It may seem surprising but the reality is that there is still a knowledge gap when it comes to the true power of online and virtual events, which have evolved from a simple webinar to engaging full-scale events with global reach.
Whether a stand-alone event or as the digital element of a live physical event, virtual events are growing and their applications are utilised by a wide range of organisations.
The most common online events include careers and recruitment fairs, global conferences, membership meetings, trade shows, and product launches, but here are our top 5 applications for virtual events.
- Recruitment And Careers Fairs
Corporate or association careers fairs, and university open days and careers fairs are proving to be very popular and effective in an online environment. The younger generation of keyboard warriors and the international nature of the education and employment world has spurred interest in virtual events which enable organisations to reach a wider range of candidates and to engage in meaningful conversation with all the networking and communication tools an online event can offer, not to mention that digital footprint which provides rich data for review and follow up.
- Trade Shows And Exhibitions
The number of organisations choosing to launch virtual trade shows and exhibitions is rapidly rising. These online events can include everything one would expect at a physical event including individually branded booths, sponsor areas, live presentation auditoriums, resource centres and networking areas, with the added benefit of being left on-demand after the event is held. Exhibitors and organisers are finding the wealth of data created by the digital footprint incredibly valuable whilst the options of live chat, audio chat and video chat, whether public or private, make the levels of connection and engagement very significant.
- Global Conferences & Internal & External Communications
From small collaborative meetings to large conferences, with 1000’s of delegates, virtual events are proving to be ideal for events targeted at a geographically diverse audience. Organisations planning commercial events, client events or internal events find online events a very cost and time effective way of delivering a programme. Concern about engagement is unfounded as, if managed well, there can be much more interaction with live chat, video chat and audio rooms than at a physical event.
- Product Launches
Online product launches allow companies to manage the promotion of a new product or service to their audience all at the same time with no-one having to leave their desk, saving time and cost for both parties. A virtual event adds a content rich and innovative new facet to the marketing mix with the ability to accurately measure audience engagement. Experience shows online events are achieving a wider audience reach and engagement than traditional practices for launching products.
- Online Training And Learning
In our increasingly ‘time poor’ work lives our patterns of learning are shifting towards more online modalities. Virtual platforms offer a single online training room or whole virtual academy with multiple classrooms, social halls and resource centres that can be used time and time again to deliver learning. Training can be delivered live or on-demand giving trainees the opportunity to choose the times most suitable to them.
So what are the main advantages of a virtual event?
For businesses hosting the event, the biggest advantage is being able to reach an unlimited audience regardless of location and in a cost-efficient way.
To the delegates attending, the main advantages are time, convenience and no travel costs. They can attend from any location and have a personalised experience as well as consume content in their own time.