As we live our new normal of social distancing, many meeting planners are looking to virtual events as an alternative to in-person events and conferences. While this is more challenging for large-scale festivals and tradeshows, conferences of all sizes are learning they can pivot in-person events to an online format with relative ease.
This turmoil has had an incredible impact on live events and at the same time we choose to focus on innovation, and we are already far ahead with our clients to unite physical & virtual events – we call them Hybrid events. This is a new way how we will meet in the future.
Virtual events can feel like more of an uphill battle for meeting planners. There’s less ability to promote, a lack of monetization opportunities, and engaging your audience is a much bigger task. What can you do now to bring some of those lost benefits to your virtual events?
Today’s changing world has given us an opportunity to support several businesses to run their key corporate events also online with the help of our creativity and technical experience.
4 Main Types of Virtual Events
When it comes to your total event program, virtual events can be added to the mix of events you host, events you attend, and your internal events. Virtual events are not a replacement for other types of events, but a new type to add and to enhance your entire program. Below are the four main types of virtual events
Webinars typically last somewhere from 45 to 80 minutes. Holding webinars virtually allows attendees from around the world to join in and listen as one or more speakers present the content. Companies can charge attendees to join webinars using online payment services or can be offered for free. Webinars typically use video conferencing tools that allow Q&A, the ability to present Live or a pre-recorded video, and be offered as on-demand after the fact. Due to their one-off educational nature, webinars have thrived with 100% virtual attendance. These can also include internal and external training.
- Virtual Conferences
Much like in-person conferences, virtual conferences are built around a live, complex agenda that includes keynotes, sessions, breakouts, and more. Virtual conferences include multi-session content and can involve community engagement tools. While not as effective in terms of lead capture and networking as an in-person 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
These are town halls, sales kick-offs, companywide events, training, department meetings, and more. For organizations 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. While it would be great to fly every employee to your organization’s headquarters, it would be incredibly costly, and the scheduling required would be time-consuming. The next best option is to host events that are part in-person, part virtual. Virtual team building can work well at internal hybrid events.
- External Hybrid Events
These events are held for those outside your organization. They can be user conferences or industry conferences. These events require higher levels of video production so that virtual attendees are provided a similar quality to in-person attendees. These events allow attendees who are unable to travel to the event to participate and learn. It is challenging to provide the same value at external hybrid events, as in-person attendees are able to network more freely and engage easily with content than those attending virtually.
Best Practices for Engaging Events
These virtual event tips can help you adapt nearly any successful in-person event to an online format.
- Make it relevant.
- Pick the perfect platform
- Price it right
- Use precise marketing tactics
- Be inclusive
- Invite special guests
- Integrate your in-person experiences
- Incorporate add-on items and fun merchandise
- Keep your attendees safe
- Ask for feedback
The 4 Waves of Event Technology
The graph below shows the four waves of event tech.
- The first wave was online registration and ticketing.
2. The second wave were event mobile apps
3. The third wave was engagement technology (polls, ARS, live engagement)
4. The fourth wave consists of VR, AR and AI.
Finding the Right Virtual Event Solution for Your Unique Needs
Just like in-person events, not all virtual events are created equal, which means not every tech provider will be right for you. It’s why top clients choose APEMS to enjoy the flexibility of a fully integrated virtual event platform for important meetings.
In today’s world, a seamless event platform should have maximum functionality. Amongst others, APEMS stands out with unique features such as:
- Secured Online registration
- Online, USSD & Proxy Voting
- Live polling with instant result display
- Post-meeting recording
Visit www.africaprudential.com or email email@example.com or call 0700 AFRIPRUD / (0700 23747783)