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What are a few content types for virtual events?

Updated: Oct 10, 2023


A person sits on the floor with a laptop on her lap. The screen displays a thought leader talking about the future of virtual events.

When virtual events were our only option of meeting and presenting information, a lot of events that were almost always done in-person were switched over to an online setting. To mostly everyone’s surprise, these content types had more success when executed virtually. Now, some of these events are synonymous to immersive virtual events.


The content of your virtual event will depend on your objectives and audience. Since it’s the learning experience that draws many people to digital events, putting together great content will help you get more registrations.


A few examples of popular content types that can be held virtually are:



These content types provide maximum value for your virtual experiences and foster quality learning during the event.


Thought leadership

A thought leader is an industry professional who can offer unique advice based on their own expertise. A virtual event centered around thought leadership content usually attracts other industry leaders and decision makers.


Thought leaders can offer insights on:


  • The current state of an industry. Ideally, a thought leader is at the top of the cadre and can reveal best practices and advice.


  • The future of an industry. They can also offer unique insights about new trends that cannot be obtained elsewhere and they can share strategies for smooth transitions.


  • New or upcoming relevant tools. These industry influencers are familiar with the tools available now and the upcoming tools as well.



To attract registrations for this type of event, disclose the questions you will be answering and invite other thought leaders to your event.



Panel discussions


Panel discussions involve several expert speakers discussing a topic in front of an audience.

Usually, the speakers may have opposing views, which makes the discussion more interesting.

Virtual panel discussions have become increasingly popular, because speakers can be selected from a wider pool and audiences can tune in from anywhere.


If you’re hosting a virtual panel discussion, what are a few things you can do to make it a success?


  • Think of an intriguing topic. Find out what your audience wants to know about, and stick to one or two related topics. This will help attract the right audience.


  • Invite expert speakers. Reach out to experts in the topic and extend an invitation for them to join the discussion. If they agree, they can promote the event on their channels.


  • Bring in a moderator. To ensure the discussion stays on track, invite a panel moderator and give them a set of clear directions for discussion. The moderator should be well informed on the topic and have questions ready for the speakers. During the discussion, they can ask the audience questions and take feedback as well.


  • Stick to your time and leave spaces for networking. Regulate the time allotted for each discussion or speaker and leave plenty of time for networking between each session. This should allow the audience to interact with each other and with the speakers.


Panel discussions are excellent virtual event ideas for professionals looking to learn more about a specific topic.


A laptop on a table shows three speakers having a virtual panel discussion.


Fireside chats


A fireside chat is a personal and informal conversation between a moderator and guest. The term was first used to describe a series of evening radio addresses given by Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States, between 1933 and 1944. His talks made the audience feel as if he were talking personally to them. Since then, the term has evolved to include informal debates and discussions.


Fireside chats are a popular content type for virtual settings because:


  • They are personal. They are meant to be conversational, which allows the speakers to sound more natural.


  • They are informal. This puts the speakers at ease and saves them time from preparing slides or presentations.


  • They involve the audience. By accepting audience questions, you can take out key insights and address audience questions directly.


Fireside chats are among those fun virtual event ideas where the audience can walk away with knowledge and a memorable learning experience.


A laptop on a table displays a fireside chat between a moderator and two speakers.


Podcast Interviews


A podcast is a series of audio episodes that focus on a particular topic and is available on-demand. Most podcasts are audio only because they are meant to be heard on your commute, while you’re at the gym, or doing something else that requires your visual attention. Podcast episodes are a great idea for a virtual event. You can ask the speaker you’re planning to interview in the space where you want to record the podcast and invite guests to watch the interview in real time.


Doing this helps you:


  • Build a stronger connection between you and your listeners. Matching a face to a voice creates a special bond.


  • Grow your podcast audience. Gain more loyal listeners by inviting your followers on social media. If they already like your content, they will more than likely love your podcasts too.


  • Monetize your podcast. You can make profits from selling tickets or sponsorships for your virtual event and use this revenue to make your podcast even better.


A desktop screen shows the homepage to the no degree podcast.


Webinars


Webinars are web seminars that are usually business related. Since they are the most common type of virtual event, and the easiest one to put together, a lot of people utilize them. If you’re using webinars as a resource to valuable information, how can you maximize registration and engagement?


Here are some tips to consider:


  • Go over fewer topics. Having fewer topics on your agenda allows you to go in depth and is a better option than cramming multiple topics into one webinar.


  • Make use of emails. 57% of registrations come from email. The best time to start sending invites is 4 weeks prior to your event.


  • Use engagement features. The most popular webinar engagement feature is Q&A. 92% of hosts use Q&A to interact with their audience, but polls and handouts are quite useful as well.


  • Choose a good time. Wednesdays and Thursdays at 1:00 p.m. ET are the best times to host webinars, according to several surveys. People are more compelled to attend a mid-week webinar versus one on the weekend.


Webinars are a very useful tool if used correctly, and they provide valuable live and on-demand content.



Virtual product launches


Product launch events are an excellent way to showcase your newest product and drive sales, more so if they are done virtually. Virtual events are more convenient, cost effective, and accessible. These will allow you to display your product to a global audience.


For a successful virtual product launch, here are a few things you can do:


  • Use social media to promote your product and event. You can offer glimpses of your new product to your followers before its release date. This will create excitement and build anticipation. Don’t disclose all the details of your product; leave that for the product launch.


  • Invite key people. Send an invitation to your sponsors/ investors, top customers, and social media influencers. These people will help you spread the word and generate excitement over your product.


  • Promote interaction and engagement during the event. Use a customized virtual space where people can experience the product through demos and booths and ask questions directly to your sales team.


New product launches can easily be converted into immersive virtual events if the right virtual events platform is used.



Research Findings


Research findings contribute to knowledge and progress in a particular field. Presenting and discussing these findings give room for suggestions for further studies on the same topic. One way to present your findings to a large audience and benefit the most people is by doing so virtually.


To successfully present your findings to a virtual audience, you can follow these suggestions.


  • Use technology to present your findings live. Presenting live to your audience allows for discussion throughout your presentation and you can answer relevant questions on the spot. The technology now available allows speakers to interact one on one or in small groups with their audience. It also allows for the audience to interact with the speaker through chat, polls, or Q&As.


  • Make your key points clear at the beginning of your presentation. Clearly define what problem you are solving or why your research is useful to your listeners. State which methods you used to conduct your research and present your statistics visually.


  • Make use of visuals. Use slides to present your information in an attractive manner. Use a minimalistic design so that the focus is on your findings. Remember that a lot of people tune in with smaller devices, so use large fonts and clear visuals.


  • Don’t read your presentation. Your slides serve to give the overall view of what you’ll be talking about. If you read your presentation, it will sound scripted and your audience might lose focus. They are your findings; present them as you would to a close friend or colleague.


A desktop screen on a table shows a doctor virtually presenting her research findings.


Conclusion


When digital experiences are centered around community and learning, they become immersive virtual events. A few virtual event ideas include thought leadership, panel discussions, fireside chats, podcasts, webinars, product launches and research findings. More often than not, these tend to be free virtual social events.


Are you thinking of hosting your next virtual event? ACE Virtual Events is a leader in the digital events industry. We have hosted or worked alongside organizers for each of the event types listed in this article. If you’d like to know how we can make your next event a success, feel free to reach out to someone from our team, and we’ll gladly get back to you.


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