Virtual Events in 2024:
A Complete Guide

You’ve probably heard already, but virtual events are kinda a big deal.
They were the saving grace for many businesses during the pandemic.
Now, they’ve earned a permanent slot on every event organizer’s calendar.
Why? Well, you’re about to find out.

(15 min read)

Table of Content

What are Virtual Events?

Virtual events are in-person-like events happening in an online environment. They deliver a rich networking experience without compromising the essence of a physical event. Using technology purposely designed to bring your events to life online, attendees can interact with their colleagues, speakers, and sponsors just like they would IRL.  All you need is a mobile or laptop and internet.

Virtual Events - Overview, Why, and How

Adopting virtual events in 2020 was a forced choice—but hosting an online event in 2024? Event organizers prefer it. Forrester Research found that 63% of the global marketing leaders they surveyed plan to host the same – or more – number of virtual events in 2022. With virtual events becoming a permanent element of how businesses market and interact with their audiences, this guide will explore if virtual events make a good choice for you, expert tips on hosting virtual events successfully, and the tools that can support you.

Organizations plan to host the same number or more virtual events in 2022

Different Types of Virtual Events That Businesses Must Consider in 2024

Virtual events are often put in the same category as webinars, webcasts, and “Zoom events”, but in reality, their scope is much bigger, One could even say that webinars and webcasts are subsets of virtual events, as they are not even close to the full range of capabilities and formats you can leverage with virtual events.

Businesses looking to enhance their global reach must consider hosting a variety of virtual events. Let’s see some of the different types of virtual events to consider in 2024

1. Virtual Conferences: 

Virtual Conferences

A virtual conference is similar to a traditional conference gathering, but it takes place in an online environment. These online conferences are usually conducted via a video conferencing software. 

Virtual conferences can be held by various organizations, including businesses, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and more to bring people of similar interests together. 

Participants can join conference meetings from anywhere with a computer or mobile device and a reliable internet connection. Virtual conferences are an ideal solution for organizations seeking to engage their audiences interactively.

2. Virtual Summits: 

Virtual Summits

A virtual summit is an online, interactive event that typically lasts one or two days. This is an event where business experts, leaders, and professionals come together to discuss niche topics. The primary purpose of a virtual summit is to build a sense of community, promote knowledge, and generate revenue.

At online summits, specialists are brought in to address a variety of topics, depending on the industry, such as real estate, gaming, technology, healthcare, business, and more.  Virtual summit sessions can be held in the form of interviews, panel discussions, and Q&As, not very different from what you’d expect at an in-person summit. 

3. Virtual Networking Events: 

Virtual Networking Events

Similar to physical networking, virtual networking is a socializing event where people connect, engage, and network with each other, professionally. Virtual networking events have grown in popularity, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, as they allow event attendees to network with people across the world.

Online networking is one of the most popular virtual event formats in the corporate world, enabling people to network and communicate with others on a personal and professional level. Through networking events, people from across the world can gather virtually, share experiences, and make new connections without having to physically go anywhere to attend the event.

4. Virtual Trade Shows & Exhibitions: 

Virtual Trade Shows & Exhibitions

A virtual trade show is a digital event where companies showcase their product or services to potential customers or even investors. Virtual expos offer excellent opportunities for businesses to communicate with prospective customers and generate a more diverse pool of leads.

Compared to an in-person trade show, an online trade show is more affordable and sustainable. It adds a personal touch to the event. Online trade shows empower companies to easily target international customer groups, and this is not as practical as when hosting a traditional one.

5. Virtual Wedding Ceremony: 

Virtual Wedding Ceremony

 One of the biggest changes that the events industry witnessed post-pandemic, was the rise in popularity of digital or virtual wedding ceremonies. For the uninitiated, An online wedding event, as the term suggests is when a wedding ceremony is held online.

In these types of weddings, couples can get married even if they are not physically present in one place. Think of it as a regular wedding, involving all the typical ceremonies or rituals, only happening digitally.  

6. Virtual Career Fair & Job Fair: 

Virtual Career Fair & Job Fair

A virtual career fair and job fair is a recruitment event where job seekers and employers interact through a video conferencing platform. Participants attend career fair events, explore different company booths, and engage with recruiters to learn about new job opportunities.

Organizations wishing to recruit best-in-class talent for their specific job roles can do so using virtual job fair platforms. Also, job seekers who are looking for various job opportunities can connect with multiple employers by registering for online job fairs.

7. Webinars: 


Virtual webinars are online seminars that are hosted using an online webinar platform. Webinars typically consist of a host, presenter, and audience. The host is the person who conducts, leads, and guides webinars to run smoothly. The presenter is the speaker who delivers the content of the webinar and virtual audiences are those who take part in the webinar to learn, engage, and interact with the host and presenter.

8. Virtual Workshops: 

Virtual Workshops

Virtual workshops are meetings where a group of people gather to gain practical skills and knowledge about a specific topic. Virtual workshops are a bit like virtual webinars as they are both used for educational purposes. Attendees can participate and engage in group discussions, brainstorming sessions, and problem-solving activities at an online workshop.

