Virtual events are growing in popularity and now that event managers, planners and corporates have seen the benefits of virtual events they are here to stay.
A virtual event is an online space that mimics the environment of a physical event but is accessible to anyone with an invitation and an internet connection.
Virtual eventing company and app, Flock Platform, explores the different virtual event venues to help you decide on the type of virtual event structure that would work best for your next event
1. Online Conferences
A virtual conference is an online event where participants with similar interests join in by logging in online from a location of their choice.
Not to be confused with webinars, online conferences bring together different expert speakers to talk on a variety of areas within a single theme. A virtual conference has a more complex agenda than a webinar and makes use of a variety of mediums to communicate content to attendees such as video, live streaming, downloadable media and so on.
Benefits of a virtual conference includes:
- Similar experience to offline conferences.
- Provides networking opportunities with both a group and one-on-one through online chatrooms.
- Provides multiple ways for attendees to consume content.
- Can include live streaming or pre-recorded elements.
Webinars, similar to physical seminars, are used to educate and inform an audience. They typically only have one or two speakers who address a specific topic and the speakers share a presentation with a medium-sized audience from anywhere in the world. Webinars are usually hosted on video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Google Meets, Skype, Vimeo or similar and allow for interaction through Q&A sessions once the event wraps up. Attendees can usually interact with one another through the chat option.
Webinars follow a simpler structure than virtual conferences and expos and often don’t last longer than about 85 minutes.
Benefits of Webinars:
- Simple to execute.
- Require basic digital software.
- Has a smaller audience and high engagement rate compared to larger virtual events.
3. Live Streaming
Live streams are suitable for online panel discussions, keynote speaker addresses, launches and company announcements. This type of meeting requires a higher level of digital production to facilitate communication with an online audience and it may not allow for interaction between presenters and the audience. Live streaming allows an event to be shared as it unfolds creating a more immersive experience for the audience as if they were at a physical event in person. Live streamed events can create a sense of anticipation and excitement especially when used for product launches or announcements.
Benefits of Live Streaming:
- Streamed content that is only presented live once, creates a sense of rarity and anticipation that encourages greater attendance and engagement.
- It creates an immersive experience because the event is shared in real-time.
4. Online Expos (Trade shows)
Online Expos are the virtual equivalent of their offline counterparts. Exhibitors and attendees create and are represented by, virtual avatars which enter the event in a virtual exhibition hall. Here attendees can navigate through the online venue to view the different branded booths and connect to an exhibitor. There is an exhibitor at each virtual stand who can interact with attendees and communicate information about their product or service. This can be done through a video of a product or service or by communicating additional information with the attendee in an online chatroom.
Attendees usually need to fill out a form before being allowed to create an avatar and enter the virtual exhibition. Exhibitors build virtual versions of real-world booths, by uploading virtual assets, to grab the attention of, and engage with, the attendees.
Benefits of virtual tradeshows and expos are:
- Cheaper to host than physical tradeshows.
- Can use virtual elements to reduce the costs of an offline event and reach both physical and online attendees when used for hybrid events.
- Interactive and informative for the online audience.
Best of all, regardless of the type of virtual event you select, there are some benefits that are universal to all types of online events.
- Real-time reports on attendees’ behaviour and preferences (depending on the type of digital event software used).
- More accurate ROI calculation based on actual data, not estimates.
- Reach a larger audience in multiple locations at the same time.
- Elements of a virtual event, such as the content can remain active for 24 hours or longer which providing attendees with a flexible attendance schedule.
- Virtual event software allows attendees to easily view event schedules and download content.
A tool such as the Flock Eventing Platform app is easy to use and allows event organisers to plan events, manage attendees’ RSVPs. The Flock software makes it simple to create professional event assets such as websites and event emailers, which can enhance the interactivity and networking of any event. The best part is all the event information is managed and tracked through the Flock Evening Platform app.
Do you want to host a virtual event but not sure where to start or how to use our platform?