Are you looking for new ideas for virtual events to bring your community together? We'll cover you.
With the number of virtual events growing, there are tons of options to choose from – whether it's a weekly Instagram Live series or a one-time private Zoom chat.
In this blog post, we're going to share 5 virtual event ideas and how you can use them to connect with your community and increase engagement:
Why you should host a virtual event
Virtual events will take place in 2020. We may not be able to bring IRL together right now. You can still connect to your community – albeit differently.
How do you jump on this vibrant trend?
Start by brainstorming ideas for virtual events and your goals. Do you want to educate your audience? Host questions and answers? Promote your newest product?
Once you have defined your purpose, you can start planning the implementation. Since physical location is not an issue, virtual events allow you to bring all members of your community together from around the world.
One thing to note? Time zones. When half your audience is on EST and the other is on PST, it can be difficult to connect everyone at the same time.
However, with a little time zone jenga and the benefits of screen recording and storage, you can engage and serve your entire community. Just let your audience know that a recording will be shared after the event.
Another additional benefit? It's inexpensive. When planning a virtual event, you can limit (or exclude) the budget for rental venues, grocery vendors, decorations, and more.
This also means that tickets are cheaper (or even free) for attendees – making it a serious selling point!
Speaking of free, join us on September 23rd at LaterCon – our virtual social media conference with over 25 experts. Get your free ticket now!
# 1 Virtual Event Ideas: Host Regular Instagram Live Sessions
Instagram Live has become a popular hub for brands and companies. It's an incredible way to connect with your community and the possibilities for virtual events are endless.
With Instagram Live, there is no replay or option to pre-record segments – everything happens live and on location.
While it may sound scary, this platform works for a number of different virtual events. Let's get to them.
Instagram Live: Questions and Answers
Instagram Lives are a great opportunity to host a series of Q&A with guests your community would like to hear from. You can ask questions from your audience before the event and allow questions to be asked during the live stream.
To take Good + goodNew Glowing Live with Latham series. You teamed up with doula and author Latham Thomasto put on a show where she talks to different people in the wellness industry who are working to make change.
Not only is the series perfect for the Well + Good community of wellness enthusiasts, but it also creates a regular cadence of content that audiences expect.
You can also approve posts in advance of the live event to build tension and share additional information, such as: B. the announcement of who the guest will be.
TIP: Remember, quality over quantity. If you don't have the bandwidth to create a weekly streak, that's fine! It can be monthly or quarterly – as long as it's consistent and you promote it.
Instagram Live: Concerts & funny battles
Just because we can't get together to enjoy music in person doesn't mean you can't enable the same energy online!
If it's branded for your business, then you can have a live concert or fight on Instagram Live.
Verzuz TV rose to the fore during the COVID-19 quarantine, bringing together celebrity producers, singers or songwriters to compete and find out who has the better catalog. The battles are so popular that they receive millions of views.
Why does it work Because it gives fans the chance to take part in a fight between some of their favorite artists, engage with each other in the comments, sing for a long time at home and eagerly await the next one.
Similarly, a restaurant could “bring” two chefs together and create the ultimate cook-off by challenging them to create a dish with the same ingredients.
Audiences are encouraged to see in the comments and vote for their favorite. And who knows? Maybe they'll create a new dish for the current menu. It's a win-win situation.
A friendly competition is a great way to make your community feel involved and takes a simple Instagram Live to the next level.
Instagram Live: Instructions and demos
Bring your audience together and lead them through a demonstration or tutorial on Instagram Live.
This can be anything from a makeup tutorial to an explanation of how to bake the perfect sugar cookies – the possibilities are endless.
This cheese plate does an amazing job captivating her audience on Instagram Live with her show "That Happy Hour".
In the series, they invite different guests to chat and create an amazing variety of cheeses, meats and fruits.
To get in touch with their followers, they release the ingredients in advance for their community to join in at home in their kitchen.
Hosting a guide on Instagram Live creates an additional layer of connection between you and your audience as they can put a face to the brand name and learn something new in the process.
Virtual Event Ideas # 2: Host Zoom Private Chat
As a leader in video conferencing Zooming offers businesses the ability to host all kinds of virtual events such as webinars, demos, courses, Q&A, courses and more.
