Virtual Events

How Virtual Events Changed the Event Industry

Eventually Learning Team
According to a report by Oracle, 86% of Americans reported a personality change due to the pandemic. Most Americans have reported that increased online activities have helped them to pursue new hobbies which have helped them to feel smarter than ever. More than 58% of Americans have reported that they spend most of their time streaming social media. As a result, this phenomenon helped virtual events gain momentum during the pandemic.

With virtual events and a virtual business world, people found a tangible solution to deal with investors and shareholders. This has also worked well with employees, from local to remote, living in all corners of the world, via virtual meetings, gatherings, conferences and events. It is now evident that virtual events are more progressive, and it helps in saving a lot of time from the planning to the execution of the virtual event.

2. How are Virtual Events Benefitting the Business World?

One relevant question that all businesses should ask themselves is if they should host a virtual event, and if they already have, then–was it beneficial for them?

Many tech platforms and companies have shifted heavily to virtual events, and rightfully so. This is because they have the knowledge and the infrastructure to do so. Many virtual events have attracted the traffic of more than 20,000 attendees in a span of five days.

This has resulted in non-IT companies also venturing out into the virtual event industry with the help of virtual event platform and solution providers. The engagement and participation in virtual events are at an all-time high, so this would be an ideal time to engage your audience and to recover your financial losses. If you haven’t had any financial losses, then, this is a good time to expand your profit margins.

Many businesses have reported that the response to their virtual events in terms of engagement, participation, communication, registrations and attendees has surpassed that of their physical events. Therefore, many event marketers predicted that people would temporarily shift to virtual events for a certain period of time. However, despite the modest prediction, now, virtual events are here to stay.

In order to stay in the game, keep organizing virtual events and be sure to include the following things listed below: .

  • Speaker live streams
  • Virtual product demonstrations
  • Virtual presentations
  • Event raffles and giveaways
  • Networking opportunities
  • Debates, discussions and polls
  • Excellent content, including photos, videos, infographics, etc.
  • Feedback opportunities for the audience
  • Promotional activities
  • Engaging and creative social media posts, promotions and activities

You have probably come across many virtual events since last year. From local events to workshops, local businesses to sports leagues, school conferences to lectures--all sectors have organized virtual events. Why are businesses so focused on virtual events? The answer to this question is simple. Pre-pandemic, in-person events dominated the marketing and the event industry; however, there were many prohibitive barriers to these events such as financial, geographical, health constraints, etc. But with the smooth entry of virtual events, all these barriers were eliminated. With numerous benefits, virtual events changed the face of the event industry.

Even though mass inoculation drives have started around the globe, it will still take some time for you to meet your attendees in person. And with virtual events being an easy solution, they are here to stay. Most of us will even prefer virtual event platforms to host our events online.

1. Why Did the World Pivot to Virtual Events?

We can probably all agree that we have looked forward to in-person events before, but with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our personalities, choices and preferences were altered. It is a common understanding that these elements are shaped by our social interactions and other experiences. Because the pandemic reduced social interactions and experiences to a bare minimum, this may have caused a drastic personality change in some people.

3. Should Virtual Events be a Part of your Year-Round Marketing Strategy?

When we hear that the future is digital it is actually true. Be it media, tech, sales, operations, HR, marketing, reporting, design, etc.--everything has a digital aspect to it now. Therefore, in some cases, we may prefer “old school,” but here, if your business does not adapt to the agile tech environment, it may have to go through some serious bumps in the road ahead.

Virtual events are a great way to streamline your priorities, businesses, products and ideas. Once you decide what you want to work on, you can chalk out the rest of your agenda within a specified time frame before the day of your virtual event.

The rise of virtual events has proven that businesses can continue to make profits, generate leads, increase their reach and venture into new industries even during the pandemic. Thus, as a business, you should definitely incorporate virtual events as a part of your year-round marketing strategy.

Hosting a one-time event will only help you in making short-term profits and leads. In order to get your target audience hooked on your idea and your business, you need to keep making comebacks with trending concepts. Every time a new person shows up for your virtual event, it means you have one new potential customer.

