Virtual events have become quite common in the past few months. And the technology behind virtual events is evolving rapidly. Virtual events are much more than just a video call. And for hosting a virtual event, you need a specialized virtual event platform or software.
Virtual events are proving to be very crucial for us, especially for the corporate world. We are witnessing different types of virtual events. Some of them are virtual meetings, virtual conferences, virtual trade shows, virtual award shows, virtual career/Job fairs, and many more. The list is long and is growing. But as the world is proactively adopting virtual event mediums for hosting various kinds of events, people are still confused between different types of virtual events. So, today we are going to discuss some of these events.
Difference between Virtual Summit, Meeting, and Conference
A virtual event is an online event that is held in the digital medium. In other words, it is a digital version of a physical event. The objective behind a virtual event is to recreate the experience of a physical event in the online world. The virtual event relies on virtual event platform/software that provides a 3-D interactive interface.
When we talk about virtual Summit, Meeting, and virtual Conference, they all can be organized on the same virtual event platform. So you must be wondering how they are different? The difference is in the format and procedure of these events. A meeting is a gathering of people who come together to discuss a particular issue or a topic. Whereas the summit is a series of pre-scheduled meetings. Usually, it is attended by high-ranking government officials or diplomats. And in the corporate world, it takes place among the senior executives or board members of different organizations. On the other hand, a conference is a formal meeting where people gather to talk about ideas or problems related to a particular topic, usually for several days.
Now that we discussed the difference between a meeting, summit, and a conference. Let’s focus on why you should host these events virtually.
Benefits of hosting events virtually
You can save lots of money by switching to virtual events. There is no requirement to spend money on booking a venue or tickets for traveling or accommodation. All you need is to invest in equipment like a camera, microphone, and a virtual event platform/software.
A virtual event helps in saving time. You don’t need to travel to attend a virtual event. And can attend a virtual event from any part of the world. Plus, if the host provides the availability of on-demand video, it would mean you can view the event even after it is over.
With a virtual event, you can really bridge any geographical gap. What it means that anyone from any part of the world can attend your event. All you need is to provide an international time of the event for the global audience.
Higher ROI (Return On Investment)
By hosting a virtual event, you not only save money. But also, get global reach, which means a much better ROI. You see, in the physical event, it is difficult to get an international audience. And even if you get a global audience, you need to spend a lot on that event.
Essential features and tools
Many virtual event platforms provide lots of features and tools. These features and tools are dedicated to audience engagement and networking. Since engagement and networking are the two most vital factors in the virtual event, you can’t ignore them.
For the engaging audience, you can use Gamification, AR photobooth, Social wall, emoticons, and so on. And for networking, use features like AI Matchmaking, 2-way interaction, networking tables, and so on.
With virtual events, you just don’t save money but also many resources. Unlike physical events, you don’t need paper in huge quantities. Since you don’t have to print and distribute the pamphlets, brochures, and other literature.
In a virtual event, you can keep a tab on your attendees’ activities. You don’t have to wait till the end of the event. It gives you crucial information about your audience. This information includes the booths visited by the audience. Or which feature is most used by the audience and which is not, and so on. It enables you to tune your strategy during a live event to engage your audience.
Easy to get feedback
In a virtual event, the feedback is collected automatically. It means easy access to your event’s audience reviews. How was their experience at your event? Or what are their likes or dislikes about your event? But you must be wondering what the feedback is significant? The feedback helps you to understand your audience’s taste, expectations, and their encounter with your event. This information will help you to make your next event more effective.
These are some of the benefits of virtual events. Now you must be thinking about how to host a virtual event. Don’t worry, we will guide you.
How to successfully host a virtual event
Define your goals
Before planning your event, you need to define your goals. Ask yourself why do you want to host this event? Or what do you want to achieve from this event? And so on. Outline your goals and then move ahead with the planning part.
Once you are clear with your goals, you can start working on the strategy for your event. This planning might include the number of expected visitors, the date, time, and the duration of the event. You can also decide the theme for your event. Also, prepare a list of features and tools you will require for your event.
You need to decide the budget for your event. Remember, the quality and feel of your event will depend on it. So, carefully prepare the budget for your event. Also, you can compare your budget with the requirements for your event. This will give you a clear idea, how much money is needed. The second part of your budgeting involves the allocation of the budget. You need to thoroughly distribute the funds for each and everything.
Choosing the right platform
This is the most crucial part. You need to select a platform for your virtual event. But how will you determine which virtual event platform is best for your event? For this, you need to consider these four things – Interface, navigation, engagement features, and networking tools.
The interface of the virtual event platform needs to be interactive. And also clutter-free for better navigation. Apart from the interface, the platform should offer features for audience engagement. These features might include Gamification, leaderboard, social wall, AR photo booth, and many more. For networking tools, consider these features – AI matchmaking, networking tables, B2B meeting scheduler, and so on.
Now it’s time to send invitations to the guests, speakers and audience for your event. But before sending invites, you need to prepare a list of the guests and speakers. And don’t forget to mention vital information about the event. This information might include the date, time, and link to register for your virtual event.
You need to promote your event for this use social media effectively. However, you first need a strategy for social media marketing. And also the content for this. Remember, every social media platform is different. Some platforms support large while others are more visual-dominated platforms. So prepare your content accordingly.
Everything is done, but you are still left with one thing. And that is rehearsals. This is as important as the previous steps. Doing practices have various advantages. First, you get to know the shortcomings like technical issues or improper schedule of your event. Also, you get time to work on these things. And you get more confidence for event day.
We hope that this article will solve all your doubts. Tell us about your thoughts on the virtual events.