Types Of Events – Which Format to Choose for Your Next EventDecember 6 | 9 min read
Have you thought of how to classify your ‘type’ of event? Events are frequently classified based on the function they serve. Events are also divided based on the sort of individuals who participate in them. Most events are social gatherings with a particular aim. Out of sheer convenience & to overcome geographical limitations, virtual or digital events are on the rise during the pandemic. In fact, the year 2021 witnessed a 10-20% allocation of the marketing budget towards virtual events.
Defining your audience – B2B and B2C events?
Which are you targeting? What are your goals? Are you looking to market to businesses, to consumers, or maybe even both? Knowing the difference and honing in on your target audience can make a huge difference when setting up your event. This is a very important step!
Business to Business (B2B) events are organized around developing relationships between businesses, generating pipelines, creating more revenue streams, and in general, moving towards common business goals. B2B events are a great means to understanding how competitors are operating and how they showcase their products/services. B2B events provide opportunities to collaborate with other businesses and understand market behaviors better.
Business to Customer (B2C) events, on the other hand, target the customer/consumer base directly. These events are generally organized to reach out to grassroots customers. Intentions behind B2C events may be to drive sales, open new revenue streams, market a new service or product, or simply engage customers. B2C events are usually larger in scale as compared to their B2B counterparts.
Choosing the right event type
Now that you know who you are targeting, B2B or B2C, you need to look at the type of platform you might want to host your event on. There are different types of events based on the platform they are organized, the purpose they serve, how things are conducted within the event, and so on.
Both B2B and B2C event organizers have to choose from several event types and pick one that serves their purpose the best. Take, for example, Samsung’s Galaxy launch in 2021 that was conducted on digital platforms due to the ongoing pandemic. This is a fine example of how a virtual B2C event takes place. Samsung launched several key products such as the Galaxy S21 Ultra and the One UI3. It also dived deeper into how the company looks forward to serving customers with better designs and UX. The essence of the entire event was digitalization, and it was apt that it was held as a virtual event.
An instance of a virtual B2B event is Apple’s special event in 2020. This particular event focused on operating system updates by Apple and introduced how Apple considers privacy as the top priority. The event also introduced the world to newer versions of the iPad, Apple TV, and iWatch, and more.
Virtual keynotes, seminars, conferences, product launches, trade shows, etc. are all on the upward curve. Under normal circumstances, events are held outdoors. Event managers factor in many variables before choosing a particular event type. Online events are a great way to cut costs as well as to reach a certain audience that is not accessible physically.
Don’t get nervous! You certainly don’t need to have a huge event or budgets like Samsung or Apple to be effective but it’s nice to model after a big company and get some tips!
Virtual Events or Hybrid Events – Which is better for your needs?
Choosing between a Virtual Event and Hybrid Event is another choice that you will need to make. With Covid-19 constantly breathing down our necks, virtual events have grown in popularity, as have hybrid events.
Virtual events, as the name suggests, are held across digital platforms. Virtual event hosting platforms have several features that make it easy for the organizers as well as the participants to interact with each other. Capabilities such as surveys, polls, audience chats, event marketing options, etc. all make for a conventional virtual event platform.
Virtual event platforms such as Zoom and Everytale are a couple of them. Further subdivisions of event tech comprise the additional features these platforms offer. Event tech is a term that involves technical aspects of the events industry.
Now that we’ve taken a look at virtual events, hybrid events are the natural succeeding step to discuss. Hybrid events are a mixture of both live and virtual events. Let us assume that Apple is launching a new mobile phone in the USA or the CEO of Microsoft wants to address Microsoft’s business partners across the globe. As the impact of the pandemic has improved with the vaccine and other measures, the situation, in the US particularly, is not as dire as it was in 2020. Live events have been allowed for the better part of this year. However, most live events also now include a virtual component. Digitally, the event can reach a certain section of people in the world who are bound by the pandemic or other travel restrictions in their respective countries. People who cannot attend the event first-hand or for safety reasons prefer not to. Digital event solutions help a lot in such cases. People can take part in live events from anywhere in the world.
Even without the pandemic, hybrid events are a great way to connect people from different places and develop a global community of professionals from a certain background. In 2019, with the pandemic just beginning to show its real terror, as many as 52% of professionals in the events industry invested in event tech. The number of investors has also grown over the past couple of years. A clear indicator of how the virtual and hybrid events industries are moving towards digitalization is event technology. Relevant adoption of event technology helps event managers save money and the ease of accessibility for companies to target larger groups of people globally.
Let’s Take A Look at the Types of Events
First, we decided “who” we are targeting, then we decided “how” we are going to reach our audience. Now let’s take a look at the types of events to choose from, as well as what they are used for. The list below will show types of events and covers most of the general event types that are out there. If the target audience consists of executive-level employees of a specific industry, a closed formal seminar would do the job. On the other hand, if the intention is to educate the masses about a new product, a product launch would be the way to go. Curated here are different types of events, types of special events, and their key benefits.
Conferences are hosted to bring a large group of people with common interests and discuss with them or educate them about stuff relevant to them. Conferences can be a small affair with only a few hundred people to a large-scale event where thousands can join. A great example is a virtual conference held by the American Physical Society. Due to the pandemic, the event was held entirely on digital media. It received an overwhelmingly positive response from attendees. Conferences are usually held in successive periods or consecutive phases and are one of the most common amongst different types of events.
Benefits: Conferences are best for raising product awareness and increasing revenue.
A seminar can be described as a smaller, more intimate conference. Seminars are usually a single session and are usually organized for a smaller group of people. Seminars are interactive and aim to educate participants on a relevant topic. Seminars can be educational or they can simply be used as motivational tools. Closed company seminars are especially effective in motivating the employees.
