What are Virtual Events?
Have you ever participated in a webinar, watched an on-demand video, participated in a video conference meeting, or even attended an event from the comfort of your desk? These are all examples of virtual events. According to Google Trends, the world is increasingly turning to virtual.
A virtual event is an online event that involves people interacting in a virtual environment on the web, rather than meeting in a physical location. Virtual events are a great way to engage your audience, and keep them interested and involved in your brand. Virtual events are typically multi-session online events that often feature webinars and webcasts. They are highly interactive, often aiming to create as similar an experience as possible to the physical event. Virtual events reach an even broader audience than ever before. Virtual events also have the potential to reach a much wider audience than traditional offline events. Virtual events are used by organizations to deliver presentations, training, job fairs, expos, internal meetings, and sessions.
Physical Vs Virtual Events
Before you dive into the details of what virtual or physical events are, let’s first discuss the primary differences between the two. Virtual events and physical events each have their own pros and cons. Virtual events are also known as “remote” or “online” conferences. They take place over a period of several days where different speakers record or pre-recorded presentations on a specific topic. These may be watched at the attendee’s convenience either in live time or at a later stage. The biggest advantage of physical events is that attendees can build relationships with other people who share similar interests by meeting them face-to-face rather than just communicating online.
1. Virtual Events:
A virtual event is an online conference where participants can engage and listen to prerecorded or live sessions and discuss the topics presented. A virtual event can be held on any topic, with any speaker, at any time. The benefits of participating in a virtual event are that you don’t have to plan for travel, you can listen to the pre-recorded presentations at your convenience, and you can interact with the other attendees online. A virtual event can also be held asynchronously, which means the presentations are recorded, posted online, and can be listened to at the attendee’s convenience. It is important to note that asynchronous virtual events are different than synchronous virtual events where the audience and speakers are in real-time communication.
2. Physical Events:
A physical event is an in-person event where people interact with one another in a real-life environment. Physical events can be anything from a rally to an award show, to a sporting event. The primary advantage of attending physical events is that you can form real-life relationships with people who share your interests. The disadvantage of attending physical events is that it can be difficult to find group members with similar interests. Physical events are also very hard to scale and are a struggle for attendees to reach the venue.
What are the types of virtual events?
There are a number of different types of virtual events you can run. Some are hosted by organizations, such as conferences and trade shows. Individuals or local groups create others. In either case, the event is set up to allow people worldwide to interact and connect. For starters, they allow you to reach an unlimited audience with no geographic limitations or travel costs. Furthermore, they’re easy to create and execute. On top of that, they’re cheaper than traditional events
Connect people through new-age technology, with gamified experiences, live shows, real-time engagement, and environments that mesmerize.
Through options for live chat, Q&A, polling, breakout rooms, dedicated networking lounges, resource centers, and host webinars and conferences that are productive and interactive.
Host unlimited stalls, increase lead generation, and build connections through AI-driven networking.
Bring together global audiences to connect with universities around the world, collect information and make impactful choices.
The benefits of hosting a virtual event
Virtual Events are another way to engage with your audience. They allow you to connect with a broader range of people, and also give you the freedom to host events in different locations.
There are many benefits of hosting a virtual event. For starters, it is more cost effective than traditional events. You don’t have to worry about hiring workers or setting up an elaborate stage. The only thing you need is a computer and an Internet connection. Virtual events can also be flexible. You can engage with your audience from anywhere in the world. Lastly, virtual events are easy to schedule. You don’t have to worry about finding a time that works for everyone involved.
If you are looking for a way to grow your business, virtual events might be the right fit for you. They’re cheap and easy. Virtual events don’t require you to spend money on travel, accommodations, or equipment. They’re also flexible. You can schedule virtual events at any time of the day or night, so they’re perfect for busy professionals who want to fit in some extra work hours.
How to host a virtual event?
Creating an event and inviting people to attend might sound easy, but it can actually be quite challenging. There are many steps involved, such as finding a suitable venue, organizing speakers, writing an agenda, booking a date, and so on. However, with the help of virtual events platforms as tools like collaboration software (e.g., video conferencing), you can significantly reduce the amount of work required to host your event. Fortunately, there are several tools available that make it easy for you to organize and host a virtual event with limited effort
1. Create a plan
Create a plan from scratch or use an existing template that will accommodate last-minute changes. One of the best ways to create an agenda for your virtual event is by using collaborative tools such as a whiteboard or a collaborative notebook. This allows you to work with your team members to create the plan via real-time collaborative editing.
2. Coordinate speaker sessions
When hosting a virtual event, you will probably want to invite industry experts and leaders to speak at your event. First, you need to identify potential speakers and then contact them. You can use collaboration tools such as a message board, a shared document, or a virtual whiteboard to keep track of all the details related to the speaker sessions.
