Many corporations initially adopted virtual events to substitute their delayed or cancelled in-person events during the global pandemic.
Yet, soon enough, corporations have begun to realize how virtual events can offer benefits we won’t otherwise get from the traditional in-person formats, and virtual corporate events are simply here to stay.
In this article, we will discuss the different types and ideas for virtual corporate events. By learning these different types, you should have a better idea about planning your next virtual corporate event in 2023.
Ideas for Your Virtual Corporate Events
It’s easy to be tempted to be overly creative and to incorporate out-of-the-box ideas in your virtual corporate event.
Yet, depending on the event’s purpose, sometimes the “basics” can be more effective.
Before exploring all those unique and creative event ideas, it’s best to go over some of these basic ones first:
→ Virtual conference
The quintessential virtual event type, essentially a virtual conference, is the direct online translation of an in-person conference.
A physical, in-person conference typically involves multiple speakers separated in different rooms or areas. These speakers can cover different topics in different sessions, and there can be various other types of activities included in the event agenda (contests, networking sessions, campfire sessions, etc. )
A virtual conference essentially follows the same format: there will be multiple virtual “rooms” attendees can choose to attend, each with different speakers and activities.
The key advantage of the virtual conference format is versatility. It can be as passive as watching a live-streamed keynote or as interactive as an interactive breakout session where attendees can communicate 1:1 with other attendees.
Ideal for: the virtual conference format is great for brand awareness and lead generation, as well as for building relationships and community. Worth considering if you have a relatively sizable budget to host a multi-day conference with multiple speakers and activities.
→ Virtual town hall meeting
In a corporate context, a town hall meeting is a regular internal meeting to broadcast internal news and information to employees and internal stakeholders. It’s also common for leaders and management to reiterate the company’s vision, mission, and current goals to employees during the town hall meeting.
A virtual town hall meeting can be delivered in a live streaming (live webcast) format or an on-demand video.
Ideal for: internal use. Relatively inexpensive and easy and can be effective for updating employees about current developments and nurturing company culture.
→ Online training/education event
This type of event can come in many different forms and for different purposes: traditional classes, workshops, certificate training, new employees onboarding, and so on, but the bottom line is that these events are focused on learning.
Educational/training events are fairly easy to translate into a virtual format since it’s mainly one-way. The most important focus to pay attention to is for the instructor to be able to present information clearly. However, an ideal training event should also facilitate student-instructor interactions, as well as interactions between students.
Ideal for: various educational purposes in a corporation; onboarding new employees, continuous employee training, certificate training, and so on.
Another common type of virtual event, a webinar (a portmanteau of “web seminar), mainly involves one speaker presenting a particular topic to a relatively small group.
Webinars can be presented live in real-time or as a pre-recorded video but typically are accompanied by interactive sessions (albeit relatively limited) like live chats, polls, or a Q&A session at the end of the seminar.
Ideal for: presenting educational content to customers, as well as internal stakeholders when two-way interaction isn’t critical (otherwise, it’s better to present the event in a traditional online training format.)
→ Online trade shows and exhibitions
Thanks to technology, now event organizers and brands can host an online trade show and expo by leveraging a virtual stage and virtual booths.
While a virtual trade show may not offer a similar level of engagement to its in-person counterpart, it does offer a unique benefit in the ability to reach an international or even global audience.
You can combine an online trade show with other formats. For example, you can allow brands to educate their booth visitors about their offerings using webinars.
Ideal for: building awareness, relationship/community building, and lead generation.
Ideas for Team Building Activities
A corporate social event is important for facilitating interactions between your employees and internal stakeholders.
In an online setting, you can allow team members to interact with each other, smile, have fun, and bond without having to worry about distances and geolocations.
Below are some fun and effective ideas for social activities you can incorporate into your next virtual corporate event:
→ Lunch/dinner together
A pretty simple event to host, and it can be effective for a more laidback occasion. Simply host lunch or dinner on a video chat/video conference platform, and while your team enjoys their meal, you can chat ideas and discuss your progress updates without a formal meeting format.
→ Speed networking
As the name suggests, speed networking allows attendees to quickly build connections with other participants. This can benefit corporates with particularly large teams that may not know one another or if you employ remote workers.
→ Virtual scavenger hunts
Divide your team into groups, and organize an online scavenger hunt. Since the participants will be in different rooms, you can create objectives that aren’t specific to a certain location so everyone can participate and collaborate with each other. A scavenger hunt can be effective as a team-building activity since it encourages participants to work together.
→ Virtual chess class
In fact, you can learn all kinds of hobbies (origami, cocktail, cooking, etc.) or new skills together with other employees online. Learning together can be very effective in building camaraderie, especially when your team members rarely meet with each other beforehand.
→ Virtual tour
Many tourism companies now sell video tours of museums, zoos, or other attractions. You can have your team members enjoy this “tour” together so they can chat about their experiences.
