7 Best Virtual Events From 2020/21

Learn the Secrets for Planning the Best Virtual Events

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7 Best Virtual Events From 2020/21. A photo of a lady in front of a computer.

Virtual events are in demand and, for many attendees, they have even become the preferred option. What’s better than wearing pyjamas while attending events from the comfort of your home? If you are planning an event, this list of the best virtual events from 2020/21 will inspire your process.

Hybrid and virtual events bring a ton of advantages, especially when paired with a social media feed. From boosting audience engagement to encouraging conversations and adding sponsored ads, a social wall will have a massive impact on your event.  

If you want to stay on top of the game, read on to learn from the most outstanding examples. Here are the best virtual events of 2020/21 and the key features that made them successful. 

Examples and key features of the best virtual events

Every example features one key element that makes the event stand out. Whether it’s audience engagement or simply a feed of high-quality content, these events will reveal the secrets of turning a regular event into a successful one. 

All examples in the list share one thing in common: a great social media integration. Look at this video showcasing the best virtual events and how they integrated social media into their platforms.

1. Captivate with high-quality content — National Geographic Storytellers Summit

The National Geographic Storytellers Summit teaches us that when you have wonderful content, you should certainly make use of it. This event took place at the beginning of 2021 and brought together changemakers from around the world to celebrate the art of storytelling.

Lots of photographers, filmmakers, illustrators and journalists attended the virtual event, so it’s no surprise that the event’s social wall was full of impressive photos and videos. This feed transported viewers to magical corners of the world; it was an immersive experience in its own right.

Embedding a social wall on a virtual platform is straightforward and highly beneficial for you and your attendees. National Geographic used our partner Pathable’s virtual platform combined with Walls.io for the Storytellers Summit 2021.

National Geographic Storytellers Summit's website displaying a social feed full of photographs and videos showing nature and people around the world.
Social wall from National Geographic’s Storytellers Summit 2021.

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2. Encourage conversations between attendees — QS Reimagine Education

QS Reimagine Education 2020 is a global virtual conference and competition, open to educational innovators from all around the world. The conference brings together EdTech startups, academic faculty from top institutions, Chief Innovation Officers, teachers, and other stakeholders in the future of higher education.

This event used a social wall powered by Walls.io to start conversations between attendees. They collected tweets from viewers tagged with the hashtag #reimagineeducation2020. The wall was accessible to everyone in the event’s virtual lobby. 

A social wall with comments and questions found at the virtual lobby of the QS Reimagine Education 2020 event.
The social wall from QS Reimagine Education 2020.

Encourage conversations using a social wall.

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3. Full moderation and custom branding — Collins Aerospace – Introduce a Girl to Engineering

One of my personal favourites from this list is the Collins Aerospace – Introduce a Girl to Engineering virtual event. One of the best virtual events of this year, it targets girls’ inclusion in the sciences. 

Given its young audience, the event made use of Walls.io’s powerful moderation tools. Our moderation settings let you filter posts out that include specific words. Walls.io offers a list of suggested terms to filter out, but you can always add more. 

This event also made use of custom branding tools. They chose the colours and layout that best fits their social media content and general design. 

The image shows a social wall embedded on the social media section of the Collins Aerospace virtual event, displaying posts about famous women in the sciences.
The social wall from Collins Aerospace – Introduce a girl to engineering event.

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4. Let your sponsors advertise on your feed — Tomorrowland

One of the best ideas to implement into your virtual event is sponsored ads. Tomorrowland has twenty-six official partners, including Pepsi Max, BMW Group, Budweiser, and Brussels Airlines, who all promote the festival.

Using the Walls.io sponsored posts feature, Tomorrowland made sure that their sponsors received a prominent advertisement space on the festival’s official social feed. Each ad linked to a relevant landing page provided by the sponsors.

The image shows Tomorrowland's social media feed displaying a sponsored posts from Pepsi among the social media posts from attendees.
Tomorrowland’s social wall.

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5. Make it a conversation — Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2021

The Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue took place in mid-March 2021. This conference gathered a variation of professionals in energy, environmental policy, economy, and climate justice. 

While it may sound like a speaker-focused event, one of the key aspects that made this conference stand out was the hosts’ constant efforts to boost engagement between speakers and viewers.  

Right from the start, the social media moderator announced that they would accept audience questions for the speakers via social media. Viewers were instructed to submit any questions or comments on Twitter with the hashtag #betd21. All tweets were gathered on one unified social media wall, embedded on the event’s microsite. 

The Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue website displaying a feed with multiple social media posts.
The social wall from Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2021.

The engagement didn’t stop there. After the talks, the moderator would pick a few tweets, display them on screen and let speakers answer the questions. It created a conversation between speakers and attendees rather than a one-way event format. 

The image shows the event website for the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue. Under the live-stream, a tweet is prominently displayed.
The social media moderator displays tweets from the audience to create a conversation between viewers and speakers.

Encourage attendees to communicate and interact with them using a live social feed.

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6. Keep your audience hooked — iSMG Cybersecurity Summit

The virtual iSMG Cybersecurity Summit dealt with cybersecurity, information security, fraud, risk and compliance professionals. Since they have a global audience, they had to find ways to entertain big crowds. The virtual event not only enhanced their reach, but also managed to keep their attendees engaged and informed at all times with a social media wall.  

6connex, the virtual platform they used to host the event, simulated a real lobby, in which attendees had easy access to the social wall. This one had real-time updates to inform everyone about upcoming talks and the topics discussed at the moment. 

iSMG Cybersecurity Summit displays a social media feed with many comments and questions about the talks.
iSMG embedded a social wall on their event platform, thanks to the ongoing partnership between Walls.io and 6Connex.

7. Make your viewers part of the show — DJ Chris Moyles

Let’s move on to musical events. DJ Chris Moyles went all out to entertain and engage his viewers with real-time social media updates. Given the effect the pandemic has had on musicians and artists, they have had to develop creative ways to keep performing for their audiences. 

Chris Moyles has been broadcasting virtual sets for over a year now. He promotes his gigs on Twitter and makes sure to deliver captivating experiences for his fans. He certainly knows how to entertain a crowd, and I’m not only talking about great music. 

He encourages people to post on social media with the hashtag #ChrisMoylesDJSet. During the sessions, he alternates the live-stream between him on camera and messages from fans and viewers. 

A screenshot taken during of DJ Chris Moyles’ Saturday Night Lockdown Sets. The live-stream displays a tweet from a viewer who’s showing her dog watching the DJ’s set on a screen.
Chris Moyles Saturday Lockdown set showing a tweet from a viewer.

Add a social wall to your next virtual event and enjoy the countless benefits it brings.

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Take-away from the best virtual events of 2020/21

As you noticed in this list, the best virtual events combine live streams and social feeds. These tools hold a fundamental place in the event industry, as they open up a wealth of opportunities for sponsored ads, attendee engagement, custom branding, real-time updates, quality content, and so much more.