4. Engagement in Virtual Events

According to statistics presented by Bizzabo, in 2020, 80.2% of event organizers have said that they were able to reach a wider audience with the help of virtual events. Also, 60% of leadership believe that events are an essential marketing channel to achieve respective business goals.

At first, audiences were skeptical about attending virtual events, conferences and workshops, but with time, people became more comfortable with the virtual environment and screen time. This added comfort level increased the number of attendees to virtual events. Now, the real challenge is to not bore the audience with business mumbo jumbo. It is important to be transparent and innovative with your respective audience. Successful virtual events are those which exceed in keeping the audience hooked on an idea and an event for a long period of time.

4.1 Ways in Which You Can Keep Your Audience Engaged in Your Virtual Event

The only advantage in-person events hold over virtual events is that audience engagement is easier in in-person events. This is because, at a venue, there are fewer sources of distraction in the surroundings. However, in virtual events, the attendee is in the comfort of their own space and has countless things to distract them from the virtual event. So, in order to make your virtual event a success, you need to keep your audience glued to their screen. We have included here some exclusive tips to keep your audience engaged:

1. Pre-event and Live Polls - Especially in B2B events, crafting creative and customized polls will definitely increase your audience engagement and understanding

2. Hiring Experts for Audience Engagement - You can hire an expert in the field of your business and keep a small interactive session with the expert. This can also be the key takeaway from your virtual event.

3. Presenting Virtual Event Goodie Bags - Well, in a digital time, you can offer virtual goodie bags to your attendees by offering them coupons or discounts on your products or some other products by partnering with e-commerce sites or sponsors.

4. Social Media Contests or Discussion Forums - You can form a group for people who are going to attend your event and create a pre-event hype by initiating discussions and contests related to the topic of your event so that the audience actively participates in discussions and looks forward to your event.

5. Virtual Networking Opportunities - By enabling chat and break rooms for your attendees, you can propagate interpersonal and intrapersonal interaction which will provide the audience with multiple opportunities to network with people from all around the globe.

With virtual events and a virtual business world, people found a genuine solution for dealing with investors and shareholder while at a distance. This has also worked well for employees, from local to remote, living in all corners of the world, via virtual meetings, gatherings, conferences and events.

A few years ago, we would have never imagined virtual events would be a part of a long-term marketing strategy. But here we are now with virtual events dominating each and every sector of the industry.

5. Should you Keep Virtual Events a Part of Your Overall Event Marketing Strategy?

One thing which we must add is that virtual events are every bit as successful and impactful as physical events!

As the market and the global economy picks up pace, in-person and hybrid events will come back, but virtual events will forever be a marketing strategy.

While keeping it short and sweet, we have listed some ways that you can prepare for virtual events in the future :

  1. Focus on your business ideology. From there, establish a mission, vision and purpose for your event. Always keep an eye out for the trending ideas within the market.

  2. Facilitate connections with your partners, investors, stakeholders and potential customers/clients via virtual events, meetings, conferences, summits, etc.

  3. Focus on generating revenue and ROI via effective webinar marketing strategies and promotion.

FAQs

1. How effective are virtual events?

According to statistics presented by Bizzabo in 2020, a whopping 80.2% of event organizers have been able to reach a wider audience via virtual events, and a tremendous 90% of event marketers plan to invest in virtual events in the near future. Therefore, the market of virtual events is only going to expand in the future because the success and effectiveness of virtual events have been proven effective during the pandemic.

2. What are the strengths of virtual events?

Some advantages and strengths of virtual events are as follow:

  • They help in expanding your audience and inclusivity.
  • They save time and money in terms of transportation and logistics.
  • They provide flexibility in relation to organizing an event.
  • You can collect important data and leads easily.

3. Why are virtual events so popular?

Here are some reasons why virtual events are popular:

  • Virtual events are open to a much more diverse audience.
  • The cost of travel expenses and fatigue cease to exist.
  • Even introverts can thrive in a virtual event.
  • Those with disabilities may be able to attend a virtual event.
  • You can invite a wide range of experts and speakers.
  • All content can be recorded, uploaded and broadcasted live.

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