you're a seasoned professional looking to expand your knowledge or a newcomer seeking guidance, these discussions provide a platform for valuable insights and networking.

During these virtual roundtables, you'll have the chance to hear firsthand experiences and perspectives from experts who have navigated the challenges and triumphs of your industry. From innovative strategies to overcome obstacles to insider tips on staying ahead of the curve, these discussions are a goldmine of information waiting to be explored.

But it's not just about gaining knowledge. Virtual roundtable discussions also foster a sense of community among participants. As you engage in these conversations, you'll find yourself connecting with like-minded individuals who share your passion and drive. The opportunity to exchange ideas, ask questions, and learn from others creates a supportive environment that can fuel your professional growth.

To make the most of these discussions, consider encouraging attendees to submit questions in advance. This allows the experts to prepare insightful responses tailored to the specific interests and concerns of the audience. These pre-determined questions can help facilitate the live discussions in real-time once the event is underway.

By hosting virtual roundtable discussions with industry experts, you not only provide a platform for valuable knowledge sharing but also position your brand as a thought leader. As attendees gain insights and connect with professionals in their field, they will associate your brand with expertise and trust. This can lead to increased visibility, credibility, and ultimately, a broader audience for your virtual events.

Virtual Networking Mixers and Social Events

Although physical networking events are a ton of fun, virtual networking mixers offer an opportunity to cast a wider net, while simultaneously saving cash on a venue, travel, and other in-person costs. Organize online social events where attendees can get together and connect in a fun way.

Facilitate introductions and icebreaker activities to encourage participants to interact. Consider incorporating virtual games, breakout rooms, quizzes, trivia, speed networking, or even virtual photobooths to make the event more entertaining. By providing fun opportunities, you not only keep attendees engaged but also open doors for potential partnerships and collaborations.

Breakout rooms in virtual networking mixers offer a unique opportunity for intimate conversations. Picture yourself in a small group discussion, exchanging ideas and engaging in thought-provoking conversations. These breakout rooms simulate the casual atmosphere of traditional meetups, where connections are formed and collaborations are born. It's a chance to build relationships with professionals who share your interests and passions.

But let's not forget about the fun aspect of virtual networking mixers. Incorporating trivia games and quizzes can add a touch of excitement to the event. Imagine participating in a friendly competition with other attendees, testing your trivia knowledge and showcasing your skills. These activities not only entertain but also create a sense of camaraderie among participants.

Serve up the most efficient online mixer with speed networking. Set up opportunities for attendees to connect with each other for 5 minute intervals; exchanging contact info if there’s a mutually beneficial opportunity, or simply moving onto the next match. This is a great way to very quickly get to the heart of the opportunity and ask yourself, “Is this interesting? Do I want to continue to engage?” It’s not only efficient, but it’s a great way for attendees to intimately connect with a ton of people in one sitting. Better yet, have attendees send their favorite songs ahead of the event, and play the playlist in the background of the speed networking. If nothing else, it will prove to be a great conversation starter!

Lastly, virtual photobooths bring a whole new level of creativity to networking events. Attendees can take snapshots of themselves, add fun filters and stickers, event-specific hashtags, and share them on social media, extending the reach of your event. It's a lighthearted way to break the ice and spark conversations. Plus, these virtual photobooths serve as a visual memory of the event, allowing participants to look back and reminisce about the connections they made.

So, whether you're a seasoned professional looking to expand your network or a budding entrepreneur seeking inspiration, virtual networking mixers and social events are the way to go. They offer a platform for meaningful interactions, foster collaboration, and provide a fun and engaging experience. Embrace the virtual world and unlock a world of opportunities!

Virtual Event Gamification: Boosting Engagement and Revenue

Incorporating gamification into your virtual events is a fun way to increase engagement and drive revenue. By adding elements of competition and rewards, you create excitement and encourage active participation.

Consider implementing leaderboards, badges, and points systems to track attendees' progress. Offer incentives such as exclusive discounts or freebies for top performers. Additionally, organize interactive games or challenges during the event to keep attendees entertained and attentive. By gamifying your virtual event, you can capture attendees' attention, create a sense of urgency, and drive conversions.

Imagine this: as attendees log into your virtual event, they are greeted with a vibrant leaderboard showcasing the top participants. This leaderboard not only displays the names of the leading attendees but also highlights their achievements and progress. The sense of friendly competition that arises from this visual representation motivates others to actively engage and strive for a spot at the top.

But it doesn't stop there. To further enhance the gamification experience, you can introduce a badge system. As attendees complete specific tasks or milestones within the event, they unlock unique badges that showcase their accomplishments. These badges not only serve as a source of pride but also act as conversation starters among participants, fostering connections and networking opportunities.

Now, let's talk about points. By assigning points for various actions, such as attending sessions, participating in polls, or networking with other attendees, you create a sense of progression and achievement. These points can be redeemed for exclusive discounts on future events, access to premium content, or even physical merchandise like branded swag. The more points attendees accumulate, the more they feel rewarded for their active involvement, leading to increased engagement and loyalty.

As an event organizer, you can take gamification a step further by organizing interactive games or challenges during the event. These activities not only provide entertainment but also serve as valuable learning experiences. For example, you can host a virtual scavenger hunt where attendees have to explore different parts of the virtual event platform to find hidden clues or information. This not only keeps participants engaged but also ensures they familiarize themselves with the event's offerings, maximizing their overall experience.

