20 Virtual Event Ideas

Virtual events may have gained popularity during the pandemic, but they are quickly becoming an important part of the new normal. If you’re thinking of holding a virtual event but are stumped when it comes to content, let these virtual event and virtual conference ideas inspire you.

Engagement, Interaction, and Gamification

Encouraging attendee engagement—whether with event content or with one another—is crucial for online events. Strategies that get attendees interacting are some of the most valuable and popular virtual event ideas.

1. Live Leaderboard

In this gamification strategy, completing various activities within the event rewards attendees with points. Activities might include:

  • Attending a session
  • Asking a question in a session
  • Completing an education course or track
  • Visiting a sponsored exhibit

The event interface has a scoreboard that lists every attendee. This allows them to check their points, see what they’ve achieved, and compare their score with that of other attendees.

2. Achievement Badges

Along the same lines as a live leaderboard, badges provide attendees with a way to show off their in-event achievements. With a typical badge system, attendees earn points for specific activities. They can then choose which achievements to display on the digital badge that appears next to their name in the event interface.

3. Scavenger Hunt

In these virtual games, competitors race to find a particular item or list of items. The objectives for a virtual scavenger hunt revolve around finding objects that most people have in their homes, or completing simple tasks. For instance, players may be asked to take a selfie with their favorite coffee mug or take a picture of the view from their front door.

Entertainment and Social Activities

Virtual social events offer attendees a chance to unwind after the days’ activities are over. Good entertainment results in overall increased engagement, by offering further chances for interaction with sponsors, brands, and fellow attendees.

4. Improv Comedy

Improv comedy can be a fantastic way to inspire engagement. It’s not just entertaining; its off-the-cuff delivery means that comedians can take elements from your event and weave them into the comedy. Your attendees’ shared experiences of the event can even become an extended inside joke. And if you play it right, you can reference that joke in later sessions, or even future marketing campaigns.

5. Magic Show

Magic tends to be a highly engaging form of entertainment because even the most stalwart skeptic is left wondering, “HOW did they do that?” A skilled performer can create a sense of mystery and wonder that will engage your attendees in a virtual magic show they’ll never forget.

6. Music Concert

Whether it’s a brief musical break between sessions or an end-of-day cocktail-hour performance, musical entertainment provides a memorable experience. Make sure to tailor your music to the time of day. Go for something light and refreshing for the daytime break, and save the rock band for after-hours entertainment.

7. Cooking and Cocktails

Cooking and cocktails have both become popular social content ideas for virtual events. With these events, an informal cooking class is headed by a cook who demonstrates one or more recipes. Or, the demonstration can precede a virtual happy hour by substituting the cook for a mixologist who demos one or more cocktail recipes.

The audience can opt to watch or join in, allowing them to learn a new skill or just enjoy the social aspect. Note that this option requires some advance preparation for the audience. Provide recipes and ingredients lists—or even the ingredients themselves—at least a few days before the session.

8. Virtual Murder Mystery

The virtual counterpart to murder mystery theater games, these online whodunnits are both fun and engaging. In these events, participants must work together in order to solve the mystery and reveal the murderer. They’re best suited for small to medium-sized groups and are especially fun as team-building exercises for remote workers.

Immersion Increasers

Immersion helps attendees feel more at home in the virtual event space, resulting in better engagement and more enjoyment.

9. Personalized Profiles

The ability to let others see them helps attendees feel more at home in an unfamiliar virtual space. One great way to do this is with a personalized profile. Each attendee uploads a photo of themselves that gets displayed next to their name in the virtual event interface. Attendees can also answer simple questions that alert other guests of their interests. You can even utilize matchmaking programs to suggest networking groups.

An personalized profile is a simple way to make the whole virtual event experience feel more personal and therefore more engaging.

10. 3D Environments

It might feel challenging for a virtual event to mimic the in-person event experience, but 3D environments are one way to help bridge the gap. A 3D environment provides a virtual space for attendees to explore in the same way as they would a live venue. This lets them both explore the virtual space and interact with one another. Most include multiple virtual spaces, such as session rooms, breakout spaces, exhibition halls, and even entertainment areas.

