As an event marketer, you must plan all types of events, from corporate to cultural, educational, and everything in between. Some events are formal, while others are relaxed. Each event type helps build a relationship with potential customers and boost engagement.

Different types of events help you achieve business objectives and improve audience experience for future sales. You can start in the right direction by hosting events aligning with your business goals and attracting your target market.

The global event industry was worth $890 billion in 2020 and will grow to two trillion by 2028. With changes coming rapidly, you must keep your sights on the horizon. Moreover, 65% of brands state that events significantly boost sales and enhance experiential engagement for attendees.

The event industry is on fire – as the U.S. corporate event market will reach $510.9 billion worth by 2030. 

What are the types of events that can boost audience engagement? Keep reading to learn more about ten different event types to achieve your goals.

10 Different Types of Events that Can Boost Audience Engagement

Generally speaking, events are the best marketing channel for any business today to connect with its customers and build long-term relationships.

Let’s look at different types of events and how it helps in achieving audience engagement.

  1. Corporate events
  2. Seminars
  3. Educational events
  4. Trade shows
  5. Private events
  6. Public events
  7. Conferences
  8. Cultural events
  9. Sporting events
  10. Political events

1. Corporate Events

A corporate event refers to any form of event organized by a business entity. While anything dubbed ‘corporate’ gives visuals of pantsuits and formal attire. But, it isn’t always the case, as there are different types of business events, such as:

  • Trade shows
  • Seminars
  • Conferences
  • Team meetings
  • Executive retreats
  • Employee appreciation events
  • Product launch events
  • Charitable organization

Be clear and have an event marketing checklist to organize a corporate event to engage customers, employees, and key stakeholders. Corporate events can boost engagement by offering new initiatives, and rewards, celebrating milestones, announcing organizational changes, and facilitating networking.

For example, IBM’s event, re-imagining the workplace to drive safety, productivity, and operational excellence for employees to learn and upskill.

Professionals networking and engaging at a corporate event hosted by IBM, showcasing collaboration and innovation in a professional setting

2. Seminar

A seminar is a conference or meeting for discussion, conversation, and instruction offered by a commercial or professional organization. It is organized to bring people together who share a common interest in a particular subject area. There are four different types of seminars:

  • Community seminar
  • Business seminar
  • Public seminar
  • National Seminar
  • International seminar

Increase audience engagement and get them interested in an enticing topic through seminars. These events provide an opportunity to interact and network with fellow industry professionals and individuals. Through seminars, attendees gain better insight into the subject, participate in discussions and impart knowledge. All these activities help boost audience engagement.

For example, the 2nd Annual Leadership Seminar hosted by Maxine Attong, a professional, helped attendees learn the power of collaborative leadership and how to win in teams.

 Promotional image for the 2nd annual leadership seminar, showcasing speakers, dates, and a professional setting to inspire attendees

3. Educational Events

An educational event refers to a structured meeting conducted by a recognized place of learning and educational institutions. These events are cornerstones for educational institutes to increase enrolment and registrations or educate the audience on a particular subject area. There are different types of educational events, such as:

  • Homecoming
  • Special speakers
  • Lecturers by academia
  • Drama club events
  • Graduation ceremonies
  • Student fairs
  • Science fairs

You can use social media to promote virtual events and in-person events and create hype among attendees. These events boost audience engagement by allowing attendees to connect and collaborate with others and display educational materials.

One of the best examples of events in the educational category includes Literacy Conference, LitCon 2024, which is an event for leaders in childhood literacy.

educational activities at LitCon, featuring workshops, presentations, and interactive learning experiences.

4. Trade Shows 

Trade shows are large-scale events organized to bring professionals together from the industry to showcase new products and ideas and develop new connections with suppliers and buyers. Trade shows usually take place in convention centers and last several days. They are commonly known as trade fairs and expos.

Trade shows offer:

  • Exhibition of product
  • Workshops 
  • Networking opportunities
  • Award presentations
  • Media Outreach

If done right, trade shows boost audience engagement with the potential to bend things in your favor. As an event marketer, you can stand out with an engaging vibe at a trade show by incorporating different tactics such as:

  • Attractive signage and booth displays
  • Product demo and raffle contest
  • Games can drive more traffic to your booth
  • Active participation through giveaways

For example, CES 2024 will showcase cutting-edge advancements in the gaming industry, such as consoles, metaverse, wearable, next-game e-sports, and much more. Exhibitors can avail of up to 1000 complimentary invitations for customers and prospects and use the CES dashboard for promotion.

Exciting gaming event showcasing latest trends and technology.

5. Private Events

As the name explains, private events are social gatherings attended by invited guests with a prior established relationship. These events are not open to the public, and attendees will feel privileged to be part of the experience. Unlike conferences and other events, private events help you develop deeper connections and build relationships with the attendees.

Types of events categorized under private events include:

  • Birthday parties
  • Dinners 
  • Weddings
  • Themed parties
  • Family events
  • VIP Lounge
  • VIP Summits

Private events can boost audience engagement by embracing a splash of a timely hook with an appealing way to communicate. Make your audience laugh to turn up the engagement factor. Or you can discuss important topics relevant to the audience, and they gather for a certain goal. Private events must focus on common interest areas the guests share to generate the desired outcome.

