Exploring Virtual Events For Your Startup

By Brian Wallace Brian Wallace has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on October 25, 2022

The way that we gather and interact has forever been changed because of the pandemic and its effects. For businesses especially, COVID-19 impacted the ways that employees communicate, travel, and attend events. The shift to digital engagement has allowed online communication methods to skyrocket in popularity. Email, video conferencing, regular phone calls, and messaging platforms are seeing an increase. Travel, conversely, is seeing a decline, as many frequent business travelers have said that they will “never return to the road”. In addition, in 2022, business travel’s share of hotel room revenue is expected to drop. Virtual events are here to stay.

The Rise of Hybrid and Virtual Events

Well over 50% of events in a pandemic-ridden world were switched to hybrid or virtual. In 2022, those trends remain. Studies show that 40% of events are still planned to be virtual and 35% are planned to be hybrid. 72% of professionals claim that they still plan to attend virtual events at least as often as they attended physical events before COVID-19.

Since 2020, audiences have made a mass move to digital engagement platforms like Zoom and Microsoft teams. Zoom hosted more than 45 billion minutes of webinars in 2020 alone, while Microsoft Teams saw 894% growth from March to June of 2020. Despite these astronomical numbers, online interaction can still bring frustration and fatigue. Poorly designed digital platforms can create challenges for employees. For example, 50% report technology issues, 40% poor communication, and 17% a loss of productivity. There are also personal and medical issues associated with excess screen time. Seeing others and yourself on a screen for prolonged periods of time is draining, experts say. Also, self-confidence is diminished and stress is increased with this type of technology.

People are Attending Virtual Events

Despite these challenges of interacting digitally, people still prefer attending events online. Of people who attend 10 or more events every year, 46% say they attend online events, and only 13% for physical events. Businesses themselves need virtual events for a variety of reasons. They save time, they reduce costs, increase productivity, and improve focus and engagement. With the goal of creating the best experience for every audience, many businesses use hybrid events, games, and even the metaverse for their gatherings. These techniques make the experience more immersive and worthwhile for attendees, benefitting the employees and the businesses hosting the events.

Event planners have taken on the task of virtual events. These experts have the ability to improve event quality, keep attendees engaged, and create the “wow” factor. Some of the suggestions that they offer are to minimize extra activities, create an entire digital campus, and facilitate networking. Adding these perks show loyalty to the employees that they value, while simultaneously making it easier for those who do to operate in this digital space.

In Conclusion

The pandemic took a toll on all of us, adding just one more thing to our plate in times that were already overwhelming and transformative. The introduction of digital events could have been a headache, but with new technologies and strategies like these, they only add to the ease of working in the new norm. Although physical events are not going away, businesses now more than ever can reach new audiences through hybrid events, virtual events, and digital campuses.

The power of virtual events
Source: engagez.com

By Brian Wallace Brian Wallace has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Brian Wallace is a Columnist at Grit Daily. He is an entrepreneur, writer, and podcast host. He is the Founder and President of NowSourcing and has been featured in Forbes, TIME, and The New York Times. Brian previously wrote for Mashable and currently writes for Hacker Noon, CMSWire, Business 2 Community, and more. His Next Action podcast features entrepreneurs trying to get to the next level. Brian also hosts #LinkedInLocal events all over the country, promoting the use of LinkedIn among professionals wanting to grow their careers.

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