11. Virtual Tours

Personalized profiles are a way for attendees to portray themselves in an online environment. For sponsors, exhibitors, and other brands, 360-degree virtual tours can achieve a similar effect. A 360-degree tour offers a panoramic view of a particular space, giving a brand the chance to show off their business premises or other location. An exhibiting brand or sponsor can even create a 360-degree virtual tour of their physical event exhibit and showcase it in their virtual booth.

Virtual Networking

Live networking is one of the most difficult things for virtual and hybrid events to successfully replicate. At live events, networking often happens spontaneously, and the virtual event environment can’t perfectly mimic this aspect. But that just means virtual event networking is done a little differently.

12. Networking Recommendations

One option for mimicking the spontaneity of live networking is with AI-generated connection recommendations. Offered by many virtual event platforms, this feature uses AI to make networking match-ups based on user-added data. Attendees receive networking recommendations based on shared interests or experiences, so the recs they get from the AI depend on the data they themselves put into the system.

13. Speed Networking

Along similar lines as AI networking, this feature pairs attendees off for a series of brief back-to-back networking sessions. Each pair is separated into their own private chatroom and gets a set amount of time to chat before being automatically moved to the next meeting. This naturally encourages focus and engagement, helping everyone get the maximum value from their time.


When you can put together an extensive sponsorship bundle that offers plenty of options and multiple channels for engagement, you’ll have plenty of brands willing to take the leap into online events.

14. Virtual Sponsorship Booths

virtual exhibit hall featuring sponsored booths both highlights sponsors and provides interactive content. The virtual booth can be as simple as a web page with custom graphics and sponsor-created content such as pre-recorded product demos, written content, and a chatbot or chatroom with live booth staff.

15. Sponsored Sessions

Sponsored sessions are one of the simplest but most effective virtual conference ideas, helping event organizers bolster their content schedule and giving sponsors another way of reaching their audience. Sponsored sessions allow sponsors to create content that perfectly reflects their brand messaging, while providing plenty of time to interact directly with attendees.

16. Branded Breakout Rooms

Some sponsors appreciate having a less formal way of getting in touch with attendees. Branded breakout spaces give them a chance to do that. In a virtual environment, this can take the form of a dedicated sponsor livestream feed, where attendees can talk with reps from the sponsor. These spaces could run for set periods of time or for the duration of the event, and perhaps even feature entertainment options, all according to whatever the sponsor decides. This gives your attendees more options and provides extra branding opportunities, making it a win-win for all concerned.

17. Sponsored Giveaways

Adding sponsored giveaways into the event schedule has a number of potential benefits. It’s another opportunity for sponsors to get actively involved in the event and helps increase audience engagement and interaction.

18. Sponsored Video Content

Most free video content these days is either prefaced or interrupted by some form of sponsored content. Virtual events provide an opportunity for sponsors to run short clips of 30 to 60 seconds at the start of pre-recorded or live video, with the benefit of an attentive virtual audience.

Swag, Giveaways, and Prizes

Freebies of various kinds provide more opportunities for boosting brand awareness, increasing engagement, and creating an exciting and enjoyable event.

19. Digital Swag Bags

Swag is always a topic of much debate at big events, and there’s no reason it can’t feature at virtual and hybrid events too. But the average digital swag bag is quite different from what’s on offer at in-person events. Typical digital swag includes goodies such as:

  • Discount coupons
  • Free trials for popular or niche software titles
  • Free online courses
  • Digital freebies from sponsors
  • Other similar items

20. Prizes And Giveaways

Freebies are an excellent way to add fun to a virtual event and boost attendee engagement. Whether it’s a giveaway just for being in the right place at the right time or a prize awarded for taking a particular action, there’s no question that giveaways get people to take notice. Combine with social media—for instance, by picking a winner from among people who use the event hashtag on Twitter—to boost engagement and brand awareness at the same time.

Successful Virtual Events Start with Engaging Event Content Ideas

Hosting a virtual event is new to many in the industry, but it’s time to start getting familiar with this kind of event. They may be different from their in-person counterparts in some ways, but these virtual event ideas prove that they can have plenty of fun and surprises, plus unique ways to keep attendees engaged.

