The year 2020 marked the upsurge of events taking place in virtual venues.
With many countries and cities going on lockdowns since March and again in November, it was clear that virtual was the way to go. And that the virtual venue was the next big thing.
The coronavirus pandemic required both events management businesses and companies that regularly held physical events, for marketing or sales purposes, to consider alternatives.
So if it’s not physical, what would it be?
The answer is virtual.
Although many businesses struggle with the switch to virtual events, replicating a physical event virtually is quite simple.
It’s also what we are going to talk about in this article along with the benefits of virtual venues.
What is a virtual venue?
A virtual venue is a venue that takes place online or virtually. It’s not confined to a physical location.
Whether you’re a business owner or attendee, a company manager or executive attending an event to connect with companies for business purposes, you probably could imagine what a physical event looked like.
This whole setting with large banners and flyers, offers, people looking to network, and others wandering about a physical event is somewhat different when you turn to a virtual venue.
Despite the change, many of the aspects of the physical event can be replicated in the virtual one.
In addition, there are more benefits to going virtual.
But first, let’s compare the virtual venue with the physical one.
Virtual venue vs physical venue
As their names suggest, one event is held on the World Wide Web, while the other is at a physical location such as a hotel or conference or exhibition area.
Many physical events, known as on-ground events, have been the highlight for many businesses.
Book fairs, for example, were among the most widely-attended physical events. The same applies to industry-related events, like those organized by pharmaceutical companies or investor conferences.
However, 2020 ensured that everything would be different for the events industry. First, event locations were shut down for months, and now events are held with limited numbers to maintain social distancing and avoid getting infected.
The situation is different – yet similar – in a virtual setting.
For starters, there’s no chance of getting infected because attendees, exhibitors, and event organizers are attending from the comforts of their home, or even their offices, where the number of people are limited.
As for the event itself, many of the benefits and options available in a physical event are easily replicated in a virtual one. Often with better options like ticketing and reduced queues.
So what makes hosting an event in a virtual venue better than a physical one?
Let’s find out.
Benefits of a virtual venue
So what are the main benefits of hosting a virtual event?
Let’s check this list of seven benefits.
Global reach and audience
With a virtual event, you won’t need to travel or drive or even dress up to attend the event. This means that as a business owner or event organizer you can expand your geographical reach and targeting beyond your home city or country.
In other words, people from across the globe can attend your virtual event because they’ll be accessing the full event from the comfort of their home.
As mentioned in the previous point, a virtual event helps you widen your target audience. In doing so, you can increase the number of people attending your event.
Physical events normally had a cap for the number of people who could attend. Not to mention, there were many people who couldn’t because of travel restrictions and limitations.
But with your event being in a virtual venue, you can have any number of people attend and not worry about limitations.
Having a physical event means you needed to pay for the location where you would be holding the event, for ushers, among other things, which meant your event ticket will be costly. After all, you need to cover the cost of the event and make a profit.
But hosting a virtual event is a different story. You don’t need ushers or extra personnel on alert for the big day.
In a virtual venue, the price is significantly lower, which means you can offer your tickets at a lower price to attract a wider audience.
One of the coolest things about virtual events is that they are measurable, like your online marketing efforts.
Virtual events platforms like Eventtus offer an analytics dashboard to event organizers so they can see and track what’s happening.
With analytics you can see data like: How many people are attending the fireside chats? Which of the virtual event tracks are getting the highest attendance and engagement? Which sponsors are getting more visits than others? And so on.
Simpler registration process
For the past few years, physical events offered online registration. But with a virtual event, registration is entirely online. And there’s no longer a queue at the event gate to check your ticket and all that.
There’s simply no event gate. Once attendees register via your website (or via Eventtus), they’ll be sent an email with the confirmed registration and a link.
All attendees have to do is click this link on their email on the day of the event and they are there.
Eventtus also has a mobile app for iOS and Android, where attendees and organizers can access the events directly from their phone.
Easier to collect data and reviews
Another great benefit when it comes to hosting an event in a virtual venue is how easy it is to request reviews from your attendees and get them to engage by answering your questions.
You can ask attendees to rate talks and workshops and see how your speakers are faring.
This can even help you decide who the best attendees were at your event so you can consider inviting them in future events.
Shorter prep time
How long did it take you as a company or event organizer to prep for a physical event?
The answer: Usually several months.
With a virtual event, you would still need to prepare early on but the hard work comes in contacting your speakers and sponsors.
Other than that, booking a location is no longer an issue and you have more time – and money – to focus on your speakers and the content of the event itself.
Networking is easier for attendees
Businesses often worry about how attendees will engage and many attendees tend to get cold feet an event and stick to their friends.
But in a virtual venue, the situation is different. The “cold” attempt at mingling with others whether in physical event or conference is a lot less horrifying in a virtual setting.
Not to mention, with Eventtus’ Circles, attendees can find groups talking about topics that interest them.
We go into detail about Circles this in our product updates blog post for December 2020.
Like the physical booths, your sponsors and exhibitors get to have Exhibitor Booths with Circles where they can engage with potential customers, investors, or attendees in general.
Being in an online setting, offers lots of virtual networking ideas and options.
The virtual venue experience with Eventtus
At Eventtus, we are about empowering businesses, large and small, with and through virtual events.
The shift to virtual in 2020 hasn’t been easy on businesses which were used to certain settings and standards. But with the availability of virtual events, almost all forms of events can be replicated.
From virtual concerts to virtual conferences, there are many types of virtual events that organizers and hosts can create.
In addition, event organizers can design their virtual booths, decide what sponsors and exhibitors get in terms of their booths and the number of networking circles they can have.
Here’s what exhibitor booths look like in Eventtus:
Not to mention, Eventtus’ customer support team are there to help you with every step of the way.
What are you looking for? What do you want to create? How do you set up your agenda and send notifications to attendees?
Once you register to create your virtual event, you’ll see a 2-minute video to show you everything in the platform. Eventtus’s customer support team will be available to help answer any other questions you might have.
Making the shift from physical to virtual can be a piece of cake. That is, if you, as a business owner or marketing manager, have key performance indicators (KPIs) in place.
You should also know what your end-target for hosting a virtual event is.
Is it for marketing purposes? Launching a new service or product? Creating a virtual conference to establish authority and market presence?
There are many more ideas out there. The important thing is to know what you need so you can measure your success accordingly.
Explore Eventtus today with $250 free credit to get you started with a small virtual event (50 attendees). Just sign up, or if you’re already registered, sign in.