Virtual Events


Top 12 Virtual Event Trends To Watch in 2024


Rachel Meyrowitz


Virtual events are popular and offer businesses new paths to enrich customer relationships and earn more sales. The virtual events industry is still young and changes rapidly. To help you adapt and keep up, we’ve put together a list of the trends that have quickly taken hold in 2024. 

Virtual Event Industry Trends

A great place to start is the broad changes that have occurred in the virtual event industry. 

1. Webinars

Businesses are increasingly capitalizing on webinars to accomplish more ambitious customer relationship goals. 

They’re the perfect medium for in-depth communication with your consumer base. Webinars are normally used for some mix of product education, demos, feature showcases, and accomplishing sales goals. They’re also a simpler virtual event to run; you need a normal crew and setup and at least one presenter, but not much else. 

While it’s by definition a virtual seminar, a webinar is still a diverse event type. You can make it as formal or informal as you’d like, and the simple format is malleable enough to produce great experiences every time.

To maximize their potential, you need to understand webinar ROI metrics. As with any virtual event, optimization over time is imperative. Choose the right webinar reaction tool to start off on the right foot.

2. Networking

Many types of events lend themselves easily to networking, which many attendees seek out before committing to register. Due to their relative recency, not all virtual events are meant for or even accommodate these opportunities among the audience though. 

Despite this, more and more people see virtual events as opportunities for various enticing activities, including networking. Robust virtual event platforms, holding smaller, more focused events, and leveraging communication and engagement features to encourage networking are part of the new winning strategy. 

Virtual Event Planning Trends

How events are planned is changing as well. Some trends require special attention as people become accustomed to new experiences. 

3. Bigger Is Better?

In certain cases, virtual events are growing bigger and more complex, but overall, most are shrinking and becoming more focused.

Some event planners find it easier to manage fewer but larger events. The idea is you can focus your entire budget on a small number of big launches that accomplish a lot more. 

Sometimes this logic works, but not always (after all, “bigger” translates to more chaotic and more demanding).

However, the greater trend is to organize micro-events. That entails holding more events that are shorter, more niche, and feature small audiences that are carefully curated. This approach offers more functionality for sales teams. You can guide leads down your funnel systematically, giving greater attention to more highly qualified leads and increasing conversion rates with less effort. 

4. Planning Far Ahead

In conjunction with a higher number of smaller events, brands are creating year-long event calendars where they guide leads from one small virtual event to another for continuous interaction and nurturing. The series of events ties together a rich overarching experience, which nets businesses greater engagement and converts leads more efficiently.

While this method may seem tedious at first, most event planners end up saving more money through it. Among other reasons, you have many opportunities to collect meaningful feedback from a smaller group of highly quality leads. That enables you to improve event experiences constantly. 

Additionally, smaller events are much easier to organize and so end up costing less (maximum audience size is one of the main factors virtual event platforms use to price their subscriptions).

Virtual Event Hosting Trends

The complex needs of businesses and customers alike over the last few years have given rise to new challenges with hosting virtual events. You now need a more flexible outlook to stay ahead. 

5. Hybrid Events Are Here To Stay

Hybrid events serve as a good intermediary between live and pre-recorded events. They offer the benefits of both types but with fewer downsides, especially in the post-COVID world. The need for in-person interactions between businesses and individuals (or at least through live video) remains the same, but virtual spaces and on-demand content have carved out a permanent space of their own.

The trajectory of the virtual event industry is heading toward hybrid events, and understandably so: Hybrid events solve the above challenges and enable your business to maximize live engagement for in-person events. This is important since, when possible, people often still prefer to go to a local, physical event. 

This trend simultaneously enables event planners to create and optimize a gold mine of on-demand content, thus fulfilling a multitude of purposes. You address the emotional need for in-person experiences as well as the obvious desire for low-cost event opportunities by going virtual.

With hybrid events, you have that flexibility. You can direct would-be foot traffic to a virtual space and drive virtual attendees to various curated spaces for a dynamic event experience. You also combat virtual event fatigue, reduce carbon emissions, and cut expenses all at once. Expect to see fewer completely in-person events and more virtual ones, with hybrid events becoming particularly popular as a diverse and flexible medium.

6. Customers First

The current focus in the virtual event industry is engagement, with intuitive and interactive built-in features receiving major emphasis. Similarly, charismatic presenters, continuously improving user interfaces, personalization, and other factors that contribute to attendee experiences are all prized. While this trend may be less new compared to some of the others, it’s also one of the least likely to go away soon. 

In one respect, engagement features will grow both more ubiquitous and intuitive. In-event polling, surveys, Q&A tools, and many facets of gamification will continue to improve and gain popularity and importance. But this adds competitive pressure: Your competition is working to keep the audience engaged post-event and pre-event as well as during it; engaged audience members are simply more likely to convert. Whether you run webinars, trade shows, or small virtual meetings, keeping attendees engaged and happy is key.

Virtual Event Technology Trends

Other trends can influence how technology evolves, but technology itself sets trends as well. Let’s look at the changes happening in the high-tech industry.