9. Virtual Sales Kickoffs: 

Virtual Sales Kickoffs

A virtual sales kickoff or a virtual SKO is a yearly gathering that brings together a company’s sales team to discuss the upcoming year’s sales strategy, goals, etc. At the Online Sales Kickoff, companies share new product updates, and sales best practices with their sales team to drive revenue for their businesses.

The sales kickoff is a crucial annual event for almost every business as it sets the tone for the upcoming year’s sales targets and strategies. These meetings play an important role in ensuring that every salesperson in the company is on the same page and is aligned with the company’s goals.

10. Virtual Town Hall: 

Virtual Town Hall

A virtual town hall meeting is a digital version of a traditional town hall that is held on virtual event platforms. The main motive behind conducting town hall meetings is to keep the employees informed about the business, company updates, goals, and any changes that are to occur within the organization. Online town hall meetings provide great opportunities to connect employees with the organization’s goals and mission. 

11. Virtual Product Launch: 

Virtual Product Launch

A virtual product launch is a digital event where companies promote a new product or service to their audiences in a virtual setting. The purpose of holding these events is to generate interest in the product among potential customers and increase the awareness of the brand in the market.

The product launch event serves as a platform to show the company’s offerings to potential clients. By highlighting the product’s unique features, companies can effectively boost their sales.

12. Virtual Team-Building Activities: 

Virtual Team-Building Activities

Virtual team-building activities are collaborative exercises designed to bring remote employees together and build a bond between them. There are numerous team-building activities and games available such as virtual trivia games, online bingo, virtual scavenger hunts virtual escape rooms, and more. 

Since remote teams tend to have less in-person interaction when compared to traditional teams, virtual activities help bridge that gap and create a sense of community. Virtual team-building activities not only improve communication among remote workers but also increase job satisfaction, morale, and productivity.

13. Hybrid Events: 

Hybrid Events

A hybrid event is a mix of an in-person and virtual gathering. Attendees are allowed to attend the hybrid meeting at their convenience, either in person at the event venue or digitally through a device like a laptop or phone. 

Hybrid events can be held in many formats, such as workshops, conferences, town halls, trade shows, and more. Hybrid events are expected to become increasingly popular because of their ability to reach a wider audience and cater to both in-person and virtual preferences.

14. Virtual Community Events:

Virtual Community Events

Virtual community events are a great way for people to learn, socialize, and become a part of a dynamic online community. Such events are held for business purposes such as networking, learning, and knowledge sharing. In the 21st century, online community events take place all over the world to bring people together to share common interests, themes, and concerns.

Why Host a Virtual Event?

The popularity of virtual events has exploded—and for a good reason. They’re a powerful tool for businesses to drive growth and take on new markets.

Let’s look at some main reasons companies host virtual events:

Offers better reach & scalability

Virtual events cut through the barriers that limit the impact of physical events, like distance, weather, and pandemics. While a venue can have a limit, virtual events can accommodate potentially unlimited people across multiple time zones with ease.

Cut costs with fewer logistics

Virtual events are often cheaper to host than live in-person events. There are fewer logistics involved, and there is no need to rent a venue.

More choice and flexibility to run events

Virtual events can be almost any length. They can be a short 30-minute webinar, an interaction-rich summit, or a multi-day conference with parallel tracks and sessions.

Improved accessibility

Virtual events are accessible to people who can’t attend in-person events. This includes people with disabilities, and those unable/unwilling to travel.

Can make your brand stand out

Hosting virtual events is a creative way to get your message out there. It can help you stand out from the crowd and make your brand memorable.

They let you squeeze more value with repurposing

Build up a bank of content to repurpose across multiple marketing channels. Save costs on generating new content by using the recordings available and turning them into social media snippets and teasers. Repurpose interviews into Youtube videos or podcasts.

Makes it easier to measure ROI and event success

Measuring ROI is a pressing concern for event marketers. Virtual event platforms can help you collect event data via one centralized channel, making it easier for you to draw actionable insights and measure event performance.

You get to be a sustainability hero

According to the University of Michigan, the AirMiners online event produced 66 times less greenhouse gas emissions than an in-person meeting in San Francisco. It makes sense—fewer people use planes, or cars to reach the venue. Less printing of brochures, booklets, and signage for events.

Why are Virtual Events Important?

Never before have consumers had access to so many tools, services, and experiences – giving rise to cut-throat competition, squeezed margins, and ever-increasing marketing costs. As a result, businesses need to rise above the competition with more memorable experiences and valuable content.

Enter: Virtual events. They can assist with pipeline acceleration, provide opportunities to warm up leads, and engage and build relationships with your prospects.

Virtual events help you accelerate and scale your sales pipeline

Your sales team gain efficiency—instead of one-to-one meetings, virtual events provide the opportunity to present to multiple prospects at once

Build trust & rapport with a friendly face—speaking to someone via the phone is very different to connecting with a human virtually. This helps to strengthen trust, easing the pathway to purchase

Virtual events can boost conversions at every stage of the funnel

Discovering and engaging new audiences gets easier—move people further down the funnel with perpetual opportunities to connect and engage with them.

