The COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe economic disruption worldwide, plunging millions of businesses into an abyss of uncertainty and insecurity.
Several hundred had to shut down while others struggled to adapt to the new normal of remote work. Even as the world emerges region by region from the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the aftermath of the disruption continues to dominate global sentiment.
How has the pandemic changed the company’s event landscape?
Countless business events around the world have been canceled to review the spread of the virus. At the start of the pandemic, the inboxes of the B2B audience were crowded with a series of notices of event cancellation.
In-person events seemed impractical not only because of the logistics, but also because of the serious health risks they posed. Although the events were a key touchpoint for B2B marketers looking to connect with their customers before the pandemic, as the months went on, they suddenly seemed like things of the past. As the pandemic tightened its clutches around the global economy, companies struggled to find ways to interact with their customers without compromising health and safety.
Enter virtual events
The limitations of mobility led to a paradigm shift in the implementation of meetings and events. Governments, schools and organizations – big and small – began to move from face-to-face meetings to virtual events. While the introduction of virtual conferencing and webinars showed an upward trend even before the pandemic, there was an exponential surge amid the lockdown.
The global market recognized that virtual events were more than just a backup plan – they opened up unlimited possibilities.
How big is the virtual event market?
According to a market analysis report by Grand View Research, the global virtual events market size was estimated at $ 77.98 billion in 2019 and should grow at an average annual growth rate of 23% between 2020 and 2027. More and more marketers are turning to virtual events. Investments in the tools, technology and infrastructure required for digital production are increasing rapidly.
Are virtual events really a good idea? Let’s find out!
Virtual events use web-based platforms to connect dozens with thousands of attendees from around the world and often include a range of interactive engagement features.
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Participants can attend the events wherever they want from their cell phone or computer. All you need is a stable internet connection. There’s no doubt that the transition from physical to virtual can be a bit bumpy for organizers and attendees at first. Still, it is impossible to overlook the multitude of advantages that hold the upper hand over personal events.
Here are some of the benefits:
Higher visitor numbers
Virtual events offer the opportunity to bring target groups from all over the world together. Attendees can join the event immediately without worrying about travel. In this way, virtual events allow organizers to increase their attendance and get everyone to participate, regardless of where they live. The best part? They also bring along those attendees who want to attend the event but don’t want to forego the comforts of their home.
With easy remote access to virtual events, organizations could benefit from larger audiences compared to physical events.
Save money and time
Let’s be honest Physical events are synonymous with limited budgets, limited time, and unlimited tasks. By selecting virtual event platforms, organizers can save quite a bit of money. This is because a significant amount of event logistics such as venue, staff, travel, accommodation, etc. is reduced or even eliminated completely when it comes to virtual events. The only cost organizers have to think about is that of a virtual platform.
As the event takes place virtually, the time required for advertising is also significantly reduced. Let’s not forget that there is absolutely no travel time. This way, organizers can use all of this time saved to make their event more impactful. This saves money and time and then results in higher profitability for the organizers.
As we know, gathering feedback on a virtual event is extremely important because, unlike a physical event, the presenter cannot see the reactions of the participants.
Interestingly, gathering participant feedback on virtual events is much easier compared to physical events. Virtual participants have constant access to interactive engagement functions such as queries, questions and answers (Q&A) and chat boxes. This is helpful not only for getting instant feedback from each attendee, but also for measuring the overall performance of the event. Most importantly, getting the right feedback is really helpful in planning and forecasting upcoming organizational events.
This is another area where virtual events outperform physical events.
When it comes to in-person events, keeping an eye on every single participant can be a hassle. However, with a virtual event, keeping track of various types of data becomes much easier because all the steps are performed digitally.
Organizers can access a wide variety of data, such as: B. How many participants were there, how long they logged and from where, how many downloads the event app made, how many used the network options, how they paid for the event and much more!
With virtual event technology, organizers can measure the success of the event in real time. This data can be used to make any necessary adjustments and to analyze the audience’s mood about the virtual event. Adding a virtual element to events can really help make the most of the attendee data.
Great networking opportunities
Networking opportunities are very important to any business, especially B2B marketing strategies. With their live chat options and tag-based interactions, virtual events make networking a smooth affair.
A participant can also search for other participants by their names or emails and connect with them in no time. Also, because attendees don’t have to move from session to session in a virtual event, it’s quick and efficient to connect with organizers and attendees. Most importantly, the virtual platform turns into a channel where both organizers and attendees can stay in touch and build relationships that extend beyond the event. Virtual events thus facilitate collaboration and the creation of communities.
These are just some of the advantages that virtual events promise over in-person events!
With each passing day, a number of vendors are developing easy-to-navigate and user-friendly platforms that are geared towards making the virtual event a better experience than it was yesterday.
At this point, it becomes important to understand that organizations that embrace this transition – the transition from physical to virtual – have the ability to continue to thrive in the post-pandemic marketplace. Sure, face-to-face conferences will gradually return to us. Marketers who invest in a digital approach that personalizes their attendees’ experiences will see massive benefits in the near future.
As a digital experience company, Ethosh helps companies organize thoughtful and personalized virtual events for their customers that inform, engage and inspire. Ethosh can help you with everything you need to run a successful virtual event, from pre-event planning to post-event analysis.