Virtual events aren’t a thing of the future, they’re a thing of ‘the now.’ More and more companies are leveraging virtual event technology every day for tradeshows, user group conferences, partner expos, product launches, career fairs, corporate training and more. Here’s why:
1. Time & Money – the reason people don’t come to your physical isn’t because they’re not interested in the focus of the event, what will be presented, etc. 90% of the time, the reason people don’t come is because their companies can’t justify the cost and time away from the office. Think of all of the costs involved to go to an event – airfare, hotels, meals, expensive registration passes, etc. And that’s just if you’re an attendee. If you’re a sponsor, add in the costs to ship booth equipment, literature, demo products, booth set up, etc. It really adds up. With a virtual event, all of these headaches fly out the window. It’s about 75% cheaper to execute a virtual event compared to a ‘live’, physical event. And if well planned, produced and executed, it will provide outstanding immediate feedback.
As far as time, a physical event obviously requires you out of the office. And depending where you are and where the event is being held, this sometimes means a full week. Companies are beginning to see how this can take away from business continuity. Wouldn’t it be nice to attend an event from the comfort of your own office, couch…local bar (jk)? But in all seriousness, the virtual option provides unquestionably more flexibility in terms of when, where and how you can attend
2. Measurability – how many times have you sponsored a booth at your event and done a poor job of measuring who entered the booth, what content did they take with them, what key questions did they ask, how long were they in the booth, how many times did they visit the booth, etc.? You’re not alone. One of the biggest problems with physical events is they are flat out hard to measure. ‘Trendsetting’ companies scan name tags, but what does that tell you? It doesn’t provide true attendee/user behavior to tell you what your target market is/isn’t interested in so you can adjust accordingly. With the right virtual events partner, you’ll receive boatloads of valuable data – who entered your environment and everything they did within the show walls: what booths they visited, content and videos they viewed and/or put into their virtual briefcases, presentations they attended and how long, interactions they had with both their peers and reps from sponsoring companies, etc. You have a complete 360 degree snapshot of their behavior and trends within your virtual environment. Who doesn’t see the value in that?
3. Extend Your Reach & The Life of Your Event -don’t restrict yourself to a certain demographic. Anybody can attend, from anywhere, remember? Extend your reach, go global and touch prospects that were impossible to touch with your physical events. Like I said before, the reason one of your strategic accounts couldn’t attend wasn’t because they weren’t interested. It’s because they couldn’t justify the time and money it would take to travel from Hong Kong to your event in Dallas.
Some companies will never take away their physical event structure, and we recognize and respect that. But what happens to all of that data – booth content, presentations, keynotes – post event? Some companies will stream certain things from their event and make them available on-demand, but that’s about as far as it goes. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a virtual environment that’s a replica of your live, physical event, and use it as a way to leverage existing content, presentations, breakout sessions, etc. and continue to drive leads for the next 4-6 months after your physical event? We think so
If you’re compelled, please share your feedback below. Talk soon
Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @ firstname.lastname@example.org.