The biggest industry conferences and events made an in-person comeback this year. To experience once again a deep sense of excitement and engagement, people have been ready to endure travel woes, high costs, and even the likelihood of lower-attended events for the chance to meet in-person again, even when there are virtual options.
In my role as Hubilo’s Brand Event Manager, I LOVED being a part of Confex, EMS, PCMA, IMEX, and Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity and our booths were buzzing! My marketing and sales colleagues were able to develop new meaningful connections and reinforce relationships that had only been virtual before.
I have some thoughts about how a virtual event experience compares with in-person. For one thing, virtual events enable more efficiently planned events and have exponentially increased our potential reach. But the all-important engagement rates have been dipping since the beginning of 2022. When your content is unique and deeply engaging, you have a chance to beat the odds. If not, then you have an almost impossible challenge at hand.
Virtual event experiences today are now competing with all of your audience’s distractions - work, children, pets, chores, errands, and other social events that people can now attend IRL! Not to mention the distractions on devices which are quite literally a click away (what are you binge watching these days?).
The plus side for virtual events is that you don’t need to make plans to travel in order to network with your peers. You can just open a link on a browser, enable your mic/camera, and start networking! This ease of access is great on one hand, but compared to the experience at an in-person event? The serendipity of being in the same place, face to face with someone new and developing a natural connection, is almost magical.
It may seem like sorcery is needed to give virtual events a chance to compete with going back to in-person. Do virtual events with valuable content and networking opportunities have a chance?
Here are three ways to bring some magic into your virtual events.
It’s time for a new POV that inspires not one but several “Awww!” and “WOW!” moments that will engage your attendees more deeply. That, coupled with content that delivers, and you’re sure to deliver a virtual experience that makes for a magical and immersive event.
Ready for a new POV about how virtual can work? Join me at NEXT on October 20th at 10am PT.
Events have evolved but the unpredictability of event ROI hasn’t. Why can’t it be more predictable? How do we stop gambling on it?