Are Virtual Events more “Democratic” than F2F events?
Virtual events are one of the fastest growing trends in online marketing, with organizations seeking new ways to connect with key audiences in a cost-effective manner. While there are many benefits to hosing a virtual event, ranging from lower travel costs to bigger audiences to lower costs per qualified lead, I would argue that virtual events have an additional underrated benefit: they are more open, interactive and “democratic” (with a lowercase “d”) than “real-life” face-to-face events.
Why are virtual events more democratic?
Why are virtual events more democratic? What do we mean by “democratic” virtual events? And how can virtual events planners and managers do more to boost the “democratic potential” of their next virtual event?
Virtual events attract a wider array of attendees
One of the biggest advantages of a virtual event is that it brings together a wide audience of people who might not ever be able to meet in real life. If you have a worldwide network of suppliers and partners, or if you have a remote workforce in other countries, or if you have customers all over the country and all over the world, the costs of getting all of these people to travel to the same physical location might well be prohibitive. Instead, with a virtual event, you can bring together people from all levels of your organization and all walks of life. Just the fact that people from all corners of the globe (and all corners of your company org chart) can meet online at the same time is a triumph of online “democracy.”
Virtual events give everyone a chance to speak
At a “real life” event, if you host a meeting in a massive auditorium seating 1,000 people, and the CEO of your company is speaking onstage, chances are that most of the people in that audience will never get a chance to ask a question or make a comment – and even if they could, many people might be intimidated and discouraged from speaking in front of such a large audience or such a high-profile speaker. Hosting a virtual event reduces the pressure and emboldens people to share their ideas. Not only does this make it easier for your organization to hear a wider array of ideas and feedback, but using a virtual event platform like Social27 can also give your company a rich trove of data that you can use to develop your next product, improve your sales closing processes and improve your operations.
Virtual events level the playing field
At a “real life” trade show, the best spots and the biggest banners go to the biggest sponsors with the deepest pockets. While this is totally fair – after all, those sponsors are the ones writing the big checks to make the event possible – it’s all too easy for smaller exhibitors to feel lost in the shuffle of a big event. Virtual events make it easier for people to network and quickly find the exhibitors and content that they’re most interested in – without being distracted by just the “big names.”
Virtual events offer more and better chances for feedback
At a “real life” event, the event organizers often have no idea whether the event is succeeding or not – they don’t get any feedback from attendees until long after the event is over. At a virtual event, using some of the sophisticated instant polls and audience feedback technologies available to track emotional responses and other features, event managers can get up-to-the-minute information on which exhibitors and presentations are making the biggest impact on the attendees.
In virtual events, “democratic” is not about politics – it’s about giving people a chance to have their voices heard.
Join the conversation. Agree with me? Good. Disagree? Even Better! Tell me why…
What do you consider to be the most important “democratic” advantages of a virtual event? How does people’s behavior change in a virtual event setting compared to a real-life event, and how can this benefit your company?
Host your own virtual event:
Interested in hosting your own virtual event? Social27 has been enabling organizations across all industries and sizes to host their own engaging digital events since 2010.
The Social27 Virtual Events platform brings the best of content streaming, networking with rich profiles, virtual sponsor pavilions, lead generation, gamification with points and badges, AI chatbot support and deep analytics powered by machine learning.