The past few months have intensified both the benefits and the need of offering a virtual reality as well as in-person meetings, resembling a two-in-one event. Based on this future trend for events, let’s try to figure out how to organize events in the future.
When we’re talking about virtual events, there’s no space for live gatherings. Everything happens in a digital way, supported by different technological tools. Just think about the different formats, such as webinars, virtual conferences and summits, podcasts, hosted sales demos, and so on.
Now let’s outline the main benefits of virtual events:
- Higher engagement — There’s no capacity to control and it’s quite easy to attend – you’ll just need to share an access link;
- Cost saving (it’s almost 95% cheaper than hosting a live event) — To organize a virtual event, all you need is internet connection, a computer or a mobile device with camera and mic integrated and a platform for video and audio conferences. It’s nothing compared to the expenses of organizing a live event;
- Time saving – From the above statement, you can also deduct that the process of organizing a virtual event is less time consuming than managing the whole procedures of a live event;
- Instant feedback – During your online event, you can actively interact with your audience and collect feedback instantly. After the event, you can always make some follow-up actions to keep nurturing leads and new prospects;
- Event ROI — It’s easier to analyze detailed information about your online audience, since attendees already shared their data during the registration process.
However, over the past few months you probably received a lot of emails with subject lines promoting something like “Join our free webinar!” or “Last chance to register for our virtual event!”. And you probably don’t want to get deluged by those invitations anymore or with such persistence.
Our advice is that you should rethink the way you organize events, but without getting your potential audience lost in all that noise. Hosting virtual events has proved an effective means to learn, interact with others, and stay up to date with the latest trends during the pandemic. There’s definitely value here, but it’s also possible to have too much of a good thing, so be aware of it.
What are hybrid events?
A hybrid event has the best of both worlds – live sessions and online sessions. For example, a trade show that hosts an in-person gathering in Lisbon can be live streaming its sessions to a worldwide virtual audience. That’s an hybrid event.
The benefits of a hybrid opportunity are more evident for attendees, that will spend less money traveling. However, the online participation will certainly put constraints on the size of your in-person audience. There will also be strict occupational health and safety measures, so you’ll probably need a space occupancy tool to monitor your venue capacity.
It’s clear you can attract a much wider audience than before and expand your reach. And that’s great news! Because there’s going to be sponsors that will take that as an opportunity. And you’ll also benefit from that financial support.
As we also mentioned in this blog post, going hybrid remarkably reduces participant limitations to attend an event. Have you ever thought that some people have never been able to access live events due to travel or financial limitations? Going hybrid gives them an opportunity to take an online profit of the event experience you usual provide in-person.
One event. Two experiences
But you gotta know how to create a memorable event experience for those who attend in a virtual session. It’s important to bear in mind that another experience must be assured for those people, in order to avoid the virtual audience to feel secondary.
Apart from generating awareness around your event and attracting new attendees, live streaming will also:
- Increase participation rate and outreach;
- Make the event more attractive, since you’re going to broadcast your audience;
- Increase your event ROI (specially for live sessions);
- Give you the opportunity to offer the recording of the event later to your audience, that could be raised by a Q&A session.
Reloading live events – how beamian make events safe
Getting live events back up and running is our top priority. We want to help position organizers to reopen their events while adhering to new, stricter safety rules and regulations. And with social distancing being the key in containing the virus, we believe that contactless and paperless solutions will be crucial to operate live events in a safe environment. And the best part is that you’ll be able to collect leads both safely and successfully.
Rethink your events towards technology and ensure safe event interactions, without forgetting the power of human connection. If you’re planning to host a live event, talk to us and maybe we can help you.