4 Different Types of Virtual Events

4 Different Types of Virtual Events

Lila Cailles


What are the different types of virtual events?

  1. Virtual conference
  2. Webinar
  3. Hybrid event
  4. Virtual trade show


Virtual events are growing in popularity nowadays, and this is no surprise. Primarily due to health and safety concerns, staging physical events like exhibitions and live conferences have been put on the back burner. The events industry has to be creative in coming up with online alternatives. If you’re planning to hold a virtual show sometime in the future, it’s likely that you’ll encounter different types of virtual events.

Industry leaders have begun underscoring the importance of making their services more widely available to their target market — virtual events are key to this goal. Read on to learn more.


Virtual Conference

A woman in a virtual conference

Virtual conferences are fairly similar to their physical counterparts. These types of events usually involve one or several keynote speakers who are tasked to discuss a particular subject matter.

Oftentimes, professionals and experts are the ones you’ll find in virtual conferences. Similar to the other online events on this list, with virtual events you will still be able to find such elements as breakout sessions, networking opportunities, lengthy discussions, and the like. The advantage of the virtual version over normal conferences is that it is able to reach a wider audience, especially for participants who may be scattered across different locations.



A businessman speaking in a webinar

Unlike virtual conferences, webinars may be minimal in their interactivity. This type of event usually involves a main speaker who has invited guests or panelists to diversify the discussion.

In webinars, the speakers have the opportunity to provide the audience with informative materials like graphics, slideshows, text or audio-visual presentations. Members of the audience can access the webinar through mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, or laptops. Like many online events, hosts should keep it a point to optimize the event for different platforms — this is so that the audience will not have difficulty accessing it.

A webinar is usually held in order to educate participants. Though the level of interactivity may not be the same, there are ways to get around this. Hosts, for example, can include gamification elements such as trivia games or quizzes. Depending on the discretion of the hosts, webinars can come in pre-recorded or live formats.


Hybrid Event

Man and woman speakers at a hybrid event

If you have been to numerous online conferences, then you might find some similarities among them. One of which is that these events seem to last for more than an hour. If the host has made his event more interactive, then participants can remain engaged even for as much as two hours.

Hosts that aren’t necessarily experienced in engaging their audience may find that the level of engagement may diminish over the course of the show.

Fortunately, hybrid events are growing in popularity. This is typically described as any kind of event — webinar, online workshops, trade shows, or conferences — which have a virtual and physical element to them.

For example, a company that is holding a trade expo may gather a few people at a location in order to stream or shoot the event. Unlike the average conference where they all might just be gathered in one place, hybrid events have a higher production value and are intended to reach the online audience. A mix of eye-catching visuals and charismatic speakers are just some of the keys to holding a truly engaging hybrid event.


Virtual Trade Show

A man attending a virtual trade show

Virtual trade shows are simply just that — trade shows that have an online element to them. As said before, large numbers of people gathering at one location is not feasible anymore.

If you’ve ever been at a trade show, then you understand just how dense these types of events are. People are constantly moving about and transferring from one location to another, checking out the different booths that have been set-up at the site. Online trade events are much larger in scope and include the participation of different kinds of industries.

Planning out a virtual trade show is not an easy task. If conferences involve only a person or a group of people who gather in one location and talk for an extended period, trade shows are much more than that. The aim of this kind of event is to engage the consumer through a visually exciting and remarkable experience.

Companies who participate in trade shows have to set up their own online booths that feature distinct brand descriptions, products, and services. Since each booth is competing with one another, they all strive to make their demonstrations stand out from the rest. Compared to the previous types of events, virtual trade shows are more technologically-intensive and have a marketing and transactional aspect to them.


Key Takeaway

Different types of virtual events that you may encounter include virtual conferences, trade shows, hybrid events, or webinars. Due to the availability of various online event platforms, it is highly possible to stage engaging virtual shows without compromising on interaction.

Maximizing online avenues should be the priority of industries nowadays. As there seems to be no abating of the pandemic situation soon, they have to make sure that they take full advantage of these virtual events.

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