→ Virtual game night
Game night on a video chat platform can be effective as a team-building activity. Alternatively, if many on your team are actively gaming as a hobby, you can host ongoing gaming competitions/leagues so they can actively connect with each other on social media.
→ Online fitness classes
Not only can virtual gym/fitness classes be effective as a team-building activity, but it’s also great for your company as a whole since it encourages wellness. You can have your team sign up as attendees for a public virtual fitness class, or you can invite an instructor (i.e., a personal trainer) to host a private class just for your team.
→ Virtual guess who
A great getting-to-know game for team building. When done correctly, it can be a fun evaluation for your team to confirm what each team member knows about their co-workers and may reveal facts and knowledge that haven’t been revealed before. You can make things more interesting by preparing simple but valuable prizes for the participants, such as gift cards or a free lunch.
→ Virtual escape room
Throughout the pandemic, there are various platforms and apps facilitating online escape rooms that you can leverage to create your own online escape room activity. An escape room game can be a very effective team-building activity, encouraging participants to work with each other to find clues and unravel the mystery.
→ Virtual gift exchange
Pretty self-explanatory, set a budget (i.e., up to $50) for your team to pick out a gift for another participant they are assigned at random. Then, organize a day to have a virtual unboxing via a video conferencing platform where everyone can open their presents on screen. You can also host a mini-game where they’ll need to guess who gave them the present.
Fun Activities for Your Virtual Corporate Events
Sometimes, the event’s activities or agenda don’t need to have too specific objectives or goals, but you can simply include something fun for your attendees to enjoy just to boost engagement and encourage networking. Below are a few ideas:
→ Virtual trivia night
Ideal for smaller corporate events that don’t involve too many attendees (i.e., weekly meetings.) You can have employees compete against each other and test their knowledge. You can also have your employees compete with your customers or the general public as you see fit.
To make things interesting, prepare a small but meaningful reward for the winner.
→ Virtual concert
The basic form of an online concert is to include a video performance of a (famous) musical talent. It can be a simple, fun activity attendees can enjoy together, but you can also use a concert as a team-building activity in which your team members can bond and chat (via the comment/live chat section) during the performance.
→ Virtual giveaway
You can host a giveaway for your employees or loyal customers (or both.) Prepare meaningful rewards and design a contest that fits your brand, then simply invite people to attend this giveaway event.
→ Movie night
Pretty self-explanatory. Most major streaming platforms (i.e., Netflix) nowadays offer Watch Party features where you can watch a movie or series at the same time and then video chat or text throughout the movie.
→ Virtual happy hour
Pretty simple to host, but can be effective. Every participant can make their own drinks at home and then connect with each other via a live chat or video conference. Great for a more casual occasion or when your team is celebrating something (i.e., a. Milestone.)
→ Virtual prom
A great event activity idea to try for larger teams or organizations is to host a virtual prom where participants can dress up with their best prom attire and take photos. You can include various activities here, just like a traditional prom would.
→ Virtual birthday parties
Pretty self-explanatory and especially important if you have a remote team or remote workers. Host birthday parties for your remote team members to recognize them and for the rest of the participants to have fun.
→ Virtual giveaway
Pretty simple, a virtual giveaway can reward your employees or loyal customers with simple but meaningful prizes. Invite participants to attend your virtual giveaway, and give then an entry to your giveaway contest.
→ Wellness activities
Like yoga or meditation classes.
This type of activity can help your team in managing their stress and can be particularly effective in improving their overall productivity and morale.
→ Social media challenge
Leverage social media to create event activities and contests to engage both employees and customers. Be creative and create activities that align well with your brand and/or brand messages.
For example, if you are a restaurant, you can share recipes and have your followers post their cooking activities with a hashtag.
Ides for Business Activities
Besides the quintessential types we’ve discussed further above, there are also some types of events that can work well as virtual corporate events hosted in a dedicated virtual event platform:
→ Virtual meeting
It can be a regular weekly meeting, kickoff meeting for a project, or other purposes.
A virtual meeting on a dedicated event platform like Eventtia can help your team share ideas and update their current progress. You can organize pre-event chat rooms for different departments, so they can collaborate first before the actual meeting.
→ Virtual summit
A virtual summit is similar to a virtual conference but typically has a narrower focus on one topic. It can feature multiple hosts/speakers covering the same niche from different angles and can be a great way for your employees or customers to gain valuable information/knowledge on this topic.
→ Virtual gala
Pretty self-explanatory; you can sell tickets to your loyal customers so they can attend the gala, or make it an internal event for your team and internal stakeholders. The gala itself can offer different types of entertainment, like concerts, exclusive giveaways, raffles, and more.
→ Virtual guest speaker
You can invite a prominent guest speaker (i.e., a lecturer, an influencer that is an expert in a specific niche, etc.) and let them present their keynote to your team or your customers. Pretty simple to host and can be very engaging and informative.
