10 Ways to Make Your Virtual Events More Productive

March 20, 2024 Mario Stewart

Back in 2020, a certain little bug caused havoc and changed the world. Today, in addition to appreciating the little things more, we are also more likely to embrace virtual connections. And many event attendees are more likely to opt for a virtual event rather than an in-person conference.

When the lockdowns arrived, New York event planners answered the call and learned on the fly how to organize successful virtual events. Three years later, we know what works and what doesn’t. In this article, we summarize the nine ways to make your virtual events more productive.

How Popular Are Virtual Events in 2024?

Like pocket-sized hand sanitizer and the cute mutt you adopted when the bars were shuttered, virtual events are here to stay. According to Vimeo, 72% of those surveyed plan on attending the same number of events as they did during the pandemic. It isn’t hard to see why. Attendees can wear pajama pants to virtual events, and the drinks are free. vFairs shared that 77.2% of those surveyed prefer virtual events because of the sheer ease of attendance.

But the reasons to attend virtual events go beyond homey comfort and gratis margaritas. Without the costs associated with travel, virtual events are far more affordable. Attendees also appreciate the flexibility and content delivery that comes with virtual events.

And organizers love virtual events because they have a broader reach, increased attendance, and more reliable data metrics than in-person events.

With all that said, virtual events are beholden to the same high standards as in-person events. In other words, if you build it, they will come, but only if you build it to be as productive as in-person events.

1. Set Goals for Your Virtual Event

What, exactly, does your client want to accomplish with the virtual event? Brand recognition, revenue, client leads, and more are all possible reasons to host a virtual event. Your virtual event will be more productive when you align your client’s reasons with everything from event marketing to data collection and analysis.

2. Identify Attendees’ Goals

The next step to hosting a productive virtual event is making it worthwhile for the attendees. In other words, what’s in it for them? Possible answers include advancing their career, networking, or landing a job. Cater to the one to three items attendees care most about.

3. Remember the Sponsors

They have their reasons, too. Create opportunities for them to interact with attendees using on-demand presentations and web chats.

4. Choose the Best Virtual Event Platform

Virtual event platforms take videoconferencing to the next level with immersive features and in-depth analytics. Consider how many attendees you anticipate and the types of experiences you want to provide when choosing a virtual event platform. Some other considerations when choosing an event platform are:

  • Ease of use for participants
  • Variety of engagement and networking features
  • Availability of customer support for attendees
  • Data analysis and reporting metrics

5. Send Gift Bags to Participants

Generate excitement for your virtual event by sending gift bags to participants. Swag bags make the virtual event feel more “real” and encourage attendees to show up to the virtual event. Here are some ideas for your swag bag:

  • Swag from client companies and sponsors
  • Snacks
  • Water bottle
  • Teas and coffee
  • Doordash gift card
  • Mug Warmer
  • Mobile Phone Stand
  • Printed informational packet

6. Send Email Reminders, Surveys, and Links

Give event attendees everything they need to network effectively and catch the speakers they’re most interested in. In addition to a full recap of event details, provide surveys for your attendees. Give them an opportunity to share information with other attendees for networking purposes.

7. Offer a Virtual Landscape

Get your attendees’ social neurons firing by creating a virtual world for your event. Offer a café where they can mingle with other attendees, a conference hall where they can attend a live presentation, and a park where they join other attendees for games. Creating a sense of place in your virtual event mimics the look and feel of in-person events and encourages engagement.

8. Gamify Your Virtual Event

There’s a virtual version of every engagement-boosting game activity you use during in-person events. Scavenger hunts, photobooths, Bingo, and more can make your virtual event fun and keep your attendees engaged.

9. Make It Easy for People to Connect with Others

You can use technology during your virtual event to mimic the same kind of spontaneous connections as in-person events. Allow participants to search for people based on their profiles. Provide attendees the ability to connect with each other through messaging, texting, and person-to-person video calls within the virtual event platform.

10. Make Your Virtual Event Mobile Friendly

Despite all the perks, virtual events have a major downside. They tend to glue participants to their desk chairs. Free your attendees by allowing them to easily switch to their smartphones so they can walk around, grab a snack, and sit on the sofa.

Learn More About Making Virtual Events More Productive at The Expo

It’s no wonder virtual events have taken off. Attendees can be snug in their homes with Fido on their laps while attending presentations and networking with others online. The advantages of virtual events to both attendees and organizers mean virtual events will continue to evolve and get better. You can learn about all of the very latest event planning developments and techniques for productive virtual events at The Event Expo 2024. Reserve your booth today and get in on the trade show floor networking festivities at this premier event planning conference!

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