Virtual Events are they here to stay?
Virtual Events – Are they here to stay or just a one off for the here and now!
Virtual Events have come to the forefront of the event industry with webinars being hosted more than ever before. Mastering the art of virtual events is more important now due to the current pandemic across the world. With roughly 90% of events scheduled in March through to August now ither cancelled or postponed to 2021, 10% decided to adapt and take their events online with Live Q&A’s from the speakers on Social Media to Webinars to enable attendees to gain their required CPD. BBC Good Food has moved their Good food show online with Q&A’s and demonstrations from celebrity chefs. Digital platforms not only allow for a more diverse and inclusive audience but also allow those delegates with a further distance of travel to benefit from the content provided by the organiser and speakers. Delegates will also be able to attend events without the added expense of travel and overnight stays for those traveling a little further. In the current climate online events seem to be keeping the events industry alive.
As the business world moves towards virtual events, we recognise how important it is to equip our customers with tools to bring the professional community together online, in real time and at scale in the safest possible way. Just like any event, virtual events require planning, production, and technology confidence to make sure they run as smooth as possible. The whole events industry is currently learning new skills along the way. Many businesses have already used webinar platforms to run informative meetings for their teams. Using an online webinar platform is a simple yet effective way of addressing an audience on relevant topics of interest and of course providing the opportunity for questions.
At SR Events we have been thinking of ways that our clients can benefit from our bespoke Webinar software during the current climate, but also enable their events for later on this year continue within a safe and productive way, once the new regulations for events are announced. We have come up with a few ideas and if you would like to discuss these further please don’t hesitate to get in touch, we would be happy to help organise your virtual event.
Hosting a webinar allows attendees from around the world to join in and listen as one or more speakers present. This is a brilliant way for many companies to allow their colleagues or members gather CPD hours that associations have advised members still need to gather to gain their qualifications. Depending on the content, companies can charge attendees to join webinars using online payment services or they can be offered for free. Webinars typically use video conferencing tools, such as zoom, that allow the ability to present live, Q&A session or a pre-recorded video, that can be offered as on-demand after the scheduled webinar has taken place. Due to their one-off educational nature, webinars have thrived with 100% virtual attendance. These can also include internal and external trainings. Webinars typically last somewhere from 45 to 80 minutes and can host up to 100 attendees including a host and speakers.
The World of Conferences are sure to change after the Pandemic, At least until people feel more comfortable to be in large groups of people. Much like live conferences, virtual conferences are built around a complex agenda that includes keynote speakers, Q&A sessions, breakout rooms, and lots of diagrams. Virtual conferences can also include multi-session content and can involve community engagement tools. While not as effective in terms of lead capture and networking as a live event, virtual conferences allow attendees to view keynotes in real-time, build their own agenda from relevant, on-demand content, and interact with other attendees.
Internal Hybrid Events
For organisations that span countries, even continents, internal hybrid events are used to share a message to the entire company when employees are not all gathered in the same place. Internal hybrid Events can be anything from companywide events, trainings, department meetings, sales kick-offs, and more. While it is a great to fly every employee to your organisation’s headquarters, to network with their international team members, right now it is just not safe or feasible to do this. Soon companies may host these events with Local employees attending and complying with social distancing and those employees within other countries to join via video conference call
External Hybrid Events
External hybrid events are events are held for those outside of your organisation. They can be member or user events, like product launches, shop openings or industry conferences. Events like these require higher levels of video production to enable virtual attendees to feel and experience a similar quality to those that attend. Offering a virtual option for the event will allow the attendees who are unable to travel to the
event to participate and learn from the experience. It is challenging to provide the same experience for those who choose to use the online platform, but a way for them to get value at external hybrid events would be to ask them for questions to use Q&A session alongside the live questions from the audience. If you have a celebrity endorser in attendance, ask them if they can do a direct message for the online attendees that you can send before the scheduled event. This way they will feel more included within the event.
As we mentioned previously, SR Events have created a bespoke webinar registration platform for our clients. The platform enables our client’s events to be uploaded onto the platform and registrations to be logged and monitored by one of the team. The platform then sends out a meeting ID and password from Zoom that the attendees use to join the event. We have hosted several webinars to date using the platform with great success. It is simple yet effective.
There are endless options for you and your guests when it comes to Virtual events. The SR Events team have been working hard to come up with some fun ideas that we can help organise during some uncertain times. Why not get your work colleagues together and do a virtual teambuilding event or why not get the department quiz teams and host a company quiz night? It is not only teambuilding or quiz nights that work well virtually. You could host masterclass events for any budget from cooking with a celebrity chef or a comedy night from one of the many top London comedy clubs. SR Events are always exploring new options for virtual or live experiences (when we can have them again) we have a whole host of suppliers that we can contact to make your event a success. If you would like to find out more about our webinar platform or how we can help you organise your virtual event, contact Louise Oliver at SR Event 07771 641048 or email Louise at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to hear from you soon!