Shifting to virtual event

Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak throughout the world, the business event industry has come to a complete halt. I also believe that the outbreak has forced us all to look at our current operations and business models from a different angle. In order to survive, business event owners or management needs to adapt and adapt quickly.

Many global and local events, big and small, have been cancelled or postponed to later date. Airlines, hotels, event companies, PCOs and DMCs are badly affected during this time.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change that survives.”

Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882)

Virtual Events

It seems Virtual Event is the only solution instead of doing nothing until large group gatherings are declared safe to resume. Virtual event may not be the same as a live event with live audience and it cannot bring back the same ROI or impact for sponsors but conversations and interactions have to carry on.

The easiest way to illustrate a virtual event is a news broadcast on TV without live audience. Virtual event allow the speakers to be in the comfort of their own office or home, without having to travel overseas and present virtually to audience from all over the globe.

Getty Images/Ethan Miller

Can audience still interact with the speakers?

Audience or the participants can still interact with the speakers through the mobile event app. Paid or registered participants will need to download the event app, ask questions to the speakers via the Q&A feature, choose the language for simultaneous interpretation and even vote during the presentation – all these in real time.

Cvent.com

Alternatively, remote venues with controlled number of audience can be equipped with video cameras and sound system where the main venue can view the audience and even see the participant asking the question.

On the plus side, these video recordings can later be hosted on the website for replay or “Video On Demand”, made available only to paying participants.

I believe virtual event setup will be the changing game for the business event industry. This will not just help during the virus outbreak but even after the outbreak.

  • Cheaper for participant who needs to take long haul flights
  • Reduce printing of conference materials and badges
  • Increase of participants
  • Lower cost to setup an event with minimal F&B cost
  • More options of venues with manageable group size
  • Longer and wider brand exposure for sponsors
  • Longevity of the conference with the replay option

Let me know what you think! Drop me your thoughts at hello@ronald-lim.com