5 Fun Sensory Ideas For Virtual Events/Webinars

Learn how to motivate your participants and give them a sensory experience with your next event/webinar

Jun 7, 2021
6 min
|      by
Giovanna Pergher
digital badges education

There are over 581 billion results for the best fun ideas when it comes to virtual events.

We want to give you real, applicable ideas that will stimulate your participants' senses even from a distance.  

Instead, we will give you 5 fun sensory ideas for your next Event/Webinar:

  1. Run a Contest During the Event
  2. Adopt the 12-days of Christmas Technique
  3. Run Small breaks with Artists
  4. Use Digital Badges
  5. Encourage Networking in the form of Speed Dating

With each idea, we'll give you the answer to the most important questions:

1. What do I gain from this?

2. How much will this cost me?

Along these, you’ll find different options for every budget too.

Important info: This guide is suitable for every business out there, and for every type of budget.

ideas for running virtual events - run a contest

Interaction is key when planning your virtual event/webinar. So, if you can add a more personal touch to your participants' experience even better.

The idea: set up a trivia that you can play during the virtual event/ webinar. Have several questions ready to ask between topics.

The trick is to showcase the questions to the audience at the end of your topic section. For difficult questions, set up tips that you will drop at unplanned times during the segment.

When the event/webinar is finished, ask participants to send their answers by email.

Then, you'll compare the top 3, 2, or even just 1 participant(s), depending on your budget, to send a gift of your choice.

How to organize it:

Set up a theme for your event.

If you are running different virtual events/webinars over the course of the year/weeks/months, plan out the event’s theme beforehand and create a calendar.

Here are some theme examples:

90’s Movies, 80’s Pop Songs, 2021 Oscars, The Office (mention to the tv show), Europe, Italy, etc.

Even for corporate virtual events/webinars, having a fun factor will help you lighten the environment and make it fun for everyone!

What do I gain from this?

In 2020, 30% of event planners say they sent their participants gifts after the online event.

59% used “gamification to improve audience engagement” (markletic, 2021).

If you have the budget to send gifts to every participant, that would also be a great strategy.

Yet, if you’re running on a tight budget, setting a contest might be your best bet.

Also, adopting this strategy will require attention from your event attendees.

By doing this, your attendees will have to listen to the whole thing to uncover the clues and win the game!

How much will this cost me?

We have selected a few options for you to fit every type of budget.

Here’s the list:

1. Packed with Purpose | options vary from $20 to $200 or higher

2. Sugarwish | options vary from $22 to $78

3. Corporate gifts | (our personal favorite!) options vary from $0.65 to $200 or higher

4. Punchbowl |options vary from $2.99/month up to $4.99/month

Punchbowl is something that you can even adapt to every participant! This company lets you build personalized thank you ecards, and add a personalized video.

We highly recommend you use this feature if you decide to go with it! Especially for the ones that won’t win the big gift!

ideas for running virtual events

Ever heard of 12 days of Christmas?
This is practically the same, except that it won’t be done at Christmas.

Let us explain:

Imagine that your company is called “Brandy”.

You are running a virtual event/ webinar and need to start planning your campaign.

Instead of the old traditional way, you will run a campaign called “12 Days of Brandy”. With it, you will give small gifts to all your event attendees who subscribed to your newsletter.

How to do this:

The first step is to partner up with local shops and new upcoming businesses around you.

You will be offering 12 different gifts originated from those partnerships, over the course of the 12 days before your event.

The idea is to promote these small businesses and support them by offering a platform where they can showcase their product!

Ideally, these gifts should be virtual/digital gifts to minimize the hassle of setting up a logistics model.

Here are some ideas you can use:

Promo codes, choose a product and pick-up, and gift cards. There’s plenty of other options you can discuss with your new business partner!

When the gifts and partnerships are settled, start gathering your email marketing list.

You'll then plan a social media campaign around it to get more email subscribers and event/webinar participants.

What do I gain from this?

51% of event planners are using partnerships to drive more participants to their events. And, “76% of marketers say that email is the single most effective way to drive registrations(markletic, 2021).

Adopting this strategy will not only increase your emailing list, but it will also allow you to support local small businesses to grow too!

How much will this cost me?

This will cost you nothing!

The key is to negotiate the partnerships and set the ground for the future too. It will be great to rely on your partners for virtual events, but always leave the door open for future partnerships with those brands too.

ideas for virtual events and webbinars

Normally, when attending live in-person events, you get coffee breaks and snacks with it.  

