Hosting a summit, trade show or conference? Consider the benefits of virtual events for your business and your audience.
These days, there are so many ways to connect with other people virtually. From online conference tools that let you join meetings from the comfort of your desk to online workouts and even virtual cocktail parties that you can attend without leaving your house – the options are limitless. As virtual event technology continues to evolve, we find ourselves in a space where almost any kind of gathering we can imagine can be hosted online.
The differences between managing a virtual event and in-person one are minimal, as the same care and attention are required for both. After all, the purpose of hosting any event is to engage attendees, present them with memorable experiences and add value in exchange for their time. Today’s virtual events are about much more than simply informing and educating. They are valuable opportunities for brands to engage and delight their audiences while building a loyal network of followers. The following are examples of the most popular virtual event types, as well as descriptions of their ideal audiences:
A webinar is one of the simplest and most common methods of hosting a virtual meeting, and as such it is frequently used for corporate meetings, training and panel discussions. Webinars gained particular popularity during the pandemic and are now widely used in multiple industries. This type of online conference is a good way to bring a small group of participants from different places together virtually, and they are ideally suited to presentations, one-on-one discussions and group meetings. Webinars can be live-streamed or pre-recorded based on the needs of those attending them. By leveraging Question and Answer panels and polling functions, this type of virtual event can boost audience engagement and participation.
Online conferences and summits
As remote working continues to trend, virtual conferences and online summits are proving to be ideal meeting and training platforms for companies with employees spread around the globe. This type of virtual event is particularly well-suited to larger groups of participants and is the ideal opportunity to introduce international keynote speakers. With the help of an online conference service, your employees can all sit down together in virtual conference rooms without having to book flights or accommodation. Virtual conferences are therefore a perfect solution for businesses that have employees in multiple time zones or that work with international clients on a regular basis.
Participants in your online conference or summit can engage in discussion forums, network with peers and attend live sessions, all from the comfort of their homes. Some innovative online conferences also include social lounges, business matching and opportunities for one-on-one meetings between speakers and attendees. With the help of features such as live-streamed video and chat functions, online conferences are designed to provide the same experience as traditional in-person events.
Virtual trade shows and exhibitions
Trade shows are one of the most effective ways to build brand awareness. A virtual trade show is an innovative way to replicate the same benefits of a real-life trade show online. With both B2B and B2C options available, this new breed of trade show gives businesses ample opportunities to convert visitors into customers through one-on-one meetings and instant chat functions. This type of virtual event presents limitless opportunities for exciting product demonstrations, social networking and business matching.
Since your virtual trade show doesn’t have a physical space, it can be accessed by anyone with an internet-enabled laptop or mobile device. What’s more, using innovative technology such as the VOOTPRINT Modular Event Model, organizers and exhibitors can access data such as which booths are the most frequently visited and what demographic of visitor they are attracting. This data will help exhibitors to optimize various elements of their presentation and get maximum ROI and interaction.
Online Career and Job Fairs
Virtual career fairs are an excellent opportunity for job seekers to connect with employers and network with top recruiters. This type of virtual event allows job seekers to browse hundreds if not thousands of jobs with ease and apply with just a few clicks. For job seekers who are unable to attend job fairs in person, virtual job fairs are a great way to learn about vacancies in their industry, network with potential employers and even participate in one-on-one interviews.
Just like in-person fairs, online job fairs hinge on being interactive. Through the integration of messaging boards, chat functions and instant social media links, particularly to LinkedIn, this virtual event makes it easier than ever for employers and employees to find their perfect match. Online career fairs also have a few distinct advantages over in-person fairs: they’re fast and affordable to produce, they’re accessible across the world and they can reach potential candidates that other job search options might overlook due to timing or location constraints. Online job fairs make it easy for employers to display the unique aspects of their brand and attract premium candidates.
Virtual University Information Day
Much like online career fairs, virtual university information days make it easy for their participants to gather as much information as possible before making a big decision. This type of virtual event presents an excellent opportunity for universities and colleges to highlight not only the vital information that students need to enroll and select subjects, but also to show off their unique culture. Participants in these online events have the opportunity to interact with tutors, lecturers and other faculty members on a one-to-one basis and in so doing gain complete clarity about the school and course they are applying for.
Virtual university information days also present a unique opportunity for schools to gain valuable information about their prospective students, such as which subjects are preferred and which careers are trending.
A hybrid event is a unique space that achieves a balance between the availability of online platforms and the experience of attending an event in person. If you are still hesitant about hosting a fully virtual event or online conference, then a hybrid event may be the solution for you. Hybrid events give businesses the opportunity to maximise attendance by continuing to sell tickets even after physical seats have been sold out.
Hybrid events allow people to attend conferences and meetups through online forums and screen sharing in the event that they are unable to attend the physical event. The sharing function of hybrid events allows brands to reach even more participants and build a strong online presence. By combining the best elements of virtual events with in-person events, hybrid events are set to become the next major trend in the event industry.
With the current global pandemic not yet behind us, more and more businesses are opting to host fully virtual events instead of live gatherings. Even as we consider a post-pandemic return to normality, we know that virtual events will remain a useful tool for decades to come. By joining the Gen Community, event attendees will have instant access to a worldwide selection of virtual events including exhibitions, expos, conferences, webinars, trade shows and online workshops on GlobalExpo-Net. Businesses who sign up to become GEN Netizens will receive the latest event industry news and updates. Whether you’re an avid event attendee or brand looking to get into the industry, GlobalExpo-Net has the resources you need.