The most common comment we receive from event organisers is that there is more value in face-to-face interaction, and you lose this with online events. Whilst it is understandable that you would think that, there are also so many benefits of going online, and there are also times when a virtual event is necessary and essential to your event program. The question remains, how do you ensure a virtual event is just as engaging as an in-person event?
Hosting a virtual or hybrid event requires the same care and attention as an in-person event. With both events, you need to effectively promote the event, engage your attendees, create memorable moments for attendees, maintain event budgets and prove event success.
According to GOOGLE TRENDS the world is gravitating towards virtual being an essential part of any marketing mix, it allows flexibility without taking away from the attendee’s experience!
Virtual events are not a replacement for physical events; we would be naive to think that they can enhance the event experience for everyone involved.
Below are 4 main types of virtual events – Fully remote seminars or webinars, Virtual conference experiences with an in-person and virtual exhibition hall, Internal events and Hybrid events.
When it comes to your entire event program, virtual events can be added to the mix of events you host, events you attend, and your internal events. Virtual events are not a replacement for other types of events but a new event to add and enhance your entire program. Below are the four main types of virtual events you can utilise within your mix.
- Fully remote seminars/webinars or events – These last anywhere from 30 min – 120 min but usually do not go past this. They can be free, or companies can monetise them and charge a fee to attend the virtual event and access the event after the conclusion. These fully remote events use teleconferencing tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams; the difference is that using professional equipment to Livestream these events through these platforms changes the whole feel and professionalism of the end result. You can make them as engaging as you want/need them to be by adding in speakers, polling and live Q&A.
- Virtual Conferences with in-person experiences and exhibition halls – Virtual conferences are very similar to in-person conferences; they are still built around a complex agenda; the benefit of a virtual conference is that your reach for international and engaging speakers increases exponentially. You can secure world-renowned speakers as they only have to give up a small portion of their time, not entire days through travel. You also reduce the cost of obtaining these speakers as you do not have to pay for travel. Although virtual conferences may lack networking opportunities in a time-poor world, they allow viewers to choose their agenda and tune into the sessions they find engaging.
- Internal Hybrid Events – These are town halls, sales kick-offs, company-wide events, training, department meetings, and more. In the old world, think how much money is spent on flying employees around the world/state/nation to go to different internal events; what is the benefit? Internal hybrid events are massive cost savings for any organisation both in actual physical money and the opportunity cost lost through employee travel. Internal Hybrid events can communicate messages for staff and can be pulled together instantly if the need arises. It is an essential tool for any organisation in today’s world.
- External Hybrid Events – As the name suggests, these events are held for employees and customers, or people outside of your organisation. Similar to the Internal Hybrid events, these events can save organisations a lot of money whilst still exposing both parties to the information.
In summary, virtual live-streamed events are in no way replacing traditional in-person events, virtual live-streamed events are a new way that companies may enhance their customer’s experience with a fraction of the cost, and the ability to reach a far greater audience than they could normally meet by solely executing in-person events. They have the ability to reach a far greater audience, are not limited in any way and can provide just as much interaction as any in-person event. Your options are literally limitless!
Go Live are Virtual event specialists; call our team today to let us help you ensure your next virtual event is a success.