Virtual events are the new trend of 2021
In fact, exhibitions, conferences, and seminars started going digital almost 10 years ago. The first such enterprises began in America and gradually moved to Europe. In Russia, many do not even suspect that such a possibility exists. By now, almost every organizer has realized that the brand of an event can only be maintained by joining the online environment. Knowing the subject from the inside, it is safe to say that any such enterprise is currently undergoing a test period of the digitization process. In the near future, this format will become completely customary.
What is included in the concept of a virtual event?
It combines the power of traditional contact activities in a familiar physical space with an online environment. Thanks to this integration, and as a consequence of the expansion of the audience, brand presentation, as well as marketing, statistics collection and sales occur simultaneously.
The possibilities offered by such an online environment:
- title and description of the event;
- plan of the event and presentation of speakers;
- pages for speakers, sponsors and partners - as if they were traditional conferences;
- speaker presentations;
- Possibility to ask questions to any presenter during the presentation.
In addition, the virtual event allows the visitor to:
- organize an online meeting with each participant;
- exchange business cards (all necessary details and data are sent to an email address);
- Communicate with other participants (for example, ask clarifying questions).
Externally, virtual events can be completely different. For example, some organizers present their event as an online store catalogue. This is convenient for those visitors who know what they are looking for. However, when attending a real fair or other event, people often want to come up with ideas but don't know what to look for.
Let's imagine a dog show. Often a visitor does not just go to look at the dogs that are announced in the catalogue, but to find the most favourite breed or dog among the many breeds. It often happens that you look for one thing and find another.
Trade shows and other similar events should be more of a place for new ideas and inspiration, so a virtual exhibition is more than just a catalogue.
Each organizer is faced with another interesting question: to use elements of virtual reality at the event? There are different points of view here. It should be borne in mind that not every visitor of a virtual event has the appropriate technical capabilities and not every exhibitor has such materials suitable for 3D space. In addition, attending an event in 3D requires a lot of Internet resources and computer power.
The content of virtual events does not differ from those that occur in real space. It follows from this that exhibitions, festivals, concerts, conferences, trainings, master classes and meeting in round tables can be held in a virtual environment.
Depending on the nature of the event, you can choose between different web platforms. For example, the following venues are suitable for organizing exhibitions, festivals, concerts and conferences:
As a rule, simpler platforms are used to conduct training seminars and lessons: Zoom, Youtube, Vimeo.
All of the above is suitable for a meeting in round table.
Planning a virtual event
If you are planning to make a virtual event, then you will be helped by a plan and questions that you need to answer for yourself. This will help you get your bearings and where to start:
- Think about the languages in which the event will be broadcast? Is this a multilingual event?
- Find out the number of exhibitors. Think about the content they display on display stands.
- Make a list of speakers and plan the event. Do the speakers speak in parallel or one after the other?
- Decide where and how the recording will take place. Does this take place in the studio, or does each speaker give the presentation in a suitable location?
- Find out the expected number of visitors and the sectors of activity from which they should be invited to the event. This is directly related to the budget of the event. Financially, there is a big difference in which region the visitors come from. For example, in Finland the costs are almost twice as high as in Estonia.
- Prepare price packages for participants and sponsors.
- If there is a fee to attend the event, indicate the ticket prices and the order of payment.
- Prepare an accurate, clear, and preferably digital description of the event. Let's take already existing events as an example.
- Record a video message from yourself as the organizer, from the best speakers and from the most interesting participants. A short teaser can be used both in advertising and to describe the event. Don't forget that photo demonstration is better than text, and video is even better!
- Think about what kind of contacts you could get before, during and after the event. As a rule, this is the most difficult moment for both organizers and participants. Spending large sums of money on organizing a contact event often overlooks how important each incoming information is. With a virtual event, there will be much more information.