The key to any event – virtual or in-person – is exemplary organization with a dash of creativity. Combining a powerful virtual event platform with strategic (and fun) event planning is the perfect way to leave your conference attendees, speakers and sponsors feeling fulfilled. Here are six virtual event ideas to consider incorporating into your next virtual conference: Maximize Virtual Keynotes One of the lynchpins of conferences is the keynote speaker. Virtual keynotes can be very effective if you shorten presentations to around 20 minutes; minimize the use of slides; expand the Q & A to facilitate audience engagement; and promote the virtual question feature during the talk to capture comments and questions. This is also an excellent opportunity to involve sponsors by allowing them to introduce the speaker and moderate the Q & A session. Engage with a Virtual Exhibit Hall Virtual exhibit halls can be highly effective and actually improve qualified leads for the exhibitor, as well as provide important information for conference attendees. Use video to showcase products and services. Collect digital business cards for conference drawings. Schedule webinars or share a demo. Meet virtually one-on-one with interested prospects. Include a FAQ link on the exhibitor page. These are just a few ideas that virtual event planners can use to get the most out of the online environment. Bring on the Bling What is a conference without free stuff? In addition to virtual business card drawings by exhibitors, consider sending out a swag bag in the mail to registered attendees before or after the conference. Find a sponsor who will provide a memorable and gorgeous tote bag. Or on a more serious note, have the keynote speaker offer a one-on-one consulting session as a premier conference prize. Create Networking Opportunities One of the primary reasons people attend conferences is to network. Many attendees of virtual conferences say that this format actually can be surprisingly productive because it levels the playing field in terms of access. A few event ideas to enhance opportunities include creating special interest meet-up spaces; hosting evening networking cocktail parties; providing detailed attendee directories so people can reach out and schedule meetings; and developing a “need help/give help” virtual room so attendees can promote their services and find others to help them. Collect Virtual Testimonials Set up a virtual space at your conference to collect written and video testimonials about the event or your company and organization. People enjoy sharing their views if it is easy, and you will have wonderful content for other marketing efforts and future conferences. Make It Fun The success of Airbnb’s online experiences demonstrates that people can have loads of fun virtually. So share some fun with conference attendees. Consider engaging a magician or mentalist. Have a virtual concert. Incorporate cooking or drink-making lessons. Hire a virtual yoga or dance instructor. The ideas are endless, and the talent is out there.