The new opportunities that the virtual event provides to the business

Opinions expressed by entrepreneur the collaborators are their own.

The virtual event industry exploded during the pandemic.

Like the supply of groceries and exercise equipment, sudden global constraints have led to an unprecedented need to move previous personal gatherings to always online arrangements. But once the block was unlocked, the business gradually returned to ordinary establishments.

But is this really a trend whose purpose has been served?

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Virtual events will evolve and remain

I organize and participate in virtual events of one kind or another from 2012 and the days of Google+ and Hangouts On Air! to fulfill them. As a result, they are justified in wondering about the future of the media.

The thing is, even after all the concerns about COVID go away, participants will still want virtual options. In fact, a study by Kaltura found that 84% of those present wanted this safety in case the event, their chosen means of travel or other issues came to the fore and required a change in plans.

“The pandemic has taught us that some types of education can be made much more cost-effective with the help of virtual technology,” agrees Phil Mershon, director of experience at Social Media Examiner. “So when education is information-rich or highly individualized, the virtual experience saves a lot of time and money.”

Gone are the days when brands could provide a boring, static webinar and expect to achieve positive results. The good news is that virtual events offer brands all sorts of fun options, both in the way they present themselves and in what they present!

“You can give the audience a fascinating experience that allows them to explore everything you have to offer,” added Stephanie Liu, live video strategist at Lights, Camera, Live. “In addition, virtual events can include interactive features such as surveys and surveys that allow people to engage with content and learn more about your brand.”

Are hybrid events a compromise?

Many events where organizers are currently building a personal experience need to explore and add a virtual element. Especially while there are still fears stemming from the pandemic, along with rising travel costs around the world. It makes great sense to serve a wider audience, as well as to have a built-in backup plan in case there are local problems that require closure and cancellation of personal activities.

Due to the need for innovation over the last two years, current event platforms are incredibly sophisticated and able to reproduce highly engaging, interactive, virtual experiences that enhance or even surpass personal colleagues.

“I spoke at Cvent Connect last week, which was also broadcast live, and witnessed a virtual audience that was more engaged than the audience in the room,” said Catherine Walter, senior director of marketing at ZincFive. “Participants who were physically present told me that they would watch the sessions they missed on request after the event and would recommend the ones they liked the most to their colleagues who managed to buy a pass only for virtual ones.”

In fact, the rise of augmented reality leads to immersive experiences that may initially be assumed to be exclusively for virtual events.

“Brands need to invest in the hybrid future of events with both online and offline components,” said Goldie Chan, a personal branding expert. “We’ll also see more interesting VR and AR apps for events, but no solid substitutes for brands build audience engagement like personal communication and networking.”

Indeed, a case needs to be made for IRL gatherings to add a virtual component and for brands that are interested in creating engaging extended events to add personal components.

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A new value lies in the virtual

Companies today that have a solid virtual event plan and use a sophisticated platform can use online events to market, generate leads and find customers like never before.

“Brands are no longer tied to IRL or just virtual, but ongoing and hybrid evolution,” said Sarah Evans, CEO of Sevans PR. “It takes a completely different strategy, implementation and offering – but missing out on a virtual opportunity means missing out on a whole piece of the marketing share.”

A brand that hosts a virtual meeting today may have a series of sessions on a variety of topics from which visitors can choose and note which visitors are engaged in which sessions, speakers, sponsors and other aspects of the event. They can mark which materials have been downloaded and push all this data into the CRM, which automatically transmits contacts and results in SDR based on user behavior.

Ultimately, it is clear that virtual events will continue to be a strong strategy for brands to use.

Related: 3 technological advances that enhance virtual events

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