Virtual Event, What’s That?
A virtual event is an organized gathering of people that occurs online allowing them to communicate information and enjoy a shared experience over the internet. The term “virtual” doesn’t necessarily mean virtual reality, so this type of event can be conducted without the use of special equipment. Virtual events were happening before the pandemic, however they have become much more prevalent in the past year.
Virtual Events Going Forward
In an effort to social distance, many in-person events of 2020 and now 2021 have turned virtual. From trade shows to launch parties, planners have had to re-conceptualize events to deliver a virtual experience similar to what attendees would experience in-person. While the value of face-to-face interactions is unmatched, the convenience of virtual events is clear and the event industry may never be the same. Even when in-person events become possible again, 89% of event organizers say they will continue with virtual or hybrid events as part of their long-term strategy. According to an estimate by Grand View Research, the global virtual events industry will grow nearly tenfold from $73 billion in 2019 to $774 billion in 2030.
Types of Virtual Events
There are many types of events a business can host, however they all fall into 4 main categories:
Webinars – These are events where one or more experts present content aimed to educate either an internal or external audience. Usually done via video conferencing tools, webinars tend to have an interactive aspect allowing attendees to ask questions. The content can be pre-recorded or recorded live enabling the video to be accessed on-demand afterward.
Virtual Conferences – From keynote speakers to in-depth sessions, breakouts, and networking, almost all the aspects of an in-person conference can be replicated in a virtual format.
Internal Hybrid Events – For organizations that have employees all over the country or all over the world, getting everyone together in one place is difficult. Companywide events, meetings, and trainings that involve distanced teams are much easier to conduct virtually so everyone can attend.
External Hybrid Events – These events have attendees from outside the organization. It can be challenging to ensure virtual attendees have the same event experience as they would in-person, but with high quality video production it can be similar.
Benefits of Hosting Virtual Events
External virtual events can help achieve several business goals such as increasing brand awareness, establishing thought leadership in an industry, and building trust with customers along with driving leads and revenue. A virtual event also allows event hosts to collect data on the success of the event. Attendees can easily answer surveys to give real-time feedback and many platforms allow hosts to see how many attendees logged in, when they logged in, and from where. Personal information collected from signups for the event can also be used for future marketing campaigns.
Internal virtual events not only ensure all employees are working toward the same goal by delivering the same message to everyone at the same time, but depending on the event, they can also foster inter-departmental relationships, boost morale, and increase employee engagement. All of these things can lead to a more productive workforce.
Want to make hosting a virtual event part of your marketing strategy? We’ve got what you need! Our friends at Amplified Connect can help you get it organized and Amplified Digital can help you get the word out to potential attendees through promotional marketing. Let’s get started today!