If one thing is certain (during these uncertain times) it’s that virtual events are here to stay! Virtual events aren’t just for run-of-the-mill conferences either; they can range from cooking classes to cabaret shows and everything in between.
And the great thing about virtual events is that they’re often affordable, accessible, and fairly straightforward to host. Since you’re not relying on attendees to show up in person, you’ve also expanded your reach and who can join in on the fun.
Before you get started, we recommend you read this article about how to host a virtual event and also read about how to find your Big Purpose and Ideal Member. It’s important to lay some groundwork whilst thinking about what your virtual event will focus on.
If you’re feeling fired up to share your story, your craft, and your enthusiasm with participants, but you’re at a loss for ideas, you came to the right place! We’ll take you through 20 virtual event ideas that will create an amazing experience for your members.
In this article
1. Escape room
Virtual escape rooms are so much more than escaping a room. These involve exploring an environment with a team (whether it’s friends, colleagues, or members of an online community) to find clues and solve riddles to unravel the mystery and escape the room in a fixed amount of time.
Some virtual escape rooms even seem life-like, with 3D graphics. This type of event encourages collaboration, critical thinking, teamwork, communication and, ultimately, team building. Themes could include ancient Egypt, speakeasies, rock and roll, or Harry Potter. Virtual escape rooms are a TON of fun and are one of the most out-of-the box virtual event ideas you’ll find!
Virtual concerts were ultra-popular at the height of the pandemic, and they still are! It’s a lot more feasible for the artist and the audience — being more affordable and accessible. Virtual concerts can be the main attraction of an event, or they can be a great way to break up an all-day event.
If you want to see what’s possible, look up how Ariana Grande changed the face of virtual events with her Fortnight X concert. Millions of fans tuned into a concert that was unlike any other — involving mini-games and an immersive experience.
Another great example was Billie Eilish’s “‘Where Do We Go?’ The Livestream” concert. She wanted a way to still be able to connect with her fans after having to cancel her world tour. The online concert was a hit, with multiple camera angles and a massive LED stage, making it feel like you were there in person. On top of that, the concert had an online chat for viewers to interact and an online store that sold merch.
Whether you’ve got a big or small audience, virtual concerts are going to get even more popular in the future! They’re a great opportunity for artists to create their own digital universe — giving them a totally unique way to interact with their fans.
3. Jam session
Sticking with the virtual event ideas that are music-themed, there’s nothing better than bringing people together with harmonious tunes. Instead of watching a concert, how about playing one? Hosting a virtual jam session is a great way to gather musicians where they can improvise songs with one another. It can also be more feasible than finding a place to meet in person (whether it’s congregating in a backyard, garage, or auditorium) and it’s much more affordable.
Anyone can join these — non-musicians are welcomed as well since performances benefit from an audience, and it’s a great way to improve communication and collaboration skills. Rock on!
4. Happy hour
A virtual happy hour is a great way to get everyone connected and enjoy a beverage … or two! The great thing about a virtual happy hour is that it can be as structured or as spontaneous as you want. You can play games, create cocktails together (even have a mixologist on standby), set a discussion theme, or simply enjoy each other’s company.
It’s a great way to connect personally or professionally.
5. Magic show
While this type of online event doesn’t involve music, it does involve magic! You can have attendees either simply watch the magic show or even learn how to do some magic tricks.
Magicians can teach the wonderful art of misdirection, the art of perception, and sleights of hand. Some popular magic tricks include bending a spoon, vanishing coins, and getting water to instantly turn to ice. Your audience will be blown away by these illusions (and maybe even have a few tricks up their sleeves).
6. Tarot card reading
This type of event is great for an intimate group. Find a professional tarot card reader and get them to reveal to friends, colleagues, and community members what the cards have in store for them. It’s an unusual virtual event idea that your audience can remember, and they can ask questions about love, their career, upcoming challenges, life purpose, and more.
It can be a lot of fun!
7. Speed dating
Speaking of finding love, why not host a virtual speed dating event?! The name of the game is to help members find a good match by meeting different people in a short amount of time.
Simply use breakout rooms where pairs can carry on conversations for 5-10 minutes before they move on to the next date. Virtual speed dating can be fun and exciting, plus if the pairs don’t hit it off romantically, perhaps they can still form a friendship.
