Virtual & Hybrid Industry Expert Opinions Roundup: Event Agencies
Although the significance of face-to-face engagement will never diminish, there are instances when turning virtual is an unavoidable aspect of your event strategy. But how can you turn a multi-day conference into a virtual event? An event complete with networking opportunities, instructional sessions, and attendee insights? And how do you keep guests engaged throughout the event once you've done that? This is where virtual event agencies come to play! Virtual events demand the same level of care and attention as in-person events. Both events require you to promote the event effectively, engage your attendees, create memorable moments for participants, and demonstrate event success. The only things missing are the location and on-site attendees. Virtual event agencies do that heavy planning for you. Virtual event agencies help you build a compelling event that stretches well beyond a computer screen by conceiving virtual events as value-added, engagement-driven experiences rather than simple one-off presentations or webinars.
What is a Virtual Event?
You've probably participated in an online webinar, watched an on-demand workout class, or joined a conference through video conferencing. You might have even sat at your desk and attended a meeting. Virtual events include all of the above. A virtual event is when participants interact with the event and its material through the internet rather than in person. According to Google Trends, the world is becoming increasingly virtual.
Importance in Business Operations
Due to the effects of COVID-19, companies in the events industry are looking for new methods to prosper. Technology plays an important part here, and many businesses are already exploring holding virtual events online as a viable option. The good news is that when leveraged as a strategic platform for a company's brand and business, virtual events offer the potential for increasing audience engagement and sales. We want to discuss 5 significant benefits of having a virtual event that you should consider if you need to arrange an event soon, based on our experience in the events space, both in person and virtually.
- You may reach a larger audience by hosting virtual events
When it comes to event planning, choosing a suitable date, venue, and location is critical. You could be worried about whether the venue is convenient and accessible for your target audience. If it is handicapped accessible, whether it can accommodate the number of participants required, and what the dropout rate might be due to traffic or unanticipated circumstances. Running a virtual event instantly alleviates more than half of these issues. As long as they have a mobile or computer device with Internet access, participants can attend from the comfort of their homes or from anywhere on the globe on the go. In addition, because virtual events are so simple to participate in, they may attract ten times as many people as a physical event.
- The marketing and management costs of virtual events are minimal
You may concentrate your marketing efforts and finances online while holding a virtual event. Even if you form strategic alliances, you won't have to pay for conference booklets, banners, or buntings to promote your partners' brands. Everything is going digital, and SEO, email marketing, and other methods may help you better monitor the return on your ad expenditure.
- It is simpler to organize virtual events
You have more control over the event day when you host a virtual event. There will be no stress from logistics, equipment, on-the-ground personnel training, or having to physically be in many locations at the same time to meet stakeholders and media visitors. This frees you up to focus on making sure you have all of the digital resources you need to give a smooth experience for your guests, such as the video conferencing and webinar capabilities Pigeonhole Live supports.If you haven't heard, we have made our video conferencing integrations available for free! Free bespoke integrations with platforms like Remo, and others will help your event achieve high levels of audience engagement.
- Your brand strategy will benefit from virtual events
If there's one thing that people admire, it's a company with a resilient and innovative culture. Embracing change so fast and with such a significant jump might help your brand favor your target market.
- Virtual events provide you with quick and helpful information to help you plan your next step
Future decision-making will rely heavily on data. With Pigeonhole Live's Attendee Profiles tool, you can learn things like which sessions received the most questions from attendees and who was the most engaged at your virtual event. This helps you better understand your target audience and create content or campaigns that will satisfy their requirements and encourage them to achieve a specific objective. You could even give them a digital presence in exchange for immediate feedback, providing you the tools you need to improve your next event!
-engagez.com Recently, I had the pleasure of interacting with some of the top managers of virtual event agencies. This takes me to the questions we asked them:
How have virtual events made your business global and international?
“Our business was doing well locally, but the addition of virtual events has expanded our business across the globe! Technology has made the world a much smaller place. As more people have adapted to using virtual events, it’s become indispensable to organizations looking to increase their reach, revenue, and impact.”