They enrich every stage of your funnel—for example, you can host speaker events, networking events, and conferences to boost awareness; trade shows, workshops, and thought leadership events for the middle of the funnel; and product demos, VIP experiences, and launches for your BOFU audiences. 

When you adopt an Event-led Growth mindset, interconnected experiences follow—and when you get this right, you can engage your audience at the right time across a cyclical string of events throughout the year.

Virtual events expedite business growth

Lower complexity, easier to execute—you can host a string of interconnected events throughout the year, rather than one-off physical events that take months (even years) to plan.

Earn more mindshare and prospect at scale—Virtual events facilitate unforgettable experiences with your prospects, customers, employees, and community. This builds real connections, enhancing your brand awareness, loyalty, and impact. 

How to Host a Virtual Event

You’ve got the ideas, but where do you start your planning journey?  As with any type of event, it’s important to plan ahead. What are your goals for the event? What resources will you need? What type of virtual event do you want to host? How will you communicate with participants? What virtual event technology would you use to run it all from start to finish? Don’t worry. We’ve got you.

Here’s how to plan a successful event in 10 Steps:

Set goals and align your expectations

Before you plan the agenda of your virtual event, make sure you know your event goals and objectives. Set SMART goals, and ensure the whole team understands what you want to achieve. Also, think about the audience you want to attract to this event.

Create your blueprint for success

It’s time to create an outline for the event—across two stages:

FIRST: Top-level details

  • What’s the name of your event?
  • Is there a particular theme? 
  • Consider timezones & when you’ll host the event
  • Start thinking about your event schedule
  • What’s your event budget plan

SECOND: Refine

  • What deadlines do you need to set to keep things moving? 
  • Using your total budget— what is the breakdown of costs for speakers, entertainment, MC’s, etc.?
  • Decide on how often you want the event team to meet & schedule into calendars
  • Assign responsibilities & roles
  • What swag do you want to send attendees? When do you need to send this?
  • What kind of entertainment breaks would your attendees like? Research their persona, and decide on a performance, a DJ, or a standup comedian

Use a reliable virtual events platform to bring it all to life

At Airmeet it’s our job to build a robust, engaging, and feature packed virtual event platform. Thus, that’d naturally be our recommendation. But here are some tips you can use to choose a platform for yourself.   

  • A good virtual event platform would allow you to curate the entire experience, from registration to how attendees and speakers interact with one another.
  • You should also look for networking, engagement, and event gamification features like chats, social lounges, breakout rooms, quizzes, polls, Q&A, and leaderboards. Lastly, a virtual event platform should offer robust security, and a glitch-free experience. 

Line up your guest speakers, moderators, entertainment & sponsors

Time to start your outreach and get some thought leaders, hype people, and sponsors on board. Allow enough time to wait for responses and be prepared to slightly alter the date or time if there is someone you really want on board.

Get the word out

Start promoting your event well in advance. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have all the nitty gritty details. As long as you have the event time, speakers, moderators, and the general gist of the event worked out— you’ve got something to promote!

Create a clear agenda that clarifies speakers, sessions, & timelines

Yang Zhang, CEO of Plasmic, recommends providing a timestamped guide to sessions to make it more convenient for time-restricted individuals to attend your event: “even if they can’t stay for the entire duration, they can pick the ones that are most important for them”

Some other important things to consider while planning the agenda: 

  • When would a trivia session be timed, what questions would your quizzes or polls include, when would a break be timed 
  • How many sessions or tracks would you need? 
  • Would you need a breakout room? If yes, then how will you use it? 
  • What engaging activities could you plan to keep up the engagement momentum? 
  • When do you need to schedule entertainment breaks?

Start engaging your attendees pre-event

On top of your promotion, go the extra mile and send some swag to your attendees. Why? Because it gets them excited to attend your event and helps you get their mindshare. It motivates them to return the gesture or thank you by attending your event—Shannon Wright, The Forem’s Director of Community

Begin troubleshooting

Technical glitches happen, but you should still do as much as possible to avoid them from happening. Build a Plan B (even Plan C) in the event of any technical disruptions. 

And make sure you provide the opportunity for speakers and moderators to test their technical set-up before it’s their time to shine.

Follow up post-event

Think about what next steps you want your attendees to take post-event. What can you send to them that may help assist—a summary email recapping the main points, an exclusive deal, a feedback questionnaire, or simply a warm thank you? 

Review success & take down learnings

Let’s assume your virtual event was a raging success. It’s still important to consider what you can do to improve aspects of your event next time. How can you make planning more efficient? Could you have facilitated networking better? Did the results help you achieve your business objectives?

Once you have chalked out a plan to host your virtual event, you’d need to execute it, and put on your event manager hat. Virtual event management is about managing the entire journey of planning, hosting, and wrapping up the event with follow-ups, and gathering insights.  

Would virtual events work for your business?

