Virtual events really are the gift that keeps on giving.
We’ve all seen the hot news that there is potentially a Covid vaccine on the horizon - which is great, right?
Regardless of what’s happening in the world, virtual should now be a natural extension to any live event, and one that provides an even greater opportunity for any organisation to further their mission.
Whether a vaccine is coming or not, one thing is for certain and that is that virtual events here to stay. Although they have only just fully emerged within the industry, they have really infiltrated it. According to Gartner, it has been estimated that by 2024, only a quarter of all business events will take place offline which is drastic in comparison to 60% in 2019. This is a massive change, but completely understandable which I think we all seen coming.
At EventMind, virtual events and event technology is our expertise. Keen to hear more about recent updates on the industry, find out events we are attending or purely want to find out how to make your online event simple? You can listen to our podcast or read our blog. Virtual events have not only saved the events industry, but it has helped grow four main areas - Corporate social responsibility, recruitment, digital marketing and sustainability.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility has been the talk of the town for the past few years, with research completed by Cone Communications, 92% of Americans have a more positive image of companies which support social or environmental issues. With environmental issues so massive in the world lately, its certain that companies are beginning to investigate their company to check if they can improve their contribution and how they can fit corporate social responsibility in their strategy.
In the midst of a pandemic, it's fair to say that giving back has become even more essential, now more than ever. There’s many ways that Corporate Social Responsibility can benefit virtual events, but the main one is that it can help make your attendees feel more engaged. Katrina Kent, Head of Events for TD Ameritrade has mentioned that “it’s a way for people to feel engaged and like they’re able to do something right now when so many people are hurting.” When organising a virtual event, have a think about how you can incorporate a CSR activity into your event.
Although there is many ways you can incorporate CSR opportunities into a virtual setting, Successful Meetings have gave the below ideas:
Recruitment is an industry that has always been around, and will always need to be around - people need jobs, right? Of course, we all know recruitment for their tedious long interviews with recruitment agencies, long board meetings discussing how they can capture new applications and so forth.
Just because the pandemic has impacted in person events and recruitment was put on hold for many companies, it doesn’t mean the recruitment events strategy has to change. This is the power of event technology - all meetings and in person events can now happen online.
Remote workers, including recruiters are now able to use tools such as Zooms, Microsoft Teams or Google Meet - allowing them to connect with their colleagues, applicants or potential employees. Interestingly, according to UK Recruiter, 82% of hiring managers have agreed that they will continue to interview using video when the pandemic is over, and two fifths are also happy to onboard staff virtually.
At the end of the day, virtual events save both time and money. You don’t need to worry about travelling time for your colleagues, potentially employees or hiring managers, and you don't need to think about potential catering, coffee breaks or venue hiring - this is all covered when people are at the comfort of their own homes.
Let’s be honest, had any of us heard of Tik Tok before the pandemic? The new craze all the millennials are into?
Since the pandemic struck, so many companies' creative side has come out in full swing, and it was needed. Sometimes it can take tough times for a company to go above and beyond - and during the pandemic it is the one time companies need to push their brand out there to ensure they have business to stay afloat.
The benefits virtual events have on digital marketing is endless, but I’ll state the obvious.
Let’s face it, sustainability has been a hot topic for the past few years, and for the right reasons too. Since virtual events have come into full force since the pandemic struck, of course everyone was discussing the benefits they have - and sustainability was one of them.
Of course, the use of bamboo straws, refill cups and recycled hand towels have been big now for the past year, but if your company is looking for ways to make your event truly sustainable, you need to head towards virtual events.
Being one of the most sustainable ways you can host an event, virtual events have a massive benefit in terms of sustainability. According to Ivent‘s recent study, they have found that a one day physical event at Birmingham University can produce up to 170kg of Co2 and create over 5 tonnes of refuse waste - this is shocking, right? The beauty of virtual events is that no Co2 is being produced from travel, as everyone can enjoy an event from the comfort of their own home, without even leaving the house. On top of this, everyone is responsible for their own refuse waste, which means recycling will be more common as this may be within their usual home routine.
Remember when we used to all attend conventions, trade shows or conferences and be given endless amounts of paper brochures and goody bags full of plastic we never use (some may say junk.) Well with the power of virtual events, you’re not required (or expected) to be providing goody bags or treats throughout the day - you can email your attendees their event brochure and information, meaning no paper is being wasted!
In summary, virtual events are the gift that keeps on giving with its endless possibilities and endless benefits. Whether a Covid vaccine is put in place or not, they are here to stay and are quite clearly beneficial to not only the attendees, but the companies and the environment.