A fraction of our collective experience of the last few weeks is undoubtedly watching events getting cancelled one after the other. Big trade shows, virtual event, and business/academic conferences that have been successfully and consistently running for decades disappeared all of a sudden. This has created a huge void for event planners, companies, attendees, and marketers. But how do we fill that void? How do we proceed as full cancellation and postponement of events will lead us to nowhere.
Although we cannot take all the events online (the Olympics for example, there’s no way it can be staged online), but the answer to most of our problems is Virtual Events. But, what is this online event thing? Is it feasible? We will learn about all these questions related to virtual events in this resource and make the most out of them.
What Is A Virtual Event?
Although a lot of the businesses are hosting virtual events, still most of us are skeptical about them. In short, a virtual event is an exact copy of a physical location-based event but instead of being offline, it is done online. It can be further described as any organized meetings that come-about online as opposed to a physical location. A virtual event can either be a small question-and-answer session, or it can be a massive conference with thousands of attendees.
Rather than in a physical location, virtual events enable attendees, organizers, sponsors, and speakers to meet-up remotely through a digital world. Living and adjusting with a new reality, the global pandemic has made us realize that no matter how futuristic they may sound, but virtual events is both our go-to option and our saving grace. And yet if they seem less-engaging to you, you would be blown up by how much they can bring to the table.
When staged as a company’s strategic platform, the virtual event has a lot to offer and has the potential to elevate your audience engagement and sales. And as COVID-19 has led to drastic changes in our daily lives, virtual events provide the ability to maintain communication despite in the face of in-person interactions.
And now with key advancements in the virtual event space, it is important to understand the importance and enactment of them. Now that we have understood what a virtual event is and how big it is at present, let us talk about some of its advantages. From saving costs to reaching out to a vast audience, and to deploying travel time at other operations, virtual event consists of a number of benefits.
What Are Its Advantages?
Costs Much Less
As virtual events don’t have the logistics related to a physical location-based event such as the venue, food, travel, food, and hotels, etc. these are less expensive. Shrinking budgets and saving money is the first priority of event planners.
Virtual events make you save on user’s hotels, workforce, setting, travelling costs, venue costs, setup and takedown costs, and much more. The only cost that the planners need to estimate is the cost of the virtual meeting platform. The all-inclusive cost of setting up your event is hugely reduced in case of a virtual event.
Saves A Lot Of Time
Time management plays a key role in our lives. Hosting a virtual event makes you save a lot of time of yourself, your staff, your viewer, and all the other people associated with it. As opposed to an in-person event, virtual events only require setup time for registration, website, event promotion, etc.
It saves a lot of time as compared to a real physical event. You don’t even need the travel time for a virtual event. And therefore, all your workforce and you can devote the time saved at some other crucial things that require your attention.
Engage more and more people and enhance your reach with virtual events. With virtual events, the sky is the limit. And so you can reach as wide as possible, covering all the places that you desire. All you need to do is just attach the link of your event to your website and other social media handles.
Without worrying about time and travel, people all over the world can gain access and participate in your virtual event. No matter where people live, you can just grow your viewers and get everyone involved.
Virtual events are flexible and modifiable. It doesn’t matter if you’re hosting a conference, a webinar, a virtual town hall, or any other type of event, you can still do some changes as per your needs. Moreover, the interactive factor in virtual events can be taken through a whole new level by including guest speakers, using diverse language options, and much more. As you don’t require a physical presence in a virtual event, you can easily customize the whole event as per your viewers and presenters.
Make Quicker Connections
As viewers don’t need to physically move from one stall to another or from one session to another, the whole process becomes easier and fast-tracked. Making connections gets a lot easier in virtual events as you can quickly meet other attendees and speakers. Moreover, as opposed to an in-person event, in virtual events you have the option to record crucial data on your tablet, PC, or smart-phone such as titles, names of the people, and much more.
Get Feedback Easily
Just like an in-person event, getting feedback is a crucial aspect of virtual events too. And because your viewers are continually online at virtual events, they can answer various polls and participate in survey sessions in no time.
Since presenters cannot see the facial expressions of the attendees during the virtual event, this aspect is a boon for presenters as they can easily measure in real-time how their session is working. Moreover, this gives you another advantage to evaluate the overall success of your virtual event.
Evaluate Results In No-Time
With virtual events, accessing the crucial data, and evaluating your results can get easier as compared to physical location-based events. Since everything is done online, you can easily track and keep a record of your event. This lets you keep track of from where your viewers logged on, when they logged on, how many people attended the event, how are they paying for the services, and more such crucial things.
Prepare And Host A Smooth Virtual Event
Set-up A Strong Plan
Planning is the first stage to successfully host a virtual event. A strategy must be developed for every event. You can start planning by setting up one goal and then the other after achieving the first. The earlier you create a game plan, the better it is for you. Cover up some crucial topics while creating a plan; such as the time for the event, registration for the event, how you’ll promote the event, etc. Once you have set-up a plan, stick to it.
Select Correct Time
Choosing the correct date and time for your event plays a pivotal role in its success. Do a little research before sending out the invites. Competing events must be ignored. Moreover, time zones must be taken into consideration if you are planning to go international.
Pick up a time that best suits all your viewers across the world. Or you can also plan for different network session keeping up with your vast audience. Checking on the analytics can throw light on when a certain community is online typically.
Promotion Is Necessary
Make sure you promote your virtual event well. Ascertain the important selling points of the event that you can offer your attendees. Make sure that the value proposition is straightforward in your marketing techniques. You can run advertisements, share invites through Emails, etc. Target your advertisements relevantly and in the correct format, including registration form links in your invites, and y also get advantage from social media stories and events.
Be Ready For Glitches
No matter how strongly you believe in your plan, you must always have plan B’s in your mind. You can test your internet connection, and make your speakers do the same. Backing-up your presentation files also save you in case something goes off.
Moreover, you can also run rehearsals before you actually go live. Ascertain your problems as soon as possible and be ready with solutions. You must also keep in mind that the whole of your audience cannot be tech-savvy. And so, you must prepare FAQs and guides for them. If you can deploy resources to provide technical support, it’s even better.
Enhance Audience Involvement
The more your virtual event includes interactive tools, the more you can engage your audience. Polls, quizzes, live-tweeting, etc. can encourage user engagement. Take suggestions and requests from your attendees effectively.
Virtual event has become an important part of modern communication. It is shattering down barriers and enabling guests, enthusiasts, colleagues, and pretty much everyone to meet and participate effortlessly at the comfort of your home. Businesses can easily connect with their audiences through virtual events while significantly cutting down costs and time.