Digital Versus In Person Events

With many events moving online this year and organisers embracing the change, it has opened up the possibilities of making more events virtual in the future, here are some things to consider if you are thinking of turning your in-person event into a virtual one.

 

  • Content, with loads of free content already available online if you wanted to hold a virtual event do you think you would be able to charge delegates or attendees to view the event online, or would the content have to be free for those that have registered, which would likely have an impact on the revenue or costs of the event.
  • Costs, Event budget, How much will the costs change if you were to move the event online and what impact will this have if you are looking to make a revenue from this event, what services would you also need to reconsider if this event turns into a virtual event and can you still offer the audience the experience you want them to have from the event.
  • Sponsors, Exhibitors or Event Partners, how does making this change to a virtual event affect their exposure on the event and can you offer them the same deals. For exhibitors this can be more of a challenge as event footfall for their stands is one of their main reasons for exhibiting, it can also sometimes be challenging in online events to retain attendees attention and for exhibitors and sponsors this could reduce their exposure at the event, although there options available for online exhibition stands but it can be more difficult to engage attendees if they are in a different location than the exhibitor.
  • Atmosphere, the downside of a virtual event is the audience are viewing it from another location making it easier for them to be distracted and as an attendee you might not always want to sit at your computer or laptop all day, so how do you try and capture some of the atmosphere of a live event on screen.
  • Networking, what type of networking opportunities do you want to have at the event, would this work if the event was virtual, speaking online doesn’t replace meeting face to face and for some people the latter is easier, whereas some prefer the online approach so you need to make sure you can cater for both types of attendees.

Can the event take place online? Some events just aren’t able to, this can for many reason, for instance they are an evening event and it’s difficult to do a virtual dinner and drinks, or maybe because of security risks of holding an event online, especially if your event content contains sensitive information you just might not want to take the risk, with additional security features coming at a cost, However there is still potential with events in the online world alongside the traditional type of events and as we go forward and navigate our way out of the pandemic we need to be thinking about how we can ensure these types of event work together rather than against each other.