Virtual is the word in the era of coronavirus! Anyone can find and ‘attend’ a virtual event just by participating through their smartphone, tablet or laptop. It’s that easy! Ten years back, the idea of hosting a virtual conference would not have been favored, but now that we are social distancing, we need not disrupt our lives completely but continue to attend events, at least virtually!
Because of advancements in technology, virtual events have recently become a staple for many businesses. It was initially in place to reduce unnecessary business overheads that occur from hosting a typical live event, but now it is the need of the hour for most if not all businesses.
In this blog we will cover:
- The 5 ‘Real’ benefits of Virtual Events
- 4 Things to Consider for a Successful Virtual Event
5 ‘Real’ Benefits of Virtual Events
- Global Reach
“In September 2019, Apple’s iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and Pro Max launch event kept 1.8 million people glued to their screens as the event was live-streamed for the first time.”  The magnitude and potential markets that a business can tap without crossing borders are huge. Also, for a small business, potential participants might not be able to reach your in-person event due to time, budget or location constraints. Choosing a virtual event can give access to your business’s event without creating these limitations.
The costs of location, staffing, accommodation, travel, etc. while organizing a typical live event can accumulate in a considerable sum. But with virtual events, the costs of organizing one can be slashed by almost 75%.  Also take into account the costs of managing speakers who instead of being physically in attendance, can give their notes virtually.
- Building Audiences Fast
The content team in a business works tirelessly to create quality content for blog sites, social media, podcasts, publicity or paid advertisements to create awareness about their brand and the company. But the amount of time taken to engage audiences and creating a customer base can be very slow. With virtual events, creating audiences can be instantaneous.
- Feedback is Profitable
With virtual events, the ability to conduct Q&As, responding to consumers in real-time and making irresistible offers for opportunities created at the moment are some of the offers that a business can reap.
- Analytics and Reporting
Sometimes there are fewer metrics to actually measure the success of live events. But with virtual events, valuable statistics such as the volume and extent of interactions, the number of times a certain document was downloaded or viewed, which virtual sessions were the most popular, the platform through which they paid for the event, etc. All these and more provide valuable insights on virtual events and help in measuring how successful or productive it really was.
4 Things to Consider for a Successful Virtual Event
- Audience – always check whether your audience will be interested in attending an event that is virtual, whether they are techno-savvy and their comfort level in interacting in a virtual event.
- Planning and Setup – it is vital to plan ahead and keep all materials handy while conducting a virtual event. Because of the nature of the event, the interactions require real-time answers hence preparation is extremely important.
- Choosing a Platform – various platforms are there for your perusal. Check Facebook Livestream, Periscope or Youtube.
- Marketing your Virtual Event – marketing for a virtual event is exactly like holding a typical live event.  You can try:
- Social media – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. can be ideal in promoting an event.
- Alumni Communities – a very niche market to use would be an alumni community that has a huge alumni base. Consider Alumni Alliances, a professional alumni community, where you can invite specific audiences for your virtual event. The target audience can be filtered using categories such as year or class, industry, etc. The platform also helps to find a potential client base and features an exclusive marketplace.
- Content material – email marketing would need specific information and so speaker bios, tutorial videos, vlogs, etc. should be prepared.
- Newsletters – Something as simple as newsletters can be used as a means of sign-up channel or promotional tool for the event.
Virtual events are the place to be for participants, especially during COVID-19. Are you keen on participating in a techno-savvy and cost-effective virtual event? Or are you one of the naysayers who would love to stick to traditional methods for organizing and hosting an event once the coronavirus is over.