Have you ever watched Charlie and The Chocolate Factory? In the movie, whoever found a golden ticket on a chocolate bar, had the chance to visit Wonka’s factory. All the lucky winners were immersed in a fantastic experience while touring the factory. Similarly, virtual events should be planned as unique experiences. Today we bring you a list of 11 virtual event ideas to help you plan an event as fun and memorable as Willy Wonka’s factory tour.
Why fun and memorable? With fun comes audience engagement, which is ultimately one of the most important factors at an event. You want to turn your attendees into active participants and create conversations between speakers and the audience. At the same time, a memorable event is linked to brand awareness. If one of your attendees recognizes your brand because of your event, you’ve hit the jackpot.
Therefore we focused on five fun activities and six memorable details to take your virtual event to the next level.
Virtual event ideas to make your event fun and boost attendee engagement
While planning an event, we usually focus on the big picture. We make sure to find the right streaming platform, plan a marketing campaign, book speakers, etc. The problem is we tend to forget about making the event fun and engaging for attendees.
Implement these five ideas and watch attendees enjoy them!
1. Workout breaks
Hire an instructor and schedule a 15-minute workout session during some of the breaks. The best workout option would be something accessible for all audiences, such as an easy dance, light yoga or simple exercises targeting one part of the body (such as back pain) — and offer alternatives for all abilities. Your attendees will be thankful for the active break, and their brains will be fully oxygenated and ready to pay attention to the next speaker.
2. Virtual Scribing
If you’ve never seen live illustrations during a talk or presentation, you are missing out big time! This visual engagement tool is extremely effective. Not only will viewers appreciate the art in front of them, but they will understand the topic even better. You can read more about virtual scribing and check out some examples here.
3. Ice breaker games
If what you want is to get your attendees to interact with each other, the best option is to play ice breaker games. Start with a simple “describe how you feel with one word” game, or take a look at this list of 34 Ice Breaker Ideas. For big events, we recommend using a social media wall where attendees can submit comments and questions — the written format will facilitate contributions from those who don’t feel comfortable speaking up in a bigger setting.
4. Riddles with prizes
Select a few difficult riddles related to the event’s topic, share them on a social wall and offer a prize for the fastest answer. Share the riddle at the start of a break, and have attendees submit their answers to the social wall. Since our event plans offer real-time updates, it will be clear who the winner is.
5. Music bingo
If you really want to have fun on a low-effort level, music bingo is the answer. Hitmix Bingo is a program that lets you make your own music bingo games. All you have to do is add music, get cards, play the game and check for winners. You will have attendees dancing and singing in a matter of seconds.
Virtual event ideas to make your event memorable
The one thing you want your attendees to remember is your brand. Now, your brand is not only a logo and a name. Your brand is a feeling, a solution, an experience, whatever you want it to be. So make sure to create emotive and memorable experiences to boost brand awareness. These six ideas focus on memorability that will keep your brand in your attendees’ minds long after your event has ended.
6. Real-time social media feed
There’s nothing attendees like more than standing in the spotlight at an event! Seriously, people like to feel included in any community, including a temporary community created at an event. With a real-time social media feed embedded on your platform, attendees can submit their selfies and show up instantly on the wall. Exhibit A: below, a post of an international Mary Kay Leadership event where an attendee shows her excitement at seeing her post appear on the event’s social media feed.
7. Goodie Bags
Branded power banks, socks, reusable water bottles or bucket hats will make your attendees remember your event and become brand ambassadors. People will regularly use functional gifts, fulfilling the purpose of promoting your brand wherever they go. Alternatively, you can send a digital goodie bag by email, in which you include coupons for your products, ebooks, checklists and whatnot.
8. Custom Filters
Create a custom Instagram/Facebook filter and encourage people to share their selfies on social media tagged with your hashtag. The filter should include your logo and brand colours. Then collect all these photos on a social media wall and display them during talks or breaks.
9. Creative backgrounds
If you are hosting a virtual event via Zoom, you can design a branded background so attendees can join the call without worrying about messy rooms. Not only will this encourage attendees to turn on their cameras during the event, but it will also promote brand awareness.
Who doesn’t like free stuff? You know the drill, get a bunch of branded swag and give it away during breaks to attendees that ask questions or post on your social media wall. You can even create a hashtag contest for the best photo of the event.
11. Fashion items
Get in touch with fashion or product designers and ask them to create quality branded items. If the budget allows it, you can get a collection of jackets, for example, and sell these during the event. Other options include Converse with hand-drawn designs, Levi’s denim jackets with illustrations on the back. The options are limitless! The important thing is to promote these items in advance so that people want to buy them!
Be as creative as Willy Wonka!
You just read eleven easy virtual event ideas to improve engagement and brand awareness, but there are countless other ideas. The event’s mood will determine which ideas fit best, as I don’t imagine attendees of a serious event playing music bingo. Let your imagination run free and think outside the box.
Be like Willy Wonka and let the fun and memorable experiences be a pillar of your event! Your guests will appreciate it.