6. Public Events

Public events refer to any event open to the general public in private or public. They are usually events requiring an attendee to buy tickets or admission fees. An events marketing agency plans these events as it requires extensive planning.

The types of public events organized include the following:

  • Convention
  • Food festivals
  • Musical festivals
  • Charity events
  • Concerts
  • Exhibition
  • Award ceremonies 
  • Press conferences

Promoting your events with the right marketing tactics can captivate and engage audiences uniquely, leaving a lasting impact. For example, public events can offer giveaways, raffle contests, games, and discussions that can create excitement and encourage engagement. In addition, social media integration for a public event extends the reach and drives community engagement.

For example, Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta® is a 9-day festival in New Mexico in early October with over 500 balloons each year. It is the world’s largest hot air balloon festival that requires pre-registration.

Colorful hot air balloons soaring in the sky at the International Balloon Fiesta, capturing the festive atmosphere and excitement of the event.

7. Conferences

A conference refers to a meeting, a gathering, or a convention of individuals who meet at an arranged venue and time for a common interest. There can be two different kinds of events categorized as conference, one-day or multi-day events. A very successful conference starts with a well-designed plan. As the conference is a marathon, and get to that finish line first.

Conferences boost audience engagement through speakers, icebreaker speaker sessions, live Q&A sessions, hosting trivia and quizzes, and personalized avatars. Conversational formats that captivate and engage the audience depend on their knowledge. Supervise the setup, ensure everything is properly organized, and ensure questions of guests are answered.

The best example of conferences includes Web Summit 2024, RSA Conference, and Tech Summits. For example, the RSA conference posted about a week-long conference at the Moscone Center for the community to come together, learn, share and grow.

Instagram post promoting the RSA Conference 2023, featuring event details, dates, and a captivating visual to attract attendees.

8. Cultural Events

A cultural event refers to a celebration that focuses on a theme and may include a performance, display of artistic expression, family customs or religious ceremonies. There are different types of special events categorized under cultural events celebrated by countries across the world.

To drive audience engagement at cultural events, you can use different strategies and tactics to create interest among attendees. Games, quizzes, trivia, instant polls, photo booths, coupons, and tours can get the attendees involved during cultural events.

An example of a cultural event is Taipei Lantern Festival, which acts as an Uposatha day on the Chinese calendar.

capturing the vibrant colors and joyful atmosphere of a lantern festival, with beautifully lit lanterns and people celebrating cultural traditions and festivities.

9. Sporting Events

A sporting event refers to athletic activities that require skills or physical prowess with a set of rules that are recognized by a governance body. A sporting event cannot be organized at the last minute and requires time and a comprehensive plan. Revenue from the sports event is projected to reach $28.97 billion in 2023, with a projected market volume of $32.42 billion by 2027

Sporting events are an effective promotional channel that provides a great opportunity to network with local businesses, boost audience engagement and gain potential new customers. Sporting events have good media coverage that enhances promotion and reach to a wider audience.

For example, MLB All-Star Game is a leading American baseball sport that organizes leagues and events for sports baseball enthusiasts to enjoy a series of games.

10. Political Events

Political events refer to pertaining of governance and the exercise of power within a society. These events include elections, policy decisions, legislative debates, campaigns, summits, and related activities at the government leadership level. Depending on the scope and size, national, local or international events are hosted.

Political events organized for:

  • Rallies
  • Fundraisers
  • Press conferences
  • Public addresses
  • Appurtenances
  • Debates

Social media event marketing can help boost audience engagement by promoting the event to the right target audience with whom your cause resonates. By staying relevant and reflecting on the message of the masses, you can gain attention and retain supporters.

For example, Joe Biden’s campaign for elections to turn out voters is a large-scale political event based on campaigns in different states across the U.S. and sets the stage for his potential win.

A visually appealing image featuring a political event and creating a buzz on Twitter and sparking conversations about the event and political agenda.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What Are Some Emerging Trends in the Event Industry?

  • Event technology
  • Social media integration
  • Hybrid events
  • Immersive experiences 
  • Personalization
  • Gamification
  • Live streaming
  • Data-driven insights
  • Contactless technology

How Do I Choose the Right Type of Event for My Needs?

  1. Define your objectives
  2. Identify target audience persona
  3. Budgeting
  4. Evaluate event formats
  5. Manage logistics and resources
  6. Analyze risk factors
  7. Evaluate and iterate

What Are the 7 Key Elements of an Event?

  1. Objective
  2. Audience
  3. Theme
  4. Venue
  5. Program
  6. Logistics
  7. Promotion

Final Words

Events come in different forms and sizes. Planning and hosting events can be overwhelming, but important to achieve your business goals. Event marketers spend hours deciding what type of events would help them best to achieve their goals. All events help you boost audience engagement and ensure it produces the results that you expected.

With all the types of events discussed above, you can now easily choose the right event for your needs. No matter what type of event you plan to choose, make sure you boost audience engagement through different marketing tactics. We’re sure you can think about the event and plan to create the hype.