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What is a Virtual Event?

What is a Virtual Event?

Webinars, virtual conferences, teleconferences, teleseminars, podcasts, virtual meetings and streaming video are all forms of virtual events that have gained in popularity over recent years. I’d hazard a guess you’ve attended at least 1 virtual event in the last 18 months. While we hear a lot about large scale, big business virtual events, there are many cost effective virtual event services available for the small business owner and entrepreneur looking to host their own virtual event for small groups, or to an audience of 100 people or less.

Virtual event definition

Virtual Event Definition:

A virtual event is a gathering of people sharing a common virtual environment on the web, rather than meeting in a physical location. Virtual events are highly interactive, looking and feeling a lot like their physical counterparts.
~ Wikipedia.org

Virtual Events – Good Options for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses?

Virtual events give entrepreneurs and small businesses the opportunity to promote, market, share information, educate and train a number of participants at one time. By training one to many, instead of one on one the trainer, coach, consultant, writer or speaker make the most efficient use of their time. Both the host and attendees save the time, expense and general inconveniences of traveling to a live seminar.

What are the Different Types of Virtual Events?

Webinar

The word “webinar” is derived from the word “seminar,” a webinar is essentially a web based seminar. Instead of leaving their homes, or place of business to attend a seminar, attendees can simply login to the webinar on their computer, or mobile device and enjoy an audio and visual presentation.

Teleseminar

Teleseminars, also referred to as “teleconferences,” are accessed via phone, by entering a specific phone number and digital password. In addition to accessing the teleseminar via landline or mobile device, some teleseminar services provide online access.

Podcast

The word “podcast” is derived from a combination of the words “broadcast” and “podcast”. A podcast is an audio, or video file, originally formatted to be played on an iPod. Some podcasts are similar to TV or radio shows, free and paid podcasts are downloadable from the internet.

Virtual Meeting

Virtual meetings are useful for entrepreneurs and small business owners who would like to engage clients outside their geographical location. By using a service such as Skype together with a desktop computer, laptop or mobile device with webcam, an entrepreneur can “meet” with their prospective client over the internet.

Live Streaming and Streaming Video

Streaming video and/or audio are transmitted across the internet for audience members to enjoy on their computer or mobile device, as a continuous stream of data; there is no need to download and save a file to listen and view. Live streaming is played in real time, hosts have the option of prerecording video and delivering it as live streaming video. Google’s Hangouts on Air is an example of live streaming video.

I hope this information is useful to you, in Part 2 I’ll be talking about how entrepreneurs and small businesses can host their own virtual event. I’ll use the example of a life coach, business consultant, author and speaker to show the business growth potential of hosting a virtual event. In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your experiences with virtual events as either a host, or an attendee. How does a virtual event compare to a live event in your experience?

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Jackie de Boer founded Accredited Virtual Assistance to help the busy entrepreneur, solopreneur and small business owner with business tasks they have no time, patience or skills to perform. As a Virtual Assistant (VA) Jackie takes care of administrative, executive & social media marketing strategy, setup & management for coaches, consultants, speakers, voiceover talent and business professionals remotely from her home office based in Massachusetts, USA.

{ 22 comments… add one }

  • I like this idea.. it is hard to get so many people in 1 room together, so why not do it virtually.

    • Jackie

      I agree Robert, it can also save the host the expense of renting a physical meeting space.

  • Great list! I’ve used them all and they all work for engaging an audience!

    • Jackie

      Great to hear the combination of you and your virtual event service are working well with engaging your audience, so important.

  • Thanks for explaining the different types of virtual events. I’ll certainly be reading your Part II

    • Jackie

      Thanks Diana, Part II of Virtual Events will be out in a couple of weeks.

  • Good info! I have participated in many webinars, podcasts, etc. and would like to utilize skype more for personal meetings with my clients.

    • Jackie

      Thanks Terri — Skype is a great a solution for connecting with clients, you might also want to look into Google Hangouts on Air.

  • Roz

    Right now, I can’t see myself DOING a virtual event but I do attend 2-3 webinars a week.

    • Jackie

      Great to see you’re attending webinars Roz, they offer so much; I particularly like business learning related webinars.

  • Great article. It is awesome to have things a lot of us take for granted broken down. We all start somewhere and being able to access this type of information is crucial to budding entrepreneurs. Thank you for posting!

    • Jackie

      Thanks Lynn appreciate your comments.

  • virtual meetings are the wave of the future especially since we lead such busy lives.

    • Jackie

      I agree Veronica, I’ve seen a lot of growth in virtual events some even replacing, or at least complementing in-person events such as seminars and workshops.

  • Jackie, this is super helpful. We’re moving into corporate work that will utilize virtual events, so to have this laid out in one place is very timely for us. Bookmarking and sharing. Thank you!

    • Jackie

      Glad you found it useful Shari, this is the first Virtual Event post in a 4 part series, Part 2 is due out in 2 weeks 🙂

  • My background is mainly social media so i’ve done almost all virtual events here. I’ll be doing another tele-seminar probably after publishing my book! Thanks for sharing this, Jackie.

    • Jackie

      Good to see you’re taking full advantage of these great Virtual Event tools Lorii. I believe webinars and teleseminars are a wonderful marketing tool for authors, congrats to you.

  • Meeting virtually is certainly the wave of the future. Such an excellent way to communicate our business as well as hear from our clients. You gave a great list here of the many ways. Appreciate!

    • Jackie

      Thank you for your comments Norma, a virtual event certainly is a great tool for our businesses and as you say, an excellent way to communicate with clients.

  • I enjoy virtual events. They are a great way to learn and share information. I’ve attended a great number of both webinars and teleseminars but never actually hosted one. It is something I would like to do and need to do. Thanks for the explanation of the different types. Looking forward to more info on them.

    • Jackie

      Thanks for your comments Pat, good to hear you enjoy Virtual Events. Over the next few weeks I hope to demystify how to host your own Virtual Event, more coming soon.

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