On September 15, 2021 vFairs hosted a virtual user conference, DiscoverNext. The event aimed to discuss the future of events and provide use cases for event professionals across industries. As the highest rated virtual event platform on the market, the vFairs team had a lot to prove. We don’t mean to brag, but we did not disappoint.

So, what is it like to attend a virtual event platform’s own virtual event? Read on to find out! 

What is DiscoverNext?

DiscoverNext was a one-day virtual event that offered event professionals a forum to learn how they could use virtual and hybrid events to reach their specific business goals. Additionally, vFairs discussed how to incorporate virtual and hybrid events into their business plans. It included many sessions discussing topics such as:

  • what the future of events holds,
  • product updates to enhance virtual and hybrid event experiences, and
  • panels and use cases from real vFairs clients.

The event took place over four hours, and was met with extremely positive feedback.

vFairs’ Virtual User Conference Event Goals 

vFairs set out to host a virtual user conference that:

  • showcased new products in a fun, interactive way,
  • allowed industry professionals to learn more about virtual and hybrid events and,
  • provided customers with tools they needed to plan virtual and hybrid events with confidence.

Rabia Abbas, Director of Customer Success at vFairs, said; “The goal was to offer a product showcase of our newest features to existing and prospective customers in a fun, unique way using our own technology.”

The Virtual Event’s Features

DiscoverNext featured a mix of educational and entertaining features that kept attendees engaged while offering a high-value experience. Let’s take a look at some of the most impactful features that vFairs used to hit our virtual event goals.

Impactful Event Marketing

Our pre-event marketing was designed to make a big impression. The team wanted to entice people to register through splashy, informative tools. Our event landing page was one such tool. The landing page offered useful information. Not only did it outline reasons why people should join, it also maintained an air of futurism through the graphics and design. Additional items — such as social media, email and other online marketing channels —  raised awareness of the event and drove audiences to the registration page.

The event marketing plan was successful. DiscoverNext collected almost 1,200 registrations in approximately two weeks.

Custom Virtual Lobby 

Upon arrival at the virtual venue, attendees were whisked into a custom virtual lobby. The futuristic backdrop offered just enough brand visibility. It was the perfect way to set the tone for what would be discussed at the virtual user conference. The theme focused on what’s next for the events industry. The virtual lobby reflected that forward-looking messaging. Once attendees arrived at the venue, they knew what to expect. 

Industry-based Session Tracks

In order to offer our attendees a truly valuable experience, we hosted four different tracks sorted by industry. This allowed us to dig deeper into the unique challenges and concerns each industry faces with virtual and hybrid events. The industry-focused sessions featured a panel of vFairs’ clients who shared their experiences, and provided useful takeaways for their peers.  

Virtual Feature Vault

The virtual feature vault hosted flyers outlining vFairs’ most popular types of features. Attendees could browse through the posters at their leisure, and learn more about our offerings. They could even download the posters to revisit later.

Leaderboard 

We set up a leaderboard to create some fun and excitement, and lead attendees to important areas throughout the venue. Users were awarded points based on the actions they took within the event, and attendees with the three highest points were awarded prizes at the end of the day! 

Attendee Networking 

One of the most popular features at DiscoverNext was the attendee networking feature. Attendees could network with each other through serendipitous matchmaking. Participants were randomly matched with another attendee and put into a video chatroom for a limited amount of time. The feature reported over 770 minutes of networking between attendees at the end of the day.

Photo Contest

Finally, our virtual photo booth was the kickoff point for the virtual photo contest. We encouraged attendees to take a photo and dress it up with custom branded backgrounds, stickers and more! Then, they could enter their photo into the contest, download it or share it to their social media. Attendees then voted for their favorite photos. At the end of the day, the photo with the most votes won a prize!

Entertainment Hour

Midway through the event, we hosted a free entertainment hour featuring magician and mentalist Rmax Goodwin. The session was a great way for attendees to take a break and share in an exciting experience together. It also helped offer an excellent use case for virtual event hosts who want to offer an entertainment piece, but don’t know how to go about it. Hiring out an entertainer who interacted with the crowd in real time via a Zoom webinar session offered our attendees some inspiration for their own future events. Plus, the magic was incredible!

Notes About DiscoverNext’s Features

We put each of the conference features in place strategically. Every feature was set up to help attendees get the most value for their time. Some features — such as the leaderboard, in-event announcements and the embedded chat rooms — helped inform the user journey through the event. 

Syed Muhammad Aalon, Senior Project Manager and Team Lead at vFairs mentioned, “The best part … is the adrenaline that kicks in once the event goes live, it’s something you cannot explain. You feel like a conductor in an orchestra where everything is in perfect sync and falling into place at the right time.” 

Indeed, everything did fall into place at the right time.

Results

The DiscoverNext Virtual User Conference was a huge success. The event delivered on its objective to showcase new products, such as the poster hall, networking and photo booth in a fun and interactive way. Additionally, it offered attendees a space to hear from various industry professionals about virtual and hybrid events. It even allowed them to share ideas amongst themselves through the various networking features. Finally,  the event provided customers with tools they needed to plan virtual and hybrid events with confidence. The positive feedback we received from many event-goers reflects this.

“The goals and expectations we set out to meet were achieved with flying colors. The live and post-event feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Customers walked away from this event feeling energized and well-equipped to start planning their next event with us,” Candice Davis, Director of Customer Success at vFairs noted.

What’s Next?

vFairs plans to host another virtual user conference in the very near future. So if you missed DiscoverNext, have no fear! We’ll be offering many more opportunities to get ahead of the curve when it comes to virtual and hybrid events.

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