Virtual Events 101: A Comprehensive Guide For 2023
Experiencing a hype about Virtual events? Or Want to know more about these events?
In a world of digital media and communications, events hold great value for brands as these provide real-time in-person interactions & promotions for the brands with their consumers.
But now in recent times, going over the live events, there has been a massive increase in hosting the virtual events be it among the brands or the corporate houses.
There are various reasons for the rise of virtual events and in this guide, we have presented what, why, how, technologies & tools around the virtual events to provide you a holistic view.
What Is A Virtual Event?
We all know what events i.e. offline in-person gathering of people for interactions & communications organized mainly by the brands & businesses.
So, Virtual events similarly are the gathering of people in an online environment over the internet with the purpose of communications, interactions, engagement, and promotions.
There are various types of virtual events and many differences between the virtual and in-person events along with different planning, organizing, executions, etc.
Online conferences, seminars, fairs & exhibitions, meetings, virtual trade shows, promotional campaigns, digital summits, webinars, brand events, etc. A virtual event can have a different scale of participants from being 10 participants to thousands of participants.
Difference Between In-Person & Virtual Events
There are many differences between virtual events and in-person events starting from the location which is a necessary element of in-person events that might not even be an important-enough element in virtual events.
Similarly, when we talk about event planning and management that also hugely changes between virtual events and in-person events with the latter being more advanced and challenging.
Along with these, the in-person events are more human-driven and require a lot of physical effort & resources although technology is also a crucial part of it whereas virtual events are more digital media-driven with more use of technology & less human effort.
So, as we mentioned above there are many more differences between in-person and virtual events be it regarding challenges or be the benefits. So, here we have mentioned the best benefits of virtual events that define why they are important.
Why Virtual Event Is Important?
1. Easy Planning
The first and foremost benefit of virtual events for the event managers & brands is that it simplifies your event planning process. This does not mean that the planning becomes short or lesser.
Instead, you now have fewer elements to plan about as the physical resources and elements have been hugely removed from the whole process. Simple planning leads to clearer & simpler management.
2. Accessibility Or Location Advantages
The good thing about virtual events is that it does not require a huge or massive physical space as the attendees of the event will take part virtually that gives them the freedom to attend from anywhere they wish to.
Location planning and management is a challenging task for the event managers as to its capacity, capabilities, distance, and other factors relevant to a venue.
These factors won’t affect the virtual event where the power of choosing accessibility location lies within the hands of the attendees and event planners don’t have to worry about it.
3. Wider Audience Reach
As we all know that digital media and the internet are open to all irrespective of the status or demographics so when your virtual event opens the door to a wider audience reach through these digital platforms.
When organizing a virtual event, you can allow the audience to partake in the event using the digital media or social media platforms with just a few clicks & connections.
This expands your reach to new untapped potential customers, build greater brand awareness and get exposure to an audience that you might have been able to reach through in-person events due to their capacity limitations.
4. Better Engagement & Interaction
The audience engagement and interaction in an event is a key defining factor for its success. And the engagement of a person is hugely dependent on his/her comfort level with the event environment.
Virtual events as are being attended by the attendees through their location of choice give them a sense of comfort that helps in increasing engagement & interaction.
Also, engagement & interaction increase hugely as it becomes easier and simpler to ask questions, share feedback, showcase ideas & opinions, provide reviews, etc. through direct communication.
5. Budgeting Benefits
In-person events generally require massive budget allocation as they have to plan & invest in human resources, venues according to the audience, travel & food, technology & equipment integration, residence planning for the external attendees, etc.
Whereas the budgeting becomes way lesser & efficient as virtual events do not require any such investments into venues, physical facilities, and human resource management.
Comparatively virtual events are way more efficient with smaller budget allocation yet being able to achieve the same agendas as in-person events.
6. Effective Performance Measurement
The performance measurement becomes way simple and easier in virtual events as compared to the in-person live events and there are many reasons behind that.
Firstly, you can easily access information such as how many people attended the event, the demographical data for the attendees, which sessions or events were more popular, the number of ticket sales or registrations, etc.
Besides, if you integrate a third-party tool then you might even get detailed insights into the traffic sources, audience sentiments, event experience, feedback & review collections, most active users, etc. This will help you understand your audience & make necessary changes for the next events if needed.
7. Counter Unplanned Issues
The event planners or managers will understand that there are many external challenges & issues that come across while planning an in-person live event.
So, it becomes a hassle to overcome them and sometimes it even leads to event cancellations as well (like the scenario we are experiencing presently around the world).
Virtual events are an excellent solution to counter these unplanned challenges and issues as you can easily conduct your event in digital space.
Tips & Ideas For Virtual Event Strategy
Here are some of the best ways ideas, strategies, and tips for planning and executing a virtual event for your business.
1. Identify Your Virtual Event Objectives
First & foremost it is essential that you should know what are the reasons for conducting a virtual event just like you do it for your marketing campaigns.
You should define what objectives you want to achieve for example - audience engagement, business communications or strategy, information sharing, brand promotions, etc.