-Chris Borja, Founder of Borja Virtual Conferences and Events“For many years I traveled for business, delivering highly interactive in-person training and consulting programs to large corporations. While I love the in-person experiences we're able to create, I always had an ambition that one day we'd be able to create experiences online. Experiences that are every bit as good as the ones we could create when we're all together. When I was connected to Remo in February of 2020, I knew we had finally reached that point. In an instant, the entire world, together, had to find ways of doing things more virtually than ever before. We moved our training and consulting programs to 100% online delivery. We also expanded our offerings to provide more virtual solutions for our clients all looking to replicate what we were doing from a virtual event, training, and collaboration standpoint. As a result, our client base expanded globally and continues to grow at a rapid rate. Our clients include some of the most recognizable companies in the world and our work was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal.”
-Kevin Greene, Founder of iBreakthrough
“ACE Virtual Events began as a virtual event management agency managing clients around the world with tech support and hosting services in every time zone. We focus heavily on the client’s needs and make sure we can follow through with their request.We have noticed from the events that more and more clients are focusing on expanding their customer base by growing internationally. With the access of virtual events through platforms like Remo, they can manage their client relationships and focus on growth. Ultimately, their win is our win!”
“Social ICON had just come off an extremely successful year managing and producing in-person corporate events. When the pandemic hit the states, we initially panicked. What happened next was nothing short of miraculous. Virtual events essentially leveled the playing field across the events industry and as a small company, we had the ability to pivot fast and hard. By building relationships with software providers, like Remo, we had the ability to service and connect with clients all over the world. Not only did virtual events allow us to sustain the business, but it also doubled it.”
-Briana Snellgrove, CEO of Social ICON
Despite the world slowly opening up again, why do you think companies are electing to still host virtual events instead of holding small occupancy, in-person events?
“COVID was a challenge like no other we've experienced in our lifetimes. It will remain a challenge as well. But, the lessons learned during COVID will not be quickly forgotten. One of those lessons is virtual, works! When done well, virtual events can create experiences that are almost every bit as good as being there in person. And they provide tremendous advantages over in-person events in terms of cost, convenience, accessibility, carbon footprint. And more than simply make virtual a superior solution to in-person events in most cases. No doubt, we've reached a tipping point, what we at iBreakthrough would call a "breakthrough moment" in history. I would suggest that at least from a B2B standpoint, we are now a "virtual-first" economy.”
-Kevin Greene, Founder of iBreakthrough“I believe the wave of the future is the hybrid event, where attendees can join in-person or virtually! With new technology like Remo, both the in-person and virtual audiences can be engaged in a seamless experience.”
-Chris Borja, Founder of Borja Virtual Conferences and Events
“ACE Virtual Events has already begun doing research on the post-COVID-19 impacts on virtual events. Through in-person events have already restarted, we believe the virtual event space may slow down but will not stop. Many companies are focusing their efforts on moving employee and customer training virtual instead of in-person. Furthermore, companies that manage their clients internationally, will continue to host virtual events. In the end, in-person events will make a comeback. But the majority still believe that virtual events are here to stay!”
Do you see virtual event agencies hosting more, equal, or less virtual events 3 years from now?
“In 3 years from now, I believe virtual events will overtake in-person events due to the convenience, cost efficiencies, and the life-like experience that can be created.”
-Chris Borja, Founder of Borja Virtual Conferences and Events “Three (3) years from now we believe virtual events will still be around as much as in-person events and meetings. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught humanity that it is able to function virtually and through challenging, everyone adapts. The future may also include an advanced version of virtual reality. Newer technologies will only make virtual events more exciting. ACE Virtual Events is excited for the future and ready to take on new challenges!”
"The world is slowly starting to open up more! So we will all go back to physical events as soon as we can, right? We really don't think so as a company. Research certainly does not back that up. We are not saying physical events will stop. But organizers will be assessing each event and the outcomes and looking at the best ways to deliver the value. It is our experience that the benefits of a physical event can be replicated well in an online event and in many ways, online events are better for organizations. You cannot replace the meeting face-to-face element, but for all other outcomes online events deliver every time but it does need to be more than just a webinar, people want engagement and interaction. Most of all people want human experiences as we have all suffered from missing those so focus on delivering attendee value and you will be fine."
-Andy Sandford, Director of We are Lean and Agile
In conclusion, this year, as we were all forced to adapt, innovative ideas for virtual events and improvements in event technology to enable those creative notions grew exponentially. Virtual event agencies are doing their best to see what event trends are popping in 2021! This was primarily owing to the isolating and disruptive COVID-19 epidemic that swept over our world. Your organization may host an engaging virtual event that meets your event goals with appropriate preparation, a few fun and interesting ideas, and a suitable virtual event platform. Here are some of the best questions to ask at a virtual networking event.