Explore 8 exciting types of online events you can launch now, such as workshops, product launches, lecture series, live podcasts, training sessions, health and wellness programs, fashion showcases, and live performances.
Content Contributor, HeySummit
Online events don't have to be passive. Many summit organizers love the room for engagement a summit offers them. Whether you're teaching marketing strategies or cross-stitch, audiences are hungry for knowledge, and the interactive nature of your event will place you above a typical YouTube demonstration.
By holding your workshop online, you can incorporate a Q&A element or even compile questions before the event by having attendees ask them beforehand. We also suggest offering media files such as key points or summaries of the workshop, so that your audience can be fully immersed in your videos and not scramble to take notes and try to memorize everything.
If 1-1 coaching or consulting is your business model, online workshops make a great lead magnet. When potential clients see how adept you are at teaching a skill virtually, you'll be letting your work do the talking for you.
With in-person events a no-go for the foreseeable future, an innovative and exciting way to launch your brand's latest product is online. Build hype by having countdown clocks on your website and social media channels. If the product is a secret, why not play on the mystery and reveal a new detail about it each day in the week leading up to your big reveal?
There are many mediums you can use to launch a product - from Facebook Live to Twitch. Of course, we're partial to summits, which can help expand your product launch into a much larger event. Think along the lines of panel sessions with key figures in your brand, offers and giveaways, and management of an affiliate program.
Digital lectures are pretty common right now, with many colleges opting for virtual classes and in-person conferences moving online as well. If you're a subject expert or are looking to curate lectures from several subject experts, now's a great time to make your move. The normalization of virtual lectures has broken down barriers to accessing knowledge, and hosting a lecture can be as easy as setting up an account with a webinar platform and inviting attendees to join you.
If you're an educator looking for a more sophisticated platform, summits offer features like attendee registration, the option to add files to your talks, a comment section, and integrations with webinar platforms. This removes the hassle of having your audience create accounts on multiple platforms to watch the lecture, discuss the lecture, and download lecture notes, for example.
With social distancing and #WFH, many people find themselves spending more time at home than ever before and craving new forms of entertainment to fill the void of canceled in-person events and delayed movie releases. Bring that book discussion, true-crime podcast, or interview directly to your audience via a podcast or talk show!
Having an interesting subject matter or interviewing a well-known name in your field can help elevate your brand. This format is great because you can customize it - whether you want it to follow a Q&A format, pre-recorded, live, or game-show style.
If you've ever had to organize training for a new hire or new student, you'd know it's often an arduous task. You have to find someone from each department or topic to deliver a presentation or introduction, coordinate all the sessions in everyone's calendars, and keep tabs on which sessions have been attended, and whether the information was understood.
Our solution? Turn your training content into an evergreen summit. This means there is no end date, unlike a conventional summit, so your summit can still be updated to reflect new content whenever you want, and will remain open until you close it. This works well because facilitators/ trainers can record their talks once, and the talks can be watched on-demand by multiple new hires. There is also the option to have live sessions if you'd prefer to stick to tailored, individualized training. The beauty of the summit is that it acts as a one-stop event management platform - from things like reminder emails, agendas, and the option to collect feedback from attendees, this is training made simple.
The fitness industry has seen a huge spike in demand for at-home workouts, or guided wellness and nutrition programs that can be followed without a personal trainer. When the local gym closed due to a nation-wide lockdown, it launched fitness classes via a webinar platform, where attendees could log on and follow a guided workout. For those comfortable turning their videos on, fitness instructors provided additional help with form and speed. It was a fantastic way to stay motivated and not worry about having to create a brand new workout plan for myself, being so used to simply following the instructor's lead.
If you're an expert in meditation, you could consider creating a similar set-up and guide attendees through a session via a webinar platform or social media live-stream. There are many widely available pre-recorded apps, audiobooks, and videos, but live sessions are pretty popular as a way to connect with others in times of isolation (while still maintaining social distancing).
Why not make your next showcase an online summit?
You can have many sessions as you like with an online summit, so let your creativity flow! Showcasing one designer per session? Or one collection? It's totally up to you. Your models don't even need to be in the same room as each other for this to work, since different talks can have different hosts, who can stream from anywhere in the world.
From panel discussions, Q&A, offers and giveaways, and networking sessions, your summit can offer a lot more than just a runway presentation. Carlo Capasa, the president of the Camera della Moda, organizers of Milan Fashion Week, put it best when he told Vogue that "the advantage is that in a digital world, you are completely free. You find your way of expression. We said to everybody, 'You have from one minute to 15 minutes, and you decide what you want to show'".
Artists have also moved their shows and performances online, and streaming live is a great way to connect with audiences in a way that watching a pre-recorded video can't match.
It's a pretty crowded field, judging by this schedule of live-streamed concerts compiled and updated by Billboard, but these events benefit from being cheaper and more accessible than their in-person counterparts.
Even if you're not artistically-inclined, if it's something remotely relevant to your field, you can host a line-up of performers and enjoy the brand exposure, or even incorporate some live sessions into your schedule if you're hosting any of the other types of online events discussed above. No one wants to be sitting in front of a screen for hours - a dance break would surely be warmly welcomed :)
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