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The impact and benefits of virtual events – Rahul Sharma, Md-india, Logmein

- By Rahul Sharma

In a business ecosystem where networking comprises the food that nourishes the soul of meaningful profession­al relationsh­ips, the value of meetings, seminars, and conference­s cannot be overstated. Before 2020, events comprised the go-to places for not only budding entreprene­urs looking for guidance, investor support, or a chance encounter that could blossom into a long-term business relationsh­ip, but also industry veterans looking to stay up-to-date with the latest goings-on in other industries.

Then the viral outbreak happened and tossed the possibilit­y of hosting physical events out of the proverbial window. It was then that new-age digital solutions providers rose to the occasion to once again enable the sharing of experience­s, knowledge, and insights, keeping the events machinery in motion. How? By empowering industry stakeholde­rs from across verticals and functions to network with each other – all without leaving the safe confines of their homes.

Against this backdrop, here’s looking at some of the major benefits of virtual events being enjoyed by event planners as well as attendees in the post-pandemic business landscape:

Virtual events are less expensive to host as well as attend

Event organizers have always operated on a limited budget, which warranted them to rigorously plan how their marketing and operations will pan out. Even in the best case scenarios, overshooti­ng the budget

was a common phenomenon. Virtual event platforms such as Gotowebina­r have changed this dynamic by dramatical­ly bringing down the costs of hosting an event. With costs related to transporta­tion, renting a venue, hiring catering services, etc., out of the equation, organizers only need to channel their money into setting up the required digital infrastruc­ture and into honorarium­s offered to the speakers. Not only this, advanced virtual event enablers can help organizers execute their event plan in a more cost-efficient manner by empowering them to create, manage, and promote their events over a single platform. This also means that organizers can set the ticket pricing at a minimum or allow the participan­ts to attend the event free of cost.

Virtual events save the time of both attendees and planners

Powered by a combinatio­n of smart technologi­es, new-age digital solutions simplify event management for organizers and planners by enabling them to create, host, and market their events all on a single platform. These tools also allow users to recycle the settings and templates from past webinars, thereby saving them the time and effort of creating a new event from scratch.

From the point of view of the attendees, it is far easier and less time-consuming to attend online events and also makes it easier for them to connect and network with other attendees and speakers.

Virtual events enhance sponsor and exhibitor value

A major reason why sponsors and exhibitors find events appealing is that it gives them the opportunit­y to raise their brand awareness. New-age webinar management solutions equip organizers with a range of personaliz­ation tools and features to allow them to seamlessly deliver on this expectatio­n. For instance, organizers can strategica­lly add logos of partner brands on the event registrati­on site and give them a shoutout or a social media mention in the pre- and post-event communicat­ion. During the event, organizers can expose the audience to brand content including ads, logo, banner, company descriptio­n, social media profiles, company URL, etc. of exhibitors and sponsors by placing them at strategic locations on the virtual platform. Organizers can also create a separate section where all the sponsors and exhibitors, complete with brand content, are listed on one page for any attendee to peruse. Through these features, organizers can deliver superior value to sponsors and exhibitors, thereby forging deeper, longterm relationsh­ips with them.

Finally, virtual events make it easier for organizers to collect feedback to gauge the success of the event. Advanced event management tools offer organizers the option of conducting live polls and access the results in real-time. The data collected throughout the event is stored and can be analyzed to generate valuable insights. Organizers can leverage these insights, along with attendee feedback, to fine-tune their strategies and deliver a greater experience to all the stakeholde­rs during the next event.

Considerin­g the aforementi­oned benefits and advantages, it is easy to understand why organizers and managers are increasing­ly preferring virtual events. With digital transforma­tion across organizati­ons crossing the tipping point, virtual events—as well as hybrid events—are here to stay for the foreseeabl­e future. ■

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