Smarticles | Technical Production

A Simple Introduction to Virtual Events


READ TIME: 2 minutes


A virtual event involves no in-room experience. The entire event is held solely online.

For this week’s Smarticle, we’re focusing on virtual events: the most common type of virtual events and the benefits of opting to host a virtual event over an in-person one.

Virtual Trade Shows

The most common type of virtual event is the virtual trade show. Virtual trade shows are designed to be familiar, with virtual elements you would find at an in-person trade show such as a registration area or main lobby chat room. Virtual trade shows will often also have a virtual show floor with vendors listed, allowing attendees to click on a booth to learn more, get brochures, and sometimes even to chat.

Similar to a real trade show, there may be sponsors for different areas of the website and real goody bags with sponsored products may be mailed out just like at an in-person show.

Pro Tip: Put yourself in the place of the attendee! Before producing your first virtual event, try attending as many as possible. Take note of what works and what doesn’t, and think about how certain processes made you feel as a virtual event attendee. Armed with that knowledge, apply it to your next virtual event.

Benefits of Virtual Events

  • You’re only designing the experience for one audience, the online audience, and you don’t have to worry about accommodating a variety of needs
  • Cost savings between 20% and 90% on…
    • Airfare
    • Shipping
    • Food and beverage
    • Venue rental
    • Production
    • Logistics
  • More environmentally friendly than an in-person event
    • Reduces carbon footprint from taxis, transport, heating, etc.
  • Lower barrier to entry for attendees
    • People can attend with just a computer and internet connection
    • No travel costs make the event more financially accessible for attendees
  • Improved reporting and analytics
    • Gain a better understanding of how your attendees behave, what they are interested in, etc.
  • Generate recorded content that you can re-purpose and use later