The Rise of Virtual Business Events

The popular usage of virtual platforms to host business events is not breaking news. With the current state of global affairs, more and more companies are turning to online video conferencing platforms, such as Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams, as an alternative to host their events. But many companies still remain sceptical about the virtual changeover. This article will look at virtual events in more detail.

The use of online video conferencing platforms to host business events is not unique to current restrictions. Many companies with employees all over the world have already been using virtual business events as a way to bring their workers together for some time, despite geographic distances.

The popularity of virtual business events is only increasing as a way to host a large number of people from many different locations. This you too might have already experienced for instance last Christmas, when companies all over the world organized Christmas parties online.

Virtual business events

The positive aspects

There are a great many positive aspects surrounding virtual business events. The reason why such a large number of companies choose virtual events is often varied. Some companies prefer the online format as a way to keep their workers in the loop, without having to invest time, money and effort into organizing an external event. Others find the online format to be more interactive than an in-person event.

Companies that host virtual business events come from all aspects of commerce and culture, from consultancy firms to universities, from theatre-companies to insurance firms.

This is mainly because online business events can be flexible for the user. The platform itself stays the same, and there is no obligation to find a location to source specific needs. 

The drawbacks

It is true that many companies would prefer to host their business events in person. This is often due to the fact that some companies prefer the element of face-to-face interaction over virtual meetings. With virtual business events, even though costs are usually saved on hiring a location, time and effort can be lost due to technical problems, such as poor internet connection and other related issues.

Companies who aim to host a virtual business event online may come up against some reluctance from their employees as well as their clients. This could be because the employees in question have had previous negative experiences with online events, where they have been unable to connect or to receive information clearly.

Taking this into consideration, if your company is planning to host virtual business events, it should make an effort to bridge this gap with your employees, as well as your guests.

How to plan a virtual business event

When planning a virtual business event, it is worthwhile to do some research into this sort of event hosting first.  If you are organizing an event soon, we strongly advice you to use a virtual facilitator, if possible.

Before the event, your company should investigate what sort of problems you will face likely, just as much as weighing up all of the possible benefits of hosting an online virtual business event in general. Above all, it is essential to find out if the employees or clients who are invited will have the right equipment to attend the event.

The platforms

One question your company and many other companies hosting this kind of event might have is what application to use. There are numerous platforms to choose from when hosting a virtual business event online. Whether the choice is Zoom, Skype, Howspace facilitation tool, Microsoft Teams, or another application, your company should do some research into this first.

It’s important that you make sure that the choice is completely suitable for all your company’s and your guests’ needs. The choice of online platform for hosting a virtual business event is important for several reasons, and this is something not many seem to consider, or not at least as much as they probably should.

Business events online

First of all, if your company is hosting a large event, you will need to choose a virtual video conferencing platform that is able to support a large number of people at the same time. Another question is subscription. If it is a paid service, some people may be unable to have access.

Virtual etiquette

As in a real meeting or business event in-person, in a virtual business event online, there are certain expected rules of etiquette. When these are followed, the whole event will run a lot more smoothly, but for clients and employees with less experience, they may not know exactly what this involves. It is important to make any of these guidelines clear before the virtual event takes place.

One such rule includes the use of microphones and webcams. If your company is hosting a virtual business event online with perhaps one hundred or more people invited to attend, it will be impossible to hear anything if every single participant has their microphone switched on. Even one or two attendees with their microphone on may disrupt the event if they are not aware others can hear them.

Technical faults

Almost no meeting or event is ever as perfect as planned, whether it is in-person or online, as a virtual business event. You must take into consideration that there may be some technical issues with the event that affect one or two people in attendance, or sometimes the whole meeting. If these problems are understood in advance, they can be dealt with much more quickly and effectively should they occur.

Just as at an in-person business event, there are contingency plans should something go wrong, the same measures should be taken in hosting a virtual business event. Your company or organization must take into consideration the fact that many of the attendees may be coming from an area with a poorer internet connection, or some may have never attended a virtual business event online before. This can be remedied with good instructions.

Virtual business event

Virtual events are here to stay

Whatever the opinion of contemporary companies on the benefits and drawbacks of virtual business events hosted online, it appears more and more likely that they are here to stay.

The growing popularity of these events, as well as the global situation forcing many companies to find an alternative to their usual business event procedures, means that an increasing number of companies are choosing to host their business events online.

There’s no reason for you and your company to not be a part of this progress.

The companies willing to adapt to this growing trend are the ones who are more likely to benefit from its many advantages, such as lower operational costs and wider geographical reach. 

For this reason, it is important for companies to understand the rise of virtual business events held online as a useful development. Whatever field your company works in, virtual business events are a valuable tool at your disposal.

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