10 Benefits of Virtual Events

Team GTRTeam GTR April 21, 2020

Updated: July 14, 2020

With recent events related to COVID-19 changing our way of life, it can be difficult to look toward the future. However, as the old saying goes, “The show must go on.” That is especially true for the events industry. How can we ensure that our events go on as planned no matter what challenge comes our way? That answer lies with virtual events. With some of the world’s biggest conferences going virtual, it is time to look at the virtual event platform as a vital part of your planning arsenal.

GTR™ Virtual Event Platform

An online event experience that combines webinars and networking.

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Here are 10 benefits of virtual events that will ensure happy sponsors, exhibitors, and attendees:

  1. Event Guarantee

    As has been highlighted recently with Covid-19, we all must have a backup plan in case an event cannot physically take place. The ability to pivot to the virtual world guarantees your event will happen either in-person, online, or combination of both. Hybrid events are the future.

  2. Cost-Effective

    With no physical location and associated costs, virtual events can be held for pennies compared to in-person events. One of the biggest roadblocks to event attendance is travel costs: vehicle rental, gasoline, airfare, dinners, hotel, etc. With a virtual event, the attendee only needs a computer and an internet connection.

  3. Attendee Growth

    Remove geographical limitations, anyone around the world can now attend your event, whether they are in Kansas or Berlin the number of attendees can grow exponentially. With the right virtual event platform (crucial), you can connect the world.

    Since COVID-19, virtual event attendance is 129% of our clients anticipated attendance. Meaning for every 100 people, another 29 will show up to say, “wait what’s going on here?”. Does not matter if you are a group of librarians (real example) or those on the front lines of this pandemic (true too), people are showing up. Not just people who log in either, people who stay engaged for the whole event!

  4. Easy Event Setup

    Much of the time that goes into event planning is related to in-person events such as hotel site selection, event staffing, and signage. This time will go back into you and your colleagues’ pockets.

  5. Environmentally Friendly

    Virtual events are a great way to truly leave no impact on the environment. Besides, marketing your events as eco-friendly will attract more attendees and leave a positive impact on society.

  6. Feedback Is Easier to Get

    Attendee feedback is invaluable. However, as you know, it can be hard to come by. Since everyone is attending online, feedback can be gathered more easily as it is built into the platform itself.

  7. Attendee Data is More Measurable

    attendee data

    Sample Data

    In addition to getting more attendee-created feedback, with a virtual event, you will be able to get a variety of different metrics that will help plan future events. Some of these measurables include getting the true number of people attending a session, the number of people attending at a certain time, and the speakers with the highest engagement rate during the conference.

    Want to know EXACTLY what your event from 3 years ago looked like? Welcome to the virtual archive. Learn about not only the sessions, with surveys but the actual engagement of those who attended. How did they perceive the session and/or speaker? What impact was made 3, 6, 10 months after the event? Good luck tracking that in an in-person (disclaimer: 70% of GTR™ technology and services are for IN-PERSON events).

    Want to know what happened during each session? What sponsors/exhibitors crushed it? What speakers resonated with the group? Virtual gives you all the data. ALL OF THE DATA. For those who listen, this moment will make your next 20 events more successful. Data is king. What attendees say is second, but valuable. Combine those, look out! Take this moment to understand what is working and what is not. Virtual will give you those insights.

  8. Additional Value for Attendees

    Events typically have multiple overlapping sessions, meaning that someone cannot physically attend two interesting panels at the same time. Virtual events solve this dilemma. With on-demand content available to attendees 24-7, more people will feel better about signing up for your event without feeling like they are making a sacrifice.

  9. Less Distractions for Attendees

    Being in a crowded room with other event attendees, it can be hard to focus on the speaker, especially if the man next to you won’t shut up about his fantasy sportsball league.

  10. Networking is Better

    We get it, for many, it comes down to sponsorship and exhibitor value. Convince the organizations that support you to go virtual with you. Your task is simple, convince exhibitors and sponsors to spend money to sponsor your event virtually, when their booth staff will not get to see their prospect face to face. First, you and I both have seen the empty in-person booths, the staff off doing who knows what, but I digress. Here is what virtual can give you that in-person cannot: Data. We will tell you who visited the virtual booth (yes, we can do this for your in-person events also, but not as cost-effective as with virtual), when, and how many times. Unless your booth staff has a photographic memory, you cannot promise that in an in-person event.

We couldn’t stop at just ten, so here are some additional reasons to take your event virtual:

Connect With Introverts

No matter how you cut it, it seems that introverts make up 40-70% of the world’s population. These are the people who HATE, the social hours that typically permeate the in-person meeting. Here is your chance to zig, while the world zags. Figure out how to reach this demographic. Learn about them, think about what they value, and then deliver. For example, ULTRA specific round table discussions. Seriously, like poll before you decide what topics to create. We guarantee, you will find that a large part of your audience, that you did not even know was there, will emerge, happier than ever.

This Is What You Were Created For…

We understand the incredible value of event planners. We hope that you know your value as well. More Fortune 500 companies were founded through the inspiration, collaboration or partnership of meetings, conferences, and events then not. This is your moment to rethink everything you were taught. For example, if we told you that on average in a virtual event you can capture an attendee’s attention span for 46 minutes. That is it. How do you take them from 46 minutes of general session and transition to another impactful session or experience? We have our ideas and they are great. Your ideas, they are amazing. The amazing trait that we have learned in 35 years of service, Event Organizers, you all are brilliant. You come with the ideas…we will make it happen.

Did We Mention the Sponsor/Exhibitor Value?

Many of our clients are not discounting the fees for exhibiting virtually. Why? Value! You will be able to offer your exhibiting companies the ability to build a “virtual booth” page to showcase their products and services. The face to face experience of connecting with real prospects who can bring their companies 10’s of thousands of dollars in revenue. All, at a discount. Flights for 3 booth staff (two of which will never leave Bourbon street in an in-person event in the amazing city if NOLA!) and $15k in drayage and booth construction labor later, you got 9 leads. Yeah! Virtual will give you 15 leads and less headache.

Ultimately, COVID-19 has changed everything. Even the simple things, like when you wonder if the “take out” staff that just touched their mask…then your food container is “safe’”. What a wild world. Considering all this madness…YOU have the daunting job to CONNECT PEOPLE! Few other roles and positions on earth can relate. Your mission is impossible. So, with that in mind, we hope listing the benefits of virtual events helps solidify why virtual events are worth it, because they are, we’re seeing it!

If you’d like to learn more about virtual events, or how GTR™ can help, check out www.gtrnow.com/virtual-event-platform or get in touch with us here.

Regards, Team GTR™