Virtual events have taken over the world lately. And this has principally happened in the era of the pandemic. When the world is finding new ways to continue working in lockdown, virtual events have come up as the most prefered option.
As the need of the modern world is to host an event without gathering people. This can only be achieved through organising events virtually. And people have understood this very well. So, almost all the events shifted to the virtual world. And those who didn’t have either cancelled or postponed till the time things go back to normal.
As virtual events are gaining momentum, we have witnessed different types of virtual events. Like virtual fest, virtual fair, virtual trade show, virtual award shows, virtual AGMs and virtual town hall etc. The most popular virtual events are virtual meetings and virtual conferences. But many people get confused between virtual conferences and virtual meetings. So let us help you clear all your doubts.
Virtual Conference vs Virtual Meetings
A Virtual meeting is a digital version of a face-to-face meeting. In a virtual meeting, a group of people are connected virtually. And apart from audio, there is also a visual component that is video. Sometimes a projector is also used in a virtual meeting.
Whereas a virtual conference is an interactive event where a large group of people participate. They have common goals like networking or learning. And like its physical counterpart, a virtual conference also has keynote sessions and breakout sessions to engage the audience.
According to a survey by Wild Apricot, more than half (58%) of the virtual events organised by organisations were virtual meetings. While around 13% were virtual conferences.
Both virtual meetings and virtual conferences fall under a broad category of virtual events. So let’s look at their benefits.
Benefits of Virtual Events
Unlike physical events, you don’t need to spend on the venue, travelling and accommodation for a virtual event. This makes the virtual event a lot more affordable and cost-efficient to organise as well as to attend.
You only need to spend on a virtual event platform and good quality equipment like a camera and microphone.
2. Time Comfortability
In a virtual event, you can invite people from anywhere in the world. All you need to do is to mention time according to different time zones. To add convenience for attendees, you can also provide an option of on-demand video. This will let people attend your event anytime according to their suitability.
3. Worldwide Reach
Don’t restrict yourself to a particular city, state or country. Go international. With the virtual event, cross the geographical barriers and take your event to the world. Meet with a global audience and expand your network overseas with virtual events.
4. Exceptional ROI
As the name suggests, you can get an astonishing level of returns. Since you spend less compared to a physical event and get more attendees, including an international audience, you get greater returns. This is all possible due to the flexibility of time and geography. As it lets the people attend your event. This is simply not possible with a physical event.
Also, you get an opportunity to expand your network and connect with industry leaders around the world.
5 . Immersive Experience
Engage with your audience like never before and provide them with an immersive experience. Use exciting tools and features provided by the virtual event platform.
Remember, the success of your event depends upon the experience of your audience. So make sure attendees are introduced to all available features and tools, which can entertain them. Use features like Gamification, AI matchmaking, social wall, AR photo booth and many more. To interact with the audience, conduct live polls, surveys and the option of live chatting and so on.
6. Building Networks
In many events, especially in the virtual ones, attendees’ sole purpose is to make new connections and expand their network. So, fulfil this demand of your attendees. And provide them with options that would facilitate them in networking. Use features and tools like AI matchmaking, live chats (1:1 or group chats), 2-way communication and many more. These features will not only help attendees to engage but also actively try to build new connections. Also, this will be pretty impactful because your event is global.
7. Greater Sponsorship Possibility
Since you can host more people and that too from different parts of the world through a virtual event, you have ample sponsorship opportunities.
Sponsors are crucial for any event because the budget and impression of your event will rely on sponsors. So, start pitching your event to potential sponsors. Share the information like the expected number of audience, guests and speakers at your event. This will help the sponsors to make decisions on sponsorship.
8. Get Feedback
The list of the benefits of virtual events is long. And one of these benefits is getting feedback more conveniently. This is not the case with the physical event. In a physical event, you need to collect the feedback form manually. While in a virtual event, the attendee can submit feedback which you get automatically.
Now you must be wondering why you should collect feedback? Or what is its use? The answer lies in itself. Through feedback, you get an essential insight into an individual attendee. This information can be the preferences, expectations and reaction or opinion about your event. And you can use this information to customise your attendees experience for your next event.
9. Environment Friendly
Generally, in a physical event, you use various resources. And some of these resources can directly affect the environment. Let’s take the example of the paper. It is used for printing material like pamphlets, brochures and banners, or stationery items like a pencil, which is used in many events. Now, as we all know that both paper and pencil are made from wood. And wood comes from trees. So in a virtual event, you save these resources. Hence, conserving the environment.
10. Easy Access to Analytics
Many virtual event platforms offer you the option to get analytics live during the event or after the event. But what exactly is analytics?
Analytics is basically the activity of the individual attendees at your event. This can be the number of attendees at different booths. Or which feature is being used most and which is not? Or how many attendees want to talk with the guests and speakers and so on.
We hope that now you have understood the difference between virtual meetings and virtual conferences. And also, what are the benefits of virtual events. So, tell us about your thoughts on virtual events.