As an industry, event organizers are looking for new and exciting ways to expand the reach and engagement potential of their experiences. The most powerful development in the world of entertainment has, without a doubt, been the concept of fully virtual events. By taking their experiences online, event organizers have a world of new possibilities right at their fingertips!
What are the benefits of virtual events when compared to or combined with on-site experiences? Read on to discover seven ways online events can help grow your business and add value to your existing offerings for years to come!
Virtual events can be so much more than just live streaming on Instagram or Facebook Live. By partnering with a comprehensive virtual events solution, you can monetize access to your exclusive live streams and easily control who has access, limiting content to ticket buyers only. Step up your potential revenue even further by incorporating add-ons including merchandise sales, VIP experiences (like virtual meet and greets or personalized video messages from performers or celebrities), and even soliciting donations, all within the same platform. Plus, even when you’re also actively producing an in-person event, the flexibility of including an additional virtual option enables you to keep selling tickets even after your venue is at capacity, providing unprecedented access to new revenue streams!
Garner Additional Sponsorships
The types of sponsorship opportunities you’re able to offer for your virtual events can in many ways be even more enticing than some of their in-person counterparts. On-site sponsorships often include placements that, while undoubtedly provide wide exposure, are challenging to actually quantify in terms of goal achievement. Stage or pavilion naming rights, panel sponsorship, and on-site signage are often included in event sponsor packages, but there’s no reliable method to track results from these placements. Virtual events, on the other hand, offer the chance for your sponsors to collect better insights regarding the performance of their placements, and a data-driven window into their return on investment. For example, sponsorship packages for your virtual event could include banner ads on your website and mobile app, targeted push notifications from your event’s app, branded live streams and panels, participation in gamified experiences, and even breakout sessions where your sponsors can unveil exclusive merchandise. Sponsorships like these can enable you to share insights into viewership, customer interests and demographics, and more from your sponsors’ placements.
Reach New Audiences
Virtual events can extend your reach to levels that would otherwise be impossible. Presenting your content online means you can welcome a potentially unlimited audience, bringing in more attendees than ever before. Taking geographic limitations out of the equation means attendees from around the world can join in with incredible ease. And don’t feel as though it needs to be a “one or the other” situation; combining your traditional in-person events with accompanying virtual content enables you to reach attendees who wouldn’t be able to make the trip to your physical location while still offering the community-driven experience your existing fans know and love!
Save on Logistics
Producing a fully virtual event means you’ll be able to focus more on planning content versus the physical logistics needed for your in-person events. With more traditional, venue-based events, a lot of money and planning goes into considerations like crowd management, on-site security, stable WiFi networks, electrical and A/V, and so on. In this way, utilizing virtual events can help your organization hone and produce even more content by shifting a good bit of your focus away from venue-specific details. That said, online events do give you some other event planning aspects to consider. When live streaming every part of your content, you need to be sure the technology partner you choose has the expertise, tools, and bandwidth to keep your event online and keep your audience connected throughout your entire experience. You’ll also need to consider virtual-specific things like: do you want to send each panelist an event-branded backdrop to hang behind them? Are there specifics regarding lighting and camera angle you’d like all to adhere to? Are you planning on sending your own HD camera and sound equipment to your musical performers to use during the stream? While each of these represents a new area of focus for planners of virtual events, all told an online experience is still likely to save you quite a bit in overhead!
Improve Environmental Consciousness
By meeting attendees where they live as opposed to gathering them in one central location, virtual events can serve as an environmentally friendly addition to your live events. For starters, you’ll eliminate the need for transportation to and from a venue, or even cross-country or international travel in some cases. This alone can have a huge environmental impact. An online-only experience also circumvents the need for air conditioning, lighting, and powering an entire venue for the duration of your event, environmental (and monetary) costs that can quickly add up over a multi-day convention or expo. And that goes double for the water, electricity, and other resources used by your attendees filling up hotel rooms throughout your event. Then, there’s the obstacle of trash generation. For instance, disposable plates and cutlery at the concession area, brochures and paper handouts that may end up discarded, and even marketing collateral and unique vendor and sponsor materials that can get thrown away. And finally, there’s the health and safety factor to consider. Gathering large crowds from all corners of the globe to meet at one venue can, as we all know, pose its own set of challenges.
Receive Invaluable Insights
By hosting some or all of your event content online, you’ll have access to deeper insights, giving you a valuable window into attendee activities and enabling you to market, grow, and enhance your events. Collect customer information surrounding who’s purchasing access and entering the streams. Learn what attendee segments are purchasing the extras, like autographs, virtual meet and greets, and exclusive merchandise. Discover how your attendees are interacting with your virtual event by seeing which games, contests, and sponsors they are interacting with. Then, use these insights to send targeted marketing campaigns, optimize your content, and better plan for your next event. Plus, knowing your attendees are already on their computer or mobile device makes collecting feedback and survey responses to help improve your events that much easier! Send attendees an in-app push notification, or an email request for a quick survey at the conclusions of your event. Consider adding some gamification perks as rewards for survey responses (example: each survey response offers a chance to win a personalized video message from a celeb) and gain more direct customer insights than ever before!
Keep the Action Going
In streaming each piece of your event’s core content, be it live music performances, convention panel discussions, or a virtual tour, the obvious next step is to save this content for future viewing and marketing use. Give your attendees a never-ending front row ticket to their favorite performances, panels, and sessions by preserving your event’s streams so attendees can relive these experiences for years to come. Provide attendees with recordings of your sessions and their personal meet & greets after they have ended. Sell on-demand access for existing content to those who may not have attended your full virtual event. And rely on your marketing team to utilize some of the most exciting moments from the online event to create promotional content for next time, showing potential new customers what they won’t want to miss! Going virtual makes it that much easier to make this exciting content work even harder for your event.
Go Virtual Today
Interested in learning more about how to produce the best possible virtual events for your audience? We’ve got you covered. Check out our parent company, Patron Technology’s, virtual events solution which is fully integrated into our system!