The sudden pivot to virtual events that occurred for many organizations and industries over the past year or two seemed pretty sudden, but has actually opened up a number of opportunities for businesses, organizations, and groups of all sizes.

Virtual events allow your organization to stay in touch with their customers through product reveals, virtual meet-and-greets, and more. However, even as virtual events become more popular and commonplace, a number of businesses and groups still don’t know what sort of virtual events it would be viable for them to hold, or even if virtual events apply to their activities and products in the first place.

Us? Well, we think there’s a virtual event for everyone out there. Not every virtual event needs to be some lengthy product reveal or unboxing video – all you need is a little imagination to find the type of virtual event that can help you better connect with your audience, no matter who it is or where they might be located.

Virtual events can take many different forms and styles, from the grand to the intimate. Here’s five of the most commonly held virtual events, and what they could potentially do for you!

Common Types of Virtual Events

Each of these is considered a ‘virtual event’, and all of them can be easily modified to meet the needs of your event or business.

Webinars

The most common type of virtual event, and one that has existed long before the current virtual event craze, is the webinar. As you can tell by the name (which originated back when everything on the internet had to be some kind of pun or portmanteau), a webinar is when a speaker presents their content or presentation virtually, allowing attendees from around the world to join in. In many cases, these webinars are live and fully virtual, allowing for the presenter to take questions from the audience and respond to things real time, although a number of webinars intended for a more international audience are frequently pre-recorded to allow for broadcasting in different timezones (or even languages, in some cases). 

Webinars are perfect for any group or industry that has information to present, and are frequently used for professional development in certain industries, or for presenting the results of a study done on an area of business. 

Virtual Trade Shows

Particularly in these days of global audiences for businesses, a virtual trade show can be a great way to maximize leads and expose your products to the widest possible audience, all from the comfort of their computer or smart device. 

Virtual trade shows are a perfect opportunity to unveil new products, meet potential customers interested in your goods and services, or connect with similar companies in the same space. Perhaps best of all, holding your trade show virtually saves you the hassle and expense of trying to get space on a crowded convention floor, travel accommodations, and the like.

Livestream Concerts

Few industries were hit harder during the pandemic than the live event business. Concerts, plays, really any kind of performance art was shut down seemingly indefinitely, and even as things slowly begin to open back up as is deemed safe, many performers are still turning to livestreamed concerts and events to help get back out in front of their fans and generate a little extra income while the touring industry slowly returns.

Livestreamed concerts and performances work similarly to a ‘normal’ concert, with one crucial difference – the audience is all online! By performing in a virtual event space, you can broadcast your performance on the platform of your choice to a potentially global audience, and potentially earn a little extra money by selling online ‘tickets’ to the event. 

Hybrid Events

Of course, just because you’re holding a virtual event doesn’t mean the entire thing has to be digital. “Hybrid events” have grown in popularity over the last year, thanks to their ability to combine elements of both virtual and traditional events in one convenient form. 

Hybrid events combine both a live presentation (with a live audience) with online broadcasting. These events often involve multiple locations or studios, allowing for teams to switch effortlessly between different presentation groups without all needing to be present in the same building. The online component still allows for interactivity with a virtual audience across the world, but the blended nature of the event can allow it to feel bigger and more important, especially when your teams are still spread out.

So How Can I Host A Virtual Event? 

Hosting a virtual event is easier than you might expect! All you need is the assistance of an experienced team, and the use of a virtual event studio. Bldg22, our full-featured virtual event space, can serve as the perfect backdrop for your next virtual event of any size, no matter what you need to broadcast – or who you’re broadcasting to. 

Our audiovisual production team can help handle all the technical aspects of your event – all you need to do is come up with the right event idea.

Whether you have broken in that perfect seat on your couch, or you are ready to get out of the house, running a hybrid event could be the solution for your next meeting or event. 

What is a hybrid event?

A hybrid event is the blend of both live and virtual events in one, combining in-person elements (such as product reveals or presentations like you’d see at a trade show) with the convenient virtual user interaction of a live stream or Zoom meeting

Nowadays, we never know what the world will bring. When planning events, there is already enough stress involved. Hybrid events allow for great flexibility, especially when dealing with the unexpected. Whether hosting a press conference or launching a new product, a hybrid event or hybrid meeting might be your solution. Follow this guide for more information on how to host a successful hybrid event. 

What kind of events can become hybrid events?

Running & Organizing Your Hybrid Event

Create a Custom Event Registration Plan

Keep your event organized and stress-free from the start, create a custom registration plan. Your plan should include an RSVP system, where attendees can choose whether they will attend virtually or live.  Will the majority of your audience be attending from the comfort of their home? Or will your audience be in-person?   

Market Your Event 

Having an audience is the fundamental aspect of hosting a successful event, be it a hybrid event or a more traditional one. Marketing plays a significant role in your turnout. The perk of hosting a hybrid event creates the availability for people to attend from anywhere. Tackle marketing by creating a website for your event, which can include RVSP and an itinerary for your event. In the event industry, the itinerary is considered the “run of show” in which every segment of the event is spelled out to the attendees. The run of show can include anything from start and end time of the show to speakers at the events. Additionally, create a presence on social media and make your event known among your following. This can be anything from a post on an Instagram story or an invitation through Facebook.

Think Outside of the Box

I think it is safe to say that most people are “zoomed-out” and tired of sitting on boring virtual calls. That’s why your next hybrid event should have virtual engaging content. Think outside of the box, consider using live polls, Q&As, games, and possibly breakout rooms to change the pace of the traditional virtual atmosphere. Overall, your events should be relevant and engaging to your audience, whether in person or virtual. 

You might think incorporating engaging content through a screen would be challenging, but it isn’t.  Having access to top-of-the-line AV and broadcast systems can make your next event engaging and worth your time. Consider a video wall, which is a multi-monitor setup that forms one large screen. The large screen has the capabilities to allow virtual attendees to interact with in-person attendees. Furthermore, the video wall can be used to display important information or fetch custom graphics. 

Located inside the headquarters of Display Group & AVL Creative in Detroit is Bldg 22. Bldg 22 is a full-service broadcasting studio where your next virtual/hybrid event can take place. Not only is the studio equipped with top-of-the-line audiovisual event production capabilities and broadcasting systems but it features multiple stages. The stages have the ability to transform into kitchens, offices, or really anything with the green room and onsite scenic rentals and custom fabrications. 

Try Simulive

In between interactive activities, try a simulive format. Simulive is having a prerecorded session for both virtual attendees and live attendees. Remember, a hybrid event is one event and two experiences. The last thing you want to happen is for your virtual attendee to feel left out from the live-action and vice versa. Simulive is ideal for hybrid events, and it’s even better when you have a virtual MC (master of ceremonies) guiding the virtual audience through the event. Having an MC keeps the event organized and clear and keeps the audience engaged. Truthfully, what would be an awards ceremony be without an MC and a meeting without a host, even if it’s a hybrid meeting

Have a Back-Up Plan

Unfortunately, life is not perfect, and everything does not always go as planned. An important tip when planning a hybrid event is to have a backup plan if something goes awry. Some may inevitably struggle to log in to the platform, get logged out, or possibly lose internet connection. Create instructions and link them in a marketing email. The instructions should include common troubleshooting problems. Another tip is to have a designated person be in charge of technical difficulties and provide their contact for assistance.  

In this day and age, we all live busy lives. Giving people more than one way to attend an event can increase attendance and make people feel more comfortable overall. Consider a hybrid, the up-and-coming format, for your next event.  

To plan your next hybrid event, contact Display Group and the family of companies at 313-965-3344.