Why Event Pros Are Obsessed With Virtual Events: 6 Benefits & Advantages
If you’re like one of the thousands of people who has switched to virtual working, learning, and socializing since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in February of 2020, you’re probably used to one thing: Zoom fatigue.
Zoom fatigue can feel like burnout, anxiety, and feelings of being overwhelmed or unproductive. And thanks to the recent increase in digital communication because of COVID, it might seem like virtual events are the last thing your target audience would want to attend right now. But we’re here to remind everyone that virtual events don’t have to be a drag.
In fact, when they’re done right, they can even be better than in-person events! And despite the uptick in zoom fatigue, marketing and event professionals still reap major benefits from hosting online events.
Before we dig into the many reasons that marketing and event professionals love virtual events, let’s look at the cold hard facts. If you still need convincing that virtual events aren’t going anywhere soon, here’s some quick numbers that might help change your mind:
Now that we got those numbers out of the way, here are just a few of the many benefits of virtual events that will stick along long after COVID is gone.
6 Reasons Pros Love Virtual Events
In business, it all comes down to the bottom line. So one of the biggest reasons event professionals love virtual events is because they cost much less than traditional in-person events.With virtual events, you don't have to pay for hotels, venues, or catering--all of which can end up costing a hefty chunk of change. Saving money on virtual events can be great for marketing departments that are seeing their budgets slashed due to COVID-19. More than half of event marketers surveyed believe their 2021 budgets will be smaller, so it’s a good idea to start planning now.
Save Time and Money
Do you find that the closer you get to an event, the less work your team actually has time to do? Planning and producing a major in-person event takes a lot of work--loading up products, shepherding people, setting up signage, and rearranging rooms can take days, depending on the size of the venue and event. On average, it takes half the time to plan a virtual event (4
weeks compared to 8). Plus, small virtual events can take as little as 2 weeks to plan! So if you’re low on man-power and time, a virtual event is the way to go.
Better for Attendees
Right now, travel for events is pretty impossible, let alone risky. In normal times, travel can still be expensive, time-consuming, and just plain annoying for event attendees and speakers alike.
One of the best ways to boost your attendance is to make your event easy to attend, and virtual events take the win in this category. It’s much easier for a busy executive to tune into your conference online in between meetings than it would be for them to catch a flight to your city. With virtual events, you can avoid all sorts of barriers to high attendance, including geographical distance, travel expenses, and tight schedules. In one survey, 80% of respondents said they were able to reach more of their audience via virtual events than in person events.
If there’s one thing marketers and event professional love, it’s feedback--ideally in the form of cold, hard data. And virtual events offer plenty of data to look through.
Depending on your virtual event platform, you can get data about attendance levels, guest satisfaction, which topics garnered the most interest, and more. While you may get some feedback from in-person attendees about their thoughts and feelings about the events, it can’t beat the data that virtual platforms can offer.With virtual events, you can record all presentations to go over later and find places to improve.
Best of all, personalized data from attendees can help you follow up with qualified sales prospects.
Get Better Speakers
If you’re trying to find superstar speakers for your conference or event, you know how difficult it can be to get A-listers on your line-up. But even major influencers in your field are likely to be more interested in speaking at virtual events rather than in-person ones.
Things like travel and time away from the office make in-person presenting undesirable to C- level execs and other speakers. With a virtual event, it’s easy for them to log on to the presentation from the comfort of their home or office. For the speaker, there’s a big difference between a 60 minute commitment for a virtual presentation and a 2 day trip to an in-person event.
Easy to Evolve
As we all know after the COVID pandemic, circumstances can change quickly and drastically. If something major happens, it’s harder to pivot in-person events than virtual events. If a speaker gets sick, a venue has to close, or a massive pandemic sweeps the globe, it's difficult to change plans for an in-person event.
You might have to cancel the entire event and lose non-refundable deposits!
But even if those things happen, you can still host your virtual event with just a few tweaks. Virtual events have a lot of flexibility, so you can rest easy knowing that everything won’t come crashing down due to an unforeseeable issue.
Plan Your Virtual Event Today!
Even if you’re all Zoomed out after 2020, virtual events don’t have to be a drag. As you can see from this list, there’s plenty of reasons everyone--from event professionals to speakers and attendees--loves virtual events. Need help planning your next virtual event?
Get in touch with our team to see just how much your organization can benefit from a well-planned and produced virtual event.