With the outbreak of COVID-19, everyone had to get used to doing things online. We all started working from home, taking classes online, and began to spend a lot of time with immediate family members. While the initial swap to online put a lot of people out of their comfort zones, now that we’ve all had time to adjust, we might even prefer getting to work from our couch, make a fresh lunch, or chat with family members here and there throughout the day. Even when everything goes back to the way it was before the pandemic, there are some things that we learned throughout that we should continue to incorporate; at the top of that list is hosting virtual events.
Benefits to Hosting Virtual Events
1. Event Guarantee
There are many elements in play in regards to in person events; speakers arriving punctually, catering going smoothly, attendees finding the venue, etc. There is also the chance that registrants simply will not have the desire to attend the event that day. Outside of the chance of experiencing technical issues, the typical in-person event challenges are diminished when hosting virtual events. No one has to worry about transportation, and if a guest isn’t feeling well they can still tune in right from their home!
2. Cost Effective
We all know that hosting in-person events are costly. From sending out mailers, to purchasing the meals, and renting the venue- the cost adds up. With a virtual event, a lot of the factors that accrue cost are eliminated, meaning that your event will cost significantly less money, and maybe could even be free!
3. Feedback is Easier to Receive
If the event is going to be online, then you will have to send out invites via email. After an event, it’s always a good idea to gather how the attendees liked the event, analyzing what went well and what can be improved upon. Sending out a feedback survey to all of the email addresses of people who attended the virtual event makes gathering data on the result a lot easier.
4. Booking Appointments in the Click of a Button
With the webinar platform that M&O offers to their agents, the host can “push out offers”, which can include an appointment booking offer. The attendee can schedule time on your digital calendar to do an in-person, or virtual, one-on-one meeting to discuss next steps. Creating these relationships virtually has proven to take a little bit more time investment, but the outcome can be just as profitable as in-person events and meetings.
5. Can Help Expand Your Audience
Hosting virtual events opens many opportunities for you to connect with leads that wouldn’t typically attend your in-person seminars due to location. Anyone from anywhere can tune into the event and allow you to work on expanding your audience without travel being included. Virtual events also include a new audience of people who previously, for any reason, could not attend your event.
6. Larger Audience
Not only will virtual events continue to give you a way to expand your audience, they also have been shown to draw a larger crowd due to the accessibility of them. It is so easy for people to grab out their computer and click a link to a Zoom call, or join your Webinar Jam event. Statistically, more people will RSVP for an online event than an in-person event. There are also other factors to include in how large an audience can be. A virtual event can have as many people as you want, but an in-person event has a budget that may prevent inviting tons of people and the venue will likely have a maximum capacity; both are reasons to continue hosting online events well into the future.
Benefits to In-Person Events
1. More Friendly and Personable
Most of the appeal of an in-person event is getting to interact with peers, seeing smiles, and physically being close to people that you know have a similar goal as you: having a good time at this event. The atmosphere that’s created at these events cannot be recreated at a virtual event because the attendees are not physically there! It’s important to have events that demonstrate openness and friendliness. In addition, if someone is at your in-person event, you know they’re serious about learning information pertaining to your company.
2. Handing Out Promotional Items
While promotional items can be costly, they do wonders for getting your name out there. A new lead will definitely remember your company’s name if the pen they use everyday has your company’s name printed on it. A friend of theirs might ask to borrow a pen, and your name could get transferred to them. Any prizes, such as mugs and tote bags, will most likely be used by the attendee which continues to give advertisement for your company for a long while.
3. Makes the Process Quicker
After comparing the results of webinars versus in-person seminars, we’ve noticed that the sales process takes longer when not having that face-to-face relationship building. Thus, in-person seminars are likely to make the sales process only take the typical 3-4 meetings.
There are positives to both virtual events and in-person events. When the pandemic is over, utilizing both types of events will allow you to grow your client base and also continue displaying all of the amazing attributes of your company. While upping the amount of events you host by planning more virtually, never lose sight of in-person events either; both types are equally important.