In-Person vs. Virtual Events: Pros and Cons

Both virtual and in-person events have their own sets of benefits and drawbacks.

Let’s compare the pros and cons of both formats.

Virtual Events



Improved accessibility and attendance: Almost half of the event goers (43%) have been late to an event or missed an event due to travel issues. Virtual events are accessible from any location, all you need is a viewing device and internet connection.

Lack of focus: it’s pretty easy to switch between applications or get distracted due to your environment.

Repurposable content and availability: Upload pre-recorded or live recorded events to a web service for attendees who missed out.

Passive participation: A little more prone to passive participation—you might need to put in some extra effort to spark up a conversation and enable networking at a virtual event.

Data collection: Collect helpful data about your event and attendees to run highly targeted campaigns during and post-event. You can also use the date to measure an event's ROI.

Technical difficulties: Susceptibility to internet issues and other technical failures can derail your event.

Networking at scale: Modern virtual platforms provide dedicated spaces like virtual lounges, chats, and breakout rooms to facilitate a more intimate setting for networking.

Lack of serendipity: Imagine walking around in a physical venue and bumping into different people and spontaneously connecting with them. Spontaneous and organic conversations might be a little more difficult to happen at virtual events.

In-person Events



Tangibility: When people can hold, feel, and interact with a product, they are likely to make a purchase. This might be a concern for an expo or a tradeshow.

Prone to epidemics, and pandemics: One of the biggest concerns of in-person events is the risk that they could potentially spread disease. This is especially true if the event is being held in a crowded space with little ventilation.

Striking meaningful conversations with clients, partners, and colleagues: Let’s face it, meeting in person offers a better experience when it comes to connecting with other humans meaningfully.

High costs and super complex logistics: Due to things like venue rental fees, catering costs, travel, and accommodation for attendees.

Serendipity and spontaneity: Striking up conversations with the person sitting next to you is far easier in person. But, virtual events are closing this gap through the use of networking lounges, fluid spaces, online chats, and more to make it just as simple in a virtual context.

Unable to scale networking: While it’s easy to find and spontaneously spark a conversation with people in a physical event, you might not be able to achieve the scale of networking that you might get at a virtual event with chats, and breakout rooms, and lounges.

Examples of Virtual Events

The event industry was once solely about bringing people together to interact in the same physical setting. The 2020 pandemic abruptly expanded events to a virtual setting, where event organizers had to adapt quickly to a digital environment to keep the event running. Among these challenges, we’ve seen some amazing and innovative ideas emerge for virtual event design. Check out the table below for some inspiration.

Two weeks prior to the in-person event, the event organizers decided to deliver the full program completely online for the first time. They attracted 80,000 live stream viewers with more than 1 million views across social channels. 

What they did well: Engagement

  • They organized a competition where participants were given three minutes to demonstrate their app and convince the audience to vote for them. The winner was announced on Twitter the next day
  • They made the livestream available as on-demand videos after the event

Hosted by Amazon Web Services, the virtual event was completely free. A full in-person conference ticket set attendees back $1799. 

What they did well: Accessibility

  • Captioning, translations, transcripts, decks, and screen reader capability were available for most of the event’s content
  • They helped participants plan their itinerary based on their time zone
  • Sessions were made available on-demand

Hosted by the curators (Airmeet) of the Event-led Growth narrative. The event was jam-packed with entertainment, engagement, insightful sessions and interviews.

What they did well: Real-time event promotion and Engagement 

  • Airmeet hosted a virtual event on Event-led growth with renowned speakers, informative sessions and attendees from across the globe tuning in. 
  • They opened the event with a virtual music performance—DJ Graffiti.
  • Their team live-tweeted during the event, which boosted the event’s reach and garnered further engagement.
  • And post-event, they cashed in on a storm of Linkedin posts by attendees, and Linkedin shares from speakers.

Adobe’s Digital Experience virtual conference in 2020 was the first online edition with 100,000 registrants and 450,000 views worldwide.

What they did well: Pre-recorded content over live-streamed content

  • Choosing pre-recorded content allowed them to make the delivery more seamless, with the added value of better video quality, post-production, and fewer errors. However, live interaction and engagement were the compromises.

Key Elements of the Virtual Events

Most companies prefer live online events to meet and interact with their internal and external audiences. This is because they increase engagement, build more authentic connections, and enable real-time communication.

Understanding the elements of a virtual event not only helps you execute the event effectively but also helps in maximizing engagement and its impact.

Let’s take a look at the key elements needed to host a successful virtual event:

  • Event Website or Landing Page: An event website or landing page is needed to run any digital event. You will need a dedicated event platform like Airmeet which allows you to include event-related information such as agenda, speakers, sponsors, event content, timing, registration procedure, and more. Ultimately, the event page will act as a single and reliable source of information for your event.
  • Event Registration Webpage: Now, make sure your event website or landing page accommodates an in-build event registration page, which allows your audiences to register for the event.

    This can significantly help you capture relevant information about your attendees such as their name, contact details, and more.

