“The move to virtual events is one that shouldn’t be viewed as just a short-term fix. Virtual events offer unique benefits that may have a long-lasting effect on event marketing in the future. Also, it’s not uncommon for attendees of in-person events to say, ‘I could’ve just watched all of this online and stayed home.’”
Dr. Zvi Guterman, CEO of CloudShare
Virtual events are not new phenomenon. However in light of Covid-19 they have become the best alternative to cancelling or postponing events and conferences for many brands. For example, Web Summit, Microsoft’s Build as well as Salesforce Reimagined have all made the pivot to virtual this year. Although many of us are accustomed to physical events, going virtual has numerous benefits.
1. It's Global
A goal for the majority of hosts is to increase attendance numbers. However with the decision to move online many events have been provided with the opportunity to access a global audience. This means smaller, local events have a greater opportunity to extend their reach.
2. It's Easier To Make Connections
A worry for many of those who attend virtual conferences relate to networking opportunities. A vital part of the conference experience is engaging with like-minded individuals. However online conferences actually makes that whole process a lot easier. With most conferences being recorded, attendees can watch back and note the name of other attendees for connection purposes.
3. It's Easy to Measure
Virtual events make the data collection process a lot easier. With hosting online, everything can be tracked. For example, you know how many attendees logged in and from what location. All which is not as easily attained at physical events. This can allow for conference organisers to truly see what their attendees engage or don’t engage with, providing guidance for future conferences.
As with any sort of business, customer feedback is critical for future success. This also goes for events. With attendees consistently online throughout the conference, engagement can be efficiently measured. For example how many people responded to polls.
4. Less Expensive
Of course, the decision to host a virtual event as opposed to physical comes with a great reduction in costs. For example, you do not have the expense of paying for a venue as well as refreshments. Similarly, in the case of attendees there is no need for the added expenditure of accommodation and travel. In fact, it is believed to cost 75% less to host a virtual event. A blog post by Nurture even suggests that it may maximise your ROI!
5. Saves Time
Hosting a virtual conference saves time for all involved. The process of setting up a physical event can be very time consuming. Although virtual events do also require some preparation prior to the live event it is minor in comparison to a physical event. Similarly so, there is no need for attendees or staff to travel to the event which saves travel time.
Cyber Science 2020
There are many positives for Cyber Science 2020 and our decision to pivot to a virtual conference. Although we are unable to host in Dublin this year, our pivot to virtual has enabled us to reach a global audience.
For more on this years conference check out one of our recent blog posts which discusses what you should expect from Cyber Science 2020. Although author submissions are now closed, tickets for attendees are on sale now. We look forward to seeing you all in June, be sure to tune in wherever you may be!