How to Still Host Your Events during the Covid 19 Pandemic
Updated: Apr 10, 2020
If you currently work in events or your business has any part to play in the events-world, number one: I’m sorry... number two: you need to start thinking about virtual events now before your competitors get their foot in the door first.
I work for a travel company, this company holds 6-8 in-person conferences every year all over the world. With the current situation that is Covid-19, we have started to explore virtual conferences more than ever because as you already know, in-person events are now pretty-much impossible. Here are some of the things I have learned so far…
Online conferences are a great alternative to in-person events for many reasons, the main one being cost. Conference spaces along with catering, security and networking events do not come cheap to most. Cutting out these costs may allow you to lower the admission price resulting in more ticket sales. Another reason virtual events are a great alternative is because you have the opportunity to reach a greater audience from around the globe. A fantastic example of this I read earlier: Beyoncé’s set at Coachella in 2019; viewed by hundreds of thousands in the audience, but watched by 41 million people on Youtube… We can’t argue with those numbers! Lastly, holding your conference virtually can give you access to speakers that are in high-demand who don’t have the time to commit to an in-person event.
But how is it done?
Today, it is more achievable than ever with so many online services offering the tools to create a virtual conference space with things like a main stage, networking capabilities (so your attendees still have the power to communicate with likeminded people), breakout session capabilities (so you can run a few different topics at the same time) and many other capabilities to allow you to build a virtual event that suits your audience’s needs. Weather it is a training course, a tutorial, a tour or a conference, they can all now be achieved virtually.
What does it mean for the attendee? The main thing the attendee loses is the personal-level communication with other attendees and speakers. Although it is hard to replace a face-to-face communication, some of the platforms I have used do allow for attendee communication through video calls, chat rooms and through Q&A sessions. What the attendee doesn’t lose is exorbitant amounts on flights and hotels.
If virtual conferences is something you think can work for your company, there are a few important questions that need to be answered earlier in the plan such as: will the event be live or on demand? If it is live, what is the best time to hold it? Equally, if it is on demand, when is the best time to launch it? Will it require registration? What is the registration price? Answering these questions will enable you to better choose a platform that best suits your events needs.
With the words current state, I believe 2020 is going to be the year that really kicks-off virtual events and I want to be ahead of that. I think this is going to be one of our new behaviours given we have all learned new ways to archive our goals, from the comfort and safety of our own homes.
Do you agree? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
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