Virtual Events have truly taken the world by storm. Ever since 2020, we have seen lots of formats crop up.
Full-blown virtual events, virtual conferences, webinars, virtual trade shows, & virtual job fairs are all examples of how the event industry coped with the challenge of the COVID pandemic.
In the past year or so, many virtual events have taken place. Some of these were held simply to prevent the organizers from losing the money they had already put into physical events.
Others, however, were held to provide an unmatched, out-of-the-world experience to their attendees.
These brilliant virtual events stayed with their attendees for a long time & also helped raise the bar higher for other virtual events to follow.
What made these amazing virtual events so successful? Can the recipe be replicated with our own individual ingredients? And is there a chance for you to do the same?
We answer all of these questions in this blog by telling you about the top 10 most successful virtual event examples from around the world.
Read on to know more!
Salesforce’s World Tour Sydney Reimagined: 2020
CRM leader Salesforce pretty much single-handedly brought about the wave of virtual events with this event in early 2020.
The Virtual Event took place in March 2020, by which time the event industry hadn’t even figured out what was happening, much less what to do.
Salesforce planned out the virtual event in just two weeks’ time, but the small-time window didn’t stop them from making it an epic event.
They planned the event keeping audience engagement at the forefront. This helped them come up with interesting & exciting engagement activities like the 3-minute app pitch round.
This involved the attendees telling others about their apps in a 3-minute window.
The other attendees could vote for the app that they liked the most. Salesforce announced the winner the following day via Twitter. This kept the attendees on their toes well after the event was over.
With this, Salesforce opened the channels of communication & collaboration between the attendees, leading to exceptionally high audience engagement rates.
When you look at the event statistics, it all makes sense. Salesforce was able to generate 80,000 live steam views, & over 1 million views across all of its social media platforms.
Also, Salesforce made the virtual event stream available on-demand for their viewers. This helped them repurpose the event content according to their customer’s needs & requirements, which increased the events’ overall views.
AWS re: Invent 2020
re: Invent is a global learning conference for the developers in the cloud community. It is hosted by Amazon Web Services.
As Amazon Web Services is the biggest player in the cloud services infrastructure, re:Invent is considered the biggest cloud conference in the domain.
AWS re: Invent 2020 was a virtual conference held over a duration of three weeks.
Although the conference was virtual, the organizers didn’t leave a single stone unturned to give their attendees a life-like digital experience.
re: Invent 2020 included fun & interactive elements like keynote announcements, product launches, leadership and training sessions, & networking tools like live chat etc., for attendees.
The virtual conference also featured DJ sets, mystery video games, & other fun activities to keep the excitement going.
The conference was fully focused on accessibility, hence it included barrier-breaking features like live transcripts, captioning, translations, screen-reader compatibility, & decks.
The virtual conference consisted of some 500+ sessions, all of which were distributed into separate tracks to help the attendees navigate through them easily.
SheetsCon 2020 was branded by Google as the world’s first virtual conference for Google Sheets users.
The virtual conference entertained & informed its attendees through detailed tutorials & expert headlined sessions.
The event organizers also hosted engaging giveaway contests that required participants to post about the event on their social media handles. They also had to visit atleast 5 sponsor pages throughout the event to be eligible for the prize.
This not only helped create a buzz among the attendees but also led to an increase in the event’s organic marketing & sponsor visibility.
Adobe’s Digital Experience Conference has been around for the last 10 years. The 2020 edition was online & amassed over 100,000 registrations and 450,000 views from all over the world.
This tremendous success was due to a multitude of factors. Seamless delivery of all 100 sessions in the highest quality post-production was amongst them.
Adobe adopted the pre-recorded route for the virtual conference, which led to smooth session flows and high-quality streaming.
Although the virtual conference was lacking in live audience networking & interaction, it did have the upper hand on video quality, fewer technical mishaps, & improved accessibility.
SBC Digital Summit
SBC is a news, media, & events company operating in the betting and gaming industry.
Their well-known event, the SBC Digital Summit, focuses on bringing people from all around the world together and help them connect.
Knowledge sharing & connections are the two most important factors of the summit.
And even though the 2020 edition was held virtually, there was no dearth of audience networking & connection.
The SBC Digital Summit 2020 was designed as a fully interactive virtual space, meant to mimic a physical networking event.
Attendees were able to access various parts of the virtual summit through the lobby. They also had the option to either enter live conference sessions or watch on-demand videos of previous sessions.
The virtual conference also had a networking lounge where attendees could interact & network with the other attendees. They could also navigate over to the exhibitor & booth showcase area to check out any new products & interact with the booth organizers.
MarTech held its annual MarTechFest Dial-Up in 2020, which was the virtual version of the MarTechFest Global Conference that takes place in London.
The Virtual Event comprised 30 speakers spread over the duration of 30 days. It also had interactive, collaborative activities like fireside chats, Q&A sessions, masterclasses, workout & meditation sessions, & lots more.
Attendees could view sessions live, or on-demand.
MarTechFest virtual conference organizers also planned a rewards-based points system to increase audience engagement & interaction.
Attendees had the option to utilize these points to access any future events & win goodies among others.
Games are usually not successful without the thrill & excitement of a live audience. However, the NBA Restart effectively put these notions to rest with the digitally held NBA Restart 2020.
The 2020 virtual event was successful in recreating the thrill and excitement of a live audience, & was also heralded for transcending the boundaries of a live game.
The game was live-streamed in a video conferencing format, with the webcam feeds of a few participants shown on a large screen on the sidelines of the court. This helped the attendees feel like they were a part of an actual, physical game.
The Virtual Estate Experience
Tastings & tours are an essential part of a vineyard’s business model. However, in light of the coronavirus pandemic, these tours & tastings couldn’t go on as usual.
This led to the Quintessa Estate in Napa Valley make their first foray into the world of virtual events and experiences.
The estate delivered two bottles of wine to the participants’ homes, along with a tasting kit.
They then asked everyone to join the others via video conferencing and share their thoughts about the wines with each other.
This helped create an engaging, interactive atmosphere, and also helped the estate keep their business going with the virtual tasting sessions.
Tomorrowland Around The World
Just like games and wine tastings, nobody thought that music festivals could be pulled off virtually. That is, until Belgian techno festival Tomorrowland did it spectacularly well.
The virtual music festival consisted of big-name singers & DJs like Steve Aoki and David Guetta. It attracted more than 1 million participants worldwide.
Tomorrowland virtual music festival was a two-day virtual event comprising 8 virtual stages, 60 artists, workshops, games, fireworks, laser shows, & more.
Visitors could also connect, network, & interact with each other through audience networking features.
Dreamforce to You 2020
Dreamforce to You is another Salesforce event on this list. It’s a renowned tech conference that usually takes place in San Francisco for a period of 4 days.
However, in 2020 the organizers brought the conference from the bay area to their participants’ computers.
But the Virtual Conference didn’t lack any aspects of the physical one. With appearances by the likes of late-night TV host James Corden & Metallica, the virtual conference was a force to reckon with in the digital domain.
Dreamforce to You 2020 also became the hotbed for new announcements & major reveals. One such announcement was Salesforce’s acquisition of team collaboration tool Slack.
This helped create a sense of belonging & involvement amongst the virtual conference attendees.
Participants also had access to engaging demos & DreamTX sessions, networking features, & the Dreamfest party. All this helped make the Dreamforce To You 2020 virtual conference a major success in the virtual event arena.