The persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the event industry in several ways. One of them is in the shift from the live event to the virtual event format. Earlier, network infrastructures were not advanced enough to support this enormous rise in demand. However, with the advancement of technology, the event industry is witnessing sudden growth across the world. The event industry covers almost every business sector, be it intra-company conferences, music and art festivals, sports, or corporate seminars. Currently, the value of the virtual events market is roughly estimated to be $45B and it is expected to grow 20–25% per annum.
Even before the pandemic hit our lives, events began to move towards a hybrid structure. Organizers have now become more willing to incorporate systems that can be introduced to help employees work seamlessly – both in office and in remote locations. Passive and one-sided webinars are soon going to be a thing of the past. Modern and upcoming online event platforms are focusing on engagement and user interaction through features like one-to-one video calls, breakout rooms, roundtables, and more.
Virtual events will continue to be a part of the event industry even after live events and in-person conferences have made their way back into everyday life. While virtual events may not specifically be the norm, their endless benefits & cost-effective nature make them an attractive proposition for companies, as well as event organizers to consider.
What is a virtual event?
A virtual event, simply put, is an event that has most of the attributes of an in-person event, but is hosted online. Virtual events enable the organizers to reach out to individuals across the globe, while also allowing sponsors & exhibitors to connect with the attendees in a simpler, virtual format.
Through virtual events, speakers, dignitaries, and hosts are invited to speak in virtually-hosted sessions, where they can share their expertise in a specific field with registered attendees. Virtual events also allow hosts of art, literature & music festivals to reach out to their audiences through the internet. Conducting virtual events is also one of the best ways to network and build relationships with like-minded individuals. A virtual event can be defined as a scheduled event with a complex agenda, that is very similar to what one would expect from a live show.
Here are some of the exceptional perks of conducting virtual events instead of live events:
Virtual events are cost-effective and budget-friendly
Conducting a virtual event doesn’t necessarily mean hosting it from home. There are recording studios and other venues available at different prices where you can conduct your event. Virtual events are not only less expensive to produce, but are more dynamic than in-person events as they allow remote participation for hosts, speakers, and attendees.
This works in favour of the event organizer or brand, helping them allocate a certain portion of the budget that is traditionally attributed to travel and accommodation, in another aspect of the virtual event.
Virtual Event technology is advancing
The event industry has started including virtual events for conducting daily tasks, and has done so seamlessly. The rise of virtual reality, social media live-streaming and easy-to-use conference applications have already begun to transform the event industry outside of a convention centre.
Today’s virtual event platforms have meeting rooms and basic audio-video features, and are also equipped with exceptional features to engage with attendees, such as gamification, interactive polls, reaction emojis, and more! With features like these, we, at Nunify, are making the virtual event experience seem more like attending a live event, without any added expense.
An immersive digital experience for the attendees
Attendee experience has always played a vital role in helping event organizers take decisions related to their live event. With the rise of virtual events, attendees are able to attend an event in a way they’re most comfortable with.
Perhaps, when live events make a comeback, a certain demographic of attendees may not be willing to travel. Hybrid events allow brands & event organizers to conduct hybrid events, which enables interactions with in-person attendees and virtual attendees.
In the coming months, event planners might consider adding dedicated virtual sessions and other virtual components to live events, to continue to see higher attendee reach, experience new event monetization opportunities with sponsorships and help attendees consume their content in a way that they choose and not as per the choice of the event organiser.
In the present scenario, data-driven marketing & event organization has proven to be massively successful. Hosting a virtual event gives you access to valuable user-behaviour data. With this data, we are able to better target our campaigns, enhance our event set-up & attendee interaction, as well as improve the ROI of virtual events. Virtual events enable you to analyze extensive data to help you improve your upcoming marketing campaigns.
More attendees, maximum business
The content that is generated online is immense. The ability to watch on-demand live sessions means that a higher number of people will be able to attend a virtual event, exposing one’s brand & offerings to a larger audience. In addition to higher viewership among attendees, speakers & performers from a remote location can also conveniently join the event, allowing you to leverage more talent options.
Virtual events, webinars, and other similar events can be used to source & nurture leads, which in turn profits one’s organization.
A source of generating increased revenue
Virtual events help event organizers seek creative sponsorships that will bring in revenue. Virtual event organizers who choose Nunify, can enjoy the benefits of custom-branding the virtual event page, leverage display ads & offer the sponsors & exhibitors dedicated virtual booths.
Thanks to the exponential rise & incredibly dynamic nature of virtual events, experts anticipate that virtual events will continue playing an important part in marketing and event organization strategies, even when the world adopts live events over the due course of time.
From enhancing the brand reach, to expanding sponsorships as well as providing virtual event options as a part of live events might serve as a large opportunity for companies that fall under the event industry.
For event organizers, the rising demand for virtual events is creating new ways of connecting with larger audiences. However, in order to make the most of this trend and truly engage the audience in this highly competitive digital landscape, one needs to deliver top-notch virtual event experiences that are aimed at delivering value to its attendees.