Due to busy schedules and unanticipated occurrences, on-site meetings amongst industry professionals sometimes become challenging to plan. On other occasions, organizations don’t have sufficient budget, or the staff is at various locations far from the office. The threat posed by COVID-19 has only exacerbated these issues. Virtual events can come in handy in such circumstances.
A virtual event is a meeting that takes place online using web-based tools. Typically, it integrates video and audio to enhance conversations between the attendees. Further engagement can be through chats, polls, screen sharing, live questions and answers (Q&A), and so on.
Virtual events bring audiences from anywhere in the world together so long as they have appropriate devices, software, and internet connection. Some virtual conferencing platforms can connect thousands of participants in one event.
Benefits of Virtual Events
According to data, the number of remote workers has grown by about 115 percent over the past decade — and that’s before coronavirus. Most of these telecommuters utilize virtual meetings to communicate with other members of their organizations. Research also shows that 94 percent of companies that use video conferencing report improved productivity.
Experts predict a further surge in the popularity of collaborative workspaces going forward as working from home becomes the new normal. But with the COVID-19 pandemic or not, online events are valuable for the following reasons.
Virtual Conferences Save Money
Businesses and event organizers are always looking for ways to cut costs when hosting meetings. An apparent advantage of setting up a virtual conference is cost savings. Think about the expenses associated with organizing in-person seminars or trade shows.
You have to pay for the venue of the meeting or to erect a booth in an exhibition room. If the event takes more than a day, you’ll incur additional costs for meals, accommodation, transport, and other expenses for all your staff and guests.
Creating an online event can shrink your budget significantly. If you have the appropriate hardware, you only need to pay your virtual conferencing solution provider.
In-person meetings can be much more expensive. The cost of hosting a trade show in the United States, for example, can run into tens of thousands of dollars.
Professionals in marketing, sales, and business development are always targeting as many prospects as possible. With a digital work environment, they can plan events with global coverage to reach and engage more people. One way to do this is by sharing your link on your social media channels and business website.
Those interested can subscribe straightaway from wherever without worrying about travel. Virtual events enable brands to garner an unlimited audience and get everyone to take part. The scalability of the technology allows events to be as inclusive or exclusive as you wish.
Time Saving & Quick Delivery
A virtual conference saves time for everyone – business owners, event organizers, employees, and the attendees. If it’s a webinar, for instance, you’ll need time for content development, guest registration, and marketing and promotion.
However, it will take tremendously less time than planning a regular seminar. Your staff and attendees will also save time as they won’t need to travel. And since there is no movement between sessions, the participants can quickly connect with different speakers and attendees.
If you were to host an offline event, you would have to pay your employees for the time they spend traveling instead of working. You will also be wasting their time after business hours.
An online event also can help your organization to realize rapid deliveries. You can launch a presentation to audiences across the world in record time. Whether it’s crisis communication, urgent announcements, launching a product, meeting managers can any meet deadlines.
Flexible & Variable Events
The beauty of web-based events is the flexibility in how you can launch and broadcast them. Whether it’s a sales kickoff, a grand opening of a branch, training your staff, or a thought leadership talk, the approaches are boundless.
You can host interactive virtual town halls, summits, workshops, webinars, and podcasts. You can also invite guest speakers and offer different language options with subtitles and more.
Easy Feedback Collection
Feedback is crucial in both in-person and virtual meetings. However, virtual conferencing has the upper hand because the attendees are always online. With the aid of live polls and Q&As, participants can relay their views and opinions in real-time. Additionally, they can share files and chat with each other during the session.
With such engagement, businesses can collect feedback and evaluate the effectiveness of the session. Feedback is especially essential when the parties in a virtual meeting cannot see one another.
Modern organizations are keen on metrics to evaluate the return on investment (ROI). They also insist on data-driven strategies to follow up and optimize future events for performance through decisions backed by facts.
Web-based event platforms record all processes from the beginning to the end of a meeting. You can retrieve data about registration, user logins, names and titles, clicks, recordings, downloads, shares, and so forth.
You can also tell the number of attendees, their region, and how they paid. This information can provide insights that your team can exploit to make upcoming sessions more productive.
Customization & Personalization
One thing to keep in mind when organizing a digital event is the needs of your audience. After defining your target group, you can tailor your content accordingly to increase engagement.
Let’s say you want to showcase your product in a virtual booth. When a prospect shows up, you can interact with them one on one to understand their requirements and preferences.
You can then customize a product demo that offers the best user experience to them in real-time. With the ability to customize and personalize conversations, you can nurture leads more successfully and deliver superior customer experience.
The Bottom Line
Virtual events can save you time and money and generate more ROI per lead than in-person meetings. Have you given this technology a thought?
Ascent delivers an in-person experience designed to develop meaningful, professional connections for founders, executives, and investors from small to large enterprise companies.
The foundation of our conference is superior networking and connections. We enable education through onstage talks as well as small-group discussion sessions.
Register with us to get started.