An Honest Review Of Virtual Events

An Honest Review Of Virtual Events

During this very uncertain and uneasy period of our lives, it doesn’t come as a shock that so many people are looking to organise virtual events so that special occasions are still being celebrated and businesses aren’t missing out on networking opportunities, amongst other reasons. Because of this, people have had to decide on how’s best to replace organic events.

However, one depicting issue on this transition to virtual events is whether or not they can still have the same impact and effectiveness as live events. As a business or as an individual, are virtual events a realistic alternative? Continue reading this blog post for our honest review of virtual events in comparison to live events. 

We will explore the pros and cons of virtual events, and how you can take advantage of this technology advancement to engage your employees, peers and clients during the COVID-19 Pandemic, and for the foreseeable. 

The Pros of Virtual Events

Keeping Up To Date

Let’s start with the pros of virtual events; seeing as they are our only option for engaging employees and clients collectively and visually currently, we have to utilise them as best as we can. 

Firstly, its the perfect opportunity for delivering consistent updates and messages to those who will benefit from the information. While sending an email usually works well, by hosting a virtual event, you will be able to engage reactions of news and ensure that everybody is happy with the information you’re sharing.

Less Planning

As a quick form of contact, having to plan a time and place that suits everybody is no longer needed. With everyone having a little more free time, all you need to do is organise a time that suits everyone, and you can keep everyone in the loop.

Less Costly

Additionally, as you’ll all be communicating within the comforts of your own homes, travelling, accommodation, parking and location will not need to be considered. You can get the job done without it being costly when hiring out spaces and reimbursing travel expenses, and it won’t be as tedious to organise. A virtual event is accessible for all attendees; all they need to do is login and join the conversation.

Interaction

In such a technically-advanced world, you can share video content, imagery, presentations and even take advantage of tools that allow the entire party to interact with one another and your audience. For it to be a successful virtual event, it’s best that we think outside the box and find creative ways that we can make the experience as effective as possible. Bradn

Branding

Lastly, virtual events won’t dampen a brands reputation or engagement, as well as those who sponsor you. Visibility before, during and after the event is still highly effective, and by using video, you can still make a good impression, as well as experience people’s facial expressions and body language. 

The Cons of Virtual Events

Now that we have spoken about the pros of undergoing events online, what about the cons? 

Lacking Connections

Although it is over video, you won’t experience that face to face connection and in personal event cases, that intimacy. You will need to work hard when replicating such a bond or relationship through a virtual event. However, it isn’t impossible; follow-up networking, clever facilitation and smaller breakout sessions can all help to re-connect attendees.

Atmospheric Abilities

The location of an event is vital for that wow factor. Without elements such as a lovely venue and decor that showcases it, the setting of a virtual event automatically loses its sparkle. Yes, you can prop up a birthday banner behind you, but unfortunately, it’s not quite the same.

Furthermore, the entertainment is just as crucial. During any event, you look forward to being entertained and getting involved with activities, but without actually being in a setting that allows you to, you lose those feelings. Virtual events are experiential; its almost impossible to recreate the same atmosphere as a live event, so, unfortunately, they will never be as impactful than your guests actually attending.

Technology Limitations

Even though we’ve touched upon technology and its abilities, what about the elements that it cannot recreate? For instance, 3D and real Virtuality aren’t at that point where they can really support virtual experiences, especially within numerous locations. 

Retaining Attention

Another downside to virtual events is the hardship of retaining the attendees’ attention. Unlike organically, you’re not able to have their focus in such a distracting environment. The dog might need walking, the clothes need washing, or you’re gasping for a cup of tea; whatever the reason, it is easy for people to switch off if the interaction, environment or pace doesn’t scream productivity. So, ensuring that you’re implementing some kind of interaction and entertainment is a must.

Networking Opportunities

While we all love to connect over a glass of bubbly at an event, in a virtual setting, it isn’t quite the same. Whether you’re camera shy or you generally don’t feel as confident as you would organically, introducing yourself to others or initiating that first conversation can be a lot harder. Not only that but those who meet you online may not get to experience you fully, which could dampen your chances for future opportunities.

Differentiate Your Event

When hosting your event, make sure that you are differentiating the content, as well as the supporting materials. For instance, by hosting in a studio or on a stage, you can fully showcase your entertainment. Opposingly, using a simpler format with a branded backdrop, can really set a level of professionalism that you would see at a live event.

By differentiating the content, including both the host and the speakers, as well as the setting, you will keep your attendees even more engaged. Just because guests can’t gather together, as usual, doesn’t mean that the main focal points of the event can’t still be spectacular.

While we all love to connect over a glass of bubbly at an event, in a virtual setting, it isn’t quite the same. Whether you’re camera shy or you generally don’t feel as confident as you would organically, introducing yourself to others or initiating that first conversation can be a lot harder. Not only that but those who meet you online may not get to experience you fully, which could dampen your chances for future opportunities.

How To Create The Perfect Virtual Event

Now, its time to give you our expertise and advice for when holding your virtual event. To get the most out of virtual events, we recommend that you got through the same process and thought as you would for a live event because then you will have the best chances at making it successful for all attendees.

Thought Process

You must put yourself in the attendees’ shoes; how are they going to feel? What are they going to see? This is a thought process that needs to be considered for during and after the event so that you are making sure that it is an entirely positive experience for everyone.

Be Creative

From the title of the event down to the content being discussed, we recommend that you excite your attendees as much as possible. Yes, during a conference you can’t exactly have the same enjoyment as you would for a birthday over Zoom, but by enticing the attendees, you are encouraging engagement.

Keep It Interesting

Nobody wants to attend a boring event, organic or virtual. Make your event varied, interactive and less mundane. Nobody wants to sit through a PowerPoint for a couple of hours; instead, ask questions, implement a quiz or simply have fun connecting with one another.

Timing Is Key

When organising your event, not only do you have to choose a suitable time for everyone, especially for those who have kids or commitments, but make sure that the virtual event doesn’t last hours on end. You are more likely to lose your attendees’ attention over a long period of time, as opposed to if you addressed the content upfront.

Engage With Your Attendees

It’s all well and good throwing information at your attendees, but in order to engage them, you must pay attention to their facial expressions and body language so that you have an idea of how they’re feeling in that moment. If you talk at them, how do you know that the information is being processed?

Saving Grace Virtual Events

Has our honest review of virtual events given you a good insight into the possibilities and limitations that accompany virtual events? Here at Saving Grace Events, our top tip is to keep it interesting, entertaining and well thought out. Recently, we have had the opportunity to organise and deliver a virtual event to RLC Global UK/US, and from this, we have acknowledged the fundamentals of a successful virtual event.

Contact us today on 0333 987 4301 or through our website for our expertise and further advice for when planning your virtual event. If you need a hand, we would be more than happy to assist you in organising your event so that you get the most out of it. We pride ourselves in planning events like no other; with our extensive experience, we have continued to outdo ourselves and our clients’ expectations, and we will continue to do so for events of a virtual nature.

2 Comments
  • Debbie Halls-Evans

    26th May 2020at5:48 pm Reply

    It was a great event and we have held over 10 more smaller online virtual events since
    Your support on delivering the bigger virtual event was truly appreciated – the planning and logistical elements helping it run smoothly and create that extra element needed

    • Rebecca Hartley

      26th May 2020at7:09 pm Reply

      We loved working with you guys and working on this challenge together.

Post a Reply to Rebecca Hartley Cancel Reply

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