Virtual events whilst initially sounding a tad futuristic are fast becoming a very viable tool in the event organisers arsenal.
Despite the obvious use cases – setting up virtual events for people that cannot attend a physical location together – there are actually many different scenarios where virtual events can be beneficial to everyone involved.
This is one of the most effective communications methods for mass communication or one to many.
The content is a combination of audio, IP audio, presentation slides, videos and Q & A session.
Most common use cases are for C level messages, town hall meetings, AGMs, IR (investor relations) calls and quarterly updates.
Other business departments such as marketing, sales and HR also use these services to transfer a strategic message to a large audience.
The solution can be customised depending on the nature of the meeting and what outcomes need to be achieved.
Some popular enterprise providers/platforms in the market are On24 and Nasdaq. In other cases, CISCO Webex and Adobe Connect can also offer a great level of customisation and features to manage a large virtual event.
Hybrid virtual events
A virtual event doesn’t have to be exclusively virtual either – there are many cases where an event held in a physical location can be linked to a virtual event in order to provide additional benefits that would otherwise be missing.
This blend is quite common during corporate functions and presentations that can be held at a hotel conference room or perhaps from business premises.
You can have an onsite and virtual team assisting you to make it a successful and hassle free event.
Advantages that can come from holding a virtual event
There are many different advantages that can be gained from holding virtual events.
- Cost saving
- This is one of the more obvious advantages but is also a very relevant one. Organising a virtual event tends to involve far lower costs because there is no physical equipment to transport, no travel, no physical location to hire and set up and also because there are no logistics involved when it comes to accepting and housing attendees.
- Audience reach
- Another great advantage of virtual events is the increase in reach when it comes to attracting people to attend. In any physical event there will always be people that cannot attend. Often this will include influential people that would otherwise have been a great asset to the event. Having a virtual event or at least a virtual arm of a physical event means that there are no longer these barriers to entry that prevent certain people from attending. This advantage benefits both the organiser of the event and the attendees. You can easily imagine an event that might only have 20 people attending in person and another 300 attending virtually. In addition, a recorded event will make sure that anyone else can view the event at their own most suitable time of the day.
- Rapid setup
- Because there are no physical logistics to a virtual event the organising of such events can be very fast . This means that virtual events can be extremely reactive and a fully-fledged meeting can be set up in a very short period of time from the initial organisation right through to inviting and confirming attendees.
Disadvantages of virtual events
There are of course disadvantages to holding a virtual event.
- Less motivation to attend
- because virtual events are far easier and quicker to set up there is sometimes less motivation for people to attend – a virtual event doesn’t always have the same allure as a physical event.
- Less communication
- with a virtual event there is a feeling of less communication because the physical interaction is missing from the event.
- Other barriers
- for some people there are also barriers to attending a virtual event. For example there are certain requirements such as owning a computer, having a stable internet connection and so on. Whilst these barriers do not effect most people there are some that cannot meet those requirements are therefor would not be able to attend a virtual event.
Hybrid events that have both a physical and virtual presence really do take advantage of both event types and can bring far greater benefit to the organisers and attendees than either type of event on its own.