Virtual Events: Your Questions Answered
There’s been a lot of talk recently about virtual events, and we’ve had many questions put our way about how they can work for businesses when face-to-face interactions aren’t possible. In a time where we’re all facing a difficult, unprecedented set of circumstances, we’re here to answer your questions and to help you discover the alternatives to cancelling or postponing events.
So, if you’re in the search of some answers to your virtual event queries, you’ve stopped by at the right place…
What is a Virtual Event?
In an industry with lots of jargon and acronyms flying about, it’s easy to become bamboozled by terminology. However, in the case of virtual events, there’s little room for ambiguity – they are as they sound – events that take place completely online. Supported by specialist platforms and technology, virtual events negate the need for a physical location and work to bring people together virtually from across the world. Whilst a virtual event can’t replace the power and value of in-person interactions, they’re an incredibly engaging and immersive alternative to delivering business content and information.
How Many People can Attend a Virtual Event?
Virtual events have the capacity to facilitate large audience numbers: from hundreds of thousands to thousands, hundreds or smaller groups. Understanding, from the outset, what you want to achieve from your event and the complexity of the programme, will provide a good guide to how many attendees should be invited.
How do Attendees Gain Access To a Virtual Event?
In theory this is an easy one to answer: attendees will receive an invite with access details, which will allow them to enter the virtual event on the date and time outlined. However, before this happens, there are some important things for you to consider first, including:
Are you charging an entry fee for the event?
Will the event be live, on-demand or a combination of the two?
How will you market your event so your audience knows it’s taking place and want to be part of it?
Are your audience tech savvy? Might they need a pre-event virtual guide/tour, so they are familiar with how to join and the features of a virtual event set up?
Having questions like these answered will define the platform required, help maximise attendance and optimise your delegates overall experience of the virtual event offering.
What are the Main Benefits of a Virtual Event?
Scope: There are hundreds of virtual event platforms out there and so many possibilities when it comes to the virtual events you can create. What type of digital event you go with, really comes down to your objectives and selecting a platform solution that can deliver your comms goals. It might seem daunting, but we’re here to consult, conceptualise, design and transform your content into creative, engaging and emotive digital experiences that put people at the centre of every interaction.
Accessibility: Expand the reach of your brand without the need for travel. Not only can virtual events connect you with a global audience in real-time, but with event recording, event content can be made available on-demand; providing more opportunities for people to consume your content at a time that suits their schedule best. What’s more, all that attendees and speakers need to attend/talk is a computer, laptop, or mobile device and a good, reliable internet connection.
Engagement: You might be concerned that virtual events can’t engage and captivate audiences’ attention. Whilst we love the power of face-to-face meetings, there’s lots of potential through virtual experiences to mix rich content with exciting narratives, live polling, Q&As, whiteboards and gamification to keep engagement levels high during sessions and throughout programmes. Social media can also be employed as a great engagement tool – use event hashtags, encourage attendees to post images of their highlights from the event, and get imaginative with other ways a sense of community can be created via social channels.
Multiple or Single Content Experiences: As with physical events, virtual events offer the opportunity to run multiple content streams concurrently; allowing different speakers to host sessions simultaneously and giving attendees the option to select sessions most relevant to them. If this isn’t required for your event, then a multiple single content experience may be a better fit.
Networking: Conducive networking and making meaningful business connections can still be successfully factored into a virtual event programme. Give attendees the chance to schedule one-on-one time or assemble into group breakouts, where they can speak to each other, your team, sponsors or speakers over the internet. There’s a range of tools which can be used to ensure attendees can leverage the best from their networking interactions.
Insight: The metrics and data insights that can be captured from virtual event platforms can help measure ROI and success against pre-defined KPIs. Information derived can be used to articulate if your event was successful and to influence future event decision making.
Is There Potential to Incorporate Sponsorship?
Yes. Virtual events offer a whole host of options when it comes to sponsorship opportunities and generating lucrative sponsorship revenue. Depending on the scale of your event and capabilities of the platform, create packages that cover anything from event app sponsorship through to sponsor branded registration pages, exhibition spaces, breakouts, presentations, pop-up ads and in-platform messaging. You could also use virtual real estate to offer logo overlays or incorporate branded backgrounds during specified sessions. There’s also sponsored digital giveaways and physical event packs to consider too.
Whatever you decide, make sure to take advantage of data and analytics tools to prove the value of digital sponsorship activity to your sponsors.
Can Virtual Events Be Used as Part of a Hybrid Event Strategy?
Absolutely. Incorporating virtual events with a holistic approach can be a good way to enhance your existing event strategy. Integrating virtual events into your wider events and meetings programme will give you an additional tool to utilise alongside your live events; extending reach and engagement with your audience further.
Unite audiences with your brand, its story, its persona and its proposition through virtual experiences. Whether they’re used independently, as part of a hybrid event format or when circumstances render them a necessity, In2Events can help ensure your virtual events will deliver amazing experiences that create long-lasting impact. Call: 02392 320 581 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org