Given that we are in the midst of a global pandemic, the thought of running an event may seem rather far-fetched. Of course, nothing really beats the value of face-to-face meetups and in-person events. That would be the ideal but having the ideal become a reality isn’t feasible given the current health climate. This doesn’t mean that events should be cancelled altogether. Thanks to technology, you have the option to take the virtual route and bring your in-person event online.
Benefits of virtual events
The very obvious benefits of virtual events is that it keeps your business on track. Virtual events help to continue your outreach with your customers as you showcase your products and services. Not only does it save time and money, it’s also extremely accessible. Viewers are able to consume your content anywhere. While an audience may not be able to travel to you, you can take your message to your audience instead. Not only is this convenient for them, but for you as well. Just like in-person events, collecting feedback is crucial for virtual events. A great benefit of virtual events is the ease at which you can collect audience feedback. Hearing from your audience can be instantaneous and this is vital in understanding overall audience engagement. As the audience of virtual events are online, they can answer questions, surveys or polls in real time.
There are also valuable statistics at your fingertips. Information such as who attends, from where and total number attending is made possible through virtual events. Crucially, these are not always as attainable at live in-person events. Use these measurable results to your advantage when planning for future virtual events. It cannot be denied that interest in virtual events has definitely spiked since the recent COVID-19 global outbreak. Let virtual events be an indicator of your business resilience in these challenging times.
Types of virtual events
When converting offline events into an online experience, the ultimate goal is to have it be a seamless transition. You’d want your online events to rival their in-person versions, this would help you achieve maximum impact – for both the event planners and attendees alike.
Webinars and Videos
Webinars and videos allow hosts to broadcast a media presentation online via streaming technology. Give your sales leads access to your videos on demand. Reuse your existing event assets and make your event virtual within minutes. An example of this would be Delegate Chats, where we talked to some industry experts for tips on wedding planning.
Educational content and podcasts
Educational content and podcasts are becoming ever more popular these days. Produce interactive content and walk attendees through product demos or setup processes with ease.
Live streaming events
In many cases, the immersive and interactive experiences created by physical events can’t be replaced by the virtual alternatives. Since gathering a large audience within a physical space isn’t possible, making parts of your live event as a virtual experience can be an option. Create engaging moments with collaboration tools and provide your attendees a virtual community.
Event panels, fireside chats & conferences
With eliminated physical barriers, you can reach a larger, global audience with your events. Events under this category allows for attendees to build their own agenda from relevant, on-demand content, and interact with other attendees.
Engaging your audience in virtual events
When switching your event to an online environment, you’d want to leverage on technological tools in order to increase audience participation.
Live polling allows you to conduct attendee surveys and polls in real time. Attendees would vote on predefined multiple choice answers using their web browser. Results can be displayed in real-time as a bar or pie chart. Live polling can also come in the form of quizzes – to energise attendees or get attendees to participate in competitions. Lastly, you can have your attendees submit open-ended answers and allow other attendees to upvote answers submitted by other participants.
Event networking allows for your attendees to interact with one another, just like a social media app. Attendees of the event would be able to message and chat with one another to build business connections. Chats can come in the form of a group setting or for more privacy, there are one-on-one options as well. Having increased inter-audience engagement will definitely encourage attendees to return for your next event.
These lounges aren’t all that different from event networking, as it allows attendees the chance to connect with each other. Social lounges have attendees “grabbing a seat” and aim to emulate the networking aspect of live events. Attendees can also view each others’ profiles and start conversations with potential business connections.
Ask me anythings
They comes in a rapid-fire Q&A format to increase speaker-attendee interaction. Attendees are able to post questions at their own pace, anonymously or identified. Speakers can moderate and track questions that they’ve answered and also share answers to Q&A questions with attendees.
Cocktail hour emulates post-event cocktails as attendees are able to get matched with fellow attendees for a 5-minute audio chat. Attendees are able to be engaged as per an offline event and maximise their event networking experience. Attendees can also bookmark attendees they enjoy speaking to and easily follow up with the ones they want to keep in touch with.
Virtual exhibitions help to transform your exhibition and trade show into an online format. This is done through building virtual fairgrounds that allows attendees to visit and interact. Build a custom landing page and online exhibition booth spaces to increase brand visibility and online real estate. You can also integrate attendee interactivity tools to maximise audience networking opportunities and engagement. Augmented reality (AR) can also come in useful in virtual exhibitions. By enabling digital information to be superimposed and integrated into a specific physical space, engagement with your attendees increases. AR can be seen as the bridge that connects attendees to each other, elevating their overall experience of your virtual exhibition. A good example of a virtual exhibition would be our Online Wedding Festival. Attendees get free access to content features and exclusive deals, all completely online.
How Delegate can help
We are a free-to-use online marketplace that allows anyone planning any event to browse inspirations, compare event vendors and instantly book services! Interested to find out more about the best event solutions to transform your offline event to a virtual environment? Or wanting to find out more about organising hybrid events? Contact us via the form below for more information.