The ability to set a password for entering the call makes it easy to moderate the event and maintain its exclusivity.
Wellness company, The Villij often hosts “Villij Talks” interviewing nutritionists, therapists and more about Zoom.
They use Instagram to promote the chat, encourage their community to RSVP, and provide relevant information like the time.
After the event, they'll share a recap of their Instagram feed with those who may have missed them. Not only is it a creative way to reuse event content, it also includes that Carousel functionwhich makes it very divisible – more engagement and reach:
Another way to host an exclusive virtual event on Zoom is to have a limited number of attendees, e.g. B. Skin care experts Chanel Tyler.
Chanel's “Skinformation Class,” a one-hour skin care and routine training course, is a small and intimate virtual event that is only open to 30 participants.
The small class size allows for deeper connections and conversations with their community. As it grows in popularity, it can host several smaller virtual events throughout the month.
TIP: Start small to test your community's interest in the virtual event. When tickets are selling fast, you know you are a winner!
Virtual Event Ideas # 3: Go Live With Your Facebook Community
Similar to Instagram, Facebook is alive are a great platform to host your next virtual event.
You can use Facebook Live for Q&A and demos, but you can also use it to host quizzes.
LiveReacting is a paid integration tool that lets you add interactive elements and graphics to your Facebook Live – including personalized tests.
Rakuten Kobo used Facebook Live to host Kobo Live Book Quiz events. Each Facebook Live had a different book-related theme, and viewers battled it out for a chance to win a gift card or eReader.
Quizzes are perfect for increasing engagement on your Facebook page. Not only does the competitive aspect encourage your community to get involved, but adding a giveaway increases the stakes and allows you to subtly promote your product and its benefits.
You can also offer a promo code at the end of the quiz for those who played through to the end. This is a great way to say thank you and convert attendees into customers.
Virtual Event Ideas # 4: Connect with Your Community in Facebook Messenger Rooms
Facebook launched earlier this year Facebook Messenger rooms, a new way for brands and companies to connect with their community.
Think of it as an informal conference call with up to 50 people at the same time (and with no time limit!).
What sets Facebook Messenger Rooms apart from Facebook Live is that they allow you to have a more intimate conversation.
For example, a gym might invite new members to a messenger room – so they can meet up, ask questions to their favorite boxing instructor, and start building “personal” interactions before the gym reopens.
Another benefit of using Facebook Messenger Rooms? It's not exclusive to Facebook users. You can also invite people using WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram. You only need the room link.
Instead of directing traffic to a video app like Zoom, your community can join from platforms they are already familiar with and convenient to use.
TIP: Add an extra layer of fun by encouraging attendees to use augmented reality filters – or better yet, create your own specifically for the event.
Virtual Event Ideas # 5: Humanize Your Brand with LinkedIn Live
In 2019, LinkedIn announced its newest way to increase brand awareness and connect with your audience: Linkedin Live.
According to the platform, LinkedIn receives live videos on average 24x more comments produced as native videos of the same brand.
Organizations can use LinkedIn Live to announce products, display behind-the-scenes content, or hold Q&A with their CEO and other executives.
Last year tech company Cisco used LinkedIn Live to ask employees about career tips and why they loved the company.
Highlighting employees will humanize your brand and raise awareness of your corporate culture. It also gives job seekers valuable insight into the skills they are looking for.
Another way to humanize your brand? A LinkedIn Live series.
In each episode they had a different employee and were able to talk about their career, missteps, successes and questions.
You will be positioned as an industry expert and your company will be differentiated from others in the industry.
TIP: LinkedIn is still testing live video streaming. Before you start planning, make sure to fill this out an application form and apply for access to become a broadcaster.
If you're looking to schedule a virtual event, these virtual event ideas can be the starting point for your brainstorming session!
Whether you're hosting a tutorial on Instagram Live or using Zoom for a private Q&A conversation, virtual events are an affordable way to connect to your community.
Did you attend a fun virtual event this year? We are all ears – talk to us Later Instagram account.
Subscribe to Later's free newsletter and stay up to date with the latest news, trends, insights and more on social media!
Monique is a content writer at Later and enjoys helping brands define their language and content strategy. She usually sips matcha or adds another book to her ever-growing TBR list. Say hello on Instagram – @mo_thom