Brands that organise corporate events do so for a variety of reasons, which can be summed up in a single statement: events are good for business. Be it a meeting with a potential new supplier or a public showroom presentation, a fashion show for buyers or the company’s anniversary party, all events, in one way or another, contribute to a brand’s success, increasing brand awareness, establishing new professional contacts or increasing sales directly. What happens to all these benefits, when significant restrictions are imposed on events and public gatherings? More and more Italian companies are understanding the importance of replacing this type of experience with digital versions as soon as possible. In this post, we will explore the brave new world of virtual events and discover how organizing one can help you overcome the crisis and relaunch your brand.
Virtual events are often cheaper than traditional ones
Virtual events organising requires unique skills and tools, and the platforms required to run them are highly complex. You will need excellent technical support and effective supervision to ensure a smooth service. That said, there are a lot of expenses connected with traditional events, that you simply won’t have to face if you decide to organise a virtual event. For instance, you will be able to cut venue-related costs entirely. You won’t need to rent, set up or clean a venue, nor will you need to hire staff to wait on your attendees, receive and register them, handle the logistics, man the cloakroom and manage the catering (catering is, in fact, another expense you will be able to scrape from your event’s balance). All the staff required to run the event will be provided by the platform. Nor will you need to pay for your speakers’ or your employees’ transport or accommodation.
During and after the event, you will have plenty of material to share
No event can be said to be effective or complete without photos and video footage to use in your brand’s social media campaigns and your future brochures. This is another significant expense you will be able to avoid if you choose to organise a virtual event. This doesn’t mean, however, that you will be left with no visuals for your social media posts. On the contrary: you could say that every single moment of your event will be at your disposal forever, in the form of multimedia content. Depending on the type of event, you can choose to share photos, audio, video, images of digital environments or extracts from the most important panels and speeches, or even upload the entire event to your social media profiles, and make it available even to those who did not attend.
Results are measurable
One of the most pressing questions brand managers ask themselves before organising a traditional event is “does my brand image look big in this?” In other words, does the event match the brand’s style, its voice, its personality? Will it affect the bottom line? Will it increase sales and generate new leads? It is not always easy to measure the effectiveness of a traditional event. Unless the purpose of the event itself is the sale of products, it is not always possible to determine exactly how pleased the attendees were with the event, which aspects were most appreciated and which were disappointing, and, ultimately, whether or not the event will turn attendees into clients. Of course, provided that you have collected your attendees’ emails, you could send them a survey to get their feedback, but there is no guarantee that everyone will respond or that their answers will be accurate or honest. With a virtual event, this problem does not arise: you will always be able to see which functions your “virtual guests” used the most, which ones were ignored, how much impact your event has on social media in real-time, and how much each user actively participates in the various moments of the event.
Virtual events are obviously more sustainable than traditional ones. First of all, no one will have to travel to reach an appointed location, which reduces the event’s carbon footprint immensely. Nor will you need to order furniture or decor, nor print flyers or posters, use chemicals to clean and sanitize a venue before and after the gathering, and, naturally, no waste will be generated. Virtual events are as sustainable and environmentally friendly as it is possible for any human activity to be.
Organizing a virtual event is not just a fallback for the current situation. Virtual events are an industry of their own, an ever-growing branch of the event industry, which will remain in vogue even when other options become available again because it provides formats that are not available within the context of traditional events. Organizing a virtual event is about reaching a global audience and growing your brand in a cost-effective and sustainable way.