In-person meetings have been reduced since the COVID-19 pandemic was first announced in the United States in January 2020. According to Meeting Spotlight, “87 Percent of Business Event Professionals Have Cancelled Events.” This caused many businesses to lose revenue, networking opportunities, and brand awareness, but it also made many businesses pivot into a new way of producing meetings. Virtual meetings have become popular in the last few months and plan to stay. Many businesses have found countless benefits of hosting a virtual meeting over an in-person meeting.
Here are 7 reasons why your business should produce a virtual meeting:
Producing a virtual meeting means reaching out to more people than your in-person event would. Attendees can save time and money watching your event from the comfort of their own home. People from all around the world now have the opportunity to access your event, which means your attendee count and brand awareness will increase. We are living in a time with advanced technology that can be used to make this happen with ease.
Hosting a virtual meeting allows access to more data. Virtual platforms provide information such as demographics, attendance, what they watched, for how long, engagement, and more. The more data you can have access to, the more you will be able to improve your attendee experience.
In-person meetings are cost-prohibitive for some companies and attendees sometimes, but virtual meetings are changing that. Overall, virtual meetings are more cost-effective because there is no cost for food and beverage, hotels, conference halls, and travel. Costs to consider with virtual meetings include the technology platform, marketing, speakers, goody bags, and the team that will help you produce the virtual meeting. You can incorporate sponsorships and exhibitors to help support and provide value to your experience.
Same Opportunities as an In-Person Event
Networking is a big concern for switching to virtual meetings, but what if it doesn’t have to be? Virtual platforms and other tools can help make networking easy during a virtual meeting. Some options include providing an attendee list, e-business cards, sharing on social media, chat features, virtual hang out sessions, etc. Other tools, such as Slack (a channel-based messaging platform), can help create the networking atmosphere that you have been missing from an in-person event.
Turning your virtual meeting into on-demand content can be another revenue-building opportunity. By recording the content that is presented live on a virtual platform, that content can be made into an on-demand purchase. It could be part of the registration fee or reused for the ones who missed the virtual meeting. This content could also be repurposed for brand awareness on many social media platforms.
It can be difficult to set aside time to attend an all-day in-person conference. Virtual meetings provide flexibility for attendees to join when they please, especially if the content is recorded for on-demand viewing. There are many options to running your schedule for a virtual meeting including all day, a couple half days, a few hours spread out across the month, etc. The options are endless! Survey your potential attendees and see what would work best for them.
The Hybrid Option
Virtual meetings have become very popular, but someday we will want to be in-person again. The hybrid option helps you keep the benefits of a virtual meeting as well as fulfilling that want of an in-person meeting! A hybrid meeting is where the conference is both at a physical location and online. Attendees have the option of traveling to the physical location or participating from the comfort of their own home. The hybrid option lets you keep what the virtual experience provides such as the greater reach of attendees, more data, on-demand content, and more.
In conclusion, virtual meetings are here to stay whether it be only online or at a hybrid event. The benefits of having a virtual aspect out way the benefits of a stand-alone in-person meeting. The LaClare Group are experts in bringing your meetings and events to life (virtual, in person, or hybrid). Let us help you bring your virtual meetings to life! Schedule your free consultation today.