Since you are running a virtual event/ webinar and that won't be possible, offer 10- or 15-minute breaks with entertainment.

Choose artists such as musicians, comedians, or any other entertainment format you see fit.

There’s plenty of room to adapt this idea and tailor it to your company.

What do I gain from this?

38% of event planners said that there are too many online events and that their biggest struggle is to get participants to focus on the events (wild apricot, 2020).

Adopting this strategy will help you get the more attention and focus from your attendees.

There’s nothing that feels more like a sensory experience than to be able to laugh or let loose for some minutes.

If you want people to be energized and come back for future events, you must give them a great experience.

How much will this cost me?

There are different ways to go about it.

If you have the budget to support it, you can hire well-known artists.  

However, if you are on a tight budget, we have 2 options for you:

1. Hire new upcoming artists

Check social media, especially TikTok and Instagram for the talent you want to have in your event.

This will likely cost you much less and you will be helping them by giving them a platform to promote their work. If you can develop a partnership with them, this will be even more cost-efficient.

2. Ask inside your company!

Search around and see which one of your co-workers has a hobby that involves creative activities.

Ask them to take part in the event/webinar and showcase their talent.

drive engagement through Digital Badges

At the end of your virtual event, you’ll want your participants to go with a good memory from the time spent with your company.

The best way to do it is to offer them a “souvenir”.

We suggest Digital Badges!

These online virtual badges can be added to their LinkedIn profile, or other platforms, and shared within their entire network.

You just have to plan the design and send them to your participants.
Easy as that.

What do I gain from this?

In 2020, 49% of event planners said that event engagement is crucial to the virtual event’s success (wild apricot, 2020).

Currently, getting your participants to talk about your event is one of the biggest challenges. With so many online events, it’s easy to slip out of your target’s attention.

Digital badges will help you set the tone for your next virtual events. You'll reach more people and achieve authority in the world of virtual events.

Imagine having your participants recommending your event, and your brand on social media.  

There’s nothing better than that! You’ll get worth-of-mouth marketing for free!

If you are unaware of the world of Digital Badges, we have a guide to answer all of your questions here.

How much will this cost me?

We have selected a few options for you, depending on your budget.

The good part of Digital Badges is that you can do it very easily and without any hassle.

Here are the options:

1. Download our templates here and here – the first ones are badge templates, and the second ones are word templates. Both are free!

2. Try out Canva – you can do it for free or choose the premium program for $15/month)

3. Virtual Badges – prices vary, depending on what you are looking for. Have a look here.

Speed Dating as Networking Idea

Before the event/webinar, send out digital badges of your attendees’ profiles to your speakers and do the same the other way around.

Send your speakers' profiles in the format of Digital Badges to your attendees too.

If it’s too much work, in the case of having a lot of participants, just send the list of LinkedIn profiles to everyone!

Important Info: please make sure to get your participants' consent for sharing their information. To know more about data compliance, please check this article here for Europe, and here for the US.

How this will work:

Your participants will have to swipe right on your speakers, and your speakers will have to swipe right on your participants too.

The ones that swipe right on each other are a match!

Next, you’ll select 5 lucky attendees to have a 10-minute speed networking with the assigned speakers!

You will only have to give them a place to hold a conversation (email or by setting up a zoom meeting).

What do I gain from this?

59% of event organizers have gamification strategies to improve audience engagement (markletic, 2021).

This will add a fun and mystery touch to the experience, while also setting the tone for when the event happens.

Your participants will be even more motivated and excited to see what else you have planned.

Tip: use this as part of your first promotion campaign on social media!

How much will this cost me?

There are three different ways to go about this idea:

1. Do it all yourself – FREE

In this case, you will be doing the badges for everyone that confirms their presence and then the email marketing for everyone. The logistics will involve:

- Having basic information on everyone attending the virtual event

- Asking all attendees (participants and speakers) to share a sentence that describes them

2. Build the Digital Badges yourself

You just have to send your attendees badges to your speakers and vice-versa.

Then, it’s time for matchmaking.

This will get tricky but if you have a low count of participants, it’s worth it!

3. Ask your participants to do their own Badges - FREE

You can ask attendees to make their own profiles (like building a CV) and have them send them to you. You’ll just have to build the email marketing campaign and send it to the participants.

Don’t work with Badges but with LinkedIn profiles instead - FREE

This is the easiest one, in which you’ll just have to send an email with LinkedIn profiles to everyone (participants and speakers).

* You can find the organisation ID in the URL when you access your LinkedIn Company page as an admin.

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