There’s no denying the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the events space. From conferences and concerts to meetings and workshops, just about everything involving large-scale in-person interaction has downscaled significantly.
But there’s a ray of sunshine peeking through the clouds of this global storm - the rise of virtual events. Better technology, better internet access, and newer platform features have made virtual events better than ever.
And these virtual events aren’t just temporary replacements for in-person events, too, as event planners see obvious benefits from making the switch. Even after the pandemic, virtual events are here to stay as a legitimate alternative, not just a temporary fix.
Now, you may be having some misgivings about virtual events, especially if you’ve never run one before or if your experience with the virtual events space has caused some issues. To dispel some of that worry, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you should consider switching to a virtual event.
1. Lower costs
Think about some of the costs you incur when hosting an in-person event:
- Venue rental costs
- Equipment rentals
- Staff hiring costs
- Meals for staff, attendees, exhibitors
- Costs of accommodation and travel for on-site personnel
These can quickly ramp up as the number of attendees goes up and even a basic event can rapidly balloon to a large amount of costs.
With a virtual event, your highest principal cost will likely be the virtual events platform you use and a production team, if you're having one. You could optionally invest in renting a studio with cameras and audio equipment for greater production value. But even with some added extras, virtual events often work out to be cheaper.
2. Detailed analytics tracking
Ever tried generating analytics from large events with hundreds of attendees? It’s certainly no walk in the park. Even with innovations like entry scanning and smartphone check-in, it’s still hard to get data about who visited which exhibitor or how much time each attendee spent at each location.
Running a virtual event makes things so much easier. By using a virtual event management platform with analytics, you have access to detailed insights about all activities in your event. You’ll know which exhibitors are getting the most engagement and traffic, whether your networking events are driving conversations between attendees, and even get real-time information about event attendance.
3. Greater accessibility
One major limitation that comes about as a result of physical events is accessibility. You may have an international audience and client base, however, only people nearby, or those willing to fly out to where your event is taking place, will actually be able to attend or exhibit.
Virtual events do away with this geographical limitation, allowing exhibitors and attendees from anywhere in the world, so long as they have an internet connection. This opens up the possibility to attract exhibitors and speakers that you simply wouldn’t be able to access for an in-person event (unless you pay their travel expenses!). You can even use virtual events management platforms to augment in-person events, creating hybrid events that still allow international audiences to participate.
If people want to attend, but can’t commit to a full day event because of their schedule, virtual events also allow them to drop in and out whenever they want. This flexibility means you can potentially have even more attendees for your events by switching to virtual.
In the pandemic era, the first and most obvious advantage of a virtual event is safety. Because people aren’t meeting face-to-face, there’s simply no risk of COVID-19 transmission.
But more than just keeping attendees safe from health risks, a virtual event also removes your need to invest in site security. No physical space means not having to think about emergency planning or stolen items. Your attendees will also be safer as they don’t need to worry about bringing expensive equipment to your venue.
5. Varied networking opportunities
Networking is one of the biggest components of any business event, yet it can be hard to do within time constraints and may well be a concern when deciding to go for a virtual event over a physical one. While attendees have to make decisions about who to approach, when is best to network and which talks or exhibits are best to go to, they also have the freedom to be spontaneous with their networking, which is one of the big benefits when it comes to physical events! Not only that, but exhibitors also have time issues to combat, so they too need to make time to meet and network with event attendees.
With a virtual event, attendees and exhibitors may lose the ease of spontaneous networking, but they don't have the same time challenges as in person events and can be highly selective with who they’re able to network with. They can approach each other at any time with live chat or matchmaking tools, and communicate with each other in their own time. This facilitates engagement in your events and delivers high value to both attendees and exhibitors.
Choose the right platform for your virtual events
The journey to a successful virtual event begins with a platform that maximizes all of these benefits. You want tools for giving analytics on event activity, audience engagement, peer-to-peer live chat, support for maximising the platform’s benefits, and much more to leverage the power of virtual events. Ultimately, though, you want it to be easy. Event management is stressful, so a platform that can streamline this process is undeniably essential!
At Tame, we provide all these features and more to deliver a truly engaging, fully brandable events experience that’s tailored to your needs. You won’t have to hunt for different platforms or integrate various tools to get the outcome you need—we’re your one-stop-shop for virtual events from hosting, creating and measuring your events.
Book a demo with us today and find out how we can transform your virtual event experience!