Jack Connolly

Executive Creative Director

As an experiential creative director, Jack prefers to draw outside the lines. He tells stories with original content and impactful design to ignite meaningful conversation.


Jack brings 20 years of event industry knowledge to ProGlobalEvents. He specializes in building live & virtual platforms for audiences to connect, engage and immerse themselves in the power of a shared experience. His skills range from ideation and concept development to defining an attendee journey through storytelling and design.

Jack understands the creative process is not linear, but a collaborative process between agency and client. He manages teams of designers and technology developers to pioneer impactful brand experiences. His diverse skillset and leadership ensure for award-winning results and memorable impressions.


In 2019, BizBash named Jack one of the top event designers in North America. SXSW awarded his work the “People’s Choice in Innovation” in 2021.

Jerome Nadel

Chief Marketing Officer

Jerome Nadel is Internationally experienced design-led marketing executive (CMO and GM) with a track record of improved market position, revenue growth, and M&A. He is an advance degreed psychologist and user experience product/service design expert, board member and advisor.


Prior to joining ProGlobalEvents |ProExhibits |XtendLive, he has had a variety of chief marketing officer and chief user experience officer roles at companies including Rambus, BrainChip, Human Factors International, SLP InfoWare, Gemplus, and Sagem. He started his career in the IBM Human Factors Labs.


He is also an avid cyclist with National and multiple California State Champion titles.

Ivan Fujihara

Chief Financial Officer

Ivan brings 25+ years in senior level management experience from a variety of technology industries.  His background includes accounting management, analytics and audit management for technology companies.  He has worked with companies such as THX, Ltd, Recruitology , Double Click, Creative Labs and more.  Ivan has also served on the board of Lincoln Families, a non-profit that supports East Bay children with the objective of disrupting the cycle of trauma and poverty.

Matt Rulis

Vice President of Sales

Matt is a marketing professional and has been managing marketing strategies, campaigns and environments for a diverse client base for over 15 years. From a service perspective, Matt and his team of Account Executives focus on fostering relationships to uphold a greater than 99% customer satisfaction rating year-over-year. Additionally, with extensive experience on the client-side of the industry, he understands that alignment between expectation and budget is paramount to a successful project. As a result, ProGlobalEvents' clients can expect a competitive advantage paired with top quality products and services. Matt is an avid fly-fisherman, enjoys most outdoor activities and is a true college football fanatic.

Tom Foley

VP of Operations

Heading the fabrication side of ProGlobalEvents is exhibit and event industry veteran, Tom Foley. For over 35 years he has been responsible for building amazing exhibits and environments for clients. Tom started out in the production area and has broad experience in project and operations management. He currently oversees production, warehouse, graphics and project management departments. Tom studied machine tool technology and welding before entering the industry. As a true "builder" he also enjoys restoring and modifying classic American cars.

Dick Wheeler


Dick serves as President of ProGlobalEvents and President of ProExhibits and is a board member of CEMA (Corporate Event Marketing Association). At ProExhibits he has been nationally recognized as an innovator and driving force in the fast-growing trade show exhibit and event industry. Under his leadership in 1997, the firm received INC magazine’s INC 500 award as one of America’s fastest-growing companies. His informative articles on developments and innovations in the trade show exhibit and event industry have appeared in national trade publications. Dick has a B.S. degree from Wittemore School of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire and has completed the Entrepreneurial Executive Leadership Program sponsored by MIT, YEO and INC. He is actively involved in Vistage, an interactive group of over 20,000 CEO’s and presidents worldwide and is a member of CEMA and EDPA.

Jody Tatro

Chief Executive Officer

In addition to being CEO of ProGlobalEvents, Jody is also the CEO of ProExhibits. With Jody at the helm, the company has been recognized repeatedly as one of the Top 50 Women Owned Businesses in Silicon Valley. She has set the outstanding client service standards for which the firm’s account management team is noted. Jody is a recipient of the YWCA’s Tribute to Women Award, the Junior League Community Volunteer Award and is listed in Who’s Who of Women in Business. Following her graduation from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Jody held various sales positions in several technology companies.