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Event Tips: Popular event types at Techweek

Event Tips

By techweek Techweek

10 February 2022

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Not sure what type of event format to choose? Here is a simple guide to help inspire your event ideas. 

1. Webinar

What is it? 

A webinar can last from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours.  Information is usually presented by a speaker, an interview or a moderated panel discussion.

Audience type

Webinars are a versatile format for small and large audiences.
Key audience: anyone!

What attendees get out of it

Attendees stay informed on the latest issues by listening directly to experts in their fields.  Including a question and answer session is a great way to directly engage with attendees.  Learn more about creating a webinar from scratch.  

2. Workshop or seminar 

What is it? 

Workshops and seminars are interactive events, where attendees can engage in discussions on a chosen topic.  Seminars are more academic in style, while workshops are hands-on, working in real-time alongside the speaker.  Workshops and seminars usually last around an hour.

Audience type

Depending on the topic and the facilitator to participant ratio, audiences can be anywhere between 10-200. 

Key audience: targeted and specific interest groups.

What attendees get out of it

Engaging in group discussions.
Academic learning.
Hands-on experience.
Working directly alongside an expert.

3. Hackathon

What is it? 

A hackathon is a design sprint between teams of developers and programmers.  It usually aims to solve a unique challenge outlined at the start of the session - creating unique code for websites, apps or robots.  It can also be used to crowdsource solutions or innovate.

The intensive collaboration can last from one hour to 48 hours. 

These can be done in-person, or online. 

Audience type

This is a format well suited to pre-formed, diverse teams.  

Key audience: computer programmers, others involved in software development, people with specific challenges to overcome.

What attendees get out of it

Competitive hands-on experience.
Academic learning.
Collaboration and networking.
Sense of achievement. 

4. Conference

What is it?

Conferences are large, multi-speaker events with a cohesive theme and multiple sub-topics.  Just like physical conferences, digital conferences can include breakout sessions, exhibition booths, sponsorship elements and networking breaks (BYO snacks and drinks!).

Conferences can vary in length, from two hours to several days. 

Audience type

Conferences are well suited to larger audiences, approximately 200 to 5000. Generally there is a charge to attend these events. 

Key audience: professionals and business people.

What the attendees get out of it

In depth topic engagement.
Meeting high calibre speakers.
Listening to the latest research.
Learning in breakout sessions.
Networking opportunities. 

5. The Panel Discussion

What is it?

A panel of speakers discuss a particular topic with an audience. These events give the opportunity for speakers and the audience to really engage with each other. They are often Q&A sessions with the audience. Social media can be used to help engage larger audiences.

Audience type
Small or large event.

Great for full engagement from audience.

Suitable for anyone as discussion topics can evolve easily.
Opportunity to engage with speakers.

What the attendees get out of it

Very engaging event type.

Networking opportunity.

Academic learning. 

6.The Round-Table 

What is it?

Round Table events are when a select few attend an event with a specific topic to discuss, each with an equal right to participate in conversation.
Small events (10-20).

Audience type
Invite only.

Key audience:
senior professionals.

What the attendees get out of it
Networking with senior professionals.

Networking and discussion with people who have similar interests.


If you still need further inspiration, or want to find out other ways you can contribute to the festival email hello@techweek.co.nz

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