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Virtual events

Connect, engage, educate, and share—from anywhere.

Enjoy the freedom, flexibility, and insight of virtual events

Virtual events give people the flexibility to attend from anywhere, at any time, with greater value.

Attract more attendees

Without the hassle of travel and associated costs, more people can join your event—live or later with on-demand viewing.

Free up your budget

Cut travel, venue, and other costs, and put that money towards other important needs.

Gain insights

Gather insightful data about your event and participants with reporting, Q&As, and polls.

Expand your reach

Network and connect with attendees, customers, exhibitors, and sponsors.

Anyone, anytime, anywhere

Make people feel like they’re in the same room, wherever they may be.

Features that engage

Virtual event features encourage participation, enhance communication, and create connections.

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Analytics

Gain important insight about your event and your participants with reporting and analytics capabilities.

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On-demand options

Record events for later viewing—participation is no longer limited to those who can attend live.

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Live captions

Enhanced clarity, turn off audio, or translate in multiple languages with live captions.

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Green rooms

Get organized, prepare last-minute details, and continue behind-the-scenes communications in a virtual green room.

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Branding customization

Create a unique experience and display your brand with customization tools.

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Expansive engagement

Engage attendees with Q&As chat, live reactions, and polls, all in one space.

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Learn more about virtual events

The (mostly digital) future of hybrid events

Microsoft Teams YouTube Channel

What is a virtual event?

A virtual event is any type of event conducted online rather than in a physical location. People can join from the comfort of their offices, homes, or any other location with Wi-Fi. All they need is a cell phone, tablet, or computer. Individuals, groups, or businesses can host any size event—small, intimate affairs to large, high-occupancy conferences.

Types of virtual events

Eight most common virtual events:

  • Conferences

Just like an in-person conference, virtual conferences can include keynote speakers, training and certification opportunities, product demos, and live entertainment among their agendas.

  • Webinars
Businesses and entrepreneurs often host webinars to educate or attract customers. Sometimes viewers have the option to watch a recorded copy at their leisure if they can’t attend live.
 
  • Educational courses and classes
Virtual classes—single classes or full course curriculums. Virtual classes have made it easier for people to earn degrees, learn new skills, and increase their knowledge base.
 
  • Trade shows

Just like traditional trade shows, virtual trade shows allow businesses and innovators to demonstrate their products and services, but with the potential to reach a broader audience, virtually.

  • Job Fairs
Virtual job fairs offer more flexibility for job seekers and broaden the workforce pool for scouting employers.
 
  • Real Estate Open Houses
Real Estate agents are taking advantage of virtual open houses to help potential buyers find property from a distance.
 
  • Social events
Happy hours, scavenger hunts, concerts, karaoke, game nights, dance parties, birthday parties, speed dating—nearly any in-person social affair has the potential to transform into a virtual event.
 
  • Hybrid events
Hybrid events combine the best of in-person and virtual events. Participants have the option to attend in-person or remotely from anywhere.

 

 

What to look for in a virtual event platform

Which virtual event platform is right for you? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with so many choices. To find the one that works best for you, think about the unique qualities of your event and what you hope to accomplish—a webinar has different priorities and requirements than, say, a virtual class reunion.

When shopping around for a virtual event platform for your next event, consider these features:

1. Attendee limit

Don’t abandon potential guests with a platform that can’t accommodate all your participants. For large-scale events such as virtual conferences and trade shows, you’ll need a platform that can handle a large audience. And take note that some platforms offer a higher limit for view-only attendees.

2. Engagement features

Even in person, engaging an audience can sometimes be a challenge. For your virtual event, you’ll want a platform that strengthens audience participation and engagement.

Live chat is an indispensable feature that allows participants to interact and share files without interrupting the speaker. Chat also helps if you run into technical issues during the event. Attendees can communicate with the group through chat when they lose audio.

Live captions are a favorite for added clarity or when attendees have a need to mute audio. Many live caption features can also be translated in several different languages. You can also get your audience more involved with live Q&As, which allow participants to write questions during the event or at the presenter’s discretion. Speakers can then answer when they want, privately or for all participants to see.

3. Advanced analytics

Event analytics and reporting can help you gain insights about your event. If you’re hosting a webinar, tradeshow, or conference, you may want to measure your event’s success, discover helpful marketing data, or glean other insightful information, such as demographics, interests, attendee engagement, etc.—reporting and event analytics can get you that information.

4. Event Recording

Your event’s value doesn’t have to end when the event is over. Recording your event gives you more opportunities to expand your reach. You can offer the recorded event to those who couldn’t attend live, use select segments for marketing or social media, offer to past attendees for them to revisit, or review it for yourself to learn what worked and what needs improvement.

5. Branding customization

If you’re using virtual events to help build your business, customization capabilities is something you’ll want in a virtual event platform. Customization features allow you to create your own registration pages and email templates where you can display your brand.

6. Event Management

Event management tools help you plan and organize your event and create a unique experience with ease and efficiency.

Look for features that automate tasks from the planning stage to post-event, such as registration, email confirmations and follow-ups, payment processing, uploading speaker data, creating event pages, tracking, metrics, reports, and surveys. The more you can automate the process, the more time you can focus on delivering a successful event.

Features such as greenroom enable presenters and hosts to organize, handle last-minute preparations behind-the-scenes, and communicate privately during the event. Other event management controls enable presenters to choose when and what content attendees can view and share.

Frequently asked questions

  • Research platforms to find the one that best matches your needs and plan it much like you would an in-person event of the same type.

  • People connect to the event through an online platform with a computer, tablet, or cell phone—similar to a virtual meeting or video phone call.

  • Webinars, virtual conferences, educational classes, fitness classes, real estate open houses, hybrid events, and social events.

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