    Overall, the event registration page is essential for virtual events as it helps businesses manage event attendance and streamline operations.
  • Content for Live Presentations: Content is what will attract and engage your virtual event attendees in an online event. Live content presentations may include workshops, interviews, Q&A sessions, product demos, and networking sessions.

    However, pre-recorded content can also be beneficial for virtual events.  When choosing content, ensure that it is relevant to the target audience and provides value to them.
  • Live Audio & Video: Live audio and video foster real-time interaction and communication between the event organizers, speakers, and attendees. It helps virtual attendees feel as connected to the event as if they were attending an in-person meeting.

    Real-time video and audio elements make virtual events feel like physical gatherings for participants.
  • Attendee Engagement Features: One of the key elements of a virtual event is the attendee engagement features. Depending on how feature-rich your virtual event platform is, you can enjoy a high level of engagement even in your virtual events. They play an important role in enhancing participant involvement during virtual events.

    Read More – 12 High Attendee Engagement Features to Consider When Buying a Virtual Event Platform in 2024
  • Recordings: Virtual event recording ensures that the event’s content is retained and accessible for tweaking or improving subsequent events. If you want, you can also use the recording to promote future events.

    Online event recordings also benefit your attendees. It enables person attendees to revisit the specific parts of the event. Also, they allow those who could not attend the live event to watch it later. 
  • Feedback: After your virtual online meeting, do not forget to collect feedback from event attendees. Many organizations neglect post-event surveys, but they are essential to evaluate the success and efficacy of digital events. Attendee comments let you identify whether the event was informative, engaging, and worthwhile. 

How do Virtual Events Work?

Virtual events are events held online instead of in person. They can be live streamed or recorded and then made available for on-demand viewing. 

Virtual events can be full of interactions as well, with participants being able to chat, participate in quizzes, compete in leaderboards, and network and meet each other virtually. There can be an interactive virtual stage that allows the audience to react and chat simultaneously. And then, there can be booths for people to explore different brands or themes inside a virtual event.    

All you need is a computer or mobile device and an internet connection. This means that you can attend virtual events from anywhere in the world.

Virtual events can have a significant impact on businesses and organizations. They can help promote and sell products or services, raise awareness for a cause, or even just entertain and engage an audience. 

How Can a Virtual Event be Effectively Promoted?

Marketing your virtual event will require proper planning and extensive preparation. You can start by identifying the right audience for your online event. Then, create an event page with eye-catching graphics, an event agenda, and a CTA (call to action button) to grab the attention of potential audiences. 

Leverage social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn and upload pictures, video clips & stories to create a buzz and increase the visibility of your event. Send out emails with event announcements and offer special discounts to encourage people to register for an event. 

You can additionally co-host an event with a partner, customer, or vendor to reach a larger audience and leverage their network. Along with that, ask sponsors, partners, and speakers to spread the word about the event. It will significantly boost your marketing efforts. 

By implementing these key practices, you can effectively promote your virtual event and drive registrations.

Pro Tips for Keeping Virtual Attendees Engaged in Virtual Events

Pro Tips for Keeping Virtual Attendees Engaged in Virtual Events

Online events do come with a set of challenges to event organizers but one of the most pressing issues is audience engagement. To keep online participants engaged throughout the course of the event, you will have to adopt an innovative approach. Sit back and relax because we have compiled a list of creative ways to help you keep your virtual audiences entertained and engaged.

Let’s see how to make virtual events more engaging for attendees:

  • Craft Engaging Visuals: High-quality visuals often grab the attention of virtual attendees. If you want your participants to have a memorable virtual event experience, you need to consider producing high-quality visuals. People are attracted to appealing visuals so include different visual formats, like infographics, images, videos, and interactive slides. Ensure the content adds a personal and emotional touch to look authentic and human.
  • Plan Interactive Sessions: To effectively engage virtual attendees in an online event, it is very important to make the sessions interactive. Features like Q&A, polling, live chat, and breakout rooms can really help attendees remain actively engaged and involved in the online meeting. Interactive sessions not only engage the audience but also make them feel connected to the event and its content. 
  • Include Breaks during Long Sessions: Virtual sessions are sometimes held for longer durations. Extended hours spent online make it difficult for attendees to stay engaged in meetings. To maintain the active participation of attendees in virtual sessions, you have to split them up. Ensuring shorter sessions and including breaks for the longer ones will help attendees relax, allowing them to rest and refocus for the session.
  • Incorporate Gamification: According to this research, on average, employees experience a 48% engagement increase with a gamified work experience. Add games and team-building activities to your event agenda. Encourage attendees to solve challenges and compete with others for fun and exciting virtual experiences.
  • Provide Networking Opportunities: Networking is one of the reasons that people attend virtual events. It significantly increases the engagement of virtual attendees. The ‘networking lounge’ feature allows attendees to build relationships with peers and expand their professional networks. Attendees at networking sessions can schedule meetings with fellow participants they wish to connect with and engage with them in real-time.
  • Host a Virtual Contest: Participants who attend online events tend to have shorter attention spans when compared to in-person events. So if your content is not engaging, they feel further disconnected from the event. Including a fun contest allows attendees to sit up, pay attention, and be involved completely as they have the chance to win amazing prizes in a virtual environment.  
  • Recognition: Having a ‘recognition session’ highly motivates and engages attendees at an online event. It always brings a different level of energy. Concluding your event with an award ceremony to recognize the employees of your company. Celebrating their success by giving them rewards will make them feel valued and will also boost their confidence.

