Virtual & Hybrid Events
Benefits and potential
Nothing can fully replicate the unique benefits of live events with full attendance. However, virtual or hybrid solutions offer a viable and exciting alternative. With clear objectives and detailed planning, the virtual experience can deliver great results for your business.
With fully virtual events, each person checks in using their own computer or mobile device. Hybrid events combine physical and online participation. Groups meet and connect with other participants via shared screens.
Budgets allocated for conferences, product launches, briefings and networking can be used very effectively. The cost of virtual and hybrid events compares well with the traditional versions. Measuring return on investment (ROI) is made easier. Direct connections with participants provide ideal channels for messaging and feedback.
Planning virtual events
Let’s imagine planning a conference for channel partners in the UK or across Europe, together with other influencers. The planning process includes:
- Creating an agenda
- Selecting speakers
- Preparing a schedule
- Identifying the target audience
- Distributing information
- Registering delegates
All these elements of event planning and communication are familiar. With virtual events, participants may be in multiple locations, alone or in groups. All conference delegates will experience dynamic interactive connections.
Managing virtual events
There are many positive aspects to this approach. Making direct live connections with your business community reinforces trust and loyalty. Sharing information and demonstrating leadership inspires confidence and commitment.
These are some of the impressive features of a virtual conference:
- Your own unique web site for the event, with “rooms” and times for each element
- Registration of delegates for the main event, plus a menu of breakout sessions and topics
- The master control room from which the live event is co-ordinated by the producer
- A (virtual) full conference set as the background for the key presentations
- Connecting key presenters, in virtual studio settings, from various remote locations
- A chat room where participants can share feedback, ideas and information
- Product display and demonstration areas, with video presentations
- A mix of pre-recorded presentations and live interactive discussion
- Flexibility for the audience, with elements available to view after the live event
- Budgets ranging from simple to sophisticated formats
All content is run from the MCR (master control room) to ensure quality. This guarantees continuity and control of the live interactive elements of the conference.
Participants will log in to the live event, via the web site, from individual locations. One option is for regional groups to gather in permitted numbers to view the main presentations on a large screen. All delegates could also potentially join in a Question & Answer session. Workshops are another option, with the leader then sharing their conclusions with the wider audience via a live feed.
Travel, accommodation and catering costs may be significantly reduced. Available funds can be used very effectively to augment the virtual conference experience and make participation easy. Sending out enhanced invitation and registration packs engages your audience. It creates a sense of anticipation and involvement.
The precise virtual event format we recommend will depend on the distribution of your audience, the level of direct involvement required and the degree of sophistication desired in terms of visual presentation. The technical components and staffing required to meet your expectations will determine the budget. We can offer a range of flexible solutions.
The virtual events legacy
Online group or individual connections can be maintained after the event itself. The ability to stream presentations or other elements of the event keep it alive. Sustaining the momentum of a virtual event offers the potential of reaching a wider audience.
Event content can be used for induction and training of new people. Prospective customers, suppliers and channel partners can all gain valuable insights into the business.