Online or virtual events are undoubtedly emerging as the newest trend, especially now when “social distancing” has become so important due to the deadly Coronavirus.
People all over the world are locked down for indefinite period of time and the companies and event planners are struggling to host high quality events and programs to keep people engaged and productive. The present travel restrictions have led them to think of new alternatives. “Virtual Events” have come to the rescue of many, thereby gaining more popularity now than ever.
Virtual Events-What Is It?
A Virtual or an online event primarily takes place through internet. The reach of such events is wide too, since attendees can take part from any part of the world unlike in-house events where physical presence is necessary. It is true face-to-face interactions have their own charm and things might get difficult and complex during Virtual Events.
Therefore, hosting and conducting online events require patience, proper planning and effective handling.
Types of Virtual Events
Virtual events are of wide range and can be of the following few types
This is attended by interested people from various places to hear or understand the content to be presented by the main speaker or sneakers. It is usually conducted through video conference and there can be Doubt clearing sessions and Q&A rounds.
- Virtual Conferences:
This is just the online version of in-person conferences. Big corporate companies arrange virtual conferences where the employees and employers interact about important issues and agenda. It is usually conducted through multi sessions and even has breaks in between.
- Online Training / Workshops:
One of the most popular types of online events, this type helps an individual to learn a new skill or undertake a certified course from the comforts of their home. Students attend online classes, interact virtually with the teachers and even give online exams.
- Online Music Concerts/Performances :
A concert organized virtually where the Audience will listen to their favorite singers and enjoy the show from their home. Such concerts are usually live streamed.
These are digital files that are released as episodes and can be downloaded by the attendees. They are essentially creative in nature.
- Online Yoga and Workout sessions:
Not only physical but mental wellness is necessary for us. Online workout sessions help people to remain engaged in physical activities and meditation helps to look after the mental health.
Virtual Events – Benefits
- Cost Effective:
Planning and conducting Online events is more pocket friendly than in-house events. Planners will save huge amounts from their budget on venue, hotels for the attendees, meals, and travel costs.
- Time Saving:
Undoubtedly, virtual events are less time consuming than any other type of events. For the attendees, the only important criteria are to register to the site at the given time. Travel time is saved too.
- Wider Reach:
Online events are more flexible and have little limitations in respect of their reach. They have a global reach engaging people from all over the world and this is exactly what every company or event planners aims for.
- Environment Friendly:
Obviously, virtual events do not require people to gather at a particular location and pollute the place. Moreover, it also saves oil by letting people to participate from their own homes and not to travel huge distances to attend a single event.
- Easier Feedback:
Feedback is important for any type of events. For online events it is quick and immediate through various tools such as Q&A, polls and surveys.
- Increase in Demand:
The present world scenario has led to an increase in demand for online events. The pandemic has slowly made us realize the importance of virtual events.
Virtual Events – Steps to make it Successful
- Know The Audience:
It is important to understand and study the audience. There are so many important aspects that have to be kept in mind while planning the event – such as the mindset of the audience, their demands and what they are looking forward to and consequently plan the events.
It is advisable to conduct polls and surveys to acquire the desired information from the audience themselves.
- Attractive Forum:
In-house events have their own charm and it is important to create the same for the virtual events. The forum should be attractive and informative. The audience and guests should have an excellent experience.
- Choosing The Suitable Platform:
There are many platforms such as Skype, Facebook Live, Periscope, Webex, Zoom for conducting events. It is necessary to understand the platform required by a particular online event and conducting it accordingly. Moreover, their should be familiarity with the particular platform for making the event successful.
- Choosing The Host/ Speaker:
The most important aspect of any online event is the Host or the Speaker. A lot depends on him or her and it is necessary to choose the most suitable one. The host should speak loudly and clearly, be confident and give proper attention to all issues and communicate with the audience. An online event can have more than one speaker but there should be proper coordination and understanding.
- Promoting The Event:
Like any other events, online events also need proper promotion. Events should be marketed through social media to attract audience.
- Choosing The Time and Date:
The success of the event also depends on choosing the suitable time and date for the event. It is advisable to take into consideration the suggestion of the audience as well.
The event should always start at the right time. This shows the efficiency. In case of any discrepancies, proper planning should be done before hand.
- Interactive sessions:
To make the event successful there should always be two ways communication. Proper interaction between the speaker and audience is necessary. It is advisable to conduct Q&A rounds for engaging the audience more. Feedback at the end of the sessions helps too.
- Follow up:
It is important to track the results for analysis and to find glitches if there were any. This paves the way for improvement in future events.
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