An introduction to the future of Events: Virtual Events

2020 will always be seen as a milestone year, the year that forced us to open our eyes to something we have been ignoring. The world came to a standstill as the effects of Covid-19 unfolded. Industries and companies across the globe had to quickly adapt to the new changes or they stood the risk of shutting down.

As we saw the biggest events like the Tokyo Olympics, Dubai Expo 2020, Tony Awards, Burning Man festival, Cannes International Film Festival cancelled or postponed, event management companies started to feel the heat.

Technology never ceases to amaze us, and when used in the right direction, has helped the world gain momentum again, despite the circumstances. Very soon in the lockdown period technology companies released solutions to counter the impact of the pandemic. Smart technologies were harnessed to create a world of Virtual Events to provide business continuity to companies with events planned and prevent them from canceling everything and help Event Planning Companies to do their job.

What is a Virtual Event?

A Virtual Event is an online event where people interact in a virtual environment on the web just like any face-to-face event, without having to be physically present at the event venue. Each participant would have his online profile and avatar and can easily interact with others. A virtual event can be in the form of a conference, a workshop, a concert, and much more.

The concept of virtual events could be described as both, an interactive tool and a way to explore a new experience that in real life might not be possible due to the current situation. What makes it so popular is its ability to accommodate realistic experiences with many obvious advantages. Here are some advantages of Virtual Events:

  1. Cost: Having a Virtual Event is much more reasonable than having a live event, you don’t have to spend money on printing banners, accommodation for speakers, flight tickets, building the venue, logistics, and so on.
  2. Accessibility: Anyone can attend your virtual event from anywhere without having to travel, which means a greater audience reach.
  3. Time Saving: Virtual events will certainly include some setup time for many reasons such as event marketing, registration, and promotion, etc. But it’s extremely less than that of a face-to-face event.
  4. Carbon-free: Virtual events are more sustainable because nobody has to fly over or drive to the venue, and there is practically no waste generated from the venue building, therefore it’s environmentally friendly.
  5. Data Collection: It’s easier to collect data of your attendees that helps in analyzing how useful a certain session was, which attendee engaged with who, and you can ask for feedback to help in organizing your next event as well.

But the real question is, will virtual events replace live events?
Obviously, Virtual Events’ popularity will certainly increase in the near future. A great example of this is google holding its first-ever virtual conference on August 26th and Facebook announcing that Oculus Connect 7 will be in digital format later this year. This proves that global conglomerates and tech giants are looking at leveraging virtual platforms. Virtual events are not a substitute for physical events, but the combination of both platforms has brought forth the concept of hybrid events as an optimal solution combining the best of both worlds.