What are Virtual Events and Benefits of Digital-First Events


The Rise of Virtual Events

Virtual events had been steadily growing in popularity before 2020, then became the default event solution for brands and organisations looking to connect with their audiences throughout the pandemic. This paradigmatic shift in the event space means that even in 2022, virtual events remain hugely popular and the go-to choice for connecting with huge audiences.

At some point over the last few years, you will have likely attended some kind of virtual event: conferences, online seminars, award shows, product launches, networking events… the list is endless. As virtual events became an essential vessel for many business and social connections, during a time of restrictions, their popularity has jumped by a massive 35% in just 2 years (Vimeo).

If you are planning your next event and are ready to make the jump to a fully virtual experience, get in touch to discuss our custom event solutions.


What are Virtual Events

Virtual events are digital-only events designed to be delivered and accessed online from anywhere. They deliver on value, enabling you to reach a global audience without travel, venue hire, and additional staffing that often inflate the costs of traditional event formats.

With a fully virtual event, you can deliver a world-class experience directly to your audience, wherever they may be located. A staggering 80.2% of event organisers reported reaching a wider audience using virtual events (Bizzabo). Virtual events have a potentially unlimited reach, allowing you to scale without exponentially increasing costs and overheads typically associated with live, in-person events.

On top of this improved reach, attendance levels at virtual events are now higher, on average, 29% higher than that of an in-person event (Eventify). As a virtual event liberates the diaries of your attendees from a larger commitment, as well as your speakers, they make an excellent choice if your audience is spread out geographically.


Key Features & Functionality

Although the overall structure of your virtual event can match up to that of an in-person event, you can offer enhanced experiences through the use of the latest technologies. For example:

  • The opportunity for live chat from your attendees allows you real-time feedback and conversation amongst your audience – without interrupting content delivery! This is a feature unique to virtual events, and the top-rated feature from attendees (hyperlink to Kaltura’s report)
  • Easily integrate text-in Q&A segments for your audience to gain an in-session response from your speakers, allowing them to be more involved with the event.
  • Collaborate with speakers on an international level and bring higher value content to your audience. By creating an easy-to-access event for your speakers, you can attract top talent which in turn should pull in more attendees.
  • Networking with the correct people, and generating valuable leads is made quick and easy with virtual profiles for your guests. Around 85% of attendees would consider this one of the most significant aspects of a virtual event. (hyperlink to Kaltura report)
  • Virtual events ensure attendees will always have the best seats in the house, whether that is from their office or at home on the sofa.
  • Pause, play, record – virtual events can allow your audience to access content on-demand at a pace that suits them.


Key Benefits of Virtual Events

With numerous ways to design your virtual event, you are open to hosting a range of event types such as webinars, team-building exercises, and conferences. Some of the key benefits of virtual events that our clients report are:

  • Lower cost than in-person events – for example, no venue hire, no on-location staffing, no accommodation fees and many more cost-saving elements.)
  • Higher attendance rate – your delegates have less to commit in order to attend your event (travel, accommodation, etc) which not only makes it easier to attend but also cheaper and more accessible.
  • Global reach – break down geographical barriers with a virtual event. What was initially a range of events across the country, is now condensed into one that includes your entire audience.
  • Access to in-depth analytics – your virtual event collects more data than an in-person event such as real-time user activity.
  • Sustainability – with no need for travel, accommodation, and lower energy consumption, hosting a virtual event over an in-person event reduces the carbon footprint of your company.

Interested in finding out more about virtual events? Book a call with a member of our events team who can talk you through the process of planning a virtual event and how we can help.

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