Why Do A Virtual Event? 59.4% of Brands View Virtual As Essential
The events industry has been turned upside down.
As COVID forced the world online, event organizers scrambled to pivot to virtual and hybrid events.
What many saw as a quick fix has become integral to event strategy.
With careful planning and execution, your online event will captivate audiences, spark conversation, and build community.
Read on for tips and best practices for hosting engaging virtual get-togethers.
At We & Goliath, we are staunch advocates of virtual and hybrid events’ immense potential.
With complete, done-for-you solutions, from custom platforms to tailored marketing, we’ve seen firsthand how impactful they can be for both organizers and attendees.
Today, we’ll explore the key drivers catapulting virtual events into the future of event management.
From supercharged engagement to invaluable data to enhanced flexibility and accessibility, we’ll cover why virtual is vital for reach and impact.
While in-person maintains a place, blending virtual elements expands strategic opportunities.
Read on to understand the immense possibilities virtual events provide.
Key Benefits and Advantages
One of the greatest benefits virtual events offer is the ability to expand audience reach and accessibility significantly.
By removing geographical barriers related to travel, organizers can market to and accommodate attendees from anywhere worldwide.
Expanded Audience Reach and Accessibility
Virtual events easily tap into new demographics, geographic markets, and industry niches.
Virtual events increase accessibility for those unable to attend in person due to health issues, disabilities, budget constraints, or schedule conflicts.
A virtual attendance option makes your event more inclusive and allows more people to benefit from the content and connections.
The expanded potential reach of virtual events helps organizers to achieve higher attendance numbers overall.
And higher attendance means more leads and sales opportunities.
Hosting in-person events requires major expenditures related to venue rentals, food and beverage, speakers, production equipment, etc.
Organizers account for rising hotel, airfare, and transportation costs, which eat away at event budgets.
With virtual events, those costs disappear.
Organizers provide an immersive branded video experience using a fraction of an in-person budget. Attendees benefit by avoiding travel costs.
The cost savings allow organizers to host more events yearly to engage audiences.
Data and Analytics
Virtual event platforms provide access to attendee data and analytics unavailable with in-person events.
Polls, surveys, and live Q&A sessions generate data to help understand attendees’ interests, pain points, and preferences.
Detailed reporting provides insights into attendee engagement levels, which content resonates, networking behaviors, lead generation, and more.
With this data, organizers optimize and enhance future events. Maximize value for attendees and your brand.
With sustainability an increasing priority worldwide, virtual events offer a greener solution than in-person events.
They dramatically reduce the carbon footprint associated with attendee travel and transportation.
Venues consume immense energy resources, while virtual events eliminate that environmental impact.
As brands aim to establish stronger environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards, virtual events will become more central to strategy.
Driving Engagement and Interaction
Do virtual events really match up to in-person gatherings?
Thanks to innovative tech and platforms, event organizers now deliver immersive virtual experiences that keep attendees engaged.
Virtual platforms replicate real-world networking capabilities from one-on-one video chats to group networking lounges.
Matchmaking algorithms connect attendees for meaningful networking based on interests and profiles.
Built-in video and audio foster face-to-face interactions.
Gamification elements like point systems, leaderboards, trivia, and polls drive active participation throughout the event.
Attendees engage more when there are fun opportunities to interact and win prizes.
Audience Engagement Tools
Moderators access live polling, Q&A, surveys, and other tools to engage audiences during sessions and keynotes actively.
Attendees can ask questions and participate just like in an in-person setting.
Immersive Brand Experience
With virtual events, the entire platform provides opportunities for branding and engagement.
Organizers can design a visually striking end-to-end branded experience from the lobby to session pages.
Attendees request and schedule one-on-one meetings with speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors within the platform.
This allows for personalized connections during the event.
One Central Hub
Everything in one virtual location, from content to networking, creates an easy user experience.
Attendees engage more when they can seamlessly move between sessions and networking areas.
