Virtual Events vs. Live Events
When you think of a virtual event, you undoubtedly think of an uninteresting course or a sluggish lecture. In the past, this may have been the case, but the standard for virtual events has risen extremely in last year. As a result, many concepts exist today that allow you to host a very successful and interesting virtual event. Let’s have a look at some of the many advantage that virtual events offer.
With a virtual event you can easily reach a larger audience because there are fewer to none barriers to participation. Attendees would have had to travel to a live event in person, which is obviously a huge financial and time commitment. This significantly reduces the potential reach of a live event. However, this problem no longer exists when you organise a virtual event.
In theory, anyone who wants to can take part in a virtual event as long as the servers have sufficient computing power. Therefore, there is literally no limit to the number of participants in virtual events, which allows you to address a much larger audience and at the same time there are fewer barriers that could keep a participant away from the event. Therefore, you can expect a much larger number of participants for your virtual event than for a live event.
Another very big advantage of a virtual event is that a much lower budget can lead to a great experience. For a live event you would have to consider many more aspects, all of which would of course cost you a lot of money. For example, you would have to rent a location, hire security or possibly even take care of the catering. All these factors do not play a role in a virtual event, so you can either save the money or invest more in the actual event.
This gives you the opportunity to organise a much bigger and more elaborate event than you would actually be able to. It will help you to convince participants more and build a better image for you and your brand. In addition, the costs are not only lower for you, but also for the environment.
Participants have no longer to travel to the event, which means much less CO-2 is emitted and the impact on the environment reduced. In addition, you do not need staff to travel to the event, which results in even greater savings.
Following recent decisions by the EU Parliament, data collection has become a tricky issue for companies in the EU. However, it is not impossible to collect users' data as long as your actions comply with the current legal situation. Therefore, a virtual event offers a goldmine of data for companies that know how to collect the data properly.
At a live event, you would need to ask attendees in person for email addresses or other contact details, so you are much less likely to get this data. However, with a virtual event, you can set up the terms and conditions to allow you to automatically collect attendees' data. However, you should of course make sure that you follow the current guidelines and collect your participants' data transparently and treat it responsibly. Because these regulations are very tricky, it can be of great value to work with an experienced partner in that field.
You can achieve a lot with this data. For example, you can do email marketing with the new contact details you receive or otherwise inform your participants about new products or events. This gives you the chance to convert a much larger proportion of participants into customers.
How do you organise a good virtual event?
Compared to a live event, you will need to focus on completely different aspects to make your virtual event a great success. Therefore, we would like to give you some important tips that you can easily apply to your next virtual event.
Reliable Online Platform
The only way the virtual event can be a success is through a reliable online platform. You cannot plan or implement an event without reliable technology so this should be your first focus. To do this, you should first ensure that you have the necessary capacity to implement a virtual event. You need a lot of computing power and strong servers to handle the potentially very high number of participants. It is essential to guarantee a stable connection during the event, as the number of participants will drop rapidly as soon as transmission problems occur or the connection breaks down completely.
Therefore, you should always have a backup that ensures that the event can continue even if the technology has problems. A failure of the event due to technical problems would be very damaging to your image and would negate any potential successes from the event.
We recommend that you look for a competent technical partner who can provide you with a suitable online platform. Since virtual events are very complex, we advise you to pay special attention to a personal contact person when choosing a partner, who will support you in all steps from planning to post-event evaluation.
Offer added value
While live events offer participants several ways to spend their time, virtual events only offer content. Therefore, the content is the only thing that can motivate the participant to attend the event. In order to ensure this, it is necessary that you offer your participants real added value with your content, which can arouse and maintain their interest. This requires thorough planning.
First, you need to know your target group and find out the needs and desires of the participants. By having a better opportunity to collect data at a virtual event, this aspect should be easier for you. With the data collected, you can create customer personas that show you what your customers want and in what format they prefer.
