How Virtual Events Can Benefit Your Business After the Pandemic
Virtual events are here to stay, even after the pandemic has passed. Despite growing momentum during the Covid-19 outbreak, virtual and hybrid events have been around for quite some time now. In January 2017, Donald Trump’s inauguration utilised live-streaming capabilities to their advantage. Not only was this unique for being a new way of broadcasting such a remarkable event in history, but it also broke records for being the most live-streamed event too. Since then, and with the pandemic accelerating their growth, virtual events have become incredibly important for businesses in all industries and of all sizes.
For Eventbrite, their figures suggest that people were spending 28x more time attending virtual events in June 2020 than they were in January 2020. Those figures jumped to 34x more in November 2020. In total, nearly 75 million people registered for more than 1 million virtual events, logging in over 100 million hours during the entirety of 2020. A YouGov survey commissioned by Eventbrite also found 53% of UK people that have attended these virtual events agreed that online events are a good alternative to in-person events, pointing to the possibility of an expanding market outside of the pandemic.
With the popularity that virtual events are seeing right now, there will definitely be a market that businesses can tap into even when everyone is allowed to socialise again.
Virtual events help create new communities
Let us say that the pandemic is hypothetically over, and lockdown rules have now been lifted permanently - how can your business still utilise virtual events? The end of the pandemic will not necessarily see your physical events still reaching the number of people that they were reaching beforehand. With events being localised within specific communities, they have to commit more time to things such as travelling if they live further away, which also means spending more money. If this event was turned into a virtual event, people could benefit from the convenience of enjoying it from home. Better yet, if it were a hybrid event, then both sets of people who enjoy either a physical event or virtual event would be satisfied as a result.
If your business has reached new audiences, especially across the globe, it would not be wise to deny them access to your future events by making them physical-only. Now you have gained this online attention; it is now time to nurture it. By continuing to offer virtual events online, you will create a much stronger community as a result— one where like-minded individuals come together because of your virtual events and despite being geographically dispersed.
Eventbrite’s Co-Founder, Julia Hartz, even said: “Perhaps the silver lining of this pandemic is that online events have the power to globally engage communities in new ways, helping creators bring people together from small communities to far-reaching corners of the world. That’s something to celebrate as we continue to work toward the safe return of in-person events.”
Unique and engaging virtual events
If you have chosen the right platform to offer your virtual events on, you should navigate it swiftly and offer attendees engaging content as a result. The level of engagement you receive should tell you how well your virtual events are doing. If you have little to no engagement, ask yourself if it is down to the attendees or something on your end instead. If you know you are engaging your audience, then you are doing a good job.
Twitch streams are a great example of high engagement with a product or service. Streamers are able to use the Twitch Chat feature to get viewers to participate actively in determining how a stream might end up. Certain channels have been able to create game shows in which the Chat decides an answer or, in some instances, others have been able to hook up their gaming controls to let the viewers interact with each button input. Including your audience within the central concept of how your event will turn out can be a unique way of marketing it overall. This concept is something you would never see during physical events as it is much easier to control online and it helps draw in your audience.
Virtual events can be high quality with enough care and attention
Once you have gained enough experience with your particular platform, you can upgrade where needed and take your virtual events to the next level. Your attendees and on-lookers will associate your virtual events with being of higher quality than most, giving you both the competitive edge over your competitors as well as those with physical events who would not possess such quality or offer as much value.
Perhaps consider bringing onboard video production professionals who can up your game with their professional equipment and experience. More well-produced elements included within your events are likely to boost engagement. Tech professionals who can help where needed are vital to virtual events succeeding, so consider hiring them to support you with making your creative idea a reality.
In general, all of these bits and pieces can help drive your business into the future as we believe virtual events are only going to continue growing and growing throughout the digital age.
If you are planning on organising a virtual event this year and need expert input, contact Chameleon, or you can view our virtual events page for more information. We have got everything you need to create an unforgettable experience from start to finish.