Virtual events have become a default necessity in recent times. And with the future uncertain, it is likely that the prevalence of virtual events is only going to grow.
As people are often creatures of habit, this transition is one that will most likely face some form of resistance. It is only natural that there will be some reluctance to embrace this new way of doing things, but it could turn out that the intrinsic benefits of virtual events mean that they will remain the norm once we get back some semblance of the life we used to know.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the key pros and cons of this new reality.
There is no getting away from this one. By stripping down an event into its core parts, a virtual event will usually cost 75% less than its real-world equivalent.
Naysayers will say that this massive saving reflects the lower quality experience that is delivered. These are probably people who have never actually attended a properly organised virtual event.
The lack of direct contact is something that some will also bemoan, but a virtual event can deliver in equally compelling ways as a real event and at a fraction of the cost. This saving is significant, whether you want to admit it or not.
The data points that can be attained from a virtual event can be significantly more useful than those which can be gathered from a regular live-event.
In a world where information is king, this is a positive that cannot be understated.
By accessing the virtual event through an online portal, attendees can check-in and out of the event whenever it suits them. And they obviously do so from wherever they are in the world.
Some people love attending events where they get to meet colleagues from all over the world in person. This personal element is not possible at a virtual event, but it does not mean that networking is not an option.
Networking rooms can be easily integrated into virtual events, as can 1-2-1 video conferencing. Those less technologically savvy will still see this as one of the issues with virtual events that they cannot overcome.
Online attendance can mean that people are more easily distracted than they would be if attending in person. Mobile phones. A busy office. Kids coming in. There are many ways in which the virtual experience is more readily open to distractions.
On the other hand, those people who are so easily distracted probably aren’t all that interested in attending in the first place. The same would also be true in the real-world. The fact you are attending in person does not automatically mean you are paying all that much attention.
In this respect, virtual attendees are more likely to more engaged than they would be in real life, or they would not take the trouble to be there in the first place.