→ Virtual coworking
You can organize a virtual coworking space by utilizing your virtual event platform. This can be especially valuable for remote workers (or remote teams), so you can emulate in-person office camaraderie.
→ Virtual fundraisers
A staple event for non-profits, but for-profit businesses can also benefit from hosting their own fundraisers to support a cause. Gather your list of donors, and invite them to your virtual fundraising event. You can also include more activities within the fundraiser, like giveaways or raffles, to make it more interesting to donors and participants.
→ Virtual award ceremony
Especially great if you have remote workers or remote teams. Host an awards ceremony to recognize your employees for their contributions. Prepare personalized awards and send them beforehand to their homes, and host the ceremony virtually. Or, to keep them a surprise, you can send the awards after the ceremony.
Best Practices for Planning a Successful Virtual Corporate Event
Hosting a virtual corporate event can offer so many unique benefits. Doesn’t mean you’ll achieve success as soon as you’ve hosted one.
No matter what types of virtual events or what kinds of activities you are going to include, here are the first steps you should take in hosting your next virtual corporate event:
1. Know your target audience and purpose
As we can see from the various event ideas above, there are a lot of possibilities to choose from.
Thus, it’s important to know who your target audience is and what the purpose of your event is when deciding between these different types of events.
Do your market research homework, and establish clear purpose, objectives, and expectations for hosting your virtual corporate event.
2. Establish a timeline
As early as possible in your event planning cycle, establish your date and time.
In a virtual event, your participants can technically join from anywhere, so you’ll need to consider the right time zones in mind. The idea is to make sure as many prospective attendees in your community will be able to attend.
For example, if it’s a formal virtual conference, then hosting the event on Monday morning will not be ideal.
Also, give yourself enough time to prepare, especially if you are planning to host a larger event. Even if it’s a fairly simple virtual event, give yourself at least a few weeks.
3. Estimate your budget
Estimate and establish your budget as early as possible.
Having a clear budget is very important in ensuring your event’s success. The event budget will act as a roadmap to help you allocate the right resources to the right items to achieve success.
The most important expense elements to consider in a virtual corporate event are:
- A virtual event platform and other relevant technology solutions
- Design and branding
- A/V equipment (microphones, cameras, etc.)
- Live streaming equipment (computers, encoders, etc.)
- Studio (for recording or live streaming content.)
- Event swag bags
- Accessibility assistance (closed captioning, transcription, etc.)
If you’ve organized another virtual event in the past, you can probably use some of the items included in the previous budget. However, keep in mind that each event is unique and would need a unique approach. Also, prices of the items from last year or even six months ago may change, so make sure to keep them up to date.
4. Invest in the best speakers and content
Nothing’s worse than having a bland event that simply bores your attendees.
In a virtual event, content is king since you can’t rely on good food or decorations to engage your attendees. Thus, no matter what types of virtual events you are going to host, make sure to have great content.
If it’s going to be a webinar, virtual summit, virtual conference, or any other type involving speakers, make sure to get the best possible speakers/presenters you can get.
5. Always strive to engage participants
One of the key challenges in hosting any virtual event is maintaining engagement. It’s easy for attendees joining the event from home to get distracted by household chores or other things throughout the event, so make sure to address this.
Make your event as engaging as possible by including live Q&As, buttons for reactions (i.e., clapping), comment/live chat sections, breakout sessions, live polls, and so on.
Make sure to leverage your virtual event platform’s analytics features to analyze your audience’s engagement and the overall quality of your event.
6. Have a marketing plan
Don’t underestimate the need to market your event. No matter how good your virtual corporate event is, it won’t bring you any value if you can’t attract enough attendees.
Also, don’t underestimate the time you’ll need to properly market the event, and you should prepare a solid marketing plan as early as possible.
At the very least, you should have three months of promotional time. Leverage different marketing channels as you see fit depending on your target audience’s preferences.
Plan your Next Event with Eventtia’s Virtual Event Platform
Eventtia aims to power your next virtual corporate event with our innovative virtual platform designed for enhanced brand and community experiences.
Whatever types of virtual corporate events—including the ideas we’ve shared above—your organization can benefit from Eventtia’s virtual event platform with the following benefits:
- Fully customizable virtual event platform. Easily add your logo and other branding elements
- A robust and versatile virtual event platform that can support any type of virtual corporate event
- Comprehensive event planning and management tools from registration to ticketing to promotion
- Engagement and interactivity features to aid networking
- Personalization for enhanced attendee experiences
- High-quality and reliable live streaming
- Intuitive and easy-to-use user experience
- Data collection, analytics, and reporting tools
Eventtia virtual event platform provides native support for all types of virtual and hybrid events.
Learn more about Eventtia virtual event platform, and get in touch with our event specialist right away.