Let’s face it, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we have been forced to host and/or attend so many virtual events, but how many of those have been interesting and valuable?
We all know that it’s very challenging for a virtual event to replace the traditional, in-person alternative, but virtual events aren’t going anywhere, in fact, they’re here to stay.
Yet, there have been some bright spots revealed in the fairly short history of virtual events. There are virtual events that are insightful, engaging, and effective in achieving their purposes, which means it’s definitely possible to run and host a successful virtual event, no matter what type of event it is.
Creativity is key: you’ll need to offer something unique and interesting, or else you simply will be drowned amongst your competitors’ events.
With that being said, here are 10 creative virtual event ideas you can try today for your next big event.
1. Health, Sports, and Wellbeing Activities
It’s no secret that the pandemic has forced virtually everyone to be more health and hygiene-conscious, so why don’t we leverage on that?
Many people have been struggling not only with their physical wellbeing, but many are depressed and stressed due to the pandemic situation.
You can, for example, host:
- Fitness classes where attendees can follow the on-screen instruction with simple equipment (or bodyweight training)
- Meditation classes
- Yoga classes
- Virtual strength classes
- Health and wellness webinars/conferences
- Art therapy
- Poetry therapy
- Dance classes
You can also combine these wellbeing activities with other events, or as a “break” session in-between meetings (i.e. 5-minute Yoga break). This can be quite effective for your team members and attendees so they can have a change of pace instead of being stuck in a boring 3-hour long Zoom meeting.
2. Virtual Movie Night
Another relatively simple event to organize is a virtual movie night.
As the name suggests, this event is simply about virtually watching a movie (or a TV show) together, recreating the traditional movie night and theater outings with the convenience of staying at home.
How to do it? It can be as simple as getting everyone on Zoom or Skype and then press play at the same time. However, Disney+, Hulu, and other streaming services actually offer their own watch-party feature and the upcoming new Facetime feature in iOS 15 will also accommodate watch party events. There are also various third-party solutions like Teleparty that will synchronize video playback while also providing a group-chat feature.
If you want to use it as a team-building activity, simply have your team members vote on a selection of movies, and have everyone join at a set schedule.
3. Virtual Concert
Similar in idea to the above, hosting a virtual concert can provide a unique and memorable experience for your attendees when done right. You can also combine a virtual concert with other virtual events, i.e. inserting a concert in-between speakers in a virtual conference.
The key in planning a successful virtual concert is production, or to be more exact, ensuring the concert’s production works in the virtual environment. It’s crucial for a concert to be immersive. We can’t rely on simply streaming a video feed of the artist, but multiple camera angles, a well-designed stage, and other elements like lasers and pyrotechnics can help enhance the concert’s immersion.
Of course, it doesn’t always have to be expensive. Be creative with your concept, for example by incorporating a way for attendees to interact with each other, as well as an online store for special merchandise they can only get during the concert.
4. Virtual Trivia Night
There’s a reason why Jeopardy! remains very popular even after all these decades: everyone loves trivia.
The good news is we can quite easily integrate trivia night in any virtual event, or even as a standalone event on its own.
Just prepare your questions, and have a host/moderator read the questions to your attendees. You can input the questions and answers in a PowerPoint slide, and share the presentation over Zoom or your chosen video conferencing platforms.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to prepare your questions, you can take advantage of various online trivia game platforms that you can use right away.
5. Virtual Exhibition Fair
If you want to host a large-scale virtual event, then you can use various virtual exhibition platforms that allow you to set up virtual booths just like a physical exhibition hall.
Exhibitors and sponsors can customize these booths with their logos and other brand elements, and attendees can click into the booth to access a landing page. Inside this landing page, the attendees can interact with the brand in various ways like watching videos, chatting with the brand representative, or even purchasing the brand’s product in real-time.
6. Virtual Conference
There are several advantages of hosting a virtual conference compared to the in-person counterpart. For instance, you are not going to be limited by the venue size, so you can theoretically invite as many attendees as possible. Travel and accommodations also won’t be an issue, so you can invite attendees, speakers, and exhibitors from all over the world with ease.
When done right, virtual conferences can be very effective, and you can allow speakers to create engaging, interactive talk shows that can reach people from all over the world.
7. Virtual Photo Booths
For most in-person events, photo booths are a staple attraction, and we can also integrate virtual photo booths into our virtual events. We can provide attractive and shareable backdrops people can use as their photo’s background, and encourage them to share the photos on social media to help promote your event.
8. Virtual Escape Room
For those who are familiar with escape room games, you might think that it can be hard to translate this into a virtual setting. However, there are services like The Escape Game that can help you organize virtual escape room games for both small and large groups.
Even when your attendees don’t share a geographical location, this type of virtual game can allow them to explore a shared environment together, making this a great team-building activity.
Alternatively, you can also design the game on your own, for example by sharing puzzles on-screen, and use common items attendees’ have at their homes. Again, be creative!
9. Virtual Scavenger Hunt
Similar to a virtual escape room, a virtual scavenger hunt can be a fun and engaging game for your attendees.
Most of us should be familiar with the idea of a scavenger hunt game, but how can we do it online? Where should we hide the treasure for the attendees to find?
A good approach here is to use subjective and universal items as your treasures, for example: “find 5 items in your house you’d take when your house is on fire”.
Again, there are also services like Scavify that can help you easily organize a virtual scavenger hunt game if you don’t want to prepare your own questions and puzzles.
10. 360-Degree Tours
A 360-degree tour is an effective approach if you want to add more interactivity to your existing virtual events, or when you want to showcase your business, school, or property to others virtually.
Real estate agents, for example, can use 360-degree tours to promote their properties, and we can also incorporate similar ideas in various different ways.
11. Learning New Skills Together
This can be a great virtual event to include as a team-building activity, or alternatively, your business can teach a skill related to your niche to your virtual attendees. If you are a restaurant, for example, you can host cooking lessons or restaurant training courses to engage with your customers and attendees.
Virtual learning together can actually be very effective rather than learning alone. Attendees will get a virtual support system by enjoying the lessons together with others.
You can also invite guest teachers to teach various skills such as:
- Leadership seminar
- Digital marketing classes
- Creative writing
You can also use platforms like Udemy or MasterClass if you don’t want to prepare your own lessons.
12. Virtual Truth and Lie
This one is relatively simple to host, and yet can be very fun.
Ask your attendees to prepare three truth statements and one lie statement. The lie should be rather believable and realistic (i.e. not saying “I’ve been to Mars”). Brief your attendees not to be offensive with their statements.
You can then ask them to read the truth and lie in a random order, and the other attendees should then discuss and guess which statement they think is a lie.
As you can see, this can be an effective virtual game for team building, but you can also insert this game into most other virtual event concepts with ease.
No matter what kinds of virtual event ideas you choose, planning and managing the events are also important to ensure a high level of participation of all attendees. This is where virtual event software can help you efficiently manage your events, track what your attendees are doing during the event, and manage attendees’ communications before, during, and after the event.