virtual events

The rise of virtual events

The premise of virtual events

We’ve all dealt with the consequences of the pandemic: from staying indoors to wearing a mask almost everywhere. Businesses were impacted but PanoRender quickly understood the assignment and transformed something unexpected into something to work on, thus our entrance into the virtual events game.

Let’s talk for example about how Microsoft’s annual Ignite 1-week conference held in Orlando in 2019 went from over 27,000 people in attendance to 270,000 guests in only two years. The only change was that the 2021 Ignite was the virtual version of this event.

Even before the pandemic, organizing an event came with a series of difficulties regarding time and resources. A possible positive outcome of the pandemic is that there has been a significant rise of interest towards virtual or hybrid events because of the opportunities they provide, as more and more businesses seize this opportunity. Virtual events have been increasingly popular in recent years, and their impact on the digital world is obvious, as most people agree on their usefulness.

Why are they even an option?

Virtual events have many advantages. Lowering the cost of admission, increasing the number of attendees and allowing enterprises with a lower budget to participate in your conference; all these factors aid in the organization of a successful online event. More than that, think about the great content you’ll have available for later use. Don’t start from scratch, you can reuse your previous conference recordings and allow people that couldn’t participate the first time to view them. 

The sole fact that you can attend an event like that from your home or even from a different country is simply amazing. Imagine participating in a virtual event on the Moon with just an internet connection. It may sound far-fetched, but taking into consideration the constant technological evolution that’s been going on since a few years ago, it does not seem as impossible as before.

Allow people from all around the world to interact without having to pay for flights or accommodations. Having a panel of speakers that may not be able to come in person but show up via video call or pre-recorded presentation brings a nice touch.

As we witnessed during the pandemic, virtual gatherings are sometimes the only option when in-person activities are infeasible. Virtual events are a fantastic way to reach out to new and bigger audiences and raise brand awareness.

Types of Virtual Events

Virtual events can take various forms and can become an essential part of your organizational agenda. To make things easier, we’ve listed down below the four main types of virtual events:

  1. Webinars

Webinars create an online environment where participants from all around the world can join virtually and enjoy the topics discussed. Integrate video conferencing or utilize live or pre-recorded videos.

  1. Virtual Conferences

Virtual conferences are very similar to in-person conferences and are based on a live, complex agenda. They allow attendees to view keynotes in real-time, gain access to relevant information, and engage with other attendees.

  1. Internal Hybrid Events

Company-wide events, training sessions, department meetings are useful if you need to communicate a message to the whole company, but not all employees are gathered in the same location. Because of this, the idea of having everybody on-site becomes irrelevant.

  1. External Hybrid Events

These gatherings are for those who are not affiliated with your company. User conferences and industry conferences are also possibilities. 

Virtual events help broadcast your company’s message in order to generate leads and revenue and increase loyalty lifetime value. 

Here are some of the benefits of hosting a virtual event:

Accessibility: Virtual alternatives allow you to accommodate participants who are unable to attend in person while the event is still being held in person.

Budget: Suitable for smaller companies also. When travel budgets are a concern for attendees, having a virtual or hybrid option is also beneficial.

There’s no other choice: In-person events aren’t possible due to bad weather conditions or travel limitations. Thus, having an online option gives you the assurance the event is still happening.

To summarize our view on these digital events, they are ultimately a great and safe approach during this uncertain time. There’s no denying that the impact and usefulness of virtual events remain undisputed. Brands are now stepping up their game by providing very distinctive and immersive virtual experiences. Virtual events will just keep on evolving and will continue to be a viable option for many brands. So if you ever think about hosting your own, just let us know what we can do to help set up your virtual event.