One of the more unexpected impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak is that businesses are having to make significant changes to their events calendar, including cancelling or postponing annual conferences and other larger in-person gatherings.

In light of this, businesses are experimenting with new ways of hosting virtual events, and as a benefit are discovering significant benefits in doing so, not least in the time and cost savings of getting attendees physically together in a room.

Here we consider three organisations who are dipping their toes into the virtual events world to host innovative, engaging events.

Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce has held their transatlantic conference for two years running. This year they decided to grow the event to highlight global markets too, using a new virtual conference format, to connect attendees from all over the world.

Their Global Trade Conference 2020 is one of the highlights of a week of international events which are being run by the Chamber. The event will concentrate on resuming international trade, post Coronavirus, with keynote speakers, international discussions and online networking.

They are also encouraging virtual attendees to download and join a mobile event app to customise their agendas, network with other attendees and take part in live polls during the day.

Global Trade Conference 2020Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, 24 June 2020

Another international event, this time hosted by the China Britain Business Council in partnership with British Chambers of Commerce in China, is the UK-China Business Week 2020 which is being run over five consecutive days. Each day will have a specific theme, focussing on current trends in different sectors: Retail & Consumer, Education, Tech & Innovation, SMEs and Foreign Direct Investments from China to the UK.

The week is designed to shine a spotlight on China’s economic recovery and call attention to opportunities for UK businesses to re-engage with China.

The sessions will be interactive and attendees will be able to access the full event programme or choose to participate in smaller breakout room sessions, which allow delegates the opportunity to tailor their day according to their interests.

UK-China Business Week 2020, China Britain Business Council in partnership with British Chambers of Commerce in China, 15 – 19 June 2020

Here at the British Chambers of Commerce we have also been working on a brand new virtual events programme to sit alongside events which our 53 Accredited Chambers of Commerce and 60 International British Chambers are running around the UK and rest of the world.

They are a series of industry-leading, thought-provoking webinars spanning a range of subjects of interest as we move into recovery and renewed growth, that will bring value to business leaders under three distinct brands - Global Trade, Global Business and Global Insights.

The events are aimed at a global audience of Chambers and their members, with some events also open to non-members.

From a Leaders Programme to Market Updates we have been sharing what’s going on around the network and, bringing together our global community through support and conversation.

You can find more information about the British Chambers of Commerce virtual events schedule here.