Virtual vs Live Events – What’s The DifferenceApril 28 | 9 min read
The prevalence of virtual events in 2022 is quite astounding. In fact, a lot of weight is given to the virtual vs in-person debate. As entrepreneurs and business-minded individuals, it is impossible to ignore. In fact, one has to pick and choose how they present their events, whether they are given to the world as live, virtual, or hybrid events. All three options have their benefits and drawbacks, and it is useful to be informed about which is right for your niche. That said, there are a lot of factors at play that are worthy of discussion. This article will guide you through the features of all three kinds of events so that when you plan your next one, you will have a greater idea of how to proceed.
Which Is Right For You?
Making the decision of whether to use a virtual vs in-person event can be challenging, but in the end, it comes down to which is right for your business, your niche, and your vision. Take that as the starting point, and go from there. After that, take into consideration each of the following factors.
- The company budget.
- Where the event, if presented live, would take place geographically.
- The type of event it is.
- The kind of experience you want to give attendees.
The fourth one is important and is tied to the third in many ways. For instance, do you want to provide entertainment, engagement, information, or other features? Creative workshops, for example, are better served with active participation, and some event mediums are better for this than others.
Then again, therein lies the challenge of a physical meeting vs a virtual meeting. When you take a form of event and transpose it to a different medium, you really have to use your innovative methods to achieve the same results. Perhaps you can achieve this with your abilities, one way or the other.
Equally, business seminars such as leadership camps are better in person, but many businesses find issues with this. One such issue is due to how difficult it is to get senior management available at the same time as the event, to cover the floor while the staff is away presenting the event. In this spirit, virtual events are a good alternative that can alleviate that issue. Equally, hybrid events can be implemented to cut down on absences and the like.
Overall, the decision of which form is right for you and your attendees is a personal one. What’s more, it is fluid. That is to say, there is no one way to do it. The bottom line is, to think about what you are trying to do, and figure out which medium is most effective to achieve it – obviously, some forms of events might need the live environment to drive the point home, while other, smaller events might be sufficient as virtual events. Communication with your team is effective here too.
The Key Benefits of In-Person Events
The pandemic saw live events go caput. Temporarily, of course. During that time, we’ve greatly missed them and are welcoming them back now with open arms. The situation brought to light the many irreplaceable features of in-person events that carry benefits for business owners, budding entrepreneurs, and attendees alike.
The first of which is the face-to-face environment, which galvanizes the attendees’ ability to socialize, drink together, and network with their peers. This works wonders for those who wish to expand their businesses, share ideas, and increase brand awareness.
Also, it is much easier to connect with fellow business owners and clientele once you have met them in person and shared a few snacks and personal stories together.
Lastly, as a presenter, your ability to get up in front of several hundred or thousands of people and speak directly to them holds huge energy compared with presenting your charisma to a computer. There is a big difference compared with the anonymous reactions found on platforms like Zoom and Teams, which are often held up by individuals’ internet connections. In-person, you can work up an energetic presentational flair.
In that vein, the key features of in-person events are countless, intrinsic, and help entrepreneurs in various ways. It boosts their confidence, connects them directly with their peers, and brings all the industry professionals in a particular niche to one place.
Yes, the key features are worth a lot of consideration. But so too are the drawbacks. Let’s begin with the most obvious one: budget. Setting up, planning, and maintaining a successful live event costs a chunk of money. Even the smallest in-person event costs money. Potentially more than the average business owner is willing to spare, and who can blame them? They have a lot to think about when founding a business. Even if it is running smoothly, they have a lot of maintenance to do. So, for that reason, virtual events can be more pragmatic.
Then of course there is time spent away from the office. Events like these can take up time and staff, and move focus away from the day-to-day aspects of the business. Also, don’t forget that a live event can be chaotic and stressful. Some business owners do not need this in their lives and are better suited to do it sparingly.
Overall, live events take a lot of resources, but you ought to counterbalance this with the benefits because there are many.
The Key Benefits of Virtual Events
In contrast, let’s take a look at the benefits of virtual events.
1: They Are Fluid
Firstly, they can be held at any time. Meetings are a good example of something that can be arranged at a moment’s notice. Meeting online vs in person is practical for many, especially entrepreneurs. Secondly, the cost of virtual events is minimal – businesses save a lot of money by hosting virtual events vs in-person events. Then there is the advantage of face-to-face vs remote meetings – you can have a remote meeting at the drop of a hat. A perk that benefits companies a great deal and allows them to focus on their tasks at hand, rather than having to drop them to meet their partners, clients, and staff in person, or travel to their office.
2: They Provide Statistical Accumulations
Those are the practical benefits, but guess what? There are statistical benefits too. These are factors that the uninitiated might overlook. But hosting events virtually grants you the ability to gather data on your attendees. You can then use this information to draw up newsletters, offers of shares, and other links that can result in gaining leads.
3: They Make It Easy To Request Feedback
As a result of the statistical accumulations, It is much easier to accumulate feedback from virtual events. You can implement questionnaires, or offer feedback forms to attendees with ease. Plus, it’s easy for your audience to fill them out too. This often leads to generating even more impactful events in the future, if you so choose to.
If this sounds like your bag, then make sure you check out Eveytale. Everytale specializes in hosting virtual events, and is a convenient way for business owners like you to broadcast their events worldwide.
4: They Can Occur Frequently
The notoriety of your brand can be affected a lot by the frequency of your events, which is a great way to promote your services and general existence. Hosting frequent events on various topics breeds trust over time, and has many pros over face-to-face interaction. This is much more possible now that technology has advanced to this point, where you can hold events frequently. Trust breeds support, and over time you will see an expansion in brand awareness if nothing else.
Overall, virtual events are a means to gain opportunity, learn, and focus your business talents in a new direction. They are low-cost, convenient methods of communication, promotion, lead nurturing, and branding awareness.
A Few Notes On Hybrid Events
If you are inclined to aim for the middle-ground, hybrid events are a worthwhile consideration. What are hybrid events? They are events that implement meeting in person and virtual meetings together. Yes, with this option you don’t have to decide whether you are going to be in person or virtual – you can do both.
Hybrid events do something that in-person events do not. They host the goods while streaming the event for those unable to attend. Hybrid events allow budget costs to be cut due to the use of smaller venue sizes – which cost less to rent out. This also can allow exclusive attendance, while broadcasting to the world.
In conclusion, they are a solid middle ground. However, they still require you to bear a great deal of the venue booking costs, as well as things like speakers, capacity, and catering. But if you’re thinking that you don’t like the sound of an expensive live event or the low-key virtual event, this might be the way to set your plans to rights.
Making the decision of whether to host a live event versus a virtual event or a physical meeting vs a virtual meeting is an important one. Moreover, the right platform for your event will be great for your niche, as well as your business interests. A good decision will bear much fruit.
However, don’t forget that every event is different. Really, you should decide on a case-by-case basis. Also, meetings are a different ballpark altogether. There are many times when the parties don’t need to be talking in the same room. Virtual meetings provide you with convenient ways to communicate. For that purpose, Everytale is a useful platform too. It caters to meetings just as much as it does live events.
But whatever your decision is, make it strong and stand your ground. This is your vision, business, and most of all, your presentation. Mark your achievements from one year to the next. You might be surprised at the transformation.