10 min read

Virtual Event Design: How to Create an Engaging Online Experience

white and purple strobes of light above laptop

Functionality, accessibility and memorability, all rely on effective virtual event design to make for an engaging online experience.

The shift from physical to digital events has changed the events landscape, forever. Still, some things haven’t changed, such as the importance of how your event looks, and how it’s presented to the masses.

The masses being your target audience.

Exhibition design has always mattered to physical events in terms of how everything is laid out for attendees. Lighting, signage, furniture and staging, all needs to be mapped out ahead of time. Doing it right can amplify your brand, your event sponsors and everything in between.

The same applies to virtual events.

Just because it exists within a digital space doesn’t mean that no thought should go into virtual event design. More thought should go into event design if you’re planning on taking your efforts online if anything.

Continue reading below to learn more about the importance of virtual event design in creating an engaging brand experience, and why going custom is the best option available.

Why Virtual Event Design Matters

Event branding and promotion is an important part of the event planning process, but it will all be for nothing if the event isn’t up to a set standard that attendees expect.

In other words, event design is a reflection of your brand in a way. Quality event design tells attendees within the first few seconds of entering your event what type of brand you are and what level you’re at.

What do we mean by quality event design?

Any design that takes all of the following into account:

  • Functionality: A design that serves the basic functions of a virtual event (i.e. navigating to relevant sections with ease)
  • Accessibility: How usable your event platform is to a wide range of people, including those with disabilities
  • Memorability: Your target audience tend to remember unique designs which could influence how many times they take part in events

Branding plays a significant role in why virtual event designs matter too.

Quality event design should include your event or company logo somewhere, and feature your event or brand colours somewhere on the screen.

Woman working on a laptop and checking her phone

The Benefits of Custom Virtual Event Design

Quality event design and custom virtual event design are one and the same. The alternative is to go with one of many video conferencing tools available.

We’ve only mentioned these video conferencing tools only to steer you away from them. These tools lack the same sense of creativity and innovation, two areas that are integral to quality event design.

Plus, there are limitations to these tools.

For example, let’s say you’re planning a virtual pharmaceutical event with over 100 individuals taking part. Why then would you choose a conferencing tool that is only going to limit your event potential?

In this section we’ll be going over all the benefits, covering everything from amplifying brand experience to the custom.

Amplify Brand Experience

Amplifying brand experience is all about creating a reaction amongst those that engage with your brand in some way or another. It’s a sum of all the senses (thoughts, feelings and reactions) when exposed to brands.

What does this have to do with custom event designs?

Quite a lot when you link brand experience with that memorability factor. Memorable events equal memorable brands, which can then lead to more sales, higher brand engagement, or any other goals you’re chasing.

A virtual event is a brand touchpoint, and what better way to showcase the brand, than with something memorable: a custom event design that is exclusive to you, complete with a range of relevant features!

Laptop next to colour swatches

Personalised Colours and Fonts

When creating a custom virtual event design, you are allowed to pick and choose what you want to be included, right down to the pixel.

In other words, you get to customise your virtual events using the colours and fonts you should have selected beforehand. You can apply these custom changes on practically everything you see too!

Menu boxes, backgrounds and buttons, they’re all fully customisable in line with the event you’re organising. The same applies to any images or videos you’d like to include.

Want to add images of speakers, or leave room to embed videos of previous events?

No problem. Custom equals convenience in more ways than one.

Interactive and Immersive Experiences

Other means of communication feel way too static compared to virtual event designs, mostly due to the limitations of these tools.

Custom virtual event designs, on the other hand, make for incredible interactive and immersive experiences!

There’s nothing like seeing the faces of your attendees when they first come across your platform for the first time.

You can sense their curiosity through the screen, as they select from the various tabs available, which takes them to every area of the platform. An interactive design will do that, as it plays on the curious nature of your attendees.

How immersive an event is will depend on your event design.

One that showcases something original will always pique the interest of attendees, thus immersing them within the full experience!

New call-to-action

Optimised for Mobile and Desktop

Ideally, the virtual event platform you use should be optimised for both mobile and desktop. Why that comes down to accessibility and the preferences of some attendees.

The benefits of virtual events are that they can occur anywhere and be joined anywhere because it exists within cyberspace. The same applies to hybrid events if you aren’t attending the event in person but are still in attendance.

Needless to say, you will need to ensure that your event design works on mobile and that everything visible on desktop works on smartphones.

