Virtual events have long been a part of the digital landscape. However, they have become much more of a staple this year. The reason is apparent; with a pandemic raging for the better part of the year, it was necessary to find alternative avenues to keep doing business as usual. Turning to virtual events made perfect sense because of the many benefits they carry with them. If you still are not sold on its use, we have compiled a list of the benefits of hosting a virtual event to help tip the scales in its favor. Our aim is to highlight the useful role planning them can play in your marketing strategy.
7 Exciting Benefits of Hosting a Virtual Event
One of the key benefits of hosting a virtual event is the audience you will be able to reach through it. Compared to typical events you may have organized before the pandemic, the reach of virtual events is unparalleled. When it comes to physical events, planners always have to account for engaging more people for their events to succeed. Virtual events can be hosted from anywhere in the world and are available globally as well. This makes it much easier to increase their reach.
Another reason why virtual events hold an advantage over physical ones is their cost-effectiveness. Planning an event with a large audience and many participants involve some pretty advanced logistic work. It also costs a lot. All you have to do is consider the money you would otherwise be spending. Think staff, the venue, equipment, setting up and taking everything down, catering, branding, etc. Research shows virtual events eliminate about 75 percent of the cost. While you still have to organize and promote the event, as well as pay for the hosting platform, you do not have to spend too much on equipment, especially for small events, except for perhaps a decent microphone.
Besides being more cost-effective, participating in a virtual event is also a time-saver. Participants and attendees do not have to account for travel time or checking into a hotel. This makes them more likely to take part since the event is so easily accessible. Secondly, its time-saving characteristics also make it easier to book speakers. They will be more flexible with their time as they too will be working from home.
Because you will also be able to save time on event planning, you will be able to focus more ardently on your event’s format and content. Even though they have been widely accepted as a necessity at the moment, their proliferation is not always a good thing. For example, many have described experiencing virtual event fatigue. So it is vital to ensure you are offering something truly special to your attendees. Luckily, all of the benefits of hosting a virtual event will work in your favor.
In-person meetings and events carry incredible importance for any business, especially for B2B marketing strategies. Depending on your industry, this pivot towards hosting virtual events might actually be the bump you need to turn those leads into sales. You are probably already aware that digital marketing is crucial for many niches, but increasing the frequency of virtual events you host could lead you to more successful marketing strategies. As mentioned above, their easy accessibility makes them perfect for strengthening connections with both clients and partners and fashioning new ones. Even though people may start getting tired from spending time in front of their computers, they are still social beings. As such, they will appreciate the chance to connect and do business even in these trying times.
Another benefit of hosting a virtual event is the ease with which you can collect crucial feedback. This is another area in which virtual events outperform in-person ones. Namely, it is possible to collect feedback in real-time because attendees are online at all times. This means they can take part in polls or surveys as an integral part of the sessions. Presenters or speakers are thus able to gauge how well their session is going. Additionally, this can also be useful in measuring the overall success of the event.
As all aspects of hosting a virtual event are done online, it is much easier to track different data. Your options will be different depending on the hosting platform and event management software you use. However, you are sure to have plenty of data at your disposal. You will know when your attendees logged on, where from, how many attendees there were, how they paid for the event, etc. The previously mentioned polls and surveys are also great tools for collecting all of the data you think you might need that you do not already have.
In some cases, in-person events can be quite limiting. When it comes to conferences with multiple overlapping sessions, attendees have to choose the panel they will listen to, possibly missing out on something else they are interested in. Hosting virtual events eliminates this drawback. Typically, the content will remain on-demand for attendees. So even if they haven’t had the chance to see everything they wanted to live in, they would still have access to it. Also, the format itself allows for plenty of variety, letting you tailor the experience to the event’s function and your audience. Finally, because they will already be on their phones, tablets, or computers, it is much easier for your attendees to take and consult their notes as they are taking part. This could make them much more eager to participate, besides all of the other benefits of virtual events we have mentioned.