In today’s online world, there are many ways to connect with target audiences virtually, and to grow your return on relationship. When it comes to hosting online business gatherings for an exclusive group, we’ve found that two types of live events stand out: webinars/seminars and virtual conferences.


Webinars – to build awareness, establish thought leadership, and boost conversations

A webinar is like a virtual seminar. It’s a collaborative and interactive way for you to connect with your attendees in an intimate setting that emphasises learning. Typically, the host will introduce one or more presenters to discuss a topic for a set amount of time, frequently accompanied by any of the following: slide sharing, whiteboards and surveys.


During or after that, viewers are often engaged in a Q&A or discussion period. The session usually lasts around an hour. Webinar platforms offer attendee tracking capabilities for individual follow-up after the event.


Virtual conferences for an exclusive group – to create an immersive and engaging environment for your target audience

An exclusive-group virtual conference features one or more presenters, and offers a selection of small discussion group gatherings as well as panel sessions, where attendees choose from one of several online “rooms”.


The recordings from the conference are entirely under your ownership and can be used as collateral in the future.


And you’ve got technology on your side! With all the exciting platforms out there today, there’s no limit to how you can create a virtual conference that holds attention and entertains.


Elements to engage participants

No matter what type of virtual event you plan, there are a number of elements to draw from to engage, inform, help you manage your session, and measure your success. Here are four examples we especially like…


Q&A During Sessions

A great way to give attendees a chance to ask questions during a presentation is through a chat, which allows the host to approve questions before having the speaker answer them.

Breakout Sessions

Remember the good old days of in-person meetings when there were coffee breaks where we could chat and exchange point of views informally? Breakouts can be used in the same way to enable comfortable and lively discussions.


Adding games or game-like elements to a training or team building session taps into our natural desires to have fun, compete and achieve.


Offering one or more polls during the session helps you learn more about your audience and their experience level, how effectively you have presented your content, and subject areas where they would like to learn more.


Your roadmap to virtual meeting success

No matter what type of virtual event you plan, these tactics will help you get there:


Get ready

  1. Set a date and time to maximize attendance and promotional opportunities
  2. Identify the purpose and use it to plan the event program
  3. Create a compelling invitation
Get set

  1. Customize the registration page to automate registration and track attendance
  2. Tune-up your PowerPoint presentation to ensure it’s accessible from all digital devices
  3. Create a detailed agenda for the event that all speaking participants follow

  1. Appoint a meeting moderator to set the tone, open and close the event, record, interact and manage chat, and provide technical support as needed
  2. Schedule a technical check for sound, lighting, camera, presentation etc.
After you cross the finish line

  1. Debrief immediately following the event; share and review the chat transcript
  2. Edit the recording to share with participants and registration no-shows
  3. Send “Thank-you’s” with a call to action immediately after the meeting closes; include a link to the recording or other calls to action
  4. Review the ROI based on the purpose within two weeks of the event
  5. Pro-Tip: Transcribe the recording for use as newsletter or social media content


Want to dive deeper?

There’s a lot to consider when planning a virtual event. We cover this in more depth in our blog The Art of Gathering – One Year Later.


Reach out to us. Together, we can help you build the right virtual event strategy and components for your business.


Here’s to creating wow-worthy events to build your business!