Virtual events are here to stay. They’re far cheaper to host and there’s far less stress on both the hosting company and the attendees. But just like with in-person events, there’s still a lot of care and attention required from all parties to make virtual events successful enough for people to keep coming back. Here we will discuss how to navigate the ins and outs of virtual events as they become more and more common in the post-pandemic era.
Virtual Events are Accessible
Virtual events are much cheaper and easier to both host and attend. The host doesn’t have to worry about paying for giant conference halls, vendors, and security, while attendees don’t have to worry about the financial and logistical hassle of traveling. Despite some upsides, there are still some downsides to virtual events that everyone should keep in mind. For instance, virtual events are still very much content-heavy and lack the luster of a unique destination, and can be far more difficult for networking, the latter of which is the very reason you attend any event. This is your chance to spend quality face-to-face time chatting with future employers/mentors/employees outside of the event itself, either at a coffee shop or going out to lunch/dinner. It’s important to remember that networking is far more difficult to accomplish at a virtual event as the heavy content (often on-demand, as well) now demands the attendees to jump from meeting to meeting during the entire event without taking the time for actual networking.
While we all got comfortable attending virtual events during the pandemic given you can attend one from your own home, it’s important to remember that the experience itself can be far less exciting. For in-person events, you’re there, immersed with the people and the action. You excitedly roam the various halls and rooms taking in everything while meeting fantastic people for coffee or dinner. Virtual events don’t have any of this as you’re often distracted by the dog or kids, so it’s important to remember that while virtual events are far less of a logistical mess, they are also far less immersive.
The New Networking
We spoke about networking, which is the very reason you attend any event. Along with the lack of immersion that in-person events offer, it’s important to remember that networking is far more difficult to achieve at virtual events, so patience is key when it comes to having those all-important face-to-face meetings. This lack of immersion is slowly being overcome by mobile event apps where you can schedule one-on-one meetings with parties of your interest. You still get face-to-face interaction while building those important connections.
While virtual events are here to stay, it’s important to remember the pros and cons of in-person events to virtual. While both cheaper and logistically easier for all parties, both hosts and attendees don’t really get the same immersive experience that in-person events offer. Keep these tips and tricks in mind when hosting or attending virtual events going forward.