Postpone or go Virtual?
20 Nov

Postpone or go Virtual?

From the first mention of that now infamous word “Covid” not for a minute did we ever know or even conceive what the wide-ranging implications would be in such a short period of time.

None more so than the Event industry who have been impacted so greatly with recent restrictions. Event organisers are faced with ongoing challenges of negotiating the dilemma of “kicking the can down the road” once again by postponing a conference or Event in the vague hope that the next statistic will herald the news that we can go back to allowing some sort of meaningful gatherings in the not so distant future.

If anything recent months have taught us that’s a risky bet! Especially after 2 lockdowns and let’s face it the Government telling us we can gather may only be half the battle. Companies & indeed people have to have the confidence to return. The risk in waiting could always be you miss your window of opportunity reaching the group of people who until recently you held in the palm of your meeting room hand so to speak!

The good news is that this can be achieved online and there are clear advantages to creating a successful Virtual event.

Hybrid Conference Image Covid

The Virtual path to your audience:

So, given the current lay of the land and you’ve decided another postponement isn’t a viable option there really is only one show in town which is to take your conference or Event online.

Virtual events, what are they? Very simply put, they are events exclusively online. They use various options of platforms to suit your specific needs.

What’s the difference between a Virtual event & Hybrid event? A Hybrid event is everything in-between a virtual event and a live event. There would be a live audience in a room and also a remote audience participating online at one event. A mixture of both worlds.

Advantages of Virtual Events:  

  • Reduced Costs: Production and Marketing costs are generally considerably less.
  • Retaining your key audience remotely. Organisations gain many positives from remote working staff such as “enhanced social exchange processes, reduced turnover, and increased productivity” (Palumbo, 2020)
  • Online registration: this is a great tool for organisations to keep a record of exactly who’s attending. Be it for the Sales department to follow leads or the professional organisation that needs to award CPD points
  • Increased Sponsor worth & Brand recognition: No longer is the capacity of a meeting space a factor in restricting attendees. It really is a case of more the merrier! Your audience is now global. We have certainly noticed at AVC that our clients are always surprised by the number or attendees at their Online events.  An advantage for any sponsor.  Insertion of Advertisement type ad breaks throughout the programme is also a great tool for Sponsors to reach their audience.
  • Production Flexibility: Online events provide a great opportunity to produce an exciting interactive event. With the options for one to one interview, moderated panel discussions, Sales campaign or townhall style meetings. The key is to think TV as opposed to Live event.
  • Greater analytics: Online events lend themselves to data collection. This can be key in planning your next event or as mentioned creating Sales leads. Voting & polling also allows you to have a finger on the pulse of your audience to really get to what they think of a particular product or goal you are trying to achieve.

Summary:

Virtual events clearly offer some serious worth. The advantages are pretty much endless. There is no question that without Covid19, Virtual events would not be as affordable or technologically advanced as they are right now, so I suppose it is a case of “Every cloud etc”

When we see the back of this dreadful pandemic and we return to our normality of meeting in person in larger numbers because let’s face it as humans that’s how we are designed to be.  I am of the opinion that the virtual Genie is out of the bottle and even live events will have a larger online aspect to them more than ever before.

Stay well & Best for now,

Séamus Magann

Director at AVC

If you are considering an online event let us know and we would be delighted to advise the best fit for your Event.