6 Benefits of Running a Virtual Conference

Most corporate events that are held in-person can also be held online, given the great flexibility of online technologies we have available today. With the global impact caused by the novel coronavirus in the world of events, turning your in-person conference into a virtual summit may be a good strategy to keep your event running, rather than canceling it.

Why Run a Virtual Conference

Similar to a conventional conference, a virtual conference may happen over the span of multiple days and can hold multiple sessions each day. It can be as simple or as complex as needed, whether you will offer overlapping sessions or one session at a time, free or paid, private or public. Attendees can register for specific sessions they want to attend and can easily get a recording of the session, in case they are not available to connect at the time of the event. 

Using the right technology, virtual conferences can take advantage of similar features that are common in in-person events, such as :

  • Sponsorship (whether for the entire event or for a specific session), 
  • Ticket Sales (choose whether or not you'd like to charge for your virtual conference),
  • Engagement tools (use live polls, Q&A's and chats during the presentations),
  • Supporting materials (deliver supporting materials, such as brochures or video content, for guests to access before or after each session),
  • And more.

Here are six reasons why you should consider running a virtual summit:

 

1. Cost effective (for both planners and attendees)

Savings from venue expenses alone may already make a compelling case to choose a virtual meeting instead, but there are many other costs associated with in-person events that can be saved when shifting to online, including a significant cut in staff, catering, print material, swag, accommodation for speakers, insurance, and more. In addition, you may gain more audience, as online events go beyond borders, and it's an incentive for those who would be required to travel instead.

 

2. Scalability

Most online events will have the same fixed cost, regardless of the size of your event. You may see increased fees for technologies used depending on the number of attendees you have, but the cost of production and execution will remain virtually the same, regardless of your event size. This makes it much easier to scale your event. Another advantage is that, by running your event online, you don't have to worry about only being able to accommodate a certain number of guests. In the online world, you can host an event for thousands of people without worrying about physical constraints. 

 

3. Reliability

Unless there is a major energy black-out, rest assured you will be able to run your online event as scheduled. You will rarely (if ever) see an online event canceled due to weather conditions or even a pandemic. Online events are pretty reliable and dependant mostly on the technology being used. 

 

4. Engagement

You can keep your engagement levels high even when running your events online. Event planners can use tools such as polls, Q&A, live chat, to name a few. 

 

5. Environmentally Friendly

The average conference produces 4.17 lbs of waste per attendee, per day (3.53 lbs of which will go to a landfill). Compounded across a three-day event with 1,000 attendees, this adds up to just over 12,500 lbs of waste – roughly equivalent to the weight of four compact cars. Running your events online can help the planet by avoiding such waste.

 

6. Data Driven

Unlike in-person events, online events can effortlessly provide important data to help you make decisions: you can learn precisely how many people checked in for each session, how long they stayed tuned in for, how many questions were asked (and what questions), and more.

 

Running Online Events with Attendease

If you are ready to learn more about running your next event online, watch our webinar on-demand: Running Online events with Attendease.