Once you define your virtual event objectives & agenda, it will help you plan better for your target audience, technology requirements, and much more.
2. Identify Target Audience
Once your objectives are defined, now you should define who all should be a part of your virtual event i.e. you target the audience. It could be your employees, stakeholders, potential customers, etc.
The defining target audience will make sure that you effectively manage & conduct an event. But it is also crucial to make sure that your target audience is attainable. While identifying your target audience, you should also define how you will reach them & attract them to your event.
3. Recognize Your Technology & Tool Requirements
The virtual event is quite different from the in-person event so the requirements are also different as well. As the virtual event is more digital in nature so technologies and tools will form a big part of event success.
Tools and technologies will help in attracting a wide audience to your event, boost audience engagement & interactions, and deliver a seamless event as digital media are volatile & issues might come suddenly & unexpectedly.
4. Unique Value Proposition
If you are expecting the audience to attend your virtual event then you need to attract them with elements that offer value addition & rewards to the attendees rather than just the plain engagement.
The unique value proposition could be anything from having a famous keynote speaker, or industry experts panel, or rewards for the audience such as vouchers, offers, recognitions, etc.
Having a unique value proposition will ensure that audience has something to look forward to or the thought that they will benefit from the event somehow.
5. Virtual Event Planning Strategy
There are many crucial elements associated with virtual event planning that you need to acknowledge and plan effectively. These include event registrations, user content submissions, enrollment, polls & surveys, feedback forms, date & time information, etc.
These attributes are necessary for a successful virtual event like providing a landing page or a link or app for allowing the potential attendees to register easily & quickly or sharing polls, surveys, or feedback forms to know about the audience experience & opinions.
6. Connectivity & Communication
Connectivity and communication are probably the two most important factors for the successful execution of a virtual event as firstly, connectivity relates to having a seamless connection among all the attendees without any problem.
Better connectivity will ensure that it opens the doors to effective communication among the attendees. Now talking about the communication, that will define the impact & success of the event with delivering the intended message across fruitfully.
Virtual Event Technology & Tools
Since we discussed the importance of virtual event tools and solutions so here we bring you the best ones to use it in your events.
1. Social Media Promotion
Whenever we talk about promotions and marketing, social media platforms are the first solution that comes to our mind as it has a great reach and billions of active users.
So, it is essential that you leverage social media for your virtual event promotion as well. You can get started by finding out the best suitable social media platform for your event. Then set up a page or account for your event or use your brand account for spreading awareness & building reach.
The social media promotion will help you immensely in attracting a wide audience to your event. Besides, users will be able to easily understand your event & explore more details.
2. Virtual Event Desk
The virtual event desk here relates to the event elements that we discussed earlier i.e. event information, registrations, and feedback. This can be done by setting up a landing page or a website for your event.
Besides, website page there is also a trending event management solution called event app. These event apps are hugely popular for in-person events to disperse information such as location navigation, registrations, important guidelines, etc.
So, similarly, you can use this virtual desk to display important information like how to register, any apps to be installed or account to be made, guidelines, date & time, event agendas, information about key speakers or panels, etc.
To set up your virtual event desk, there are many apps and tools available for successful virtual event management.
3. Multi-Functional Integration Tool
Now coming to the greater possibilities for your virtual event to make it more interesting, creative, and engaging for the attendees, you can use a multifunctional integration tool like Taggbox.
Taggbox as a tool helps you to discover, collect, and curate social media content especially User Generated Content and display it along with your virtual event streaming to engage the audience in real-time & delight them.
The possibilities are endless starting from embedding a social media feed on your event page by collecting UGC around your event and displaying it on the event page to build awareness, buzz creation, trust-building, etc.
Then coming to the virtual event, when you share screens and stream your event to the audience, at that time you can integrate a Taggbox social media ticker with live streaming to display the social media UGC to your audience in real-time.
Even better, you can encourage the attendees to share their questions, ideas, opinions, feedback, reviews, etc. using the event hashtags/handle on social media and display it during the event stream at a feed where the key speakers, panels, members, heads, managers can answer/respond to these questions instantly.
Also, this can allow you to engage the audience who is not attending the event by allowing them to share their content or queries as well.
Besides, you can also add branded content to the feed or share important announcements on the attendees’ device. This UGC tool also provides you with opportunities to measure the audience’s behavior through in-build analytics, customize the feed, moderate content, and many more features & functionalities to deliver a successful virtual event & audience experience.
Try the most advanced Virtual Event Tool
Boost Social Trust and Enhance Engagements
The Action Statement
The virtual events can be an excellent solution to magnify your event promotions and communication possibilities with a great positive influence on maximized returns on investments.
So, this holistic guide was designed and crafted to give you detailed insights into the virtual events ecosystem with what are the benefits of it and some important tips & strategies to keep in mind while planning a virtual event.
Finally, we have provided you with the best solutions and virtual event tools to make your event result-driven and memorable along with driving brand growth & success.
So, get started now with your unique virtual event Planning strategy with help from this guide.