What Kind Of Virtual Event Would Work Best for Your Audience?

Rob Newton 30 April 2020

The virtual events world is beginning to take off in a way which most of the industry didn’t see coming. There was a greater emphasis being placed on the delegate experience and the importance of external voices being used to inspire, debate and spark creativity within audiences across the globe.

However, even with social distancing affecting the physical events industry, there is a great opportunity for event organisers to use virtual events in a way they had never previously considered. The intimacy created by the power of a webinar or virtual event speaker  delivers a 1-on-1 experience that you cannot replicate in the physical world.

This is not to say virtual will replace physical – indeed we expect there to be a greater convergence between the two.

But for now, with many different options available for event organisers to choose from, we have provided a glossary of virtual event phrases and their meaning.

What is a Virtual Event?

A virtual event is a series of speakers delivering talks and presentations followed one after the other.  We see this as the most natural transition for organisers looking to migrate their physical event online.

We would recommend the event is hosted by a moderator where their skill in knitting together the speaker/s message with the event objectives, while moderating Q&A sessions, is invaluable.  This is even more applicable during a virtual event, where we see the number of audience questions asked increase, and their keen eye for detail will find the best way to ask the question.

The benefits of course provide the opportunity for organisers to still deliver content and messaging to their audience. But this can also include anyone who may have not been able to attend the physical event, driving up participation numbers and sparking conversations across the wider community.

What is a Virtual Keynote?

A Virtual Keynote is one Speaker delivering a virtual keynote lasting up to 45 minutes followed by Q&A. It is useful to have a host or moderator to welcome participants and set the scene, and then manage the Q&A from participants. We would recommend keeping the session to around 60 minutes and working with the speaker to deliver a follow-up message, perhaps supported by blog or video content, to help extrapolate on the messages delivered.

What is a Virtual Masterclass?

A Virtual Masterclass is a one-off or series of events where a speaker, or speakers, deliver a 15-20 minute session followed by Q&A. The aim is to deliver practical advice, expertise and training for organisations to upskill, motivate and inspire their staff to achieve business objectives.

Virtual Masterclasses provide an opportunity for any employee, department or senior leader to navigate their way through the challenges COVID-19 presents, whether it's strategy or leadership, culture or best practice, or looking after employee mental health & wellbeing during isolation.

If staff have been furloughed a virtual masterclass/masterclasses provides an opportunity to upskill and re-train employees who may need to be used in different ways from July onwards. It also helps to keep employees engaged within the business and ensure they are ready to be re-integrated back into the business when their furlough ends.

What is a Virtual Speaker Series?

A Virtual Speaker Series is one speaker delivering a series of virtual keynotes supported by digital content which is distributed pre and post event. The speaker delivers a programme of talks on a particular subject and records a series of messages which can be distributed via social media, YouTube, email marketing etc, delivered to link the messages from each talk, and support the overall objective.

A Virtual Speaker Series is best treated as a campaign rather than a standalone format. If a business or department have a message they need to distribute across a length of time then this is the perfect channel to do this. The keynote acts as the kick-off, followed by digital content, be that re-caps, tutorials or practical advice from the speaker, which can be distributed in any format.

What is a Virtual Meeting?

A Virtual Meeting is the same as a normal physical meeting, where we recommend up to 50 participants joining to discuss a pre-determined agenda. It’s highly recommended to have the meeting, chaired, led or facilitated by an executive speaker or experienced host.

Many virtual meetings will have a speaker to share insights within senior business strategies and help coach participants to deliver a path forward, especially in these unprecedented times we face. In fact, there has never been a greater demand for external voices than when a business or industry is facing huge challenges.

Virtual meetings can also make use of breakout sessions. This is controlled by the meeting host, who assigns individuals into small groups, where they discuss a particular issue via the video conference function. The group is then tasked to present back to the wider group, creating individual ownership and responsibility for actions to be taken forward.

What is a Zoombomb?

This is a relatively new phrase where a special guest suddenly drops into the meeting unannounced. It provides a unique, awe inspiring moment, particularly when a high-profile individual or celebrity is involved. Some of the Speakers Corner team experienced this first hand when Simon Sinek dropped by to say hello and offer some brilliant advice during a recent meeting they attended.

During the COVID-19 pandemic we are working with many event organisers to run a virtual events programme, with many having done so for the first time. We can help organisers every step of the way, including the delivery and management of their event.

There's never been a more important time to be inspired by some of the greatest humans to have walked this planet. Contact our team for their expert advice today. Call us on   or email  info@speakerscorner.co.uk .

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