THE CONCEPT OF HOSTING EVENTS VIRTUALLY
Virtual events are online events involving people interacting in a virtual environment on the web rather than meeting in a physical location. It is a way of moving events online and engaging audiences remotely.
Virtual event is an online destination that helps you connect audiences globally around topics of interest facilitating networking through virtual booths, live webinars and chat rooms to stimulate the experience in physical events.
INCEPTION OF THE VIRTUAL EVENTS & IT'S
The “Virtual Trade Show” was first publicly described and presented as “Convention View” by Alan Saperstein and Randy Selman of Visual Data Corporation now known as Onstream Media in April 1993 in a presentation to investors at Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York city. The company was video taping Trade show exhibitors booths and then attaching the videos to HTML floor maps.
Virtual events gained popularity during the late 2000s recession as organizations preferred several ways of cost cutting techniques and strategies.
Virtual environments are becoming an increasingly important art of the marketing mix.
PREFERENCE OF VIRTUAL EVENTS OVER PHYSICAL EVENTS
Virtual events can provide a rich source of marketing data for marketers, since the activities of each participant can be tracked and evaluated. Virtual events offer a number of ways for participants to connect and communicate.
Virtual events have the capacity to connect global audiences and maximize engagement with a virtual conference. Hosting events virtually simulates a physical event with stunning virtual lobbies and interactive spaces.
Oxford Economics and Events Industry Council, 2018 states that, “on average, meeting generated $1294 of spending per participant. 6 million International participants generated $38 billion of meetings direct spending, representing 11.5% of sector total”
Marketing Charts, 2015 states that, “trade shows and conferences are one of the top-3 sources buyers turn to when researching a vendors products and services”.
EXPLORING THE BENEFITS OF VIRTUAL EVENTS
Hosting events virtually:
Is cost effective and saves time
Is much flexible and variable
Allows reaching a global audience
Delivers a similar experience to physical events
Helps to measure success and to grow
Is a perfect alternative for physical events during the times of COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 SCARE- A THREAT OR AN OPPORTUNITY?
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, operations take a halt and the count of event cancellations tends to grow, representing a massive financial impact and dent in growth plans of every company.
The organizations are pushed to quickly react to ensure business continuity.
Companies can consider Virtual Events as an alternative to cancelled Physical Events.
HOW TO HOST VIRTUAL EVENTS SUCCESSFULLY?
Disseminate the decision to your audience to reduce uncertainty
Research and select vendors with strong event hosting experience
Move registrations online
Decide how interactive your event should be
Ensure whether they are mobile compliant and its accessibility
Request speakers to conduct webinars
Setup virtual booths for exhibitors and sponsors
Verify user experience
Keep marketing as much as possible
Measure your impact.
EVENTS HOSTED VIRTUALLY
Following are some of the events being hosted virtually:
Virtual job fair
Virtual trade shows
Virtual career and benefits fair
Virtual on boarding fair
Virtual open day.