COVID-19 changed how the world worked. As people were forced to stay at home, virtual entertainment became the norm. Now with the COVID-19 public health emergency coming to an end, there are questions about what that means for virtual events.
During the last few years, event organizers and hosts have witnessed how beneficial virtual events and hybrid events can be. Compared to in-person events, virtual events allow organizers to spend less time focusing on venues, logistics, and accommodations. Instead, they’re able to focus primarily on providing their attendees with an engaging and interactive experience. Plus, they can streamline their events through automation tools and services.
But those aren’t the only advantages of hosting online. Here are six more benefits of virtual events in 2023.
Global Accessibility and Increased Reach
The more guests who sign up and attend your event, the more successful the event will be. Unlike in-person events, which are limited in their reach, virtual events and virtual conferences can cater to a wider audience than just those who live nearby. Anyone with an internet connection and an internet-enabled device can attend. This helps in two distinct ways.
Connect With Attendees Regardless of Location
Virtual events allow you to reach audiences near and far, regardless of their geographical location. In-person events often require attendees, including guest speakers, to travel. Sometimes this involves flying. And if you’re inviting someone who lives overseas, this can be a hassle (and an expense) for both them and you. Virtual events, on the other hand, easily allow international guests to attend your event. While you may have to make some adjustments for time zones, you’ll find that you’re able to attract a wider audience.
Not only does this allow you to reach more attendees, but you’ll also be able to attract more stakeholders and customers. Plus, because you’ll be reaching out internationally, your event will be more diverse, opening the door for more inclusion and differing perspectives and ideas that can be shared during Q&A sessions.
Attract a Larger Audience
Virtual events make it easier for attendees, guest speakers, stakeholders, and customers to attend your event. Not only will you be able to reach out to people living internationally, but you’ll also be able to engage with those who would otherwise be unable to attend your event due to family life, disabilities, time constraints, and other logistics.
There are also no limitations on how big a successful event can be. In-person events can become overly crowded if too many event attendees are invited. Virtual events give you more room than ever before to invite thousands of guests.
Cost Savings for Organizers and Attendees
The cost of in-person events can quickly rack up. You have to take into account the venue, staff, setup fees, catering and entertainment costs, travel, furniture, and risk mitigation for things like weather issues and electrical and fire hazards.
With virtual events, you’re able to save on overhead costs. While there are still fees involved in setting up your event, hiring speakers and entertainment, and taking into account risks such as downtime, you’re still able to save quite a bit because you don’t need to invest in a physical location or catering.
While this helps event planners cut back on costs, it also helps attendees. Attendees won’t have to worry about booking a flight or spending money on gas to travel to your event. They also won’t have to book a hotel.
Because of the lower cost of organizing a virtual event, you can allocate more time and money to providing your guests with immersive virtual experiences. And for attendees, the thought of saving money on travel and hotels means they’re more likely to attend your event and splurge on event merchandise.
Advanced Engagement Strategies and Networking Opportunities
Virtual events make it easier to implement a more engaging and interactive session. Most virtual event platforms have interactive features that help you with engagement strategies. For example, you can incorporate chatrooms where your guests can talk freely with each other, polls and surveys to quiz your attendees on their opinions, and Q&A sessions without the noise that comes with a typical in-person event.
You can even split your attendees up into breakout rooms for smaller and easier-to-manage discussions, product showcases, or demonstrations. Attendees are also able to interact more openly and easily with sponsors, guest speakers, and hosts, allowing them to feel more included and heard. There are plenty more virtual event ideas that you can try out, too, such as online games.
Virtual events also help improve networking efforts. Through chatrooms, your guests can connect more easily with like-minded individuals, build communities, and form lasting relationships that can lead to future collaborations and opportunities.
Enhanced Data Collection and Analytics
Collecting data and analytics for in-person events can be difficult. It’s harder to determine the engagement levels of your attendees and how they reacted to certain speakers. Even collecting feedback can be challenging when hosting an in-person event. It’s harder to improve future events without this vital information.
Since virtual events are hosted on a virtual event platform, organizers are given access to features that collect data and analytics in real time. Organizers can easily track engagement and behavior, identify which sessions and speakers resonated with guests, and take surveys and live polls to collect feedback.
The information collected during online events can help organizers figure out event success rates and make data-driven decisions on how to improve future events and marketing efforts. They can learn more about what their guests like and dislike and tailor content to their guests’ specific needs for the future.
Flexibility and Adaptability
Compared to in-person events, virtual events provide more flexibility to all those involved. Attendees, sponsors, stakeholders, and guest speakers are all able to be flexible in where they join the event from. Individuals have the opportunity to join from their office, a café, or even at home in their pajamas.
For organizers, the flexibility comes with how they broadcast their event and the immersive options they can provide throughout.
But that’s not all. There are two standout flexibility options that virtual events have over in-person events.
Offer On-Demand Content for Convenient Access
Convenience is one of the more prominent benefits when it comes to virtual events. Since your attendees will be tuning in from all across the world, virtual events help accommodate guests who have different schedules or live in different time zones. Online events can be recorded for guests who are unable to attend the live event, which helps those who may be sleeping, busy with prior engagements, or busy at work.
You can also pre-record segments which can double as content and good marketing material for your future events. You can share clips on your website and social media platforms to drive engagement and bring in future participants. Your pre-recorded sessions will exist for as long as you need them to, and you can even use pre-recorded content again for future events.
Easily Adapt and Scale Event Formats
Virtual events are also easy to adapt to your specific goals and needs. Whether your event is big or small, you’re able to easily scale your event up or down to accommodate your attendees.
You can also use different formats for your event. For example, instead of cramming all your activities into a single day, you can split them up into several days back-to-back at no additional cost. This allows you, your guest speakers, and attendees all to have a break. Your attendees won’t have to worry about missing out, either, because you can record each day’s content for guests to catch later, if they miss anything live.
Environmentally Friendly and Sustainable
When it comes to events, attending in person often involves a lot of traveling, which can have negative effects on the environment due to increased carbon emissions. However, virtual events offer a solution to this problem, as they eliminate the need for participants to travel altogether. In addition, virtual events require minimal resources compared to in-person events, such as electricity, heating, cooling, and paper products.
There’s also no need for catering services, which reduces food and fuel waste, and no need for printed materials like pamphlets and flyers. Instead, everything is handled online. As long as you and your participants have an internet-enabled device and connection, you can host or attend a virtual event and produce very little waste. This makes virtual events a more sustainable and environmentally friendly option for hosting events.
Cutting-Edge Event Management Software for Virtual Events
Despite the obvious advantages of virtual events, there are still some challenges that you’ll face as an event organizer. However, you can streamline the process of organizing with Events.com’s end-to-end event management software. Our software can be accessed worldwide to help organizers manage, market, and monetize virtual events of all sizes. Whether you need a landing page, marketing tools, or a way to bring in sponsors, our system has you covered every step of the way.
If you’re interested in organizing a successful virtual event, try out our event management software today.