Luckily, custom event platforms do cater towards mobile users, taking into consideration every design limitation and opportunity.

Essentially, custom virtual event designs ensure that you aren’t alienating large sections of your target audience.

Custom Games for your Events

Customising your virtual event platform isn’t the only thing you can personalise.

Looking for innovative ways to increase engagement at events? Have you tried gamifying the experience at all? As in, literally giving delegates access to virtual treasure hunts, quizzes and even Pac-Man.

That’s right, custom event designs allow you to run various games within the platform. What’s more, every game is customisable itself, allowing you to offer something interactive and engaging, this time in a very rewarding manner.

Here’s a quick rundown of the various custom games you can implement within your events, for reference:

  • Photobooths
  • Quizzes
  • Treasure Hunts
  • Arcade Games
  • Any Event Design is Possible

Practically anything is possible when you go custom.

The colours used, where buttons are placed, where your brand messaging appears, where the video player sits, and everything in between. All of it can be organised to fit your ideal virtual event design.

A virtual jobs fair might require a design that displays a lot of information on screen, again, this is something you can accommodate for within your event design!

Just remember that the design needs to be in service of your attendees, which goes back to what we were saying about accessibility. For example, the buttons on your event platform being too small could pose an issue to those with visual impairments.

But yes, the only limit to virtual event design is your imagination.

iVent virtual custom space

Your Event Design is Your Own

Easily the most important reason for going custom is that your exhibition design is yours and yours alone. Sure, some of the features mentioned above can be reworked and included within other events, but it won’t sport your branding or feature the same CTAs.

This goes back to what we were saying about quality event designs, and that functionality, accessibility and memorability are all required if you’re to create an engaging online experience.

Well, with a custom event platform you can do all of these things and then some!

All you need now is someone to listen to your custom platform wants and needs, someone like iVent who has a lot of experience in putting together quality event platforms that help you reach your goals.

Every Virtual Event Design is Different

Virtual event designs will differ from event to event. However, not every event will follow the same archetype, some will have unique design requirements that are almost exclusive to that particular event type.

Virtual trade shows, for example, will require a design that accommodates virtual expo booths. These booths should be fully-branded too, while leaving enough space for sponsored imagery to sit on the screen somewhere.

Virtual booths look and feel the same as those you’d find at in-person trade shows, only the features built into the designs allow attendees to speak to vendors one on one. How the booth is designed, and what features are included here, is completely up to you!

Product launches are also pretty inventive when it comes to virtual event design too, depending on the product and brand in question.

We should mention that most events utilise the same features, such as live chat and live polling, the only real difference is in how it looks. It will all function just the same.

Get started on your events.

Are you ready to get started?

Virtual Event Design: How to Create an Engaging Online Experience

There are multiple ways to engage audiences at virtual events – event games, for example. But there’s nothing like quality event design that is well-designed and branded accordingly.

If you want your virtual events to make a big impression, then custom is the way to go. As mentioned, an interactive and immersive design will only heighten your brand experience and encourage attendees to, well, keep attending.

Most importantly, though, your event design will be yours and yours alone, customised to fit what you want and what you need. Plus, it allows you to implement things like custom games that will increase your engagement.

Think of it like this: your event design will be the first thing your attendees will see when engaging with you.

It sets the tone for the rest of the experience, meaning it needs to be of a certain quality if it’s to engage people for the duration of your event.

We here at iVent are experts in virtual event design. We’ve designed countless platforms, each unique to a specific market and event type.

Looking for quality event design?

Get in touch, and let’s maximise the effectiveness of your virtual events, together.

Virtual Event Design FAQs

Are virtual event designs customisable?

Yes, virtual event designs can be customised in line with the type of event you’re looking to run, your branding, and any other considerations (i.e. sponsors).

Could event design heighten brand experience in any way?

Yes, event design can influence the experiences of people when attending virtual events. The memorability factor plays a significant part here in that it actively encourages attendees to visit future events and engage with you and others beyond your events.

What’s the difference between virtual event design and virtual exhibition design?

Virtual exhibition design refers to exhibitions directly – this covers everything from digital art exhibitions to trade shows. Virtual event design covers all event types, including virtual exhibitions. The only real difference is that virtual exhibition design is specified.

Written by:

Nikita-Selfie-ForWebNikita Ovcinnikovs

See more by Nikita Ovcinnikovs

Get started on your events.

Like what you've found?
Our teams have even more knowledge to share with you so get in touch.