Virtual events grabbed everyone’s attention last year. When all the physical events had to be cancelled or postponed. And there was no other alternative. But online event existed for a long time. They first appeared in the 90s, in the form of video calls. However, with time they evolved to host much more sophisticated events virtually.
No one ever thought that online events could compete with live events. Or even replace them. But last year this is what happened when the pandemic outbreak and social gathering was banned. And during all this, the online events made a compelling case for themselves. But how online events work? Let’s look into this.
Virtual Events – Way of hosting events in the 21st century
Virtual events are those events that are hosted in the digital medium. These events can also be viewed as the digital alternatives of the live events. And so is the goal of these events. To provide an experience close to the live event in the online world.
Virtual events rely on technology. In this case, it is the online event platform or virtual event software. These platforms offer an enticing experience, tons of engagement features and networking tools. So that not only the audience but also the event organisers can get the best of the technology. There are lots of online event platforms out there. But you should carefully choose the one that suits best your needs. For this, you can compare your event’s requirements with the features and tools offered by the platform.
Types of Virtual Events
Now you must be wondering, which events can be organised virtually. And can you host your event virtually? The answer is yes. And literally, all the events can be organised virtually. You may run out of ideas for the online events but the technology will not stop you from organising the event virtually.
For your reference, here is a list of events that have been organised virtually-
- Virtual Product launches
- Virtual conferences
- Virtual literature fest
- Virtual music fest
- Virtual trade shows
- Virtual expos and exhibitions
- Virtual award shows
- Virtual career/job fairs
- Virtual AGMs
- Virtual Town halls
And many more. These are the few of the events that are have been hosted virtually. But this is not the complete list. You can find various events being hosted virtually on the internet. For instance, someone hosted a virtual wine tasting. While some are more common events like virtual esports tournaments.
Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash
Why You Should Host a Virtual Event
You must be thinking ok every event can be hosted virtually. But why should you choose to host an event virtually? And what are the benefits of hosting an event virtually? Sit back and let us explain.
- Affordability: Hosting a virtual event is much more affordable than a live event. You don’t have to spend money on things like Venue, travelling, food and accommodation.
- Time friendly: Since you can attend the event virtually, you can save your time. Generally, to attend a live event, you are required to travel to the venue. And this can be time-consuming. So avoid all this hassle by switching to online events.
- Diverse Audience: With virtual events, you can overcome constraints like financial, time and geographical barriers. It means you can host a broader audience. And this includes people from all over the world.
- Value for money: Online events are better value propositions when compared to live events. You can save your expenses, host more people and get access to a global audience. It means the returns you get are far better than what one can get from a live event.
- Engagement: You have lots of features to engage the audience at online events. Some of these features are Gamification, leaderboard, social wall and AR Photobooth etc.
- Networking: Creating networking opportunities and attracting more people to your event. Our favourite networking tools are AI Matchmaking, Networking tables and B2B Meeting scheduler etc.
- Monetise your event: You can monetise your online event. All you have to do is to upload the recording of the event. And it will generate traffic on your website. And you can earn money by hosting advertisements on your website.
- Eco-friendly event: By opting for a virtual event, you can save resources like paper, wood and many more. Hence, reducing your carbon footprint.
These are some of the benefits of hosting a online event.
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5 ways to make your virtual event engaging
If you are planning to host a virtual event, but don’t know how to engage with the audience. Then don’t worry. We have some recommendations to help you out.
It is one of the most popular techniques used by event organisers to engage the audience in online events. You can add online games to your event. Or can come up with your own games. Gamification is among the most effective ways to engage the audience. With gamification, you can expect some good results.
Another great way to engage the audience to provide the option to chat among themselves. This will help in networking and encourage interaction among attendees, speakers and guests. For this, you can provide a native chat feature. Alternatively you can provide support for third-party chatting apps like WhatsApp and Zoom.
Networking lounges or networking tables are dedicated spaces where people can meet and communicate. It is one of the best networking tools out there. And apart from networking, it can help you to keep your audience busy. Networking lounges enable a 1:1 as well as group chat with audio & video chat functionality, which successfully replicates the life-like experience over a virtual event.
AR photobooth allows the attendees to click their photos in different backgrounds. The background templates can be based on the theme of the event. These photos can be shared on multiple social media channels. This provides a sense of belonging to the virtual audience. And attract a large number of people to your event.
You can host various types of competitions or giveaways to engage the audience. This will help you in grabbing everyone’s attention in the event. You can ask the attendees to post something about the event on social media using the relevant hashtags. Alternatively, you can ask to visit your sponsor’s booth. And you can award the winner by gifts or goody bags sponsored by event sponsors.
These are some effective ways to engage the audience at virtual events. So tell us about your thoughts on online events.