8. Speed networking
It’s a more professional version of speed dating, but speed networking is a more platonic way to make connections quickly. Give your members 5-10 minutes to meet someone new and ask about their career.
Networking can be stressful, so this type of event can make your life way easier.
9. Game show
Need a fun breakout session for your virtual webinar? Why not try your hand at a virtual game show? A virtual game show is the perfect blend of competition, laughter, teamwork, and bonding.
Popular game shows include Jeopardy!, Name That Tune, Family Feud, The Price Is Right, and Whose Line Is It Anyway? If you’re hosting a virtual game show, you could even have fun prizes for the winner (encouraging a little friendly competition amongst teams).
10. Cooking class
Another great way to bring people together? With food! It’s a great way to add some zest to your online community and change things up. Virtual cooking classes feature live instruction, ingredients delivered to your door, and tips and tricks to create a delicious meal.
Classes can also be pre-recorded, which allows participants to rewind and pause when needed. You can learn how to make delectable pastries (e.g. macarons, croissants, and tarts), classic pan-roasted chicken with white wine herb sauce, or even homemade pasta like gnocchi.
11. Workout class
It’s difficult to get motivated (and stay motivated) to work out. That’s where accountability comes in. What better way to stay accountable to stay fit than organizing a virtual workout class? It makes getting your workout done extremely easy (no need to leave home), accessible (you can do it anywhere), fun (you get to connect with other like-minded individuals), and affordable (most platforms bill you monthly and even give you a free trial before committing). There are a plethora of workouts you can choose from, from step cardio and strength training to pilates and yoga.
If you want more ideas, go check out the work that Oiselle Volée is doing!
12. Yoga and meditation class
Yoga has so many benefits, including improving balance, flexibility, and strength, while meditating helps keep our minds sharp, and relieves stress and anxiety. And if you want to know why Yoga is one of the best ideas for a virtual event, just look at what Adriene Mishler has created. She offers free yoga and meditation classes for her 10+ million subscribers on YouTube (Yoga with Adriene), and people who want to further engage with Adriene’s work can join her over-the-top app Find What Feels Good (hosted on Mighty Pro) for a subscription fee.
Adriene’s paid subscription offers new videos that are posted weekly, and exclusive classes with her and guest instructors. It’s a great way to relax, unwind, and find like-minded people.
13. Wellness event
Want to teach people how they can eat better and take control of their health? You can do just that with a virtual wellness event. This is exactly what founder Rip Esselstyn did when he created PLANTSTRONG — a free community that offers paid courses and practical tools to help individuals take control of their health, eat more plants, and adopt a plant-based lifestyle.
They also host live virtual events for everyone on the health spectrum, from individuals who’ve been diagnosed with high cholesterol to younger people who are in a preventative mindset.
14. Networking event
While there are lots of virtual networking event ideas, we talked about “speed networking” above, sometimes a straightforward networking event is the best way to go. That’s what Anne Cocquyt did when she created The Guild — a space where women can network and attend workshops. She built a space for women who wanted to build things, like awesome companies. She initially focused on in-person events then realized that there needed to be something afterward to keep the energy and momentum going. That’s why she created SERENDIPITY, a virtual event series that covers a wide range of business topics and really helps solidify the connections amongst its members.
15. Book tour
If you’re an author, planning an in-person book tour can be daunting. You have a lot to figure out, like what cities (or even countries) you’re going to, where you’re going to stay, and where you’ll be speaking and signing books.
Virtual book tours give more people a chance to see you, ask questions, and give more possibilities for engagement. You could even host a giveaway for a signed copy of your book!
And you’ll be in good company. Some of the well-known authors who have hosted virtual book tours include Jodi Picoult, Meg Cabot, and Rupi Kaur (who had an Amazon Original one-hour special reading her poetry). The best thing about a virtual book tour? You don’t have to leave your house!
16. Book club
Getting a group of people together each month to meet in person and discuss the book you’ve all read can be tedious. You’ve got to synchronize busy schedules, find the right location, maybe provide snacks for everyone, and make sure everyone is on the same page (pun intended).