3. Invite speakers and attendees
After you have identified the speakers and guests who will be attending your event, you need to invite them to join your event. You can send invitations using virtual event software that allows you to manage event invitations and track RSVPs. This can be a great way to keep track of who will be attending your event, especially if you are hosting a large event.
4. Record the event
Depending on the event you are hosting, you may want to record the event and make the recording available to the guests after the event by hosting the event on a virtual event software that offers built-in recording services.
How to choose the best virtual event platform for your virtual event?
The best virtual event platform is one that provides the tools and resources you need to get the job done. Virtual event platforms vary in features, but there are four main areas to consider: technology, industry partnerships, marketing, and customer engagement.
Technology is key because it enables you to connect with your participants, execute transactions, and track results.
Industry partnerships can help you build credibility in the community and attract sponsors. Marketing and customer engagement are essential for driving attendance and engagement with participants. It’s also a good idea to look for a platform that offers training workshops so that you can learn how to use the software effectively. Finally, it’s important to choose a platform that fits your budget and meets your needs.
When planning a virtual event, you should ask these questions:
1. Preparing Participants for Virtual Events
There are lots of different types of virtual events out there. When it comes to technology, user error is inevitable. You shouldn’t take for granted the digital savviness of your audience. Before the event, you should create a guide for attendees explaining how to access the event, the sessions, and more. Even better, you should allow them to practice launching sessions and sending messages before the event begins. This will reduce attendee stress, reduce the number of questions on Day 1 of the event to a trickle, and provide an overall better attendee experience. You can do this through a guided recording of an introduction video in which they educate while injecting humor into the material.
2. Virtual Events, the way to engage attendees
According to the Event Manager Blog, the greatest barrier when planning a successful event is engagement. In-person events are built for engagement, but these events involve attendees rather than forcing them to sit for hours and listen to content. Networking at happy hours, one-on-one appointments, and live Q&A are just a few examples.
Virtual events can be just as engaging as real ones. Virtual keynotes may employ live polling to engage attendees. Even though sessions may still involve live Q&A, attendees may still ask questions they feel pertinent. Social media is always an excellent engagement tool to leverage. When attendees post pictures of their favorite takeaways from the day, office setups, and more, they may feel like they're part of a community.
Virtual attendees can also engage and be active using a variety of engagement tactics. From icebreakers to event app gamification, your audience can enjoy more than just the content you provide - they can enjoy their whole experience. Is there no way for them to attend a physical happy hour? You can arrange a social media scavenger hunt. There are no limits to virtual engagement!
3. During virtual events, networking and connecting are important.
Virtual events provide as much chance to network as traditional offline events. A mobile event app, whether used on a smartphone or a computer, may link attendees and provide messaging services. When they connect on the app, attendees may schedule one-on-one meetings with each other, exhibitors, or sponsors. You may encourage attendees to meet by providing networking time by linking attendees with similar interests through registration data, you may set up group chats and breakout sessions. Using video calls, chat groups, and appointments, you may help attendees network.
Virtual events can be classified into 7 types:
Virtual events can be used as a part of a wider event program, in addition to events hosted by the company, attended by employees, and organized internally. Virtual events are not a replacement for other types of events, but rather a novel addition that enhances the entire program. The following is a list of the major types of virtual events:
Webinars are generally 30 to 80 minutes in length. Webinars allow people from around the world to listen and participate as one or more presenters talk about a topic. Companies may charge for webinars or offer them for free via online payment methods. Webinars typically use video conferencing platforms to allow Q&A, present live or recorded video and allow on-demand viewing after the event. Webinars with 100% virtual attendance have been successful because they are one-time educational programs. Webinars may also include internal and external training.
Virtual conferences function much like in-person ones, with a dense agenda of keynotes, sessions, workshops, and more. Virtual conferences may include multi-session content and incorporate community engagement tools. Virtual conferences are not as efficient at gathering leads or networking as in-person gatherings, but they allow attendees to view keynotes live, construct their own agenda from on-demand content, and interact with other attendees.
Internal hybrid events:
Town halls, product launches, companywide seminars, training sessions, department conferences, and similar events are examples of hybrid events used to communicate to employees worldwide. While it would be wonderful to bring everyone on board at your organization's headquarters, it would be costly and time-consuming, so hybrid events that combine in-person and virtual components are used instead. Virtual team-building activities can be used at hybrid events to accomplish similar objectives.
External hybrid events:
These events are open to anyone outside your company. User gatherings or industry events are two examples. Since these events require higher video production standards to satisfy virtual attendees, they can be difficult to replicate externally. Those unable to travel to the event may participate and learn. It's tough to offer the same value at hybrid events, particularly if they're hybrid since in-person attendees are able to network more freely and engage with content more easily than virtual attendees.
