14 benefits of digital events you should know about
Are you in the process of starting to plan a virtual event? There are a lot of benefits to the virtual format, which you can take advantage of if you have the right thinking and the right tools. We have listed 14 benefits, and how to take advantage of them.
1. Get to know your participants
On a digital platform, you and your exhibitors can easily collect data and get to know all visitors and participants before the event. You can see which sessions the participants visit and what engages them. You will also see what the participants did not appreciate and what workshops they abandoned. There is also the opportunity for participants to provide their contact information to interesting exhibitors and interact with other participants. All this is valuable information for you as an organizer.
In addition to all the data you get through your event platform, you can also easily take the pulse of your participants. Do not be shy, dare to ask a few questions during the event. It will give you valuable feedback that you can use for the next event. Short polls provide instant information about what your participants like and dislike. Doing this during ongoing events is an advantage, as the response rate will be higher than when sending out surveys afterward. A pro tip is not to ask more than a maximum of three questions at a time, and to do so while the event is in progress.
2. Get more leads
Of course, all the data you have collected gives you lots of insights into how the participants experienced the event and what their needs are in the future. Afterward, you can easily transfer the information to your CRM system, if you have a virtual platform that allows it. You will then get a good idea of where your participants are in the customer journey.
3. Greater technical possibilities with virtual meetings
If you can dream it, you can do it. Offer your participants smart and fun experiences that would not have been possible with physical events. Entertain them with fun competitions and create networking opportunities with interactive features. You are not limited by technology, it just gives you new opportunities. Just remember not to choose too many features. Kill your darlings, dare to choose between all the exciting possibilities so that it becomes clearer for the participants. Begin at the purpose of your event and what your participants need.
4. Attract more expert lecturers when the event is online
Usually, well-known lecturers have a packed schedule. But when they can lecture from whatever place they are in the world, they have a greater opportunity to lecture at your event. Unique and well-known guest lecturers can be real highlights for your event.
5. Opportunity for lower costs when events go digital
A digital event allows you to save millions of dollars. You avoid expenses for the participants’ travel and hotel rooms and can probably reduce costs for staff and premises – to name a few. When you gather all participants and all content in the same platform, your ROI (Return on Investment) will be higher. The money you save can, among other things, be spent on spotless, digital marketing.
Hybrid events, on the other hand, can be costly, as you need to budget for both the physical costs and production costs that belong to the virtual parts. For this, it is required that you know what you want to invest in so you do not pay for unnecessary features.
6. Greater flexibility and better scalability with virtual events
Since you do not have to rent a large room with everything that belongs to a physical event, your virtual event will be more flexible. You can invite any number of participants from around the world and make spontaneous changes to the agenda. The time you save compared to booking a physical event, you can spend on finding a smart virtual event platform and a well-equipped production studio. Remember to choose providers who can give you support all the way, from the planning stage to you going live.
7. Larger potential target group with a virtual event
One of the biggest pluses of digital events is that they can engage participants from all over the world. A digital event can be made as big or as small as you want. You are not limited to a venue and to the same expenses as during a physical event. In addition, many more participants can take part. Because you no longer limit them to a specific physical location, they no longer need to travel or spend work or private time to get there. This also means lower costs for the participant.
8. Reduce climate impact through virtual events
It is not possible to emphasize enough how positive an impact the digital event trend has on the environment. Today, all companies must contribute to fewer environmental emissions, and we do this by traveling to a lesser extent. Digital events mean that you and all your participants do not have to fly, or ride a boat, train or car. Your carbon dioxide emissions will be down to zero. In addition, you as organizers do not have to handle all sorting and all waste that a physical event contributes to.
9. More time to participate as an organizer of digital events
Believe it or not, many organizers feel that they get time to get involved in the event when it happens digitally. As an organizer, you can be a moderator, interact with the participants, and at the same time get a good overview of everything that is going on. In addition, you can participate in the discussions on social media in the meantime. If you have tested all the technology before, your digital event will run very smoothly.
10. Let participants see all seminars – whenever they want
At a physical event, it is physically impossible to see several seminars at the same time. You simply must choose. But during a digital event, everything can be saved on the platform so that participants have access to all the material they want to see when they want to see it.
11. Make the event live longer
A physical event ends after a few days, but a digital event can live a long time and remain on the platform for as long as you wish. This gives sponsors and exhibitors a greater opportunity to reach out to more people over a longer period.
12. Weather is no longer a factor that affects your event
Now you do not have to worry about the weather. During a digital event, the weather does not matter. Your event will not need to be canceled due to storms and participants won’t be delayed if the weather affects traffic. If the event is global, there will be different weather everywhere, and it will not affect you.
13. Information is shared in real-time at virtual events
Admittedly, the lecturers cannot see all the participants listening, in person, during a virtual event. But there are still great benefits to holding digital seminars. Your lecturers can, for example, choose to share important information through PowerPoint or articles in real-time during the seminar. That information becomes valuable to the participants and is something they can share with their entire business afterward. The lecturers can also encourage participants to compete, vote, and ask questions during their live seminars. Activities that can be displayed directly during the presentation. Get in touch with a professional studio at an early stage to ensure the broadcast of the interactivity you want to show. It is worth it to increase the commitment of participants.
14. Virtual events are safer for participants
As we have seen during the pandemic, there are health risks in gathering many people under the same roof. Even though more and more restrictions are disappearing around the world, a digital event is a way to be safe rather than sorry.
Checklist for trade fair participation
Decision to exhibit
- Examine which trade fair your target group visits.
- Go through why you should exhibit, set goals.
- Decide which fair is best and book a booth.
How can you reach the visitors before the fair?
- Own newsletters.
- Own website.
- Social Media.
- Other channels.
- What can you offer visitors even before the fair: teasers, discounts, competitions?
- Is it possible to provide discounted admission or free admission for visitors?
- Visibility in the fair’s digital channels: what is included and what can you pay extra for?
- Are there other ways to be seen onsite at the fair than the booth?
Prepare your participation
- Communicate the goal with your trade fair participation throughout the organization.
- Plan your booth with the same expression as marketing campaigns so visitors will recognize you.
- Do you build a booth yourself or do you need to book a booth builder?
- Prepare the booth staff extra with knowledge and tools to meet the visitors.
- Book and order materials that visitors can bring with them.
- Plan what you are going to do and offer to attract visitors to your stand.
- How will you collect leads?
- Give the visitor not only sales material to bring back to the office but also new knowledge.
- Is there an event in connection with the fair that you can attend: fair party, branch mingling, or after work? Book it and invite your best customers.
- Gather the booth staff every morning before the fair opens for a pep talk, set the spirit for the day, and repeat the goals and purpose of why you are there.
- Book food and coffee for the staff.
- Plan many short breaks for the staff onsite so that everyone is alert and fresh.
- Encourage your booth staff to check out how other exhibitors are doing, and what attracts visitors.
- Set aside time to follow up on all the leads as promised.
- Book an evaluation meeting and go through what went well, what could have been better, and above all – if you reached your goals.
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