Different organizations seek different outcomes from their virtual events, and so require different formats to achieve those aims.  When choosing your event format, keep the end goal in mind! 

A virtual event created to teach a specific process is probably best served with a webinar-style session using a combination of video and PowerPoint. Pre-recorded sessions can improve the quality of the session for post-production, removes speaker presentation stress, avoids technical difficulties on the day of the event, and allows speakers to participate in Q&A throughout the duration of their session. To avoid distractions, have participants submit questions or comments by text so the moderator can respond to them at the appropriate time.

A community conversation – whether for team building, brainstorming, or any purpose where lively interaction is the goal – can be presented in a number of ways. A speaker panel video discussion that is hosted fireside chat style can include an attendee text chat running alongside, to encourage attendees to share their thoughts and experiences. To get the chat going and immediately engage your audience, choose your topic questions carefully. Think about open-ended questions, with no right or wrong answers.

A good format for “roundtable” discussions are video chat breakout rooms. Participants can engage with one another on an informal level and then proceed to the issues at hand. A designated facilitator in each of the break out rooms provides focus and ensures that all are given the chance to participate. Dedicated whiteboards can be used to present specific topics, challenges, or questions – Miro has a fast, free, and simple-to-use one. Documenting the content also allows you to share the information after the meeting.