Virtual Events Best Practices

While you may not have to necessarily plan for bad weather or travel disruptions with virtual events, you do have to plan for technical glitches and different time zones.

Here are some best practices to keep in mind when you’re planning a virtual event: 

Technology and tools

Agenda and content planning



Grab 5 event planning checklists for free

Virtual Event Ideas

To create the best virtual event you can’t get complacent with what you did last time. You have to keep innovating and evolving to deliver the best experiences to your attendees. . 

With that in mind, here are some virtual event ideas to help you tap into your own creativity and best practices for your next virtual event.

Technology and Tools

  • Stream a keynote or panel
  • Host an ‘Ask me anything’ session 
  • Run online trivia games, quizzes, or virtual scavenger hunts
  • Conduct fireside chats with a member of your C-suite
  • Introduce a fun, unrelated activity to lift spirits—WordCamp Denver hosted a session about how to brew the perfect cup of coffee. During this session, they surprised viewers by including some barnyard animals to uplift spirits. They also offered attendees vouchers to pick up a cup of coffee at specific local coffee shops to energize them during the day.
  • Organize a short workout or meditation break in between sessions
  • Host a live award ceremony
  • Put on a virtual concert or performance — Shopify surprised attendees of their Virtual Summit with a performance by John Legend

Virtual Event Platforms

Let’s talk about virtual event platforms. What are they? And what are some of the best ones available?

What are virtual event platforms?

Simply put: virtual event platforms help you host your physical event in an online environment. They come with unique capabilities to facilitate networking and attendee engagement you never thought would be possible other than in real life. 

This means you can bring all the magical elements everyone loves about in-person events onto a virtual stage with a range of visual, audio, and interactive elements.

Drive attendee engagement by providing a live stage experience where your virtual attendees can interact with other participants and speakers with emojis, live Q&As, and fireside chats. 

Or facilitate networking with breakout rooms, chat messages, and virtual lounges.

Virtual events can facilitate end-to-end event planning too—with integrations or natively—via a number of different features: 

  • Registration and ticketing
  • Event website
  • Event app
  • Event promotion
  • Sponsor/speaker management
  • Agenda builder
  • Networking and attendee engagement
  • Data analytics
  • Integrations
  • Virtual production services

You can get all-in-one virtual event platforms that come with a number of integrations to work with the tools you are already using in your business.

For example, improve your event registrations by integrating Zapier, export registration data to Mailchimp, or gain a holistic view of your attendees by integrating with your Salesforce dashboard. Or choose browser-based, no-download virtual events and webinar software solutions to broadcast your event on multiple platforms without any additional hassle.

Some of the most popular virtual event platforms include:

  • Airmeet
  • Zoho Meeting
  • HeySummit
  • BigMarker
  • Hopin
  • VFairs
  • Remo
  • SpotMe

Bare in mind: different virtual platforms fit different use cases, and some are all-rounders.

Here’s why Airmeet should be at the top of your list if you’re looking to make your events feel more human and engaging.

How to Choose a Virtual Event Platform?

When you think about hosting a virtual event, one of the most important investments you will make is a virtual event platform. There are a lot of things that you need to look for in a virtual event platform or a video conferencing platform to meet your specific requirements. 

First, create a checklist of the features that you need to host an effective and memorable virtual event. This checklist will help you make an informed decision and select a platform that will ensure the effective execution of the virtual meeting.

Some of the common factors every business looks for in digital event software are ease of use, scalability, customization options, and interactive features. All of these noteworthy features have the potential to create a more human-centric, seamless, and engaging virtual event experience. 

If you want to know more in-depth about how to choose the right virtual event platform for you, check out the full guide here.

Read More – 18 Factors to Consider Before Picking a Virtual Event Platform

Why Airmeet is the Best Virtual Event Platform?

Imagine a virtual event that’s not only engagement driven, but also feels as human, cozy, and immersive as any in-person event. That’s Airmeet for you—all the great stuff of virtual and in-person events neatly packed into a virtual event platform. It’s the perfect tool to host events that get you more mindshare, growth, and a happy and engaged community.

With features like networking lounges, speed networking, interactive stages, gamified sessions, breakout rooms, and real-life-like networking spaces like Fluid Space, Airmeet is leading the innovation in virtual events.

Think about hosting engaging conferences, exciting networking events, powerful product launches, lead-churning demo days, reach-expanding summits, engagement-driven community events and so much more with Airmeet.

Airmeet has collectively helped event organizers achieve up to a 98% sit-through rate, multiply organic conversions by up to three-folds, and double event leads and revenue using the most in-depth event analytics and audience insights. You’d be in safe hands too—Airmeet is trusted by world leaders, including Walmart, Volvo, Philips, and Accenture.

