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As a result of COVID-19, in-person events have yet to start relaunching due to safety and health concerns. In fact, 54% of event-goers reportedRedirects to external site. that they would not be comfortable attending large, in-person work-related conferences or events this year.
It’s like that this concern will continue into 2021 and beyond, as well.
To continue engaging with potential customers, businesses are shifting to a hybrid events approach by incorporating various online experiences to their in-person events. Here are five reasons why you should consider a similar approach.
- Reach a Larger Audience
Even if you have a sky-high budget, in-person events are limited in nature. By hosting a physical event, some interested participants will not be able to attend for myriad reasons (such as financial, geographic or health/safety restrictions).
Adding online experiences to an in-person event opens your event up to those who previously could not attend. With a click of a button, they can tune into the event via a live streaming virtual panel, pre-recorded lecture, or interactive chat room with attendees.
The more people you’re able to reach, the greater opportunity your business has for qualified sales, brand exposure, and ongoing relevancy.
- Add Value for Attendees
In-person events are inherently limited. But online experiences, such as pre-recorded lectures or scanning QR codes to share contact information, provide an immense level of value for participants and brands.
For example, offering a virtual event hub to access resources like lectures, live streams, vendor information and chats enables those unable to attend in-person to fully participate in the event from the comfort of their home or office. And, with this information live online, attendees can access content and information well after the event has concluded.
For speakers, online access also expands the possibilities of the content shared with audiences. Rather than sticking to the traditional PowerPoint, speakers can share interactive links to further enhance the listeners’ experience.
- Give Your Event Longevity
By hosting and publishing aspects of an event online, you’re expanding the event’s relevance for months and years to come.
Long after the event concludes, participants can return to the virtual hub to review video content, find vendor information, or access lecture notes. This permanent digital environment allows past participants, vendors, and sponsors to find information on-demand.
- Get More Qualified Sales
In-person events offer excellent opportunities to speak with interested attendees and qualify potential leads.
Previously, vendors would only have a conversation and company name or role to use when qualifying attendees for potential sales. But with an online component, vendors and brands receive more accurate data to qualify leads. Businesses can see which event sessions leads attended, the content they accessed, and the online actions they took during the event – all of which allow them to make more accurate sales lead qualifications.
- Scale at a Cost-Effective Rate
In-person events, meetings, and conferences are expensive, both for the event host and participants. Now, however, companies are discovering that online events are far more cost-effective and scalable.
Offering online experiences as part of a fully digital or hybrid style event opens your event to the masses without draining your budget. For instance, you can host a hybrid event with a higher price point for in-person attendance and a lower cost digital attendance registration. This gives participants the option to attend in-person or online without missing out on any content or value.
It’s far easier to scale a digital event as well, as you don’t have to adhere to specific room capacity. In an online experience, there’s no cap on attendance, the number of programs/sessions, or what sponsors can promote — it’s all up to you.
Include Online Experiences as Part of Your Next In-Person Event
If your event was canceled or postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis, this is your chance to pivot to an online model. Remember, in 2021 and beyond, it’s like that many people will still be hesitant to travel and attend large in-person events.
Through tools like live streaming, webcasting, and virtual event hubs, you can easily bring the in-person experience into the homes and offices of participants around the world at scale.
Original Post: https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/07/why-you-need-to-consider-adding-online-experiences-to-in-person-events/