Hybrid Events Expand Strategic Options
Hybrid events let people from all over the world participate, not just those who are physically present.
With virtual attendance, they enjoy the same experience as those who are there in person.
Attendees watch live streams, access content on demand, and use interactive tools to engage with the event.
Hybrid provides flexibility in the current environment, where changing restrictions may impact in-person attendance limits.
The virtual element offers a way to accommodate overflow from sold-out in-person spots.
Local and Global Reach
Host an in-person event focused on a local audience, with a global virtual experience running simultaneously to expand reach.
Small In-Person with a Large Virtual Audience
Hold an exclusive in-person event for select attendees livestreamed to a much larger virtual audience unable to join in person.
Large In-Person with Virtual Engagement Layer
At a big conference, virtual elements like live polling, Q&A, and live chat with remote attendees create an integrated participated experience.
Local Events Feeding into Main Virtual Event
Hold smaller local events that feed into a main virtual event, combining local networking and global reach.
Hybrid provides flexibility to balance in-person elements tailored to your brand and audience with virtual aspects to drive broader goals.
The future of events will focus on integrating digital strategies to expand engagement, data insights, and strategic impact.
The Virtual Event Technology Landscape
Choosing the right virtual event technology directly impacts your ability to execute successful events.
Let’s explore how these tools influence the participant experience and event outcomes.
Hopin is a platform that can be used to create virtual environments for events.
It has tools like interactive exhibit halls, networking through chat, and games that help attendees to learn and build relationships.
The platform also provides data analytics to help understand how attendees engage with the event, which can be used to make future events even better.
Webcasting and Video Streaming
With webcasting platforms like Vimeo and Brandlive, event video streams are ultra-reliable and scalable.
Glitch-free video ensures attendees stay engaged with technical difficulties.
High-quality broadcasts better showcase presenters and content.
Monetization capabilities also allow organizers to generate revenue from virtual participation.
Virtual Conference Hubs
Airmeet is a platform that lets you experience virtual events just like you would in person.
Easily explore different sessions, and exhibits, and connect with people who share similar interests.
It’s basically like attending an event in real life but from the comfort of your own home.
Airmeet also uses technology to help you network with other attendees who have common interests.
Webinar platforms like LiveWebinar allow seamlessly streaming presentations and town halls, which is critical for employee and stakeholder communication.
Simple interfaces keep the focus on content rather than technology.
Built-in Q&A and polling provide lightly interactive elements.
Engagement Apps and Plugins
Slido and Brella liven up virtual events and make them participatory.
Real-time polling and quizzes engage audiences during sessions.
Networking apps facilitate meaningful attendee connections. Gamification encourages participation through rewards and leaderboards.
The combined capabilities of modern virtual event technology enable the delivery of immersive, interactive, data-rich digital experiences on par with in-person events.
Selecting the right tools is essential to driving successful outcomes.
Looking Ahead: A Permanent Place for Virtual
Virtual events have become popular, and essential, and they are likely to stay that way after the pandemic upended the globe.
Interactive virtual events offer incredible benefits and opportunities.
Always consider them a key part of event planning, not just a backup option.
Expect to see more brands embracing ongoing virtual event programs as efficient ways to engage existing and new audiences all year.
When executed strategically, virtual events are not just replacements for in-person.
They unlock new opportunities to achieve your business goals.
Tired of virtual events falling flat? Need help to engage remote audiences? The virtual event revolution is here, but executing strategic, results-driven online events requires expertise.
Don’t go it alone – partner with the battle-tested pros at We & Goliath.
We offer all-in-one event solutions and advanced virtual platforms. Create engaging virtual experiences and deliver tangible business benefits for your next big impact event.
Let’s connect to discuss your goals and schedule a tailored virtual event strategy session.
With over 20 years of experience, our slingshot is locked and loaded – together, we’ll take down any event giant standing between you and virtual event success!