The number of people participating in virtual events continues to rise, and it does not seem that this trend will reverse itself in the near future. However, there is still a significant amount of uncertainty as planners, venues, on-site personnel, and everyone else engaged in the life cycle of an event prepare for a future that will be filled with virtual and hybrid events. These examples of virtual events are just what you need in a situation like this.
The following are some instances of virtual events that cover a variety of business sectors and range in terms of size, duration, and technology. But there is one thing that all of these events have in common: they all took place in the year 2020, when the demand for organisations to transition to virtual events was at an all-time high.
These examples of virtual events are provided in the hopes that they will serve as a source of motivation for you, whether you are a planner tasked with organising your first virtual event, a venue management getting ready to host one, or anybody in between. We also hope that they will inspire you to come up with some fresh and original ideas.
Discover eight of the best instances we’ve seen of virtual events:
1. Salesforce.com Inc. Reimagining the World Tour in Sydney
at response to COVID-19, Salesforce was one of the first companies to shift its focus to virtual events; the company did so for its World Tour event at the beginning of March. The company Salesforce noted in a statement that was published on its website that “the safety and wellbeing of our employees, customers, and community is our number one priority.” It is no longer necessary for participants to attend the event in person or make the trip to Sydney since World Tour is now being offered as an online experience. However, attendees may still profit from the event material.
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The event met with resounding success. Salesforce said that the one-day event garnered 1.2 million video views across social media, in addition to the 80,000 individuals that watched the livestream. The speed with which the request was fulfilled was very amazing. In the middle of February, a decision was reached to make the World Tour an entirely virtual competition. Therefore, as stated by Renata Bertram, vice president of marketing at Salesforce, “in just 10 business days, the team reimagined the way that (they) deliver (their) annual flagship event in Asia Pacific.”
However, the event consisted of much more than just a livestream with recordings that could be viewed on demand after it had concluded. In addition, it was an interactive experience for those in attendance, which is one of the most essential components for the success of a virtual event. Take for instance the AppExchange Demo Jam held recently. During the course of the session, each participant was given a three-minute window in which to demonstrate their applications in real time. After seeing the presentations, the audience members were given the opportunity to cast their votes for the best performer. A straightforward approach that has yet been fruitfully pursued.
2. A new beginning for the NBA
The resumption of the 2019–20 NBA season is a hypothetical occurrence, despite the fact that it may not seem to be one. The season, which did not begin again until the 30th of July after being dormant for more than four months, has not been anything close to usual. The National Basketball Association (NBA) decided to go in a different direction though, given that no fans were permitted to enter the league’s “bubble” in Orlando in order to watch the games in person. The National Basketball Association (NBA) is now providing its fans with the option to watch games as they are being projected on in-arena video boards, where they can be seen by the players, coaches, and anybody tuning in from anywhere in the globe. The Together mode of Microsoft Teams is used to create this virtual fan experience. This mode “uses AI segmentation technology to bring people together into a shared background like a conference room, coffee shop, or arena.”
According to statements made by Sara Zuckert, who serves as the head of Next Gen Telecast for the NBA, “We wanted to create something that would bring our fans to the players.” It is also a means to provide supporters the chance to feel as if they are engaging while at the same time improving the broadcast for everyone who is watching from home.
In addition, the NBA implemented a large number of reforms with the goal of improving the experience of fans who watch games at home. These adjustments included the following:
To provide viewers with perspectives that had never been seen before, dozens of cameras were moved closer to the court.
The court was equipped with microphones in order to record augmented noises, such as the squeaks of sneakers and the rebounds of the ball.
DJs and commentators will be present at the venue to recreate the familiar noises that the teams and fans are used to hearing.
A digital version of cheering for your favourite team. This enables fans to “cheer” digitally for their favourite teams using the NBA App, NBA.com, and Twitter by utilising specific hashtags associated with their favourite teams. Following that, such “cheers” are then depicted on in-arena video boards using visuals and animations in order to “capture the level of fan engagement around the world.”
3. Summit of the SBC Digital
The purpose of the virtual betting and gaming industry event, which took place from the 27th of April to the 1st of May, was to provide guests with an opportunity to engage in interactive activities. And that was exactly what it did.
The SBC Digital Summit made use of “an advanced digital platform (to provide) delegates of (the summit) access to a full-on virtual event spaces, featuring many of the benefits of a physical conference and exhibition.”
After having “arrived” at the Lobby Area, virtual participants were then given access to the different rooms located around the rest of the virtual site. The Exhibition Hall was one of these rooms, and it provided participants with the opportunity to see items, talk to exhibitors, and visit booths throughout the event. In addition, there was the Conference Auditorium, in which participants could listen to panels and presentations given by speakers; and there was also the Networking Lounge, in which attendees may engage in discussion with one another, either one-on-one or in small groups.
4. The Great American 5000 presented by Sports Backers
The Great American 5000 raises the bar for physical fitness by providing individuals with the option to take part in a virtual run from San Francisco to New York City that takes place over the course of three months. The operation is as follows:
In order to complete the 3,107-mile (5,000-kilometer) journey, participants form teams of up to 12 or 24 members and commit to running (or walking or hiking) continuously for the full 24 hours of each day.
A virtual map is used to follow each group’s journey throughout the nation, while a leaderboard keeps score and displays the daily rankings.
Runners’ whereabouts are monitored by using GPS applications like Strava and Map My Run, among others.
