Will Virtual Events Replace In-Person Gatherings?

In 2020, the business world’s view of in-person gatherings changed virtually overnight. Upcoming trade shows, conferences, company get-togethers, and other corporate events are now being reimagined as digital-only affairs.

For organizers, there are many benefits to running a virtual event: they’re flexible, scalable, environmentally friendly, and (we probably should’ve led with this) can save a company tons of money!

This secure network connection is what enables online meeting services and remote teams to be successful.

And here’s more good news:

A survey showed that 81% of professional marketers had already attended a virtual event recently and that 75% were satisfied with those experiences.

Virtual events vs in person events

When running a virtual event, you no longer have to research cities and hotels/venues, and airfare rates, but there are still several factors to consider and steps to follow. Here are a few:

1. Topic. Topic. Topic.

The rule is the same for online events as it is for in-person ones: Topic is everything.

It sets the tone. It helps to neatly organize information and ideas during presentations, workshops, and training sessions.

It will likely also determine who your keynote or guest speakers may be. So figure out your topic first, treat it as the backbone of your event, then build around it.

2. What kind of event will it be?

Once you know the topic, you need to figure out the logistics of your event. Will it be a large, multi-day event with breakout sessions or a one-day webinar or webcast?

Is your event free to join or will you be charging attendees?

Knowing what kind of event you are running is crucial before choosing the platform to use.

For example, not all of them can accommodate a pay-to-enter event.

3. Choose the right platform.

When evaluating platforms first ask yourself:

  • What features will your platform need to have?
  • A paywall or monetization system (if you are indeed charging)?
  • Mobile accessibility?
  • Breakout rooms?
  • Automated reminders?

Most likely, no software platform is going to have everything you need to run your online gathering, so make a list of the features that are most important to you and begin your research.

Here’s one of several articles that we found helpful.

4. Get to promoting.

The rules haven’t changed when it comes to marketing a virtual event. Multi-channel promotion is critical.

Send a series of eblasts that announce and remind recipients of your event.

Create a landing/registration page dedicated to it.

Build website banners and, of course, make sure to promote it on every social media profile you have.

5. Capture and follow-up.

A major benefit of hosting virtual events is that afterwards, all data can be downloaded and analyzed.

You can access who attended, who long they stated, what sessions (if there were multiple offerings) they attended, etc.

These valuable insights can be leveraged to ensure all follow up communications are targeted and relevant to the recipient.

Are you planning on posting a virtual event? Then make sure you have the bandwidth and speed to run it without a glitch.

Our Business Class Internet offers high-capacity, symmetrical speeds to support all of your business needs.

Contact us today to learn more about our full suite of products and services, all designed to help your organization operate more efficiently and productively.