A case study of some of the most successful Virtual Events of 2020

All About Event Tech
6 min readMay 4, 2021

The one thing that event planners, organizers, & other stakeholders in the event industry understand, is that Virtual Events are wildly successful. Not just that, but with every new Virtual Event that event agencies host, the success benchmark goes up even higher.

That’s undoubtedly good news, but a piece of news is good only as long as it keeps repeating itself.

With the unprecedented success of Virtual Events, event planners weren’t just content with reaping the rewards.

They were keen on understanding just what makes virtual events successful, some more so than others.

Because you see, taking apart the beautiful, somewhat mysterious virtual event machinery meant not only greater, deeper insights, but also ensured an algorithm for repeated success in the future.

As 2020 unfolded, a lot of virtual events came & went. Some of these went unnoticed, some were moderately successful, & some others enjoyed a kind of popularity & success that was far beyond what anyone could have imagined.

It was precisely these virtual events that bolstered the event planners & managers around the world into action, & made them so curious about exactly what worked for them.

If you’re also among those curious event planners, then we plan on helping you with this article.

Below, find out some examples of some of the most successful Virtual Events that took place in 2020.

Happy Reading!

1. Salesforce World Tour: Sydney Reimagined

Salesforce has long been a technical leader in the world of CRM solutions. Hence, it came as no surprise when Salesforce became the first company to pivot to virtual events when the tide stopped favoring physical events.

It transformed its preplanned world tour event in early March, to a full-fledged Virtual Event, comprising interactive elements & an immersive attendee experience.

In the words of the company itself, “The safety and wellbeing of our employees, customers, and community is our number one priority. By making World Tour an online experience, it eliminates the need for attendees to attend in person and travel to Sydney while enabling them to still benefit from the event content.”

Owing to the company’s impressive turnaround time & intuitive planning
+ Design, the event turned out to be a massive success.

The event generated around 80,000 live streams, along with a solid 1.2 million video views across all of the social channels of the company.

Although on the surface, the event looked just like another live stream with an on-demand video viewing factor included, event experts knew it was so much more than that.

With the virtual event, Salesforce succeeded in providing their attendees with an interactive, immersive virtual event experience, one that no other company had been able to give their attendees before.

One such example was the AppExchange Demo Jam, which was three-minute-long sessions during the event wherein participants could showcase a real-time demo of their apps.

Post the sessions, audience members could vote for their favorite app demos via live chats & polling features.

Granted, this is a very simple feature, but in March 2020, it worked extremely well for Salesforce, & provided an outlet for the audience bored at home to participate in interesting discussions.

2. SBC Digital Summit

SBC Digital Summit was a virtual betting & gaming industry event, which took place from April 27, 2020 — May 1, 2020.

It was designed to provide an interactive experience to the attendees, & it amply succeeded in that.

According to the summit planners & organizers, “The SBC Digital Summit utilized “an advanced digital platform (to provide) delegates of (the summit) access to a full-on virtual event space, featuring many of the benefits of a physical conference and exhibition.”

Since first arriving at the exquisitely designed ‘lobby’ area, the attendees were given full-pass access to a variety of ‘rooms’ across the virtual event.

These rooms included the exhibition halls, where the attendees were able to meet up with exhibitors, visit different booths, & chat with the booth owners about their products/services.

The virtual event also provided attendees with conference rooms, where the audience could listen to speakers’ panels & representations, along with the networking lounge, where attendees could interact with each other in personal chats or groups throughout the virtual event.

3. The NBA Restart

Although it might not seem like a virtual event at first glance, on scratching the surface a little deeper you can see that it is indeed one, & a very well executed one at that.

The NBA season that started on July 20 after almost a four-month-long hiatus, allowed no audience to not disrupt the ‘biobubbles’ created for the teams & the officials.

However, there is truly no NBA without an audience, & so the organizers took a different approach.

They designed an entire Virtual event where the fans had an opportunity to watch games that were projected on in-arena video boards & leaderboards from their very homes.

The Virtual Experience was created with the help of Microsoft Teams’ together mode, which used cutting-edge AI segmentation technology to bring people together in a shared space like a virtual coffee shop, sports arena, or a conference room.

According to Sara Zuckert, the NBA’s head of next-gen telecast, “We wanted to create something that would bring our fans to the players. It’s also a way to give fans the opportunity to feel like they’re interacting while enhancing the broadcast for everyone else at home.”

The Virtual Event also included interactive features via NBA’s app & its Twitter channel, that allowed fans to digitally cheer for their favorite team using hashtags.

All this resulted in a highly successful, engaging, & interactive Virtual Event in the sports world, that paved the way for other industries to design their own versions of the virtual event.

4. Tomorrowland Around The World- The Digital Festival

Tomorrowland, a popular Belgian music festival, took the virtual route for its July 2020 edition.

Performances from world-famous artists like Katy Perry, Steve Aoki, David Guetta, & Martin Garrix, along with engaging activities, workshops, games, & other interactive features, made the Tomorrow Digital Festival an unforgettable virtual musical experience.

The Virtual Event had artists perform for thousands of virtual fans on virtual 3D platforms.

The performances were replete with laser shows, fireworks, sound effects, 3D avatars, & a lot more, to give the attendees an immersive experience even when they couldn’t be present physically to watch the show.

To create the stunning & outstanding virtual experience, Tomorrowland partnered with Dogstudio, a design & creative studio based in Belgium & Chicago.

In the words of their CEO & Creative Director, “We work hand in hand with Tomorrowland’s in-house 3D, creative and development teams to build a compelling, immersive, user-friendly, but also highly premium experience. We are building a web-based experience and we are all really pushing the boundaries of what can effectively be done in a web browser. Our biggest challenge — besides being an obvious enormous technical challenge — is making sure festival visitors will be able to feel they are being part of something larger than their computer and their internet connection.

People won’t only be immersed in Tomorrowland’s new universe, but they will also be able to communicate with other festival visitors. I can proudly say that we are setting new standards for web-based online music experiences, pushing the boundaries of the latest technology that is available, but on the other hand making sure that the platform is even working on a device that is a couple of years old.”

Sounds like a success recipe to us!

We hope these examples of the most successful Virtual Events from around the world across different industries give you the insight needed to really push the envelope when it comes to planning & hosting your very own Virtual Events.

Liked what you read? Keep following this space for more updates & informative blogs about the latest trends in the world of Virtual Event Technology.



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