Although many people may have been forced into trying out this new approach to events, there are numerous advantages for all parties involved, and virtual exhibitions can offer you and your audience an enhanced experience in addition to many other virtual events. Virtual events have become popular worldwide as a result of digital marketing.
These activities have typically been staged in person to promote product offerings, but with the right technology driving them online, they can provide a similar level of engagement if properly planned.
Virtual trade shows:
Despite being designed for in-person experiences, trade shows still function virtually. Forbes says that trade shows are making a comeback; we've already seen this happen. To succeed in the virtual world, trade shows must be approached differently, and having the right strategy will help.
Features to consider when you host a virtual event
A virtual event platform is a technology that allows attendees to attend an event virtually. This can be done through a smartphone app or web browser. A Virtual event platform is often used for events such as Education fairs, Rewards & Recognition, Webinars, Conferences, Virtual Trade Shows, and Expos. Virtual event platforms can help organizations reduce costs by reducing travel expenses and staffing requirements. They can also improve the customer experience by providing attendees with a more immersive and personalized experience.
Features to consider while choosing a Virtual Events Platform:
Create one of a kind 3D Environment that is equal parts interactive and mesmerizing allowing the attendee to witness the magic of virtual events right from the comfort of their location.
Attendees can now fully participate and showcase their emotions and thoughts through Q&A sessions, Live Polling, Multiple flying reactions, and host fun chats with each other to create an immersive experience.
Allow attendees the option for various modes of interaction such as directory-based search, custom visiting cards, 1-1 chat option, and specialized networking lounges with video calling and chat features built-in.
Create a seamless experience for both the attendees and the host with DIY features for ease of customization for the host and a proven increase in lead generation through drop card facilities, video calling, and chat features coupled with the option to integrate calendars for a better experience.
Create fun and Power-packed environment with the option for integration of games, live time leaderboards, interactive contests, platform gamification, customized games, and additional engagement features.
Know your audience and their spaces of preference through intuitive and live time data and in-depth insights, through our organizer's dashboard allowing you to leverage and improve the user experience by manifolds.
How to avoid errors while hosting a virtual event?
There are a couple of things to take care of before you host your virtual event to make the event error-free:
1. Audio and Video Equipment Test:
Always make sure that you have a dry run prior to the event so that you can rectify the equipment issues adequately
2. Technical awareness about, How to use a virtual event platform?
All the moderators or hosts should be trained about the platform so that they can get familiar with the software and have no hiccups during the live event, also make sure on the event day you have a dry run along with the hosts and speakers so that things go smoothly.
3. Keep your event as organized and structured as possible:
Events with an organized structure are easier to keep track of and can be more efficient. With a well-organized event, you can know exactly what needs to be done and when. You can also make sure that all attendees have access to the right information. By keeping your event structured, you can ensure that everyone involved will have a positive experience.
How to measure Return on Investment on your virtual event?
It’s a well-known fact that the return on investment is one of the principal metrics used to evaluate the success of an event. In fact, ROI is so important that it’s often used as an indicator of whether or not an event should be scheduled in the first place. However, there’s one important thing to keep in mind when evaluating ROI: it takes time to measure. Even if you have a great event, it may take a while to see results. So, don’t make too much of a rush right away. Instead, just keep track of your progress and analyze the data periodically. If your event was successful, you’ll be able to see some positive results within 6 months. And if it wasn’t so successful, you can adjust and try again next time.
There are a few key metrics you can look at to measure the ROI of your virtual event:
1. Event registrations:
How many people registered for your event? This number will give you an idea of how successful your marketing efforts were.
2. Event attendance:
How many people actually attended your event? This number will give you an idea of how many people were interested in the event once they registered.
How engaged were attendees during the event? This can be measured by looking at things like the number of questions asked during the event, the number of people who stayed until the end of the event, and the number of people who interacted with the event chat.
4. Net Promoter Score:
After the event, you can survey attendees to find out how likely they are to recommend the event to others. This number will give you an idea of how successful the event was overall.
Did your event generate any revenue? This can be measured by looking at things like ticket sales, sponsorships, and product sales.
How to prepare better for your next virtual event?
Virtual events can be a great way to connect with customers, employees, and partners. But like any other event, you need to prepare well in advance of the day. The most important thing is to choose a good location for your virtual meeting. It should be comfortable, convenient, and easily accessible for everyone involved. Next, make sure that everything is ready for your attendees. They should be able to find their way around and get into their seats without any problems. Make sure that all the technology works properly, too. And don't forget about the food and drinks!
If you're hosting a virtual event yourself, you have more control over the details than if you're relying on someone else to organize it for you. But even if it’s your own event, there are still things you can do to prepare for it. Your employees should be properly trained in order to handle any unexpected situations that might arise during the meeting. Finally, make sure that you and your team are comfortable with each other before the big day arrives, and remember: no matter how big or small your customer base is, it’s always better to be prepared than not at all.