7. More Tech

First, expect more people to use technology, and more often. This trend is the most intense and alters quickly day by day.

Several industry reports reveal the COVID-19 pandemic was the catalyst for the popularity of virtual events, with their compound annual growth rate projected to reach 23.2% through 2027. But an overlooked (positive) side effect is that more people are using newer, more advanced devices. As a result, virtual events are more accessible and users can hear and see presentations better than before.

What this means for your business is that virtual events can potentially reach a significantly greater number of people than they would have just three years ago. Your opportunities explode, and you also enjoy more flexibility. More people are willing to attend virtual events — and have the means to do so. It’s a win-win if you’re just starting out with virtual event campaigns.

8. Virtual Reality

While not everyone expects you to offer it, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are both quickly gaining popularity. More and more event organizers have expanded their creativity into building virtual spaces for event attendees to enjoy.

The AR/VR trend is still in its early phase, but they could increase in importance for your business as time passes!

Virtual and augmented reality have established themselves as major players in the virtual event industry. If you intend to incorporate it into your strategy, keep your target audience and your staff’s capabilities in mind though. We haven’t reached a point where most people understand and enjoy these types of spaces. But it’s worth considering (if you haven’t already).

9. Better Analytics and Reporting

Businesses have prized automatic, accurate, and thorough data-gathering for a while now. But the pace of change has nevertheless picked up in the last few years, especially at the end of 2022 and for all of 2023. 

The expanded availability of artificial intelligence further hastens the speed and introduces new questions about how efficient and powerful automatic analytics and reporting can be.

These two concepts are baked into the base subscriptions of most virtual event platforms. They’re often bolstered by third-party integrations that add more features and potential.

The breadth of analytics is expanding as well, with platforms easily capturing broad metrics like audience count, registrants, the ratio between the two. Take advantage of all available engagement metrics for events where applicable, like:

  • Polls
  • Surveys
  • Pop quizzes
  • Q&A participation
  • Chat box usage
  • More specific action-based metrics

Banzai’s virtual event platform boasts a stronger focus on engagement compared to others. The company has seen in recent years how greater audience engagement equates to more conversions and, ultimately, higher ROI, and they’ve synthesized that knowledge to produce a top-notch platform solution for every virtual event.

Take full advantage of the current wealth of data at your fingertips and be prepared to respond dynamically to new changes.

10. Better Translations and Auto-transcription

This is another trend transcending industries, with positive implications for everyone. 

Automatic translation and transcription of speech from and to any language is now readily accessible and boasts high quality, even at a free tier. As a result, you can reach global audiences with a click of a button, offering live translations into audience members’ preferred languages. 

This trend opens greater accessibility for event attendees all around the world. It makes it easier for businesses to run inclusive events at a lower cost. 

Virtual Event Marketing and Promotion Trends

Advancements in technology have also made virtual event marketing more efficient. Event tech and social trends both made waves in the promotional side of event management.

11. Environmentally Friendly

You probably noticed this trend taking place across industries in recent years. Consumer concern about environmental issues has slowly been taking hold for decades, and now, it’s a major business influence. 

Businesses are expected to make environmental commitments, and consumers look for them before committing to purchasing or otherwise converting.

The virtual event industry has been primed for this trend; what better way to slash CO2 emissions than people not having to drive (or fly) to events?

The 2022 ICE Report revealed almost 6 in 10 event planning brands see sustainability as a top challenge. With consumer demand refusing to relent, the pressure continues to mount to make the industry more sustainable.

You must remember how much people care about these issues and that they’re looking for public commitments. So, make a serious pledge and follow through with clear actions. Show off any facet of your business that’s positive for the environment. Doing so will win consumer loyalty for the long term.

12. Custom Email Reminders

Personalization is one of the most consistent overarching trends in the virtual events space. Event professionals cannot afford to overlook it.

More than any other medium, customization in email marketing is no longer optional. Consumers have grown accustomed to receiving personal touches from brands in their digital marketing. 

To meet these demands, quality virtual event platforms have added customizable branding features for all digital events. This gives online attendees the virtual equivalent of visiting your head office.

More specifically, email marketing automation systems now make it easy to add some personalized touches with just a single click. For example, addressing everyone on your email list by name is now standard practice, but it’s easy to do regardless of whether it’s one subscriber or 10,000.

Wrap your brand personality into your email marketing for virtual events. The platform you use likely has features for you to incorporate the same imagery into the actual presentation rooms. Ubiquity is an asset for any brand, so take advantage of customization and personalization; it’s automatic, low-cost, and proven effective.

The Lowdown

Following virtual event trends is difficult. But the best virtual event platforms are keeping up with them for you!

Keep these industry patterns in mind as you start or continue your engagement marketing strategy. With a high-quality platform, you can quickly adapt to fluctuating currents so your virtual events remain up to date on the latest fads and consistently attract large, relevant audiences. 

No solution does this better than Banzai, with their top event hosting platform that emphasizes attendee engagement. Book a demo today to see for yourself how easy it is to start a successful campaign.

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