What is a virtual event?
In the midst of a pandemic, organisations are still striving to connect clients and businesses together and a great way to do so in the new-normal is through virtual events. A virtual event is a gathering of people with the same agenda, but online instead of a physical face-to-face session.
They gather for common interests/professions or even specific needs such as learning a new skill. These events can range from small get-togethers to giant events such as virtual live streams and even concerts with pop artists and deejays.
Virtual events feature many of the benefits similar to physical ones and can ensure the well-being of your staff and attendees in the current climate.
Pros and cons of a virtual event
|Networking||Pros: Body language is essential to forming connections and physical events are much more conducive for that.||Pros: As presentations are done in breakout rooms or a shared screen, traffic increases and so does the number of prospects.|
|Raising brand awareness||
Pros: It is easier for attendees to form solid brand associations as physical events usually hand out merchandise and involve pitches that leaves a stronger impression.
Cons: Physical events usually last for a couple of days, hoping that the event could accelerate sales figures and hit KPIs for the year.
Pros: Virtual events can be leveraged to be held year-round because of its accessibility which makes it more efficient to spread the word and increase sales.
Cons: It can be hard for brands to form personal connections with clients as brand association made on virtual events leave slightly weaker imprints.
Cons: Raises the cost per attendee as there would be overheads such as facility rental, travel, labour and meal expenditures.
Cons: Physical events also require attendees to register in person, event space needs to be set-up way beforehand and planning gets extensive and tedious.
Pros: Much more affordable as web servers are cheaper to engage and the number of attendees in a single room can be stretched as far as the bandwidth can take.
Pros: Data and personal particulars of attendees can be recorded through an online form which makes it easier to consolidate for prospecting purposes.
Go virtual with Tembusu events
At Tembusu events, we are experienced in planning traditional physical events such as company D&Ds, bonding sessions and product launches. Due to the pandemic, we saw many of their clients taking the opportunity to digitalise their businesses and have pivoted to suit those needs.
Ranging from virtual D&Ds, AGMS, to virtual webinars and workshops, we are equipped with the skills and knowledge to make virtual events a success
What are some of the commonly held virtual events?
To meet the different needs of professional industries, every trade has a dedicated virtual presence. For the fast-moving consumer goods industry, female-centric brands such as cosmetics and beauty products form a huge bulk of the market. Some of their commonly held virtual events include online product launches that usually come with handy tutorials and livestreams done with renowned Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), celebrity makeup artistes or brand ambassadors.
For institutions related to education, conferences featuring a panel of speakers were the traditional way to go but they have now pivoted into online webinars in the format of recorded lectures and can feature prominent figures as star trainers.
As the world came to a standstill, much of international travel for leisure purposes have pretty much dipped, but it doesn’t mean that it is impossible to explore art collections from museums in Europe. Behind the scenes sneak peaks or virtual tours featuring art and cultural themes have gained much popularity online, due to its accessibility and the convenience of viewing it from home. Even the Louvre went online this year!
In certain sectors such as manufacturing, engineering and healthcare, trade shows were a significant part of the fiscal year to exchange name cards and pick up on the latest technology that competitors might have to offer. Likewise, almost all of the industry-specific trade shows have pivoted into virtual events.
However, to the surprise of most, participation rates have hit the roof and companies are actually seeing incredible growth despite the pandemic. As virtual events only require attendees to participate from their screens, most have saved on travel-related expenses and the event itself becomes much more inclusive.
Tools to help host a virtual event
Social media livestreams on Tik Tok, Facebook and Instagram are commonly used for interactive sessions and contain in-app functions to gather analytics that are useful for churning sales.
For more formal virtual events, Zoom, Cisco Webex, and Bluejeans are the most commonly held as they feature subscription packages for businesses and have some of the most well-hosted servers with enough capacity to facilitate up to 10,000 attendees on the same webinar or conference call.
Livestream studios at Tembusu events
At Tembusu Events, our workspace, 3Dge Studios is well-equipped with the technology required for a high capacity virtual event. Fitted with high bandwidth static IP internet and high processing power systems, the studio aims to bring businesses as close to their audiences as possible. Coupled with immersive production solutions such as extended reality, live streams produced in our studios can be digitally altered in real-time to be more compelling and allows presenters to be fully immersed in the virtual environment.
Guide to organising the event
Working from home has infamously created a different work schedule for most and so it is important to get the time and date right for the intended event, as the correct slot would allow participant turnout to be a success and create new leads for your business.
Like any physical event, a virtual event requires a solid marketing strategy to get the word out. Besides having an active social media presence, it would be wise to utilise platforms to re-target your intended audience and create hype for the event. Popular key strategies such as leveraging on influencers and producing creative content to promote the event are also growing in popularity.
Over at Tembusu Events, we have a creative team ready to take on the conceptualisation of your marketing efforts and will provide graphic design and video production services to give your marketing strategy an edge.
We provide production support and will run-through a checklist of equipment required to carry out the virtual event with you.
Once the word is out, it is time to set the stage. Troubleshooting technical issues ahead of time is operative to the flow of the event and can determine how long your intended audience stays online. Go through a checklist of what to do and not to do with the support staff, also brief them on basic how-tos of dealing with technical malfunctions while a livestream/webiner is going on.
Checklist to ensure success of virtual event
Before you start planning a virtual event, it is crucial that all parties involved in organising the event have gone through potential hiccups and trade-offs they will have to make for it to be a success. We have to acknowledge that it is a challenge to pivot from physical to virtual events but it is also realistic and logistically possible to carry on.
So ask yourself, can my physical event be a virtual one? What are some of the biggest changes I have to amend to make this work? Once we have gotten that out of the way, the second box on the to-do list has to do with accessibility. The main goal of a virtual event is to involve as many attendees as possible.
High participation rates are a precursor to potential leads, sales figures and hitting of KPIs. In order to do so, there has to be a system in place that the support staff are well-trained in to track the data collection and attendance rate of your participants. To give it a personal touch, reach out right before the event begins and follow up after it ends.
Lastly, if the event is heavy on content and requires the participants to conduct research or read-up on certain topics before attending, it is imperative that sufficient buffer time is given in the timeline for the materials to reach them on time.
Planning a virtual event is certainly tedious but as we get through this new-normal together, remember that every other business out there has had to start from square one. Be it revitalising their business with digital strategies or changing those strategies all together to weather the storm, most of us has had to learn a new thing or two. Essentially, a virtual event can certainly help your business to grow as much as a physical one or even access markets that were previously closed. Contact Tembusu events today to stay connected in the new world.