What does it look like to have an event online: pros and cons of going digital
Online events are on the rise ever since we are prohibited to travel and go to work. Interacting and meeting in a virtual way got crucial, whether that is in the setting of a single webinar, one to one meeting, live presentation or all of those together. Virtual Events are the solution to a lot of challenges faced due to COVID-19. Here we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of hosting an event online and how your company can get started scaling business and engagement with virtual conferences.
Pros of Online Events
Whether CORONA or not digital events have a huge advantage to it, which can help businesses make engagement, connection and sales easier on a global level. Amongst the greatest benefits of online events are:
Save time and money
Hosting an event online does save your company and partners a lot of time. It starts from not having to travel to a venue, not having to book any accommodation or transport and not having to invest time in setting things up. Cutting out travel time as well as accommodation and venue cost will save both, host and attendee a lot of time. Additionally, the event organizer will save immensely on money, as virtual conferences do not require catering or other sort of lodging. Furthermore, the setup time of the event including planning and logistics take up less time when hosting an event online. So in terms of increasing revenue and decreasing cost, hosting a virtual conference instead of an in person event is worth a thought.
Be more sustainable
Without venue, travel and catering your event suddenly becomes a lot more sustainable. In person events, produce a fair amount of waste, which would all fall away if hosted online. Additionally, pollution and CO2 emission caused by air and car travel would greatly reduce if your invites would no longer have to travel large distances to your event but simply stay at home and enjoy the experience from the comfort of their office. So if your company cares at all about environmental health, going digital in your next event is worth a consideration.
Make it convenient
Businesspersons who travel a lot know how much of a travel can sometimes be. Trains run late, flights are canceled and not to speak of traffic jams. Providing a virtual conference for your partners, clients and colleges could be a wonderful way to bring more convenience into business matters and thus make get together more enjoyable for all parties.
More in short time
How long does it in average take to plan, set up and host an in person event? It takes weeks if not months, which means that a company can only host said amount of events per year. Now what if you could make an event happen with just a few weeks or even days of preparation. Hosting a virtual event can make this happen. Once you have found a platform provider that suits you can host multiple events in a very short time, as there is no need to include travel time or research for catering and venue.
Better data capturing
Virtual conferences and online events allow your company to track attendance of your event on a new level. While in person it can be difficult to get a grab of all participants yet get their details for further use of contact, a virtual event provides the ability to track analytics, attendee data and behavior in very distinct fashion.
Cons of Digital Events
Of course, where there are advantages, there are disadvantages, and since we want to provide a holistic overview of what digital events can do for your business, we cannot leave them out. Therefore, the following lists a few challenges one might face with virtual fairs.
It goes without saying that virtual events are unlike in person events a lot less personal. Connecting with people is just not the same when doing it online than in person. However, considering the current situation with COVID as well as the inconvenience of travel online events might still be worth a consideration.
Higher attendee fluctuation
While participants might not leave the conference that quickly after they have traveled hours to get there, attendees might tend to sign off an online event quicker since they are already in the comfort of their home. However, if done right an exciting and engaging event will hold attention and keep people online.
Time zone issues
When hosting an event offline people are in the same location and thus in the same time zone. However, when hosting an event online your invitees may be in different time zones which makes scheduling the event as well as virtual conference times and presentations a lot harder.
How to define what you need
After giving you an in depth impression of the advantages and disadvantages of virtual events, we now want to give you a guideline on how to figure out what is right for you.
First one needs to decide what one is looking for. There are multiple forms of online events such as live presentations, one on one meetings, prerecorded presentations, webinar meetings, live panel discussions, etc.
The first step is to define what your company needs. Is it just one of those modules or is it an all in one?
Once decided on what is needed, research can begin.
What to look for in a platform
All in One
If you intend to have various different forms of events with multiple modules then the first thing to look for in a platform is if they provide all that you need in one integration. Like AVIANET VEP for example combines live presentation, on demand presentation, virtual round table, live panel discussion, live chats, analytics, polls and quizzes as well as exhibition areas all in just one platform.
Additionally you would want to check if third party integrations are necessary. Since you are paying for this platform, it is important to make sure they provide everything without you having to purchase an extra service.
If you choose to host an event online, you want to make sure that everything goes smoothly during the event. Nothing is worse than a platform that is not working or facing some technical issues. Therefore, it is important to find out whether or not your virtual event platform provider has a technical support during the event.
Customizable event structure
Especially when you are planning to host a specific, more individual event as well as are looking for a long term solution to host your online events you might want to consider customizable event structure as a feature to your platform. This means that you as the event organizer create your event package with all the modules and features you need. The advantage to this is that you have individual pricing for each event as well as make sure all the integrations you need are provided.
If you are looking for a Virtual Event Platform with 100% customizable event structure our VEP 2D might be exactly what you are looking for. We designed the platform so you can add and take away all the modules and features you need and up on that we calculate your personal price.
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