Ask ten people what virtual events mean to them and you'll get ten different answers! To us, virtual events are online experiences designed with purpose to closely resemble in-person gatherings.
Like a television broadcast (live or on-demand), streaming is only one component of a virtual event. Other components that increase engagement and should be considered include:
- Private and group chat
- Q&A that is moderated to ensure clarity, timely delivery, and post-event follow up
- Polls with immediate feedback ... "raise your hand if this as ever happened to you" and "A, B, or C?"
- Downloadable files and related informational links
- Trade show environment for exhibitors and/or sponsors
- Gamification (earning badges) to encourage audience participation throughout the event
Hybrid is the combination of traditional in-person gatherings and virtual events. It's likely that participants will expect a choice in the future which means you'll need to offer both experiences simultaneously.
It's easy to become overwhelmed by the concept of virtual events. Here are some parallels that help make them more relatable ...
The venue becomes the platform (determined by number of participants and their expectations)
- Corporate conference room = unmanaged platform like Zoom Professional
- Branded hotel with ballroom and meeting rooms = managed platform like Zoom Enterprise
- Resort = Solution-based platform with technical team
- Convention center = Solution-based platform with several technical teams
Your presenters can be in one location (our studio or a ballroom), around the world (home, office, or pre-arranged facility) ... even pre-recorded.
- Just like in-person, you need to know who's coming and what they're attending
- Widely available platforms include a invitation links
- Solution-based platforms interface with popular registration systems like CVNET
Maybe but don't throw your budget out the window quite yet ...
- Flights, accommodations, and ground transportation aren't as significant and will likely cost less
- Venue expenses might be less but remember your virtual platform is a replacement ... cost included
- SWAG and meals are optional but still consider mailing registration bags and Door Dash vouchers
- Virtual events require the same technicians as in-person gatherings (hybrid might double the count)
- Setup/rehearsal/event days and number of participants need to be included in planning
It depends on your goals and outcomes but properly produced virtual events and in-person gatherings might cost about the same while hybrid will almost always cost more.
We're ready to show you how virtual and hybrid events look at Encompass! The next step is to share your goals and outcomes so we taylor the right solution for your participants and budget.