Another important element is that you keep the interest and attention of the participants. Especially when participants attend from home. There are many potential distractions that can steal participants' attention. To avoid this problem, you should include interactive elements in your virtual event. For example, allow your participants to give live feedback or chat between events.
Of course, you can organise the best virtual event, but it won't make an impact if your target audience doesn't hear about the event. Therefore, you need to do intensive marketing so that potential participants find out about the event and want to take part. You have many different ways to do this.
If you already have an email list, you can of course reach potential participants in this way. Other ways include social media channels or collaborations with influencers. There are many ways to get your message out on the internet and as long as you are creative, this will work.
Be aware of trends
If you are hosting a virtual event, it is especially important that you follow current trends, as online participants are likely to follow the latest trends as well. To do this, you need to develop a concept for the event in advance that is inspired by modern trends.
By following the trend, you can arouse the customers' interest through familiar content or features. Of course, it is also a valid tactic to go against the current trend in order to generate attention in this way. However, this approach is much more difficult if you want to place yourself as a trendsetter.
Recording the event
If you are hosting a virtual event, it is not a big effort to record the entire event. This way you can make sure that all the footage of the event is still available after the event, for example as video on demand content. This has several advantages for you. Firstly, you can repeat your event on a later date, so that participants who were not available on the original date can still attend the event. Of course, the recorded event will not have the same appeal as the live event, but there will still be an audience for it.
Other benefits you get from recording the event include learning effects. By recording the entire event, it is much easier for you to learn from any mistakes made during the event. This way you can ensure that you do not repeat mistakes in future events and that these events will be even more successful.
Ideas for virtual events
Now that you know the advantages and the most important aspects of a virtual event, we would like to give you some ideas on how to implement the individual aspects. For this purpose, we have prepared five ideas for you.
Interviews are a classic way to capture the attention of the audience and increase the reach of an event. By interviewing an influential personality during your event, you automatically increase your audience. However, you should also make sure that the target group of the interviewed person matches your target group as closely as possible. Otherwise, this could trigger disinterest among your target group who are not familiar with the person.
A Q&A session or simply a "question and answer session" is a popular way to interact with attendees. At a live event it can be difficult to host a Q&A session as it can be hard to interact with a large live audience in parts. However, it is much easier to host a Q&A session online. Simply select interesting questions from the participants and answer them. Also consider the added value for the participants.
Gamification is the technical term for making something playful. Depending on the target group you want to reach, this tool could be very useful for you. For example, one implementation of gamification would be a system of virtual points. For each event that a participant attends, he or she receives points and can, for example, collect further points through interactions with the event. Prizes could then be raffled among the participants with the most points. The effect of such measures is highly dependent on your target group and should therefore be used with caution.
Surveys during a live event are an easy way to get participants to interact with the event. They attract the attention of the participants and allow you to gauge the mood and wishes of the participants. In this way, you can also give participants a limited say in the event. For example, you can extend certain aspects of the event if your participants want to. Of course, this requires you to be very flexible in your planning and to be prepared for such eventualities. Be aware that not every platform offers this possibility.
Sponsors are a great way to reduce the cost of an event while increasing its reach. If you are looking for a sponsor for your virtual event, make sure that your sponsor fits your target group. Otherwise, your target group will be deterred, creating the opposite effect.
However, if you find a good and suitable sponsor, this can significantly reduce the costs of your event and create a win-win situation for both companies.
vivenio Virtual – The perfect software for your virtual event
The success of a virtual event requires a lot of effort and depends heavily on the choice of the right software solution. If you are organizing a virtual event, you need a reliable solution that optimally supports you from planning, participant management, registration, execution to the evaluation of your event. This platform must be able to handle even high data volumes without problems or crashes.
vivenio Virtual is a solution that provides you with exactly these possibilities and much more in a simple and straightforward interface.
No extensive knowledge of the platform is necessary. You work directly from the beginning you’re your personal contact. He or she will take over all technical tasks and support you in each step of your event from start to finish. This leaves you free to concentrate on the really important things, such as the content and your participants.
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