There is a maximum time limit of three months (the 14th of June to the 14th of September) for teams to finish the tour.
In addition, teams are invited to make their race “mean something even more” by giving to and fundraising for Feeding America, which is the official charity of the event.
According to the executive director of Sports Backers, Jon Lugbill, as reported by NBC 12, “with the creation of this new event, we want to help people connect with each other on teams and to still compete in an athletic competition.” The Great American 5000 gives participants the chance to bring their aspiration of running across the nation one step closer to being a reality, all while collecting funds for Feeding America and lending a helping hand to those in need during this time of need.
5. “The Digital Festival: Tomorrowland Around the World”
In July, the enormous Belgian music festival became one of the first to participate in the trend of virtual events, providing guests with an unprecedented musical experience. Tomorrowland provided participants with “activities, webinars, workshops, games, and other interactive entertainment” in addition to concerts by musicians such as Katy Perry, Steve Aoki, David Guetta, and Martin Garrix.
The event took place on a virtual 3D island, and it included artists presenting their work in front of thousands of virtual spectators on virtual stages. It was exactly like a real music event, down to the musical effects, laser displays, pyrotechnics, and other special effects that were included.
The breathtaking virtual platform that Tomorrowland uses was developed in conjunction with Dogstudio, the CEO and creative director of which provided some insight into the process only a few days before the start of the event.
“We work hand in hand with Tomorrowland’s in-house 3D, creative, and development teams to build a compelling, immersive, user-friendly, but also highly premium experience,” he said. “We are building a web-based experience, and we are all really pushing the boundaries of what can effectively be done in a web browser,” said the company spokesperson. Aside from the fact that we are facing an obviously massive technological hurdle, the most difficult task we have is ensuring that festival attendees will have the opportunity to feel as if they are a part of something that extends beyond their computer and their internet connection.
“Not only will people be immersed in the new environment that Tomorrowland has to offer, but they will also have the ability to interact with other people who are attending the event. I can state with great pride that we are establishing new standards for web-based online music experiences. We are pushing the limits of the most cutting-edge technology that is currently available, while at the same time ensuring that the platform will function properly on a device that is at least a few years old.
Larry and Toby Milstein, both of New York City, had an idea to host a charity event using the rapidly expanding video platform Zoom right around the time when Zoom was establishing itself as an essential piece of technological equipment. So that’s exactly what they did.
6.Zoomtopia has arrived.
Attendee Lilah Ramzi of Vogue noted in her account of the event that “(it) had all the trimmings of a real-life ball,” which took place in early April. “There was a well-designed invitation, a guest list, performances, signature cocktails, a host committee, and charity.” One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of tickets went directly to the COVID-19 Response Fund of the World Health Organisation and the International Medical Corps.
Before the start of the event, Ramzi discussed the concept with the Milsteins and let them know what to anticipate. “This is kind of uncharted territory,” said Larry Milstein. “So we’re trying to innovate in the constraints that we have and figure out how to make Zoomtopia feel like an occasion people are a part of together… and to try and transpose the environment of an event into the virtual space,” said Larry Milstein.
When Ramzi asked the Milsteins about the amount of money collected the morning following the gala, they informed her that it had already surpassed $20,000, despite the fact that the gala itself did not cost anything to put together.
7. The Real Estate Transaction Conducted Online
The Quintessa’s Virtual Estate Experience is a one-of-a-kind tour of the vineyard on the Quintessa Estate, which is located in Napa Valley, California. It is one of the most distinctive instances of a virtual event that can be found on this list. The tour is conducted virtually via the use of Zoom and includes a private tasting of wines that are provided to participants in advance of the event.
“I had been wishing for an in-person getaway for a visit, but this worked out nicely as a substitute,” one TripAdvisor customer commented. “The event was well organised, and sampling kits were provided so that attendees could recreate the event in the comfort of their own homes… This was not a perfect replacement for the in-person tasting experience in the glass pavilion (which is great), but it was a wonderful diversion from the COVID-19 separation. Many thanks for your creative efforts!”
8. Cvent’s Virtual CONNECT Platform
Late in the month of August, Cvent held its annual conference for the first time online, and it was a tremendous success. The fact that this particular event was held via Cvent’s recently launched platform, the Virtual Attendee Hub, is what really sets it apart from the other instances of virtual events that we have seen and makes it one of the most unusual. The fact that prospective clients were able to watch it being used in real time was a win-win situation for everyone involved since the platform was meant to power all different kinds of events and give organisations with a single solution to handle their whole events programme.
More than 42,000 individuals registered for the event, which is a significant increase from the 4,500 people who participated in person at the 2019 gathering in Las Vegas. In point of fact, it was the greatest meeting of hospitality and event industry experts that has ever taken place.
According to David Quattrone, co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Cvent, “Putting our brand-new product to the test for the first time by hosting an industry event with more than 42,000 registrants worldwide showed the unwavering confidence we have in both our product and our team.” [Cvent’s] all-new product was put through its paces for the first time during this event. We have had over one thousand technical professionals working throughout the platform to assist in the preparation for not just the successful launch of the Virtual Attendee Hub, but also the many other product advancements that we highlighted at the conference. We knew that we wanted to showcase the Virtual Attendee Hub at Cvent CONNECT, and we are really happy of the fact that we were able to provide such a life-changing virtual event experience to tens of thousands of individuals all over the globe.
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