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Understanding The Virtual Event Experience

Virtual events should be centered around meeting the expectations of attendees. This experience is influenced by a few factors: the platform’s user-friendliness, how you facilitate engagement between speakers and attendees (i.e., chat rooms or speed-networking sessions), and what activities you include (e.g., trivia).

A great virtual event experience should aim to replicate one of the main features of in-person events—the opportunity to network and build meaningful relationships with brands and other attendees. 

Think of it this way: when someone shows up to your virtual event, they are expecting something different. What people remember most are the real conversations they have with other attendees or the stories and anecdotes shared by speakers. 

So how can you bring these impromptu conversations, storytelling, and networking moments to your virtual experience?

Unique elements of a virtual experience

  • The best ideas, questions, and stories are brought to life on stage to kill passive participation — this provides the opportunity to drop emojis, opinions and answer each other’s questions in the chat section that lies right besides your session stream.
  • Facilitated ‘watercooler chats’ that allow your attendees to interact with each other in multiple settings — your virtual event experience needs to facilitate communication through the use of table talks, virtual lounges, or fireside chats.
  • Scheduled speed networking breaks — not to be confused with coffee breaks or taking a quick walk around the block for some fresh air. Speed networking (like speed dating) is dedicated time in their agenda to give attendees the opportunity to get familiar with others participating in the virtual event. Block off 30 minutes total in the calendar with five-minute speed networking rounds.
  • Tailored, interactive experiences to create pass-along stories — look at ways you can build stories for your attendees to etch into their memories. You’ll need to think about what emotion you want to tap into and the types of experiences your target audience can’t resist. This might look like virtual cocktail hours, an online cooking class, or a guest performance by a famous musician.

Freya Ward, Global Business Director at Headley Media is a big fan of using forums to create a more valuable and engaging experience for attendees.

“Open a forum a few days before the event and encourage interaction by using moderators to start conversations. Putting this extra effort into the aspect of networking can make a big difference in engagement and help people feel they have attended a successful event and not just a few online talks.”

Freya Ward
Global Business Director
Headley Media

How to Make Your Virtual Event More Engaging for Attendees

Virtual events need to be able to balance the right content, speakers, and technology that will give the audience something to remember, something to talk about. 

Like Laura Ramos, VP & Principal Analyst at Forrester, says:

“They want to be entertained, they want to be instructed, they want to be educated. They just want to have an experience that’s different than people talking to each other through tele-conferencing.”

Laura Ramos
VP & Principal Analyst

So here’s how you make your virtual event more engaging and satisfying for attendees

  • Treat your content like the King it is — How are you setting up your presentations, what content are you delivering, what interactive elements are you using
  • Virtual Event Gamification — power up your virtual event engagement by adding a bit of competition, incentives, and prizes
  • Increase content variety — by length of sessions less than 30-40 minutes (we recommend a TED Talk format), mixing up solo acts with interviews or multi-person panels. Use atypical production elements—such as large high-definition video panels in studio settings—to bring audiences and speakers into more intimate contact even when participating at a distance. 
  • Choose your event platforms carefully — ensure the platform you’re choosing is easily accessible and convenient for everyone. “Set up pre-event polls and interactive posts to get an estimate of the expected engagement level before the event. ” Marty Spargo, Founder of Reize Energy Drink
  • Load up your attendees with some cool swag — Send attendees a gift box with some event swag to encourage social sharing and get them excited for the event 
  • Treat every time zone equally — Accommodate a global audience with pre-recorded speaker material, but package it up to appear as a live event in their time zone
  • Use interactive elements — “Use live Q&A sessions, polls, or quizzes to let attendees talk to you and other members. You can also invite attendees to submit suggestions or questions ahead of the session so the right person can address their questions properly.” Tristan Harris, Sr. Marketing Manager at Thrive Digital Marketing Agency
  • Make room for serendipity—Add networking to the mix and allow your attendees to build a meaningful connection. 

Virtual event Sponsorship Strategies

There are a few key things to keep in mind when creating a virtual event sponsorship strategy. 

You’ll want to consider what kind of sponsorship opportunities will be most beneficial for your business. For example, if you’re looking to generate leads or boost brand awareness, you’ll want to choose sponsorships that will give you the most visibility.

Once you’ve identified your target sponsors, it’s time to reach out and start negotiating. When doing so, be sure to emphasize the benefits of sponsoring your event, such as the exposure they’ll receive and the opportunity to reach a new audience. You should also be prepared to offer discounts or other incentives to secure their involvement.

A few effective sponsorship strategies for virtual events

Sponsorship early bird discounts: One common approach is to offer sponsorships or discounts for attendees who register early. This can incentivize people to sign up for your event and help to increase awareness of your brand.

“Special Packages”: Offer exclusive virtual event sponsorship packages that include access to special features or VIP treatment. This can make your event more attractive to potential sponsors and help you to generate more revenue.

