It’s no lie that COVID-19 has changed the landscape of the events industry – as there was a halt in all face-to-face interactions, and then the rise of virtual events occured. But what are the pros and cons of virtual events, and are they still important?
It is very obvious that hosting virtual events is a lot cheaper than hosting real-life events – all you need is a link to the virtual room, and a quiet room, and you’re good to go!
No travel expenses, food expenses, or event expenses – it probably saves businesses thousands!
Less time is wasted
There is no travel involved in virtual events, apart from the distance from where you are to where your webcam is located. A lot of time can be used up for travelling – especially if the event you’re attending is at the opposite end of the country.
Fast planning and set-up
So much planning goes into in-person events, and it is no surprise that virtual events have next to no planning needed. As long as you have a link to the virtual event room that has been sent out to all e-attendees, any speakers have been invited, then you’re good to go!
Wider outreach of attendees
With virtual events needing no travel, and much wasted time, more people would be able to attend. More attendees that may not have been likely to be able to attend the in-person event, would be able to be in attendance. Social channels can also be used to promote the event, and more interactions with the event is possible, as it will be more convenient for people.
We’re all guilty of getting distracted during meetings, or events as the phone might ring, or you see a notification on your mobile pop up, and you have access to the internet at your fingertips. When you’re attending an event in-person, it’s not as easy to get distracted.
While the fast-paced nature of online events may help you meet more people, there is also less spontaneity in the virtual world. When you are attending an event in person, it is common to just bump into random people – who then may turn out to be interested in what you do. These people can create important professional connections with you. You are far less likely to randomly meet people at a virtual event who are not present specifically to talk to you. This can make the nature of networking more challenging. COVID-19 shifted the networking scene, as it was brought to a halt for almost three years, and is only now slowly getting started again. In-person events allow for the experience of networking; getting into casual conversation, exchanging information, and gaining contacts in the career space of the event you are attending.
No business vacation element
Some people often view attending events, and conferences as a reward, and often love travelling to different places, and meeting new people. Having virtual events takes this away, all they’re only travelling to their laptop. It may take its toll on employee morale if these trips are removed.
Virtual events were a less sought after type of event, but since the pandemic they have become a lot more popular, and that doesn’t seem to be changing even after the world has gone back to ‘normal’. Virtual events save money, less time is wasted on the event prep, virtual events allow for fast-planning and set up, and there is often a wider outreach of attendees, and the numbers of attendees usually increases compared to in-person events. Although there seems to be a lot of pros, there are also cons to virtual events including easy distractions, they’re less spontaneous and there is no business vacation element.