Discover new strategies and best practices for advancing your success in the AI-era at The ON24 Experience. 👀 Register Now


What is a Virtual Event?

A virtual event is a webinar, specialized landing page, content hub or digital experience produced to support an event taking place either online or in-person. Virtual events are analogous to trade shows, conferences or other in-person speaking engagements, but there are some key distinctions to keep in mind. 

First, all virtual events have two key features: some form of multimedia content, and engagement tools empowering digital audiences to interact with content, brands and — depending on how the event is set up — speakers. 

Second, virtual events can run in association with, or as an extension of, in-person events like trade shows or conferences. When this is the case, virtual events or digital experiences can run either live, simulive or on-demand, depending on what level of immersion a producer wants, what goals they have for their digital experience 

Third, all virtual events feature some level of advanced analytics and integration. Advanced analytics should be able to summarize not just the number, names and time spent in an experience, but also what resources were downloaded, what questions were asked and how engaged an overall attendee was with a presentation. 

Data from virtual events should also be able to flow easily between a Platform and backend systems, like customer relationship management or marketing automation platforms. This way, demand generation and sales teams can make the most out of events and accelerate opportunities.

Why Choose a Virtual Event

Choose a virtual event to get the most out of your in-person event. A digital experience can help brands realize a better return-on-investment for conferences, summits and trade shows while also boosting overall brand engagement, market-qualified leads and pipeline. 

While virtual events and digital experiences can act as extensions of conferences, trade shows or other physical events, they can also outright replace them — saving organizations a significant amount of time, money and energy organizing and venue costs. Virtual events are excellent alternatives to running in-person conferences when resources are concerned. 

Choose a virtual event to expand your total addressable audiences and connect with important accounts, customers and prospects who cannot attend a physical event in-person. For example, summits and roadshows are excellent opportunities for virtual events, empowering you to reach interested professionals in a region who can’t travel to a venue. 

Finally, choose a virtual event or experience if you’d like to get a better idea of your audience, their interests and their relationship with your brand. Digital experiences generate a lot of data that can help organizations better understand what content works, why and what messages resonate with prospects across the entire buying cycle.

Online Webinar Icon

Core Features

All virtual events and digital experiences feature, on some level, multimedia content. But there are several other features to consider when evaluating a virtual event solution.

Continuing Education Icon

Live, simulive and on-demand streaming

Streaming content live, simulive or on-demand is essential for immersing digital attendees in an experience. Event solutions should empower brands to easily provide this content to attendees and organize it for easy consumption. 

Lead Generation Icon

Audience Engagement Tools

Virtual audiences will want to be able to ask questions, participate in activities and interact with in-person presenters. Give them the opportunity to engage with engagement tools like polls, surveys, Q&A, speaker bios and virtual chat rooms. 

Customer Success Icon


Trade shows and conferences have handouts, white papers and reports on-hand for in-person attendees. Digital audiences should have access to the same materials — including presentation slides — through a brand’s platform of choice. 

Marketing Solutions

Advanced Analytics and Integrations

Virtual events are unique in that you can track and assess attendee activity. Virtual event solutions should empower you to analyze each attendee’s interaction, provide an overall engagement score and pass that data to sales and marketing platforms to accelerate pipelines and keep conversations going with qualified prospects. 

Engage Customize Time

Dynamic Branding and Customization

Events — both online and off — are great opportunities to showcase your brand. Virtual event solutions should empower you to fully customize the digital experience, from background imagery and slides to button icons and landing pages.  

Thomson Reuters

How Thomson Extended Its Summit Reach by 73%

Discover how Thomson Reuters increased the reach of its live event by 73% at a sixth of the cost it took to produce its summit. 

“The summit worked really well for thought leadership and market positioning. It also enabled us to generate new leads, score current leads, and engage with our current customer base.”

— Matthew Ashely, Marketing Director, Thomson Reuters

Read The Story


How Cloudera Boost Its Sales Meetings with a Virtual Roadshow

How can Virtual events boost your in-person presence? Cloudera took its 50-city roadshow online with ON24 and generated more than 200 direct sales meeting requests in the process. 

“The idea is press play, have the webinar run and have attendees continuously think it’s live. We had our second event. We had technical people on the back-end to answer live Q&A and, for what the attendees knew, the events were live.” 

— Stef Dombek, Senior Manager, Marketing Operations and Analytics, Cloudera

Read The Story


How Box Boosted Its Conference Attendance by 70% with ON24

Box’s annual conference, BoxWorks, is a prime opportunity to connect with customers and prospects. But not every would-be attendee can make it in person. Learn how Box brought its virtual following into the experience with ON24.

Watch The Webinar