Why You Shouldn't Go Back to In-Person Events, Even After COVID-19


Marketing Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for Marketing pros

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Marketers should think carefully before moving back to purely in-person experiences with the benefits virtual and hybrid formats have to offer.

Article 5 Minutes
Why You Shouldn't Go Back to In-Person Events, Even After COVID-19

As much of the world progresses back to some sense of normality, there are several changes that are here to stay. One of these is the popularity of virtual and hybrid events compared to in-person events.

Keep reading as we dive into all the benefits that come with using virtual events over their traditional counterparts.

10 reasons you should keep your events virtual (and hybrid)

1. You’ll attract a higher number of participants

Virtual events attract higher participant numbers compared to traditional events, as a larger pool of individuals can be invited when location restrictions don’t apply. The only obstacle that must be overcome is time zone differences.

Another reason why these events attract more people is down to convenience. With an internet connection the event can be joined, no matter if you’re in a coffee shop, at home, or on holiday abroad.

Cost also plays a factor. Getting to a physical event will typically cost money in the form of transportation. However, this barrier is removed when hosting a virtual event, again helping to attract more viewers than in-person events.

2. You can save valuable time and resources

Unlike an in-person event that has lots of moving pieces, a virtual event can be set up quickly. Once the platform has been selected to host the event, the main set-up requirements are done.

The extra time and money can be dedicated to improving the event. This way, the event has a higher chance of achieving what it set out to accomplish.

3. You get access to detailed audience analytics

With physical events, it can be very hard to understand exactly what your attendees are doing, and not everyone can be kept track of. However, this isn’t the case for virtual events. Real-time data can be collected to understand how participants interacted with the event. This includes identifying how long they stayed, what locations they came from, how many showed up, and more.

The collected information can be analyzed to determine whether the virtual event was successful or not. It can also help find areas where improvements can be made to ensure your next event is even better.

4. Virtual and hybrid events can provide more value

As we mentioned earlier, physical events tend to cost more and require hosts to factor in food and other things. As virtual events don’t, the budget can be spent on enhancing the core features of the event. This benefits both the participants and the host, so everybody wins.

Some of these benefits consist of:

  • An increased amount of interactive panel discussions
  • More speakers
  • More networking sessions

A new aspect of virtual meetings is one on one sessions. Unlike in-person events, which wouldn’t be able to offer this type of session, participants can increase the value gained from attending.

5. Your attendants get more choice and freedom

During a physical event, there can be multiple sessions on-going. The problem with this is that participants can miss out.

Virtual events remove this issue with the ability to easily record sessions and watch them later. This way, an attendee can join one session and look over another afterwards.

6. You can collect attendee comments more easily

Event hosts can sometimes be hesitant to create a virtual event, especially when they’ve never done one before. Thankfully, collecting feedback is quick and effective when hosting a virtual event. Therefore, if things don’t go according to plan, feedback can be used to better coordinate future events.

7. Better opportunities for networking

Networking isn’t always possible at in-person events, or at least to the extent that attendees would like. Time is usually taken up by sessions, workshops, finding the right location, and grabbing a bite to eat. Because of this, time that could be dedicated to networking is lost.

Virtual events are different. Incorporated into virtual events are tag-based interactions and live chat options. Also, names and email addresses can be located easily providing an efficient way to connect with other attendees after the event has taken place.

8. You’ll have an increased pool of sponsors

It may be hard to wrap your head around, but virtual events are known to outperform in-person ones when it comes to how many sponsors are present. The main factor for this is that there are no location restrictions. This means businesses that are included in the event’s industry can promote themselves, no matter where they are based.

Another core reason is that it’s more financially viable for sponsors to ‘virtually’ attend the event. A smaller budget is needed, yet sponsors can still reach a higher number of their target market.

As a result, participants are exposed to more companies within the field and vice versa, benefiting everyone.

9. Virtual and hybrid events are more sustainable

Businesses that are trying to reduce their carbon footprint, which is a huge trend at the moment, tend to opt for virtual events over in-person ones. The reason for this is to reduce the logistical requirement that is associated with traditional events. This includes hotel, travel, and event energy consumption, just to name a few.

10. It’s less expensive for your participants to attend

In-person events can come with a hefty fee to attend. As we discussed, virtual events are cheaper to host, meaning the savings can be passed down to participants. Whether the cost of the event is being paid for by an individual or a business they’re a part of, virtual events can help reduce the impact on budgets.

As a result, it’s likely we will see higher popularity in virtual events, with attendees going to more than usual due to the convenience and reduced costs.

Final thoughts

There’s a lot of evidence that suggests virtual and hybrid events are here to stay. Obviously, it’s not a surprise considering the number of benefits that comes from them. We’re likely to see more hosts moving away from traditional events as a result.

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