How the Hospitality Industry Can Benefit from Virtual Events

Published:
November 15, 2022

Hospitality industry events showcase the vendors and services that attract guests and keep the industry on the cutting edge. These events bring industry leaders together to provide networking opportunities and demonstrate new technologies and products. Though these events have historically been in-person, virtual events are becoming more popular and can offer many benefits over traditional events. 

Reach a wider audience

A well-organized virtual event can attract a wider audience than an in-person event. The convenience and ease of a virtual event is unbeatable. Since attendees can join from the comfort of their home or workspace, those who were on the fence previously can be easily convinced to attend. 

For similar reasons, a virtual event can attract high-quality keynote speakers. The industry giant who you want at your event may not be willing to fly halfway across the world but can be more easily convinced to speak virtually. 

Creatively showcase goods and services

Virtual events are well equipped for showcasing the hospitality industry's goods and services. Virtual events offer limitless flexibility, and organizers can showcase services through video or interactive mediums. 

Some areas of hospitality (especially food and drinks) are better experienced with an in-person component. Virtual event organizers can use a creative approach to impress their audience while offering them a unique experience. 

Food and beverage items can be sent to event attendees beforehand to tie into an interactive experience. Here are some examples: 

  • A liquor distributor sells wholesale alcohol to restaurants and hotels. A virtual event organizer hosts a virtual networking event showcasing multiple specialty cocktails. Attendees received cocktail ingredients beforehand. At the event, attendees learn about the distributor, make industry connections, and experiment with potential new menu items. 
  • A hotel offers cooking classes with its on-site chef featuring local ingredients. A virtual event organizer sends attendees the ingredients before the event for a follow-along cooking class where each attendee uses their own kitchen. 
  • A wine distributor specializes in wines from California. A virtual event involves a wine-tasting seminar where potential buyers can learn about the distributor’s wide range of offerings. 

Network with ease

Building connections is an essential aspect of an industry event. Virtual events make networking easy and fun. Virtual events can offer discussion groups, think tanks, roundtables, and social networking activities. 

Virtual events can also utilize networking platforms that curate a unique experience. As an added benefit, these platforms allow participants to view a person’s name and information while speaking with them (no more embarrassing yourself by forgetting an acquaintance’s name). 

The flexibility of virtual events allows for creative improvements to networking events. Have attendees fill out a survey before the event to understand who they would like to network with or which service providers they are looking to meet. Set up small breakout rooms or one-on-one meetings during networking breaks to curate the networking experience to the attendees’ needs. 

Interactive technology demonstrations

Many hospitality industry events showcase technology solutions or improvements. A well-organized virtual event can allow your audience to interact directly with web-based technologies and see improvements firsthand. 

Here are some examples of how technology solutions can be incorporated into virtual events: 

  • An event partner is looking to showcase their new and improved website for purchasing restaurant supplies. Event attendees can try the service out for themselves during the event and have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A afterward. 
  • A new web service is being unveiled that helps those in the hospitality industry predict supply chain issues and source alternative items. Event attendees can interact with the service using examples of items they have had trouble sourcing, showcasing the utility of the service. 
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