The Pros & Cons of Virtual Events
By Lindsay Buchignani
It’s no secret that all of our lives have shifted ever since the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Even though events have been postponed or canceled, some have decided to be resilient and move their event online! A virtual event is an interactive, multi-session event that often features webinars and webcasts for people to connect with each other online, rather than in a physical location.
You may be wondering — What are the pros & cons of hosting events online?
Look no further, here’s a few we’ve rounded up:
Bang for your buck!
Virtual events are much more cost effective. Typically all you have to pay for is the platform, promotion, and speakers.
Virtual events can stay live for around 30 to 90 days, or even all year round.
Perfect for making Connections!
Virtual events make interacting with sales reps easier and more relaxing.
Virtual events can provide extremely useful data insights that help you nurture hot leads.
Better for the Environment!
By staying online, we are lessening our carbon footprint.
Virtual events lead to less emissions from transportation to and from the event venue.
Virtual events can be tailored to your business needs.
Mostly any event can be transformed to online.
Virtual events make it much easier to scale, meaning you can host more people for a fraction of the cost.
Able to expand your reach and promote brand awareness.
No pandemic is getting in the way of a virtual event.
Access it from your home, car, or practically anywhere with connection.
Lack of networking opportunities
There could be fewer attendees to interact with.
Tip: Try to incorporate a "live" chat for more engagement
By staying at home, you might face more distractions.
Tip: Try to find a quiet place, like a backyard or bedroom, to attend the virtual event
If not all of your audience has access to the internet or is not very tech savvy, it could be difficult for them to access.
Tip: Try to provide a FAQ page or an event support page
Still Stuck in the House...
A virtual event does not have the same exciting feeling as packing a bag and heading to an event.
From our point of view, the benefits of going virtual outweigh the potential struggles to hosting an online event. Looks like a virtual event might be the best way to go in 2020!
Will the frequency of online events increase after covid-19 restrictions ease?
It is difficult to say when COVID-19 restrictions will begin to ease, especially with the stay-at-home order extending until July. According to Zeke Emanuel, director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, large events are not looking too good for the rest of the year. He said that the economy needs to be restarted in stages. Smaller scale gatherings can be relaunched fairly quickly, but the same isn't true for more crowded events (Fool.com). Even though we may not be able to attend large in-person events, there is a plus side to this. There are a plethora of upcoming virtual events that you can attend from the comfort of your own home!
The Bizabbo Blog has an ongoing list of virtual events that you can attend from May up until late Autumn. A few examples are
Social Media Week: Gain insight on how to promote your brand online
Elevate Main Stage: Learn from leaders and entrepreneurs about the intersection between sustainability, tech, and innovation
DrupalCon: Attend a professional conference that brings people together and enhances your career performance
What industries can benefit the most from hosting virtual events?
Practically any business can benefit from hosting a virtual event. Eco-friendly businesses are at the top of the list because of the benefits virtual events have on the environment!
PangeaSeed Foundation is a prime example of a successful virtual event. They created a
stay-at-home environmental mural festival which evolved into a massive global creative movement. Almost 800 international artists from 60 countries participated in giving our home planet an artistic voice. This took place from April 21st to 26th to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Week (video).
ARTivist, Kendall Kippley (@Kendallpaints) created a mural depicting an ice portal — "The portal symbolizes the journey from one point to another, hope, inspiration & a transition or mark of a change."
Other businesses that benefit are sales and marketing companies, as well as women empowerment events!
BOUNDLESS is a virtual event where attendees can advance their skills in the art and science of selling. It features keynote speeches from some of the world’s greatest sales professionals.
Wistia is a video marketing platform that is specifically designed for businesses. Attendees are able to learn from 13 different influencers about how video can be used to market a company.
Women’s Strength Summit is a life changing experience to help women get out of their comfort zones and improve their mental, physical, and spiritual health.
Virtual Events are seriously taking over the business world. What better time to learn some new facts or try out a new media company than while you’re stuck in the house? I will definitely be watching as many virtual events as I can to stay educated, entertained and up to date!