Virtual events have helped in connecting the world by hosting events in challenging times. One does not need to go out. Or does not need to violate social distancing norms by gathering a crowd. And anyone can access events happening all over the world. All this is possible because of virtual events.
The convenience that virtual events offer is unmatched. And is the significant reason for their growing popularity. But before we dive deeper into the world of virtual events, let’s first look at the concept behind virtual events.
What Are Virtual Events?
Virtual events are also known as digital events or online events. The reason for this is that these events are organized in digital settings or online. And because of this, anyone from any corner around the world can attend these events. This convenience became the top priority when the world was struck by the pandemic. And everyone was quarantined at home.
You need the right technology to host a virtual event. And that is a virtual event platform or virtual event software. Now many of you must be wondering what’s the need for a virtual event platform when you video chat on applications like WhatsApp and Zoom?
The answer to this question is that these video chatting and conferencing platforms can host an inadequate number of people. And doesn’t provide the interface, features, and tools required to host a full-scale event. Also, many of these platforms are plagued with security issues. That is why you choose a professional solution that is virtual event platforms.
Virtual Event Technology
These platforms rely on an interface that is 3-Dimensional and immersive. This interface forms the most part of the audience’s experience. So it needs to be snappy and responsive. Also, it should be easy to navigate. Otherwise, the attendees will get confused and frustrated. And will eventually leave the event.
Apart from the interface, the platform should provide multiple audience engagement features. Some popular features are Gamification, social wall, live chats, AR Photobooth, and so on. Also, you cannot forget about networking tools like AI Matchmaking, Networking lounges/tables, B2B Meeting scheduler, and 2-way communication, etc. Besides this, the platform should be secure from unauthorized logins and other cyber attacks.
Categories Of Virtual Events
If you are thinking, can you host your event virtually? Or which events can be organized digitally? Then the answer is yes. You can host any event using virtual event technology. Therefore, a vast category of virtual events exists. And this is because of the flexibility of virtual event technology. You can host any event virtually. All you need to do is come up with an idea for the event. And virtual event technology will handle the rest.
To give you some idea, here is a list of the most popular virtual event categories.
- Virtual Product Launches
- Virtual Conferences
- Virtual Trade Show
- Virtual Award Show
- Virtual Exhibitions
- Virtual Fest
- Virtual AGM (Annual General Meeting)
- Virtual Town Halls
- Virtual Career/Job Fairs
- Virtual Graduation Ceremony
And many more. This list is increasing daily. It means the possibilities are endless. And this demonstrates the capabilities of virtual event technology. In other words, we can say that you can host any event virtually. And that is why last year, thousands of event organizers migrated quickly to the digital world.
Reasons For Opting For Virtual Events
Are you still not sure about hosting a virtual event? Then you should look at why other event organizers decided to host virtual events. There are lots of benefits that come with virtual events. And we are going to look at some of them.
Hosting a virtual event is pocket-friendly. You save lots of expenses that otherwise come with hosting a physical event. To begin with, you don’t need a physical venue. Also, you can save money on things like traveling and accommodation.
Generally, to attend an event, you need to travel to the venue of the event. This means you need to spare the time required for traveling to the event location. However, those with busy schedules cannot spare time for traveling. So with the virtual event, people, even on a tight schedule, can attend the event.
By opting for virtual events, you can make your event accessible to more people. Often people are not able to attend the event because of constraints like time and money. But with virtual events, these constraints become irrelevant. Hence, higher viewership of your event.
No Geographical Barrier
Hosting an international event is a challenge. And it is also a costly affair. So how can one attend a global event without spending too much? Simple, host a virtual event and invite people from all over the world. This can be done by providing the timing of your event according to different time zones.
Easy To Host
Often people find it challenging to organize an event. And this is true to some extent. If you want to host a live event, you need to make different arrangements. You need to begin with the venue, food, and so on. But with virtual events, all you need is an appropriate virtual event platform. It means you can host by yourself.
These are some of the benefits of selecting virtual events over live events. And if you want to host a virtual successfully, you need to avoid some common mistakes.
8 Common Mistakes to Avoid While Planning Virtual Events
Not Engaging With The Event Audience
Audience engagement plays a vital role in the experience of the audience in the event. And when it comes to virtual settings, the chances of getting distracted are high. Therefore, you must engage with the audience. If you don’t trust us, read this report by Apricot. It says those who engage with the audience in virtual events have a 150% success rate than those who don’t.
You can use features like Gamification, social wall, AR Photobooth and Live chats to engage the audience at your virtual event.
Not Promoting Networking
You can estimate the importance of networking by looking at the fact that it can be the sole reason for attending the event. So if you don’t promote networking, you are going to lose a huge opportunity.
Many people consider virtual events as the ideal place to expand their networks and build new connections. Since you communicate through chats, it is also easy to connect in virtual events. You can facilitate networking by providing powerful tools. Some popular networking tools are AI Matchmaking, Networking lounges/tables, B2B Meeting scheduler and 2-way interaction. These tools help in connecting with relevant people, making networking efficient.
Long Online Sessions And No Breakout Room
Many people make a mistake while preparing the schedule for the online sessions at their virtual events. They plan long online sessions without breaks. This might work for physical settings but not for virtual ones. The audience will get distracted in long sessions. Also, they may feel lost and might leave. So make sure these sessions are not longer than 45 minutes and if they are, provide breaks.
Also, you should provide breakout rooms. This will be very helpful and convenient, especially if you are hosting multiple online sessions. The audience member will be able to switch smoothly from one session to another.
Getting The Wrong Platform
Many times people realize that the platform they selected doesn’t have the features that they need. Or that platform has limited audience engagement features or networking tools. And it may contain other faults like the laggy or confusing interface or security loopholes. To avoid all this inconvenience, you should first prepare a list of the required features and tools needed for your event. Compare this list with features offered by different platforms. And the platform that ticks the most boxes is the right one for your event.
Not Promoting Your Event
Promoting an event is as essential as getting the right platform. Promoting your event means introducing your event to the world. And if people don’t know that your event exists in the first place, how can they attend your event? So promote your event as much as you can. And the most effective way is using social media. Prepare compelling content and an effective strategy to promote your event on multiple social media platforms.
Not Pitching Your Event To Sponsors
Sponsorship has many benefits apart from financial ones. You can ask your sponsors to promote your event on their social media channels. This will help to tap their audience on social media. Also, sponsorship will be the deciding factor in the reputation of your event. The more popular and respected brands you get, the more reputed your event will be considered. So try to get as many sponsors as you can. Pitch your event to multiple brands from closely related industries.
Not Rehearsing The Event
It is highly advised to rehearse your event. As it will help you in many ways. First, you can identify the possible issues that you may encounter during the event days. Also, you can check the event schedule. Is it good? Or does it need some changes? Apart from this, you make the speakers practice so that they are prepared for the event day. If you don’t rehearse the event, you are going to miss all these benefits.
Not Testing The Backup
You should test your backup before the event day. At least you will be assured that if anything goes wrong, you are prepared. A backup can simply be anything. It might include tech support from the platform provider. Or it can be the spare equipment like microphone, lights, and camera. So that during the event day, you don’t get any unpleasant surprises. Also, you will be more confident on the day of the event.
These are some of the common mistakes one should avoid to pull off a successful virtual event.