Interactive online events are a part of the “new normal” as we enter a new phase of change in the industry. Many physical events have been adapted to online ones. Companies, businesses and entertainment have all been affected, and many are finding ways to gain traction for their online events.
Read on the find out how you can plan interactive online events and how these interactive tools can be beneficial to your event.
Table of Contents:
- What are Online Events?
- What are the Types of Online Events?
- Why You Should Plan an Interactive Online Event
- How to Plan Interactive Online Events?
- Platforms to Host Your Online Events
- Engage a Professional to Produce Your Online Event
What are Online Events?
Online events, also known as virtual events are events that take place online on a specific date, time and agenda. Online events are usually organised by companies, organisations or for private functions, and can host small, medium and large groups of event guests, depending on the agenda of the online event. Some of the functions of online events are marketing, entertainment, education and for personal use.
Many companies and businesses have adapted their physical events to online and virtual ones in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Planning an online event might be tough, but gaining raw impressions and online attendance might be the even tougher part. Event planners and companies are scrambling to find new ideas to engage their audience and enhance their online event experience to bring up the numbers.
Interactive online events tend to do better than a normal online event. Adding interactive tools and activities to your online events engages your audience and helps to keep them in touch with your event. Read on to find out how you can make your next online event more interactive with the tools we have gathered.
What are the Types of Online Events?
There are many types of online events that you can host. First, you need to find out what event type best suits your agenda and purpose.
- Webinars: A webinar is an online seminar which is usually hosted for education and marketing purposes. The word “webinar” comes from the words “web seminar”. Webinars are great for hosting educational and marketing talks with many participants.
- Livestreams: Live streaming umbrellas a whole category of online events. There are many different types of livestreams available. Live streams are often used to accompany physical and virtual events as a way of making the event available and accessible to online users.
- Online Training Workshops: Online training workshops are a very popular and relevant type of online event. Online training workshops umbrella online classes, tutorials, fitness trainings and live Q&As. Many companies, gyms and schools are hosting online training workshops as a replacement for their physical classes and activities.
- Virtual Conferences and Summits: Virtual conferences and summits are commonly used by offices and companies to host large group conferences online. The set-up for conferences and summits are more advanced in terms of equipment and manpower.
- Online Music Concerts: Due to the “new normal”, music concerts cannot have large live audiences. Thus, many music concerts have converted to online events where artists are streamed live for online audiences to watch. Streaming online music concerts can potentially attract large audiences to join a stream, which can be beneficial to artists and music companies.
- Virtual Trade Shows: Many trade show companies are now turning their trade show events into hybrid events where they involve live streaming to engage with a larger audience online. Virtual trade shows have the ability of connecting to a larger audience through online marketing and publicity.
- Podcasts and Talk Shows: Podcasts and talk shows have been a staple form of online events for a long time. With the recent pandemic, many creators and educators are creating podcasts as a form of online content. These podcasts and talk shows usually do not involve much audience engagement and these are pre-recorded streams.
- Live and Virtual Hybrid Events: Many physical live events have turned into hybrid events due to the “new normal” recently. Virtual hybrid events will continue to rise in popularity as more and more events take up this method.
Why You Should Plan an Interactive Online Event
Deciding on a type of online event is only the first step to planning a successful event. In recent months, many online events have been introduced with new and creative interactive tools and functions for online event guests to experience. Interactive online events tend to do better in terms of engagement and audience involvement.
Interactive online events can also include tools that can help in marketing and online engagement for companies and businesses. Tools such as gamification and interactive questions and answers can be used to form a more personalised connection with the event guests.
Every type of online event can include interactive functions that can spice up the event and make the event more engaging for the guests. We will further discuss how you can plan an interactive online event below. Hiring a professional livestream service provider to produce your interactive online events will ensure that your most formal and adequate impression is put forward to the online event guests during your event.
How to Plan Interactive Online Events?
To know more about the tools to make your event interactive, you can read our previous article about the best tools to make your online event engaging.
1) Allow and encourage “chatting”
On most livestream and online events, the event guests have a function where they can type comments on live chats as part of the function of the platforms used. Allowing and encouraging “chatting” enables event guests to engage in conversations with one another as well as leave comments for the event host or event planners to see. This function will make the online event more interactive and engaging for the audience as they can share live comments within one another as the event is live.
2) Add Gamification
Adding gamification to online events has increased in popularity among events in recent months. Many event planners create separate applications for event guests to download and experience. Adding gamification brings the interactive factor of the event to another level. Games that are constructed well and sync well with the agenda and purpose of the online event add a refreshing twist to the online event.
3) Create Quizzes and Questionnaires
Quizzes and questionnaires are a good way to engage your audience during an online event. Making the questions relate to your online event can even boost the productivity level of your online event. Quizzes and questionnaires are recommended for online events such as webinars, workshops and livestreams.
4) Create Instagram filters as Virtual Photo Booths
Creating Instagram filters as virtual photo booths is also a good way to engage your audience during an online event. Online event guests can use the Instagram filter to take photos of themselves while attending the event. Creating a hashtag or location tag for the online event will help to collate the photos as well as spread more awareness about the event on the social media platform. Instagram filters are easy to make and are easily accessible.
5) Incorporate Polling
Creating polls and adding them throughout the event allow your guests to vote and make their opinions and thoughts known to the host and the audience during the event. This enables the event guests to feel more involved during the event.
Platforms to Host Your Online Events
You can find out more information about the best livestream platforms in our previous article.
Facebook live is one of the leading platforms in terms of social media live streaming and hosting online event. With the ability for any Facebook users, pages, groups or events to go live streaming on demand through mobile or desktop. Viewers are able to view the livestream without a Facebook account, however live commenting requires the user to be logged in to Facebook.
Instagram is one of the biggest social media platforms for entertainment and marketing live streams. With the ability for any Instagram account to instantly go live using any mobile phone with a camera, Instagram live is one of the most commonly used platforms for social media livestreams among companies and users. Often used as a more casual form of live streaming, Instagram live is very user-friendly for all users.
YouTube is a great social media live streaming platform for businesses and companies to engage their followers and consumers through online events. Many YouTube channels are now engaging in live content, where they can interact with their subscribers and form a more personal connection through the live comments section. YouTube live streams that are produced professionally tend to have higher viewership and attract more users to subscribe to their channels.
Zoom has grown in popularity as a webcast platform in recent months, becoming one of the most used platforms for webcast meetings and conferences. Zoom’s accessibility on mobile and desktop and its conference-friendly functions make it easy for companies and businesses to hold webinars, video conferences and AGMs. Zoom is free to use for everyone, however there are limitations to the free version.
5) Cisco WebEx
Cisco WebEx is a reliable and safe choice for corporate video conference and webinar live streams and events. With premium features added to the business subscriptions, companies can host livestreams without worrying about the quality of the video and audio. Cisco WebEx is free to use, however there are limitations to the free subscriptions.
Dacast is one of the most reliable webcast and live stream platforms in the market. Available at a more costly price point, Dacast comes with premium functions and are more geared towards large scaled conferences and live streams. With its latest event and advanced video hosting subscriptions plans, Dacast is a the best choice for companies and businesses which are hosting large scale livestreams.
Engage a Professional to Produce Your Online Event
We hope this article has been insightful for you. If you would like to engage a professional to produce your online event, feel free to get in touch with our project coordinators who will be happy to help.