Sponsored sessions: Allow brands to reach a wider audience by promoting their products or services through your event by sponsoring specific activities or sessions.

Sponsored interactive capabilities: Experiment with different sponsorship packages that trade interactive capabilities — like participating in day-of-event gamification, polling, one-on-one virtual meetings, and virtual experiential/hospitality activities.

Sponsored gifts/swag: Send out physical or digital gifts to attendees before or during the event.

Just remember, virtual event sponsorship needs to be a win-win for both you and the event sponsors.

Common Virtual Event Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

As virtual events have grown from nice to have into a necessity; there’s no question that virtual events are here to stay. From an event organizer’s perspective, hindsight is 2020. Looking back on the last couple of years of virtual event planning, here are some of the most common virtual event mistakes and how to avoid them when you host your next event.

Here are six of the most common mistakes, plus practical ways to prevent them.

Mistake #1

Not having a clear purpose or goal for the virtual event: Plan and organize the event in advance, with clear goals and objectives.  Ask: What is the point of the event? What do you want attendees to take away from it? 

Mistake #2

Not promoting the event effectively: Ensure that it is properly advertised and that potential attendees are aware of it. Use a variety of channels to drive as much audience towards your event, including social media, email, and even word-of-mouth.

Mistake #3

Failing to do a proper technical test run: Make sure that the event runs smoothly and that there are no major technical issues. It’s essential to have a good technical setup in place before the event begins. And make sure you do a test run of your virtual event in advance.

Mistake #4

Not partnering with a reliable virtual events provider:  Let’s be honest, this is probably one of the easiest mistakes to avoid! It’s important to choose the right virtual event platform. When deciding, consider the customer reviews on third-party platforms and look at some of the success stories of other event professionals. 

Mistake #5

Not following up with attendees after the event: Use this as an opportunity to repurpose content and keep the audience engaged beyond the time of the event.

Mistake #6

Not providing enough value for attendees. The goal of any virtual event is to drive sales and drive brand engagement, but it must also have something to offer. If your virtual event is simply a sales pitch and doesn’t offer something new or engaging, your customers won’t be interested in participating. 

So, What Are Your Next Steps?

In short, virtual events are the real growth machines. They can accelerate your business growth, keep your pipelines fed, and supercharge every stage of your funnel. 

But it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s what your next steps should look like: 

  • Building a virtual event strategy (Ask an Event Success Coach)
  • Taking a few virtual events platform for a spin, and choosing the right one
  • Hosting your first virtual event

On that note, have you tried the king of virtual event platforms yet?

Airmeet is the undisputed king of virtual events

But don’t take it from us! See for yourself


Virtual events take place entirely online. All participants attend it virtually. On the other hand, hybrid events are a combination of both in-person and virtual. Some participants attend in person, while others attend remotely.

To measure the success of an online event, you have to look into key performance indicators (KPIs) such as attendee registration, social media engagement,  email campaign metrics(open rates and click-through rates), content performance, attendee engagement, and their feedback. In addition to that, you will be able to track leads, conversion, and revenue to assess the impact of your virtual event hosting efforts.

If you are aiming to keep your online event short, 60 minutes is the optimal duration. If you plan to host a longer event, to accommodate more content, then 2 to 4 hours would be ideal there are a lot of topics to cover and sessions to include at your event, try splitting it into multiple days with a duration of 3 to 5 hours, each day.

Hosting virtual events benefits your organization in many ways including increased global reach, significant cost savings, time savings, and improved audience engagement through interactive features. Compared to physical events, online events provide greater accessibility, sustainability, and flexibility.

The future of virtual events seems bright, as the Virtual Event Platform Market was valued at USD 9.03 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 22.75 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 12.24% between 2021 and 2028. Virtual events will continue to evolve as the years go on. Research says that 81% of respondents had never held a virtual event before the pandemic. But right after the pandemic, online events became an important part of the future of the events sector.

To successfully hold virtual events, you need live-streaming video conferencing software that includes real-time audio and video support. Additionally, the online event platform must have a registration system to manage attendee registration and track attendance, mobile-friendly event applications, an email marketing tool, and an in-built landing page option where attendees can find information about the event such as event date, time, agenda, speaker name, and registration details.

Virtual event platforms have revolutionized the event industry by making it easy for event planners to reach a global audience without the limitations of geographical barriers. For those who cannot travel long distances to reach the physical event location, virtual software has made it a flexible and convenient option for them. Online event platforms have also reduced operational costs such as traveling, electricity, catering, and rental fees. 

When your team works entirely remotely, you will need some ideas to promote team building among remote teams. There are virtual event ideas that you need to put into action such as virtual happy hours, virtual coffee sessions, and virtual fitness challenges. These activities will surely engage your employees, foster teamwork, and increase communication & collaboration among team members.

Make your webinars 10X better with just 10 simple questions

Make your webinars 10X better with just 10 simple questions

Incredible Companies Use Airmeet

Most loved Virtual Events Platform

Incredible Companies Use Airmeet

Most loved Virtual Events Platform