The impact of COVID-19 on the events industry has been catastrophic. Companies are pushing forward by embracing virtual events to keep their brands relevant. Virtual events ensure the safety of attendees while providing them with meaningful learning experiences and networking opportunities. As attendees are increasingly connected to their smartphones and tablets, our industry can better bridge the online world with physical events to maximize engagement and create unique experiences.
According to the Event Marketing 2020: Benchmarks and Trends Report, the majority (85%) of leaders and executives have identified in-person events as critical for their company’s success. With nearly all in-person events canceled over the past five months, many of us are asking, “Are in-person events worth the trouble?” The answer is both yes and no.
In the last five months, we’ve recognized that not everything needs to be done in person. The unique and often seamless networking opportunities available at in-person events will always drive people to attend them, but as our health and the health of those around us remain our top priority, virtual events will continue to grow in popularity. According to Bizzabo, the majority (93%) of event marketers plan to invest in virtual events. At THE rAVe Agency, we’ve grown to love virtual events. Here’s why:
From an organizer perspective, it provides the opportunity to access high-quality speakers regardless of their location. Plus, there’s potential to reach a larger audience, even a global audience, because of the ability to connect virtually. Most importantly, virtual events are cost-effective because they don’t require a venue or food and beverage. Often, the cost of subsidizing speakers is lower, as well.
For attendees, virtual events can be less time-consuming because you no longer need to commit 3+ days to travel and participate in-person (then return to your office buried in emails). It’s also significantly cheaper to attend a virtual event because there’s no expense for airfare, accommodations and food and beverage. Last but not least, virtual events often provide attendees with the flexibility of consuming the information at their convenience and skipping the sessions that aren’t relevant for them.
Delivering events virtually is a powerful way to create an experience that engages an audience and drives business goals. In any event, virtual or in-person, the most crucial goal is to create an effective experience for attendees. Audience involvement shouldn’t be overlooked because an event is virtual — tools such as Q&As, polls and quizzes are great tactics to keep the audience engaged and craft leads for future sales and event strategies.
If you’re looking for additional help in developing a virtual event, rAVe [LAVNCH] has proven success in creating unique virtual experiences for organizers and attendees.