Virtual Events vs On-Site Events
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“The world will never be the same after the coronavirus pandemic.” This is a statement that you may have heard a lot. And for a lot of people and industries, it’s certainly true. But does it necessarily mean that this change will be negative or detrimental in most cases? Not really.
For many companies, the global pandemic served as a wake-up call for how they tackle their marketing strategies. Corporations all around the world, which used to rely on on-site events to gain exposure and promote their brands and sponsors, were faced with a new challenge: canceling their events altogether or finding a new alternative that would generate the same benefits.
In a world where the events industry is worth millions of dollars per year, canceling events once and for all didn’t seem like a realistic approach. Luckily, that’s where virtual events come in.
Why Switch to Virtual Events: The Top 6 Advantages
Virtual events aren’t exactly new, but they’ve been gaining more and more popularity over the last few years, either because of major changes such as financial crises (2008), global pandemics (2020), or simply to stay up to date with the latest technologies. Whatever the case, it really seems like digital events are here to stay.
Whether you’re thinking about hosting a trade show, an exposition, or a webinar, switching to a virtual approach will offer you a lot of benefits. Here are some of them:
1. Cost Effectiveness
Probably one of the main reasons to choose a virtual event over an on-site one is the significant difference in price.
The cost of organizing a physical event is quite impressive. From banner and booklet printing costs to service staff and operating expenses, plus attendees’ accommodation, food, and drinks... It all adds up pretty quickly.
In fact, a 2018 study showed that the global events industry is worth more than $1.1 trillion and is on its way to reaching $2.33 trillion by 2026. That’s huge!
On the other hand, your virtual events budget will mostly focus on fees for the hosting platform you choose and your online marketing campaign. Sure, this process isn’t free either, but it’s nothing compared to the physical one.
2. Time and Flexibility
Another important factor to keep in mind when organizing an event is the tight schedules of the attendees.
By hosting your event online:
- You’re saving your attendees the hassle of finding several days in their busy schedule for travel.
- They won’t have to spend an entire day (or days) in hours of presentations, expositions, and activities, trying to grasp all angles of the event and not miss anything.
- You’re saving your audience precious travel time that they could use to do their own thing while giving them what they need right in their home office.
Virtual events also give you, as a host, a lot of flexibility. You don’t have only one single day when it’s all or nothing. Online, you’ll have the opportunity to present your showroom, conference, exhibition, or any other information in bite-sized pieces so as not to tire your audience. You can organize it in different sessions, formats, or activities.
The key here is to keep it concise but still enjoyable. This kind of experience is much more likely to make your attendees want to come back for part 2 or 3.
Nowadays, it’s crucial for any business to consider the impact they’re having on the environment and physical events aren’t exactly something that could be defined as eco-friendly. The number of flights to meetings and in-person events totals millions per year in the US alone.
Virtual events won’t only save your audience long hours of travel, but going digital will also help decrease the negative impact that on-site events have on the environment.
One of the main benefits you can enjoy from hosting a virtual event is that it doesn’t just stop there.
Since everything is done online and in a digital format, the post-event phase is just as important for your business as the marketing and performing stages.
Depending on the type of events you’re hosting, you can make parts of it accessible online for your audience to share, comment, and react to on social media.
You can go as far as you wish in making the key components of your events available to the public, not only to keep gaining exposure in the long run but to also make it easy for your current audience to access what they most enjoyed during the performance.
5. Networking Opportunities
Maybe one of the greatest fears when talking about the switch from physical to virtual events is the lack of networking opportunities.
It’s a given that personal interactions will always be the number one way to establish a strong connection with others. Whether that person is a potential client, investor, or partner, some people just click with each other without any specific reason—this is part of being human!
However, today’s world has become so used to using technology in our daily communications that it has become much easier to interact with others online than you would face to face. In fact, a lot of people admit to being even more comfortable talking to strangers in a virtual booth than in-person. To use this to your advantage, you can include many tools and activities to make the public fully engage with each other.
When it comes to the strategic aspect of this type of networking, virtual events can give you a greater opportunity to target potential leads or business partners. You’ll find that some digital platforms give the attendees the option to see the list of speakers, hosts, and other guests.
This kind of profiling is much more precise in making the right people connect with each other than any random conversation you may start with someone in search of new business opportunities.
6. Greater Reach
Obviously, for all event planners, the goal is to reach as many people as possible. The more, the merrier!
In virtual events, that’s not very complicated. All you have to do is promote your virtual link the right way, using different platforms and social media, and people from all around the world will be able to access your event with just one click. Your main focus should be making the registration process as user-friendly as possible and tailoring your marketing campaign to your audience’s needs.
If you’re thinking about hosting a virtual event but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place.
At MVT, we strongly believe that a goal without a plan is just a wish. This is why we use our knowledge and expertise to guide you through every step of your virtual event’s organization and planning.
Contact us today to start implementing an efficient plan to reach your goals and succeed in this digital life-changing experience.