2020 is a game changing year for the event industry, and perhaps the most significant year to virtual events in history. The pandemic speeds up the process of integrating virtual elements into events, yet without it, virtual events will still be the hottest trends in the next decade.
According to a survey conducted by the Eventbrite, 71% of the participants would continue to support online events even when COVID-19-related restrictions are lifted. Here are the reasons why virtual events are going to be the key player in the event industry.
Diversity and inclusion
As event organizers, we are always trying to engage more participants. With virtual events, we are not limited to local audiences, we could reach global audiences with shared interest via various social media platforms. Distance and accessibility would no longer be barriers.
Flexible and variable
As the event is taking place online without the restrictions of a venue, organizers could extend the hours of the event to include more participants. Based on the nature of the event, organizers could distribute content on selected online platforms with various tools.
When there are a few guest speakers and thousands of audiences or when attendees have to move from session to session, it might not be easy for the participants to make connections. Virtual events allow participants to record important information, such as names, contact information or rewatch the program after the event, participants could then reach out to interact with the speakers on a deeper level.
In-person events might be cancelled, postponed or impacted by a number of outside factors, from the unpredictable ”Raincouver” weather to the global pandemic. As long as your participants have a smartphone/device, stable internet connection, they could join the event anywhere. The Canada Day Drumming Virtual Celebration 2020 is a great example that demonstrates the pros of a virtual event. The event took place in 28 Canadian cities across six time zones and allowed thousands of citizens to interact, celebrate and connect under a safe environment.
The event could be interactive, offer multiple language options, involve collaboration between overseas and local guests, organized on various apps, combine with charity components etc. Virtual events wouldn’t be limited by space and platform. With more participants attending the event, both the audiences and organizers would get to interact with people from all walks of life, therefore to gain more insights and feedback.
By reducing the need for people to travel hundreds of miles to the venues, it not only saves businesses and participants money, it also reduces the impact on the environment. Virtual events also convert all marketing materials into digital content, hence reduce the need for printed materials.
Gathering data and feedback throughout the process is very important as it tells us what is working and what is not. Virtual events make tracking a lot easier, such as the number of attendees, the demographics, how much they are paying, what content is most engaging and a lot more.
It is uncertain when large-scale in-person events could return, but the crave for human connections and fun should not be put on a pause. Choice Communication will continue to provide creative solutions to transform traditional in-person events to live and interactive virtual events to bridge the social distance online.