As we near the 2-year anniversary of the start of the pandemic, followed by lockdown after lockdown and working from home, I wanted to review one of the biggest impacts all of this had on the events and webinar industry in general.
To be precise – how physical events had to be cancelled, and more would be hosts turned to webinars or virtual events via Zoom and other platforms.
Just over 24 months ago, virtual events were much less heard of.
You had events – that were in person.
And webinars – that were virtual.
But when the former was no longer viable, a hybrid was formed: virtual events.
2 years later, and we’re seeing lots of positive signs that the worst is behind us.
Physical events are back on. The doors are reopened.
So is this the end of virtual events?
Well actually, no. I don’t think it is. And todays blog I’ll be explaining why…
It all comes down to weighing up the pros and cons of virtual events vs physical.
And in particular, one very crucial pro that – all the way up to 24 months ago – people thought wouldn’t happen.
But before I go over that, let’s look at the most obvious pros of virtual events.
There’s no denying that a virtual event is just way more convenient than a physical event – for both the host, and the attendees.
It’s just so much easier to turn up. Instead of travelling, possibly staying in a hotel over night and turning up at the event the next day, you can literally wake up, turn your PC or laptop on and join the event.
Same for the host. No more travelling and moving lots of gear around.
That leads me onto…
Not only are virtual events more convenient for all parties, they’re a lot cheaper too.
Of course you’ve got the obvious transport, accommodation and other resource costs to consider.
But the biggest for hosts of physical events is the space. The renting out of an event room and other facilities such as visual-audio equipment for larger events.
So… so far virtual events are more convenient and much cheaper. What else?
Larger audience pools
One of the key limitations of physical events is the audience pool. Depending what event you’re running, your target audience will only be able/willing to travel so far. That limits your target audience for that particular event to a much smaller area.
With a virtual event however, the skies truly are the limits. As you can advertise to your target audience throughout the country, or even globally if you want to. Timezone factors depending.
So… virtual events are more convenient, much cheaper and enable larger pools of audiences.
So why weren’t people running them pre-pandemic?
Before physical events were no longer an option, it was widely believed that virtual events would be no where near as engaging as a physical event.
When you have people physically in a room, you can build a strong engagement with the audience.
But how could you possibly do that on Zoom?
Well it turns out that you can, fairly easily actually!
There are ways, methods and strategies specifically for building engagement at virtual events.
For ensuring your audience pay attention, are taking notes, are really getting the general vibe and atmosphere.
I was surprised when I saw this. And I know many other people were.
But it works, and works well – when you know how.
So with engagement – or the false belief that virtual events couldn’t be engaging, holding people back from running them – no longer actually being true and valid there is absolutely nothing to stop virtual events from continuing long after this pandemic is a distant memory.
In addition, I don’t think this is the end of physical events, by the way.
There are some circumstances where physical is still preferred. Sometimes hosts prefer to run a physical events, perhaps for paying clients. Perhaps because they like to roll out the red carpet.
But for most events, virtual is the way forward now and for the foreseeable future.
A Gift For You
As a thank you for reading today I want to offer you a free copy of our guide: 25 Of The Best Ways To Promote Your Event or Webinar.
Helping our clients fill their events and webinars, or supporting them to do so themselves, via Facebook Ads is something we do 365 days a year.
How do we do this?
Through our done for you and done with you services that you can learn more about here.
Whilst you’re here, I’d like to invite you to learn how The Marketeer continually filled the UK’s market-leading portfolio builder and property educator webinars and events over the last 24 months.
Finally, I have an ever increasing catalogue of free resources to help you fill your events and webinars.
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