During the pandemic, when everyone was locked up for months, it seemed to many that we would never return to on-site events. That no one wants to sit in a stuffy conference room where session after session takes place. However, after the restrictions were lifted, it turned out that people missed live communication, face to face.
Let's hope we don't have to return to a fully virtual world one day, as we did during the COVID-19 restrictions. However, during this time spent at home in virtual communication, there was an understanding that the technology of virtual events increases audience reach, improves accessibility, and opens access to important event data. And these are just some of the key improvements.
It's no surprise, then, that many event organizers have begun adding virtual components to in-person events. The popularity of a hybrid format has also increased, which combines the advantages of face-to-face and virtual events.
Mobile apps are one of those components. If before the pandemic they were rather an additional pleasant feature, now they are an indispensable part of almost any event. Applications make it possible to collect a huge amount of important information in the palm of your hand. Members can use their phones to navigate the room, make plans, sync with other attendees, and play the game.
Since most of us are already tethered to our phones, organizers see great value in using mobile applications to digitally connect attendees to each other and to enjoy event content. We will never go back to carrying around a crumpled piece of paper with an event plan for days.
Virtual event features such as polls, gamification, and online Q&A, designed to encourage attendee participation in virtual events, are now being successfully migrated to in-person events. Speakers ask the organizers to include a couple of polls, a quiz during their speech. Participants are encouraged to take their mobile phones and chat. The results are easily displayed on the screen behind the speaker, and it is convenient to discuss them online.
These virtual interaction features empower presenters to help communicate content and provide a dynamic tool for scaling interaction. Recall how the speaker used to ask the audience to shout out their answers, getting a cacophony of shouts in which nothing could be understood. Now the speaker can simply ask the participants to enter their answers in a mobile application or browser and they will appear on the screen in real time.
One of the post-pandemic changes that really catches the eye is the significantly increased number of video screens throughout the hall. And these screens don't show just one hello. The screens show the content of the event, adding an element of interactivity. As you walk around the room, you'll see the agenda and promotions for upcoming sessions, speaker bios, sponsored videos, entertainment schedules, and of course, the game's leaderboard showing the top contenders.
When event information enters the virtual world, it becomes available to participants from the moment of registration online, a certain time before the start of the event itself. Organizers really take advantage of the opportunity to interact with attendees and introduce them to content days, weeks, or even months before they arrive at the showroom.
Visitors begin to interact with the content of your event in advance, to which they come already with a certain amount of knowledge. They read the speaker's biography, made their plans, answered surveys, and contacted other attendees, or perhaps even scheduled a private chat or meeting.
Organizers use polls to improve interaction with attendees prior to the event, allowing them to adjust the agenda at the event itself based on feedback from the polls.
Moving an event to the virtual world also allows you to increase the experience of interacting with the event for the desired duration, even after the in-person event has ended.
All event content is made available to attendees on demand, without having to choose what they can visit based on their ability. In addition, guests can come back again and review the content again. Items such as e-books and white papers will be available throughout the year. And participants can continue to communicate with other attendees, as well as speakers and sponsors of your event.
Event organizers are increasingly leveraging the power of information technology to enhance sponsorship packages and increase ROI, even as sponsors and exhibitors are actively present in person.
Even if a sponsor prefers a physical booth, a digital presence is welcome. In-app banners can increase awareness and draw visitors to content or promotions, while an event game links specific tasks to desired visitor actions.
It is quite difficult to determine the number of people who saw the banner that hangs in the physical hall. There are situations when the participant and the sponsor cannot communicate at an in-person event for any reason, although the participant is very interested in the product or service. Through digital presentation, usually via an event mobile app, organizers gain valuable event data. They can see specific sessions that the member has added to their calendar, or if the member has visited the Virtual Sponsor booth and downloaded their PDF. If an exhibitor has a QR code badge in the showroom, they can easily scan and analyze lead information.
All of this information may be made available to sponsors as part of the service package. You can show a sponsor all of their leads, separately indicating that those specific leads attended the recommended sessions, visited the website, and clicked the button. When sponsors understand that you can now potentially give them hundreds or thousands of quality leads, you can charge extra for sponsor packages.
Without a doubt, the use of modern digital technologies in events will only accelerate. over the past few years, event technology companies have focused on creating exciting new solutions for virtual events. We will also increasingly see new virtual features carried over to in-person and hybrid experiences. On the Onlineexpo platform, you can organize and conduct online and hybrid events of any complexity!
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