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2020-08-26

The New Normal: Switching from In-person to Virtual Corporate Events

According to the research from Allied Market Research, the market size of global events industry is expected to reach US$2,330 billion by 2026. Corporate events are always one of the dominated event categories.

Conducting corporate events is an essential strategy for businesses to engage with potential customers. No one will question the effectiveness of in-person events. Product showcases, conferences, seminars, summits, workshops and more, all play an irreplaceable role in interacting the target audience with face-to-face interaction. However, the COVID-19 Pandemic has brought dramatic changes to corporate events.

Corporate Events are Going Virtual

To minimize the risk of COVID-19 spreading in the community, some governments have launched social-distancing measures and prohibited group gatherings. This has called off or postponed many large international conferences and annual events that would gather thousands of people from all over the world. The ban did not stop business. Instead, some companies have stepped up and moved forward to virtual events to keep social distancing while allowing people around the world to join without having to travel. Technology is here to help us adapt to the new normal.

With today’s technology, replicating an in-person event experience is simple and cost-effective. You can host virtual events with sophisticated unified communication tools at an affordable price, without having to pay expensive venue rental fees and setup costs.

There have been countless success cases in running virtual events. How to host a successful one for your company? Here are some elements you need to know.

1. Compelling Topics

What is the most important factor in deciding whether to join an event? It is definitely an attractive event topic and agenda! As soon as the pandemic swept the world, every company swung into action, flooding the Internet with virtual events such as webinars, online fairs, virtual conferences, and more. Content is king! Only a compelling topic can attract your right target audience and make your event stands out from the others.

2. Effective Engagement

One of the benefits of a physical in-person event is interaction. Virtual events can also offer a unique and interactive online experience while the audience stays at home and keeps social distancing. Most unified communication platforms offer engagement tools to help you maximize interactions, including Q&A, polling, chat box, survey and gamification. Since everyone can switch to another virtual event with just one click, it is important to put effort into the online experience to grab your attendees’ attention until the event ends.

3. Stable Connection

A stable connection is essential for hosting a virtual event through unified communications platform. Participants can connect with speakers, sponsors, panelists and other attendees in the virtual event anywhere and on any device. Due to high demand of connectivity, network performance such as speed, latency and capacity will directly affect the quality of a virtual event. Imagine if an audience always experiences lagging or buffering while live streaming of a webinar, he/she will miss tons of amazing content as well as interest in staying in your event. So, please make sure your virtual event undergoes with a stable network.

4. Stay Secure

When millions of people were looking for videoconferencing tools to stay in touch during coronavirus restrictions, “Zoombombing” broke out. Some uninvited guests were found joining the video conferences to abuse the meeting, share pornography or poste phishing links. This exposes all participants to uncertain security threats. Information Security always comes first.  To protect your customers and partners, always choose a highly secure platform for hosting virtual events. More tips for staying secure: keep the link or meeting ID private, set a meeting password, and restrict attendees from sharing screen or transferring files.

Can Virtual Events Replace In-person Events?

The rise of virtual events is inevitable amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Although some companies still prefer a physical in-person event, which provides a great platform for face-to-face product showcase  and faster deals closing. In the long run, we can foresee more and more corporate events going virtual as the audiences have adapted to the new normal. The best solution is to run a hybrid corporate event by recruiting both in-person attendees and virtual attendees to maximize the impact and provide attendees with the greatest flexibility.

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