What You Should Know About Online Events
Are you looking to get started with online events? This guide will assist you in getting started, whether you’re organising a virtual event from the beginning or financial constraints are forcing you to examine new options.
When in-person networking events, conferences, and trade exhibitions were cancelled due to the global pandemic, many firms relocated their staff to the remote workplace, the world of event marketing changed dramatically. Sales teams all throughout the world had to shift gears and apply what they learned about in-person outreach to virtual selling. To keep the leads coming in, event marketers had to look into new channels and engagement strategies. In a period when we couldn’t connect and network in person, online events became the new norm for those who could swiftly adapt.
Some remote workers have already been summoned to the office, while other sales and marketing teams have opted to remain digitally focused. Many people have found success conducting virtual events, generating leads, and building productive relationships online for a fraction of the cost of their in-person equivalents. Will T&E and event funding be transferred to in-person events and meetings again as a result of the transition? Both solutions, we believe, will have a place in the future. Attendees will always want to interact in person, but we’ve demonstrated that online events are effective, and they’re not going away anytime soon.
This means that if you haven’t already hosted or attended a virtual or online event, you will very soon. This article is for you if you’re looking for a means to generate leads and pipelines by hosting or attending online events or virtual conferences.
What is the definition of an online event?
Online events, also known as virtual events, are exactly what they sound like: events with a set date, time, and agenda that take place in a virtual space rather than a real one.
Online events frequently include both live and on-demand presentations, as well as the ability to interact with other event attendees in a web-based virtual environment.
When it comes to organisations, virtual events can be as simple as a webinar or as complex as an entire virtual conference. In some circumstances, these take the place of in-person events, while in others, they serve as a supplement to IRL (that’s “in-real-life,” in case internet acronyms aren’t your thing).
The Advantages of Attending Online Events
Are you thinking of hosting an online event but aren’t sure if it’ll be worthwhile? Even in normal circumstances, the list of advantages is long. When you factor in the new digital-first environment, you get a couple more benefits to add to the already large list.
Save Money: Attendees and hosts alike will save money by attending virtual events. Hosts aren’t needed to pay for a high-priced venue or spend a budget to hire employees.
Save Time: When it comes to set up and planning, online event hosts save time. Attendees save time on travel and don’t have to bother about making arrangements for out-of-office meetings.
Expand Attendee Base: Virtual events are accessible to practically everyone because they only require a device with an internet connection. More people can easily attend online events with fewer concerns about health and safety, time commitment, budget, and event location—including overseas guests who may be unable to attend an in-person event due to distance.
Reduced commitments for a virtual event may also make it easier to get speakers, particularly if your event includes both live and pre-recorded sessions.
Continue to Drive Leads and Pipeline: The content you develop for online events can be gated and offered on-demand, or repurposed and utilised in numerous ways throughout the year, making these events perpetual gifts to businesses.
Reduce the Risk of an Outbreak: This is, of course, on everyone’s mind. Virtual events make it easier for your event participants to obtain value from your material without worrying about getting sick or spreading germs in a time when many organisations have reduced employee travel and others have shifted to remote working.
The Different Types of Online Events
Virtual events, like in-person events, vary in size and complexity. Here are a few examples. A single online session can take the shape of a speaker presentation, panel discussion, or other formats. A series of online sessions that may or may not include interactive elements (also known as a virtual event) (such as audience Q&A).
Virtual Summit or Online Conference: A larger virtual event that has many of the same features of an in-person event, such as virtual networking opportunities, virtual exhibitors, and more.
Platforms for Virtual Events for Online Events (and Other Useful Tools)
There are purpose-built virtual event platforms out there, just like anything else. This is a good option if your company plans to have a complex conference or offer online events on a regular basis. If you’re just getting started with virtual events, don’t want sophisticated features, or have a limited budget, there are lots of different applications and solutions that will suffice.
When choosing software to power your virtual event, there are a few aspects to keep in mind:
What is the total number of sessions you intend to run?
Do you intend to hold live sessions, on-demand sessions, or a combination of the two? (For example, a live keynote address surrounded by on-demand seminars where attendees can interact with speakers.)When the event is “live,” what do you want to happen versus when it is “over”? Is your virtual event going to be gated or ungated?
What kind of online event experience do you want your participants to have? (Does it, for example, offer virtual booths or possibilities for networking?)
What is your financial plan? Before, During, and After Your Online Event How to Run Online Events: Before, During, and After Your Online Even Your virtual party will require setup and promotion, just like any other event.
Choose a virtual event platform or another technique of streaming or hosting your content in terms of technology. Plan ahead of time: An online event is still an event. As a result, it requires a specific day and time that guests can pencil into their schedules.
Promote: Figure out which channels are best for reaching your target audience and begin promoting your online event there. Email, video, social media, and partnerships are all examples of productive methods. Consider engaging your sales and customer success teams as part of your promotional army to assist generate excitement for the event through their calls and chats.
While Attending Your Virtual Event
Engage: Have you got your audience’s attention? Good. It’s now up to you to keep them there. If you’re hosting a live session, give participants the chance to ask questions and interact with the speakers. Even if your session is pre-recorded, you can still provide possibilities for engagement with the speaker or the moderator via chat, social media, or other means. Take advantage of any built-in communication and interaction tools that a virtual event platform provides.
Following Your Virtual Event
Host: Embed your sessions on your site and make them available on-demand by uploading them to a video management platform (or, if you’re using an all-in-one tool, use whatever tools they give for this). Consider limiting access to this information to continue generating leads after your virtual event has ended. Also, don’t forget to promote this content in the next months to get the most out of your efforts!