That’s why virtual book clubs can be a great alternative! Virtual book clubs are much more accessible because they break physical barriers and can cross international borders. You’re not limited to hosting a book club solely with people you know, so you can open it up for any like-minded bookworm to join.
You can include guest speakers, or even ask an author to join to make it more dynamic and engaging. If you have a lot of members, you can even create smaller breakout rooms so that everyone gets a chance to participate.
17. Virtual Conference
Conferences are stimulating and engaging — except that it’s not practical for everyone to attend them. Perhaps they can’t afford the travel expenses, the time to travel, or it’s unrealistic for them to fit it into their busy schedules.
That’s why virtual conferences are a great solution, and with the right setup, attendees can participate and browse virtual booths much like they would at an in-person conference. Best of all, they can access it anywhere, and attend when they have the time by easily logging into the conference and logging out when need be.
There are a plethora of conferences you could host, including ones focused on tourism, music, science, art, and more! The right virtual event platform will allow you to create an amazing experience for attendees, like “main stage” keynotes, breakout sessions, Q&As, and more.
18. Sketching session
Imagine sketching a photo and seeing thousands of other drawings of the same photo! That’s exactly what you get with Sktchy, which provides a free community and paid courses. They offer bundles (portraits and figures), classes with known artists, challenges (30 faces in 30 days), and even live sessions.
With Sktchy you have the opportunity to see artists with different styles, skill levels, mediums, and stages of their creative journey, all creating a portrait of the same photo. On top of that, you can even get feedback for your work. That’s why virtual sketching sessions can be a blast, and a great way to exercise your creativity.
19. Journaling workshop
Speaking of taking out your notebook, if you’re more into words than you are drawing, why not host a virtual journaling session? This is a great way to connect with your members and create more engagement.
There are so many topics to choose from to guide your members, including confidence, ways to improve mental health and wellbeing, forgiveness, being more mindful, manifesting, celebrating wins, finding your style, and many more prompts! The great thing about this event is that attendees only need paper and a pen and they’re all set.
20. Craft session
Have you ever lost track of time because you were in a Pinterest spiral? Chances are you’re not alone. It’s a site chock-full of crafting ideas and a great way to get inspired.
Why not organize a fun crafting session for your members to try their hands at some of the ideas? Spark some creativity, fun, and socializing by doing something that’s one of the internet-driven virtual event trends.
To run a crafting event, you’ll want to give members a heads up about supplies they need in order to mold their masterpieces. You could try your hand at crafts like beaded bracelets, origami, cards, macrame, and cross-stitching. Events like these are a great way to get those who are on the shy side or socially anxious to participate in something where they can open up about their shared interests. Plus, this type of virtual event is also great for tactile learners.
21. Learning event
Learning a new skill alone can be a daunting task. It’s so much more fun when you’re learning with like-minded people who are excited and want to grow together. When you tackle a new subject or skill with others you get accountability, support, and encouragement. On top of that, you quickly realize that learning takes time and mistakes are inevitable.
There are a million different types of learning events you could host, based on a skill you’ve mastered or have always wanted to learn (e.g. bring on someone who’s an expert), like coding, chess, photography, French, or knitting. You can break down the learning over several weeks, months, or even just host a one-time event, depending on how long it will take members to master the subject or skill.
The best part is that when members learn from each other it reinforces the lessons, so really they’re gaining deeper knowledge than if pursuing a solo study.
Conclusion: Ready to start planning?
Now that we’ve gone through some virtual event ideas, you’ll need a great platform to host it on. The best virtual event platform is one that gives you options with a variety of features to build a network for your attendees. One of the best aspects of a virtual event is the connections and interesting people you meet!
When picking a virtual event platform, pick one that has a proven track record for building, delivering, and sustaining virtual events and online communities.
The best platforms will provide you with features that amplify your digital environment to create lasting connections amongst attendees. They will empower you to offer engaging and interactive panels and live sessions, and they will be intuitive for you and your attendees, with support available as you set up your event.
Mighty Networks does all of that and more with accessibility (available on the web, Android and iOS), affordability, and the ability to grow your brand by offering a variety of ways to monetize (additional virtual events, paid memberships, and online courses).
What kind of creative virtual event ideas are you going to try?