With the COVID-19 outbreak and travel restrictions in place, virtual events is the new buzzword. What does it mean? What does it encompass exactly? Is it expensive? Why go virtual?
When we think of virtual events, the image of donning the VR goggles immediately come to mind, but it is so much more than that. With so many options to pick from, let 8th Wave show you the full capabilities of virtual events!
What is a virtual event?
A virtual event allows for participants to come together via their computers or mobile devices instead of having to be physically present for an onsite event. Webinars, online tutorials, virtual meetups (via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts or Skype), digital festivals or concerts, podcasts and live streams are all different types of virtual events.
It can occur in two ways - purely virtual or as a hybrid (mix of virtual and offline elements).
Different kinds of virtual events also entails a different set of scope, tools and approach. For example, a webinar is a simplified virtual event, while a virtual conference is more complicated and could span days and have multiple components and interactions.
What does it encompass?
Virtual events are not as simple as just moving online. It is very much like a physical event and requires good management in order to be successful. Content is also key. Good content combined with excellent digital platform for delivery can create a unique and interactive/engaging experience for attendees. Therefore, executing a virtual event requires a set of skills such as being technically competent to utilise and manage the various online tools as well as a keen understanding in Event Management.
Selecting a capable Virtual/Digital Event Manager who understands your needs and possess the necessary technical knowledge to manage your event is the first stepping stone to a successful virtual event. Here at 8th Wave, we are well equipped to help you!
What are its possibilities?
Many aspects of a live onsite event can be replicated and even enhanced through the use of various virtual event technologies – networking, engagement, interaction, presentations, entertainment, sponsorships and so much more!
Much like understanding a physical venue’s capabilities and constraints, curating the right virtual event for you also requires us to consider several factors such as platform integrations, cybersecurity, server hosting, firewalls, design outlook like 3D or 2D environments etc.
There are many different virtual event platforms out in the market, but it is important to pick one that fits your budget and is able to fulfil your event objectives!
From a simple Zoom conference to a gamified environment to a full blown high production event like the recent Tomorrowland festival, virtual events are full of possibilities and new experiences.
Why go virtual?
There are many benefits to go virtual!
Promotes sustainability - lesser resources are required (no need for travel, venues etc), thus reducing the carbon footprint of the event
Larger outreach - going digital increases the accessibility of your event, which means participants all over the globe can attend your event!
Budget - With a virtual event, the organiser saves money on airfares, venue fees, F&B, etc.
Engagement - live polls, chats, virtual entertainment, immersive environments, live games, social media, etc, there are so many ways to engage and interact with your audience in comparison to live events!
Data - So much data can be collected from a virtual event as post-event feedback, demographics of attendees, individual session/plenary feedback, engagement level. These can help you better understand the needs of your attendees and improve on your future events
Immunisation - Travel restrictions? Bad weather? Pandemic? A virtual event is immune to all unforeseen circumstances and is an excellent choice for these uncertain times!
While nothing can beat face-to-face interaction and in-person experience, virtual events provides the closest alternative. It is also more than capable to help you achieve your business objectives. Like it or not, virtual events are here to stay - whether in hybrid form or pure digital form. A hybrid format in the future could be the way forward in enhancing traditional physical event experiences. It could come in a combination of digital pre-event engagement and physical onsite event, or vice versa. The possibilities are endless!
As part of our managed services – our team at 8th Wave will produce your event to the highest standards. Stay ahead of the curve, select 8th Wave!