Are virtual events here to stay?

This has been a sad year for many event goers. As peak-festival season is passing by, they are joined with the millions of Americans who can’t attend concerts, conferences, festivals and other events we all look forward to. On the flip side, brands and organizations are losing out on much needed engagement with their audiences, employees, and various stakeholders.

Because of this we have seen virtual events on a steady rise. We have seen Zoom become a household name. We have been spammed with multiple webinar invites each day.

A massive list of events that have been cancelled due to COVID. Yes, some will pivot to a virtual event.

Imagine being at a tech conference in Silicon Valley where Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple is the key speaker. In person, you might be sitting front in center, or you may be 12 rows back hearing nasty echo, or even being distracted by the person on their phone next to you. Virtual events provide the opportunity for key speakers to get “in your face” and portray their message as if they are speaking directly to the individual, not the audience. Once brands and professional services realize how powerful (and cost effective) that can be, we can expect to see less in-person massive conferences.

This concept applies across the board. That goes for talking with clients, employees, students, board meetings, stakeholders, and everyone in between.

This doesn’t mean that massive, in person industry conferences will disappear. It’s very unlikely. But perhaps for organizations they may invest more in producing virtual events that engage a more focused audience on a different level. We have momentarily lost the ability to connect and engage face-to-face, but we have gained an opportunity to showcase our expertise and authentic self in a new, attractive way.

Here are the pros of going virtual:

Low cost and easily scalable. Ability to interact in real-time with the audience, and conduct polls on the fly. Hosts and panelists can participate from anywhere, at anytime. You can collect tons of valuable data and analytical information. Various hosting platforms are available. Event recordings can easily be repurposed and turned into high quality content.

With very few cons:

A good connection is required for the hosts/panelists. Depending on the situation, and the required quality, hosts/panelists may need a better microphone for speech intelligibility. Hosts and panelists need a quiet space (that looks good) where they can be uninterrupted for the duration of the event.

Luckily VisionPoint can help you with all the cons of going virtual, as well as making sure the event goes seamlessly. You can read about how we helped a PR firm plan and execute their virtual event.


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