Benefits: Seminars help raise product awareness, build communities, and train employees.
Trade shows and exhibitions are meant to launch new products or generate hype or awareness about upcoming products or company features. It is amazing for targeting unexplored markets as well. Trade shows and exhibitions also allow companies to sell their products and make new contacts. Digitalization of trade shows has led to virtual event hosting platforms like Everytale to integrate payment solutions with their events. Using these features, event organizers can monetize their trade shows on digital platforms.
Benefits: Raising product awareness, launching new products, and selling products/services.
One of the major types of events, corporate meetings can be conducted within one company or between multiple companies. Corporate meetings are held to discuss certain business topics to assess the current situation, develop marketing strategies, or generally discuss potential actions to be taken in the future. Hybrid corporate meetings are also organized to help companies manage teams in different locations.
Benefits: Managing internal teams and developing business relations between companies. Developing business strategies.
Networking events provide platforms for different companies related to a specific industry to interact and share a common space. Networking events can be both B2B and B2C but are generally B2B in nature. These special events are a wonderful way for companies to understand how their competitors are working in the current economic climate. Nurturing professional relationships also helps companies stay afloat during tough times.
Benefits: Specifically designed to develop a community of similar professionals. It also presents a good opportunity for entry-level employees to connect with executives and get better job options.
As the name suggests, product launches, both live and virtual, inaugurate a new product to the market and educate customers about its features. The main idea of product launches is business development. Often, product launches follow event formats wherein they invite an influential industry-specific person to generate hype. Media houses are also present on the scene and help spread the word far and wide. Product launches require meticulous planning and making the right decisions. These types of events are generally B2C in nature.
Benefits: Raising branding awareness, increasing revenue, and educating the audience.
Executive parties pair business meetings and conferences with recreational activities. This helps develop a more conducive environment for people to interact. Business retreats are usually held in tourist locations. Event management companies also gain a lot of business credit by organizing executive parties. Executive parties are comparatively more expensive as compared to other event categories.
Benefits: Networking and developing professional communities.
Sponsored events are a specific type of special event where the budget is supported by one or more sponsor companies. Sponsored events can prove to be a win-win situation for the sponsor as well as the event organizer. It requires very careful planning though! Event managers are always under pressure of giving considerable returns to sponsors. Sponsors get the advantage of raising brand awareness or even sell products during the event. Event managers do not have to dive into their companies’ pockets to fund the event. Sponsorship events are usually coupled with other event types and event formats as well.
Benefits: Giving information about products, brands, and companies, as well as saving operational costs.
Workshops are educational tools that help companies target customers and potential recruits. Workshops can help aspiring people develop the right skills and enter into a domain of their interest. Virtual workshops have helped a lot of people during the pandemic. They are a means for companies to pick out talented people and hire them as well. Workshops are generally educational but can also be described as a networking platform.
DIY or Do-It-Yourself videos also fall under the umbrella of virtual workshops. They help people develop niche skills and provide them with a much-demand exposure to new ideas. DIY content brings workshops down to a more personal and enjoyable level where people can learn new stuff and associate further with the brand.
Benefits: Develop skill sets and provide industry-level experience. Develop communities of people with similar interests and connect them with recruiters.
VIP Experiences or events target high-level employees, industry veterans, potential shareholders and customers, and guests of honor. The main purpose is to generate revenue by providing an exclusive and high-quality experience to the aforementioned personas. Brand awareness is another added advantage of VIP experiences.
Benefits: Open new revenue streams and connect with influential industry veterans.
Fundraisers are organized to generate revenue for a specific purpose. Philanthropic people, interested executives, and potential investors take part in these types of events. 69% of the funds collected via fundraisers are through individuals. Fundraisers are also a great networking platform for executive-level personnel. In the wake of the pandemic, similar to trade shows, digital event platforms have integrated payment solutions to virtual fundraisers. Fundraising events can also be coupled with auctions and executive parties.
Benefits: Raise funds and connect with potential investors.
A concoction of two words; web and seminars, a webinar is a virtual seminar or even a conference. The purpose is the same as a seminar which is to educate the participants, present novel ideas, and raise awareness about a specific topic or industry. Webinar platforms such as Everytale, Demo, Livestorm, and EverWebinar have integrated capabilities in their platforms to help organizers host high-quality webinars. Some of these include payment solutions, interaction tools, content sharing capabilities, etc.
Benefits: Enjoy all the benefits of a seminar while sitting at home.
One of the oldest forms of events to exist in the world, auctions help companies and individuals to sell products or services. Auctions can also be mingled with fundraising events where items are sold off to generate revenue. Again, digital auctions are complemented by payment solutions embedded in event marketplaces.
Benefits: Increases revenue and helps in networking.
Educational (classes and lectures)
Educational events, as the name directs, are classes, lectures, and even seminars intended to tutor people about a topic. Workshops can also fall under this category. An appropriate example of an online educational event is this Emotional Intelligence event. Virtual education types of events such as this one are also a motivational tool.
Benefits: Instruct and educate people and develop interest around a certain topic.
Choosing the right types of events is an important task that you want to make sure to get right. Knowing which format to choose for your next event can save you time and money in the long run. Event management is a wide and challenging field and choosing what kind of event would suit the intention well is a huge job. Budget allocations, preparation times, and venue selections are just a few things that need to be considered when choosing types of events. Especially under the circumstances of the pandemic, a new outlook towards organizing events is a must. Event marketplaces and streaming platforms such as Everytale are the direct results of this. Adapting to a digital environment is the natural sequel to the event management saga.