The Covid-19 pandemic affected the event world more than anything else in the last decades. Hundreds of events have been canceled or postponed costing billions lost orders for exhibitors in every industry: Sports, Cultural, Trade Shows, and the future is yet unknown. That is creating an escalating ripple effect for whole industries as Kai Hattendorf, UFI Managing Director / CEO points out. Technological giants, such as Microsoft and Apple, held their famous annual conferences online for the first time while other festivals and events have been organised virtually successfully in 2020. This shift to virtual events seems to be the best short-term solution until the Covid-19 pandemic to pass by and the world to come to terms with the new reality that is being created.
But what is a virtual event? A virtual event is an online event. It usually features live or on demand webinars, webcasts, virtual booths, forums and meeting places. People have the opportunity to interact in a virtual environment on the web, through online chat or video and voice calls.
- Flexibility. There is plenty of flexibility in almost every aspect of it. Time, needs, customization, scale. You can organize your event at the best time for your business and customize it to match your preferences and needs. You can also scale it as much as you like based on your business needs.
- Saving money. You can save a lot of money considering that you will get rid of all the costs related to renting a revenue, setting up a booth, cost expenses for the speakers, hiring staff and caterers.
- Saving time. A virtual event requires no travel for you and your whole team. We all know that sometimes, this is challenging. Just think of all the event equipment you have to prepare, package and ship. So, your employees and attendees can use that time to work on all the other important things that need attention.
- Wider outreach. Anyone across the globe could attend a virtual event. That means that your potential audience is wider. At the same time the event can be promoted online on different channels and on a variety of social media networks, even while the event is live! Who could say no to some last-minute attendees and real-time content?
- Increased exposure. The event’s material can be live for a long period of time and thus, people have the opportunity to review, consume and spend more time on them while focus on the ones related to their preferred topics.
- Comprehensive analytics and mass reporting data. Virtual events can be a great source of master data. All exhibitors can access information related to what type of content leads are viewing, which sales reps they’re talking to, which attendees they’re engaging with, and what resources they’re downloading. All in real-time mode.
- Limited networking. We all know that face to face interaction is one of the most effective one, when it comes to good communication. Such interaction is not feasible through a virtual event.
- Limited business & social opportunities. Sometimes attending an event could be a great chance to see new places and meet new people. Also this is a kind of a reward for team advocates.
- Hard to prove sponsor ROI. It is challenging for companies to reach their target audience through sponsorship, as there is no face to face interactions. That might lead them to reconsider the amount of money they would invest in sponsorships.
Solutions can be found and sooner or later we will all be planning our next event adventure! Until then, let’s keep ourselves safe and setup together our next virtual event!