March 23, 2020
As COVID-19 continues to take a human and economic toll across the world, more and more events are being postponed or cancelled. New virtual event platforms have arrived just in time to help events move online this year.
At Konf, we are working day and night to build an engaging virtual event platform so that you can run incredible live online events. Without worrying about the technical stuff, you can focus on delivering an experience that makes your customers or attendees thrilled to be taking part. More on that later on.
You might be reading this with the news channel in the background, or you have one or two opened tabs to follow the COVID-19 news (I do). Following the WHO pandemic declaration, and even before it, major events in tech, sports and other group gatherings were being affected: video gaming conference Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Google I/O, Facebook's F8 event, SaaSter and many more have been postponed or are moving online.
Canceling or postponing an event is very costly, Recode claims, the direct economic loss of these event cancellations has already surpassed $1.1 billion. Conferences and in-person events are a fact of life for all business models, especially B2B, where in-person events are a cornerstone of sales and business development.
There is no reason to panic! While this is a hard and overwhelming time, businesses that adapt rapidly to the current global situation will survive and even have an edge in the future.
We can learn from Microsoft’s latest approach. They decided to switch their Build developer conference to a virtual event instead of holding it in Seattle next May.
“The safety of our community is a top priority. In light of the health safety recommendations for Washington State, we will deliver our annual Microsoft Build event for developers as a digital event, in lieu of an in-person event. We look forward to bringing together our ecosystem of developers in this new virtual format to learn, connect and code together.” Microsoft spokesperson Source
Following the COVID-19 crisis, shifting to virtual events will continue to bring a lot of benefits.
What are the benefits of running an online event?
1. Virtual events are good for the environment
Our primary mission is to help protect our planet and reduce climate impact. As hard it is to admit, but, a good side effect of COVID-19 is it has reduced emissions.
Globally, there are 445 million business trips every year, and an increase of 6% between 2018 and 2019. Imagine reducing away this number, saving the business costs, wasted travel time and most importantly, reducing the environmental impact.
At Konf, we are a team of technology & environment enthusiasts with a commitment to make this world a better place. That's why from day one we have been a net zero company in partnership with Offset Earth. Check out our forest here!
2. Any event can be virtual - with the right tool
With the right event management platform at your disposal, any event can be virtual. Online events can be tailored to your business needs; it can be as big as conferences with thousand attendees or as little as a group session.
You have limitless options; it allows you to expand your reach, unlike the in-person events that restrict you to a specified number of attendees depending on the venue. This also applies to speakers, you can have speakers from any place, giving you a lot more flexibility of who you can feature.
Konf enables you to host tens of thousands of attendees from anywhere around the globe.
3. Virtual events are cost-effective
The initial costs for an in-person event; venue hire that can cost tens of thousands just for one day, food and drinks, speakers accommodation, employee travel costs, venue insurance, technology and more! And don't forget the costs your attendees will also have to pay, even if your event is free, they will still have to pay for travelling, accommodation and food.
Going virtual removes all these costs, you will only have to pay for the event management platform and promotion. This leaves you more to spend on promoting your event and growing the audience.
4. Virtual events can't get cancelled
As long as you have a good internet connection, you can run your conference. Factors that might affect physical events are not even a consideration. You don't have to worry about a sudden storm that might delay your speakers or force some attendees to cancel, or even a global pandemic (yes, you COVID-19), this removes a lot of worries when planning your event.
5. Better data and analytics
In physical events, it's nearly impossible to know which parts of your content were more engaging to your audiences, how many questions they asked, how many stayed throughout a talk and how many left early and when.
On the other hand, in virtual events, all this data and more available in realtime. You can instantly know who enjoyed a talk and who didn't, you won't have to wait to send a post-event survey..
6. Good for marketing retargeting
Knowing precisely who was your most engaging attendees, what questions they asked, and which content they most interacted with, won't only help you to fine-tune your content in future events. But, it will also help you personalise your retargeting strategy to win your warmest leads.
Another bonus for virtual events is, all talks can be recorded and used in other channels. For example, after the event, you can send the content to your audiance - perfect way to start a conversation.
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