By incorporating gamification into your virtual events, you create an immersive and interactive environment that captivates attendees from start to finish. The combination of competition, rewards, and interactive elements not only boosts engagement but also drives revenue by increasing conversions and fostering a loyal community of participants. So, don't miss out on the opportunity to transform your virtual events into unforgettable experiences through the power of gamification!

Creating Memorable Virtual Networking Experiences

Virtual events don't have to be limited to corporate education. To create memorable experiences, think outside the box and incorporate unique elements that aren’t related to your product or service.

Organize virtual happy hours, virtual cooking classes, game nights, or mixology classes where attendees can learn new skills while connecting with others. Partner with local businesses to send curated event kits to participants, enhancing the overall experience and making your attendees feel like VIPs. Consider online games like murder mysteries, game shows, and charades. By providing memorable moments, you not only leave a lasting impression but also increase the likelihood of attendees returning for future events.

These experiences don’t have to be exclusive to prospects and customers, consider leveraging them as team building activities for your employees. This is especially meaningful for remote and virtual teams who exclusively connect with their colleagues in a virtual meetings.  Think of key skills you’re looking to build within your culture. Looking to increase cross collaboration and teamwork? Set up a virtual escape room or a competitive video game competition. Looking to promote vulnerability among colleagues? Consider Karaoke! Looking to celebrate a Q3 success? Imagine inviting your team members to a virtual concert or improv event. The best virtual events are the ones your attendees loved attending, whether they were prospects, customers, or team members.

Innovative Sponsorship Opportunities for Virtual Events

Virtual events offer new and exciting sponsorship opportunities for brands looking to extend their event reach, and secure an additional revenue stream. Beyond traditional logo placements, explore creative ways to showcase sponsors' products or services.

Consider hosting sponsored breakout sessions or workshops where sponsors can share their expertise. Incorporate sponsored giveaways or exclusive offers to incentivize attendee engagement. Leverage your sponsor’s network via a co-marketing swap. By offering unique and valuable promotional opportunities, you can attract sponsors and generate additional revenue for your virtual events.

On-Demand Content Libraries for Continuous Engagement

One of the advantages of virtual live stream events is the ability to create on-demand content libraries. This means that attendees can access event sessions, presentations, and resources even after the event has ended.

By creating an on-demand content library, organizers can keep attendees engaged long after the event and provide them with valuable resources that they can refer back to whenever they need. This not only enhances the overall event experience but also ensures continuous engagement with the audience. A multichannel marketing approach to promoting this library can help to increase views by reaching your audience across a variety of touchpoints.

Furthermore, on-demand content libraries allow attendees to revisit key insights, catch up on sessions they may have missed, and share valuable content with their colleagues and networks. This extended access to event materials can serve as a valuable knowledge repository for both attendees and non-attendees, fostering continued learning and collaboration beyond the event itself.

Moreover, the ability to curate and organize on-demand content in a user-friendly manner can significantly enhance the overall user experience. Organizers can categorize materials by topic, speaker, or session type, making it easier for attendees to navigate and find the information most relevant to them. This personalized approach to content delivery can increase user satisfaction and encourage repeat engagement with the event platform.

Exclusive Virtual VIP Events

Virtual VIP events are a great way to provide an exclusive experience for a select group of attendees. These events can be tailored to meet the specific interests and preferences of VIP guests, making them feel valued and appreciated.

Organizers can offer exclusive access to experts, personalized networking opportunities, and behind-the-scenes glimpses that are not available to regular attendees. By creating a sense of exclusivity and offering unique experiences, virtual VIP events can drive revenue through premium ticket sales and sponsorship opportunities.

In addition to the exclusive perks mentioned above, virtual VIP events can also include interactive Q&A sessions with keynote speakers, personalized virtual gift bags delivered to attendees' doorsteps, and live entertainment performances from renowned artists. These additional elements add a touch of luxury and excitement to the event, enhancing the overall experience for VIP guests.

Furthermore, virtual VIP events can provide a platform for attendees to engage with cutting-edge technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Through immersive experiences and interactive demos, VIP guests can explore new products and services in a dynamic and engaging way, fostering a deeper connection between brands and consumers.

Providing your top customers with a VIP experience is a key customer engagement strategy that drives loyalty and retention.

Ensuring Success with Innovative Virtual Events

In order for any of these exciting opportunities to come to fruition, you have to have the right set up. There are thousands of B2B marketing tools on the market today, but in no way does that mean every tool can give you what you need. Just like you need to measure your marketing performance across your other strategic channels, you must measure your virtual event performance. In order to effectively measure event ROI, you’ll need to identify how you define success for your online event. You can’t measure progress if you don’t know what success looks like. Once you’ve identified success, you can work backwards to make sure your virtual event platform provides you with the features, analytics, and insights required for you to hit your goals.

In conclusion, virtual events have become a powerful tool for driving revenue and engagement. By embracing these innovative online event ideas and leveraging technology, you can create memorable experiences for attendees while boosting your bottom line. So, why wait? Start planning your next virtual event today and unlock new possibilities for your business!

Isn't it time to level up your scrappy marketing team with a weekly dose of high-octane content?!? 💯
Available on iTunesAvailable on StitcherAvailable on Soundcloud

Show Notes