Digital and hybrid events can no longer be seen as just an emergency solution for the challenges we faced during the pandemic. Virtual events are the type of meeting format that soon will be seen as the new normal. The reason? Digital and hybrid events offer new opportunities and save your and the environment’s resources. It is already a safe investment for the future.
What is the attitude towards new digital events, in the event industry? Are the virtual events here to stay when the pandemic restrictions are gone? LinkedIn made a huge survey where 200 event agencies answered. According to the study, we see that:
- 45% of B2B events are expected to remain fully virtual after the pandemic.
- 72% of them want to continue to invest in virtual events.
- 77% are interested in hybrid solutions for future use.
The increased popularity is due to more organisations realizing what a valuable investment virtual events are for organizers, sponsors, and partners – as well as for exhibitors and participants. Not to mention the value it brings to the environment. So how can you take part in this virtual success?
Participants – Virtual events can spare yours and the environment’s resources
Here is a simplified calculation example:
200 people from the same organisation will participate in a physical event that lasts one day with overnight stays. It requires:
- Two working days including the trip. The average price for a hotel room is about $200 per night. Add another $100 for food and drinks, and the same amount for the average travel cost. This results in a cost of over $58 955
- 200 x 15 hours = 3 000 hours. If we set an internal cost of $100 per hour, the calculation cost for time required is almost $300,000.
- In addition, there is the cost of any temporary service for customer service and support.
- Costs for loss of production and loss of revenue are also added.
If 200 people from the same organisation are attending a virtual event for one day, it requires:
- No overnight stay and no travel costs.
- No lost working time due to travel, 200 x 7,5 = 1500 hours. With the same internal cost of $1000 per hour, the estimated cost for working hours will be $147,389. Halving any additional services related to customer service and support.
- The risk of loss of revenue is halved. And the possible loss of production is also halved.
The simplified examples above result in reduces expenses of almost $60,000 – with better use of production utilization of hours of $148,363
And we should not forget that fewer business trips play a significant role in the environment. Sustainability is an important aspect of digital forms of meeting, as they help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Should we, as in our calculation examples, assume that the 200 participants would travel 200km, round-trip, with two people in a medium-sized car, the emissions would be close to 4 tonnes.
In other words, a transformation towards digital and hybrid events, where the larger proportion are digital participants, would bring both financial benefits to your company and help you reduce your general climate footprint.
Can a virtual event give you the same value?
Can virtual meetings give you the same opportunities to network, mingle, and have individual conversations, as a physical one? This is a common question when it comes to the outcome and value of a virtual event.
There is, of course, no doubt that we have become more experienced and accustomed to spending time digitally in recent years. In addition, the digital tools we use today have developed, not least due to the increased need for more advanced services. So digital meeting platforms can offer participants mingling features and networking possibilities with traditional webinars and video meeting formats.
In addition, there are various functions in virtual event platforms that can provide you with smart solutions for different types of events. You can often choose to have features such as chat rooms, break-out rooms, and video calls. In this way, all participants can easily interact and communicate with each other during ongoing lectures, seminars, and workshops.
Another key feature for virtual conferences, where investors and entrepreneurs play a key part, is the possibility to book individual meetings with other participants, even before the event goes live. In other words, virtual events can give you a lot of networking opportunities and give you a lot of value back.
Sponsors and exhibitors – Take advantage of the digital benefits
How can virtual events benefit sponsors and exhibitors? Well, their marketing will get a wider reach and greater accuracy.
On the virtual platform, they are no longer dependent on the right person to enter their booth. Participants who are of interest can be filtered out and exhibitors can contact them directly. A digital solution gives them an overview of which companies all the participants work for. And participants can easily get an overview of all the exhibitors and their offers. This makes it easier for both the participation and exhibitors to identify each other and connect.
A virtual event also makes it possible for sponsors and exhibitors to present themselves and their products during a much longer time period than during a physical event. On a virtual platform, they can keep and continue to show their content after the live event has past. The organizers can also share, for instance, interesting seminars and webinars on a virtual platform to keep the event alive and attract visitors for a longer period.
Virtual events – a long-term solution for all parties
Get started – we will help you with what you need
The transformation from physical events to start creating virtual or hybrid events involves many important steps. Which technology, administration, planning, and presentation is required? Book a video meeting with one of our event specialists and take the first step to create a fantastic event for your participants.