There was a time when it was understood that ‘events’ meant ‘in-person’ events. But not anymore. Marketing has changed a lot from the last year or so. One major development is virtual events have taken center stage in marketers’ priorities.
It is true, we are missing out on experiences such as traveling and meeting people in person. But virtual events have managed to hold their fort and are doing surprisingly very well. According to a poll conducted by the Professional Convention Management Association, 81% of people expect to hold more virtual events in the future. And there is good reason to. Let’s see some major reasons why virtual events are useful and why an increasing number of people are adopting them.
1. Virtual events can be produced for less
Virtual events not only cost less to set up than in-person events, they are also open to more people. All you need is an invite and access to the internet to attend one. With a virtual event, you don’t have to make arrangements for venues, travel, or hospitality. If you plan and execute virtual events properly, they can give you more ROI than in-person events.
2. You can plan and execute a virtual event in less time
Virtual events don’t require you to transport people or physical displays, making them faster to set-up than in-person events. A small virtual event can be set-up and promoted in as less as 3-6 weeks. A large virtual event (with thousands of attendees) could take more than six weeks to set up. Meanwhile, it can take as long as eight weeks to set up an in-person event.
3. Attendees are more likely to attend a virtual event
Earlier, many people couldn’t attend as many events as they wanted to because they were averse to traveling. Many also had busy work schedules, in addition to the family and home responsibilities. All these ate into their event plans, and only people who absolutely couldn’t miss an event made it to in-person events. But the rules have changed now. Online hosting of events has made events accessible to more people. Today, we see more people attending virtual events than ever before.
4. Virtual events connect people from over the world
One of the significant disadvantages of in-person events is that they are limited by geography. For example, you want to attend a Metallica concert in New York City but you stay around 100 miles away, in Hartford, you have to think twice about attending. Virtual events give an excellent opportunity for cross-border networking because they are not limited by geography. If you are a business or event planner with global aspirations, this is a huge plus point. Here’s a post on the rise of the event technology strategist.
5. Virtual events can lead to more effective conversations
Holding a virtual event often costs a fraction of what it takes to have an in-person event. They also attract attendees from diverse locations. This makes it possible to hold virtual events for even niche events. With virtual events, you also have an opportunity to really impress your audience, rather than merely skimming the surface. Moreover, attendees at a niche virtual event are more likely to be interested in your product (or service) than others. Here’s a post on how to effectively market a virtual event.
6. Virtual events give a lot of insights and data
Asking people to fill up forms during and after in-person events is a bit of a hassle. But you need that data to find out what type of people are attending your event and other particulars. A filling of forms precedes many virtual events. Virtual events are also easy to record. This is an invaluable resource for salespersons who want to find prospects for their product (or service) or marketers who wish to find data points to fine-tune their strategies.
6. Virtual events appeal to high-profile speakers
High-in-demand speakers are hard to pin down for an in-person event unless you offer something substantial in return. In fact, you may not be able to get a high-level executive even from your own company to speak at your in-person event, especially if they have to travel a lot. But in virtual events, there is no traveling involved. This feature makes virtual events more attractive to high-in-demand and C-level speakers.
7. Virtual events are much easier to scale than in-person events
In-person events can be scaled only to the extent of the capability of the venue. With virtual events, you have the option of using a videoconferencing app or a dedicated streaming service. As a result, virtual events are much easier (and faster) to scale to accommodate a large number of people at a fraction of the cost. And more people mean better reach and visibility.
8. Virtual events can keep pace with your offerings
If you are about to launch a new offering or make a significant announcement regarding your product, and you want it to be interactive, a virtual event can help. Now, you no longer have to wait to accumulate a large product pipeline and introduce all of them at once at an in-person event. Instead, you can make more frequent announcements via a virtual event.
9. Virtual events help you qualify leads more quickly
It is possible to integrate appointment calendars with virtual events, allowing you to follow-up with prospects, even as your events are running. In short, virtual events enable you to qualify leads more quickly and lead them down the sales funnel faster.
Running a virtual event is both easy and difficult at the same time. You not only have to come up with creative ideas to make your event attractive to your audience; you also have to find the right technology to ensure the event passes off smoothly. Here’s a post on the latest trends in event technology.
How good it would be if you had a platform to curate and engage with at least your speakers! But don’t give up yet because have some good news for you!
Speaker Engage is a fully-integrated, cloud-based platform designed by event organizers for event organizers that helps you curate and delight speakers & sponsors by streamlining the event planning and execution process. Sign up for a demo today!