The Reality of Virtual Events
Event marketing has been evolving for the last 6 plus months taking an entire new form that will even shape the future of in-person events.
But what are the challenges that you, as an attendee, are facing with the online evolution? And how can your experience be better?
The world, as we know it, has been hit by a storm; we were forced to uproot our lives, schedules, and plans for what we hoped would only be till weeks.
However, it is now evidently clear that we have a new reality, at least for now. With a new shift that is heavily dependent on technology, businesses are now tasked with challenges in that regards, especially people depending on events, conferences, and industry trade shows.
Enter virtual events; the safest way to host events in large numbers without violating any measures, or regulations, and most importantly, staying safe.
Yes, virtual events are now your best alternative for in-person ones because they hold copious benefits; starting with the fact that they can host a larger number of attendees, and they are cost effective.
Let’s have another closer look.
WHAT IS A VIRTUAL EVENT?
Have you attended a meeting, taken some courses, maybe even attended a sports class of some sorts online? This automatically places you in a virtual event, where you experience an event online, rather than in- person. That obviously comes with some alterations.
The four main types of virtual events
Virtual Conferences. They encourage you, as attendees, to build your own agenda and mingle with others, even providing you a chance to network and link up with people who share your interests. They also encompass Webinars that do not last long and have proven to attain a 100% virtual attendance.
Internal Hybrid Events present you the unique opportunity to get all of your employees together, and External Hybrid Events require high levels of production in order to translate the quality of in-person meetings across the screen, especially because they are user or industry conferences.
Related: The Evolution of Event Marketing.
So, why do you need to host virtual events?
Investing in such events should become one of your utmost priorities because virtual events;
- Warrant 8x the number of registrations as traditional in-person conferences allowing you to get your content through to more people.
- Expand the audience’s reach to include the people who would, otherwise, not be able to attend live.
- Provide an unforeseen flexibility, for you can reschedule and adjust the program towards what suits your audience better. This is perfect for you are not obliged or restricted by the rules put in place because of the pandemic.
- Give off the same, or better results, at a lower cost. Virtual events can reduce your cost by up to 75 percent less
- Require less time: Around 360 hours or more saved per year with event technology. You can save hours upon hours when shifting your events online, for they take less planning, especially when you don’t have a venue to worry about, catering, and so many added worries.
- Get easier feedback to ensure that your content is well received. Some online features allow your viewers to answer polls and send in their live- feedback. Make sure you pick the most suitable app for your needs. This step is vital for people need to feel that their presence matters, and this achieves that directly.
These are among several other benefits that virtual events produce.
Businesses form half of the equation, but you, the attendee, complete it!
Taylor Estes, a CEO at Apple Box, regards virtual events as “the vegetarian option of 2020”. This comes in reference to people previously looking down on vegetarian options, but are now more prone to choose them because of the increased awareness on them. Virtual events fit into that category, especially because they are a necessity nowadays.
Attendees: Challenges and ways to improve Your experience:
What do you think?
Are you tired from sitting behind a screen? Are you tired from the lack of in-person interaction? Virtual events need you in order to reach success because you are the reason behind every content that is posted.
Why should You attend virtual events? How do they benefit You?
As an attendee, it is understandable why you would feel pressure in light of an increased online presence. Opinions vary on whether or not these events are engaging enough to spend more time behind a screen.
Are the following some of your concerns?
- Screen time: it’s completely fine that you would want to say no to more screen time, but why turn down content that can inspire you? Since everything is now online, you’re required to spend countless hours behind that same screen. We’re with you on how tiring this can be.
So, it’s important to be selective of what you’re choosing to do during that “screen time”. Press decline on the pressures of this world and accept the content that makes you happy. What better way to learn more, then in the comfort of your bed? There are countless inspiring conferences that can act as food for your soul like Ted talks, and so many more.
- No more patience: Do you find yourself lacking the patience to spend numerous hours attending “empty” presentations and products demos? You might find some content to be completely void of anything that interest you.
Virtual conferences can provide content that you like. You get to choose what you’d like to see, hear, or experience.
Let’s think of it this way, how amazing is it that you get to select your favorite keynote speakers, experience their presence, ask them questions, and learn from them?
- No leads or brand awareness: Are you worried that your brand won’t warrant enough awareness? After all, in some events, your goal is to generate more leads and gain a wider sense of engagement.
86%of the people denote a higher level of engagement in virtual events. This is a perfect chance for you, as a business and as an attendee because these events increase the margin of interactions. Some people find it comforting that no cameras need to be on, when they are speaking, so they are encouraged to speak more openly. You may be encouraged by the flexibility of the hours.
- No time: Are you unable to attend the event at a certain specific timing? No worries! All the events are usually kept online for a while, especially to the viewers who purchase such a content. They are at your disposal whenever you feel like watching them. Go at your own pace and seek the knowledge that you’d like to learn.
During this dire economic situation, virtual events are a good channel to connect, learn, grow and make business without incurring costs. Many are free and are at your fingertips.
It’s ironic how we used to crave free time to have some screen time, when now, we’re gasping for a little bit of outside time.
Change your perspective!
Don’t be discouraged!
Instead work on weathering the storm by selecting the content you want to learn, creating a certain schedule to abide by, to connect and engage with your business community.
Don’t forget to create new links, engage with people who share your interests, and just HAVE FUN.
Have you changed your mind yet? 🙄
You know about the different types of virtual events and the ones that require your presence; you also know how they can benefit you, both personally and professionally.
When you think about it, it’s quite simple, you have a world of opportunities with just a click on the screen.
So, give some good thoughts to some of the opportunities out there!
Before we forget, keep an eye out for our upcoming posts in the virtual events series, as we’ll be talking about challenges that hosts are facing, and how they overcome them.