Why events are going virtual
Virtual has become reality
Since restrictions around the world have put a halt to in-person gatherings and meetings, platforms like Zoom mean more to us than ever. Whether for personal or professional use, we are all turning to virtual platforms to try and connect the way we used to.
Of course, while certain platforms have been more popular than others - there have been weddings over Zoom, nightclub events over Zoom, and even a digital parliament in the UK’s House of Commons - these programs are not without their problems and limitations.
As the Covid-19 crisis has worn on, companies have begun looking for alternatives, platforms that are encrypted end-to-end for optimum security, and ones that offer a whole range of services that allow them to fully conduct their business online. After all, as a business, your professional reputation is at stake as much when you are online as in the pre-COVID-19 world, and you need online platforms you can trust and that offer the same customer experience you are known for.
Nonetheless, platforms like Zoom, Attendease, BigMarker, and Accelevents among many others provide a way to keep your business up and running, and even growing during this time of social distancing. And of the main ways that they help with that is with virtual event services. That’s right, you can and should still host your company events, whether they are corporate meetings or black-tie fundraisers.
And with some of the platforms out there, these events go much farther than just webinars, or video calls. The virtual event services that are becoming available now actually recreate an in-person event experience, with all of the excitement and hype of presenting in public, meeting new people, and opportunities for new partnerships and growth.
Benefits of virtual events
What is a virtual event, and what are the benefits?
It’s natural if you feel a bit disenchanted about the idea of having to cancel your in-person events, and at first, you may think that virtual events are just a plan B in the worst-case scenario. But with the right virtual events services, that couldn’t be further from reality.
There are actually myriad benefits of virtual events when they’re with the right platform. You’ll find that many of the benefits you simply can’t get when you have a physical, in-person occasion:
- Upon entering: To begin with, some platforms have a reception area, where guests are briefed on all of the information they need, and given an event schedule, just like at an in-person event.
- Connecting: Chatrooms allow for guests to virtually ‘bump into’ old acquaintances or seek out new ones. You can start a conversation with a group of people, or take a guest aside for a private message session.
- Creating polls: You can invite all of your guests to participate in a poll to find out what they’re thinking. Polls are a great way to develop marketing intelligence to make sure your company is headed in the right direction.
- Networking: Your guests can make sure to network with new leads and potential partners. They can make a note to follow up later and organize private group networks for future cooperation.
- Center stage: For all of your welcome addresses, guest speakers, and entertainment, there’s a main stage where everyone can congregate. Your speakers can share their slides with your guests, and the slides can be downloaded for reference later. Sessions can also be recorded for marketing purposes after that.
- Virtual green room: This is where speakers can hangout backstage and catch up before they go on with live video chats. Here they can also see what’s happening on stage, while speakers and presenters can get in some last-minute prep, just like they would for an in-person event—there’s even a countdown clock, so they know how much time there is until they go live.
- Breakout sessions: Workshop an idea and allow for everyone to participate with easy-to-facilitate breakout sessions—roundtable discussions with ten invitees and up to 300 viewers.
There’s a necessity now more than ever for virtual events, but their great success means that they will often be favored over in-person events, even when social distancing is over. That’s because virtual events give you all of the benefits mentioned above, and they let you reach a wider audience and save on technical costs. They also mean more revenue and increased exposure for your sponsors.
Your virtual events also allow for easier analytics, enabling you to generate reports of things like registrations by country, page visits by country, and keep track of ticket sales. What’s more, bandwidth can support up to 10,000 attendees. Chances are you wouldn’t be able to find a venue to hold so many guests in-person.
The key is to find a platform that hosts virtual event services that have protections in place against virtual event crashers and prioritize protecting user data.
If you’re thinking about taking your event online, contact Opulent Events by Gracie, the in-person and virtual events experts, always putting data security first.