Do we stay in the physical world or we move to the digital one?
In these hard times event industry is facing a complicated challenge that no one would have anticipated, that’s why companies are responding to it with different approaches. The majority of organizations were forced to postpone or even cancel the scheduled events within a few days. For this reason, it is essential to reinvent our industry and find alternatives that can adequately replace the physical event and generate the least possible loss.
In a moment of travel restrictions and isolation, physical events are off-limits but the digital world can offer you opportunities to reduce the impact of this crisis for your business and not losing your audience.
There is still some general diffidence regarding the real effectiveness of digital events, but official reports show in the last two years there has been a reversal of the trend because 2019 was a success and 2020 is giving further signs of growth for digital experiences.
There is no denying that physical events are great for the lead generation, participation in live conferences, human experience and meeting people but digital events may bring you additional benefits in terms of customer engagement and satisfaction and return on investment (ROI).
Are you interested in create your own personal digital event but you are a little concerned about how to do it? Don’t worry! There is a multiple choice of available technologies you can take advantage of: virtual symposiums, panel sessions, digital seminars, webinars and global virtual events.
The undeniable strength of digital events is you can have attendees from all over the world allowing a company to expand its audience. You can also make your event more accessible with multi-language automated captioning. Moreover, venues’ operating costs are almost zero because speakers can give a presentation from their office or home, no matter where they are in the world. You can share the organisation’s expenses with your sponsors and they can have a dedicated page to connect with the attendees: this is also effective for a revenue in terms of sponsorship.
Companies should start to recognize the potential of digital to obtain positive results: save time, simplify organizational processes, increase the satisfaction of participants and communicate with them more effectively. It doesn't matter if you are taking your first steps in this field: the most used tool to promote your digital event is a simple email campaign that can be replicated several times before the day of the event.
The main challenge is to make the digital event more approachable from a human point of view through high branded experience, interactivity and networking: computer screen should no longer be a divider but a connection tool between users and speakers.
In digital platforms people can access a variety of contents at the same moment, both Live and On-demand, and this is not possible in physical events. In a digital event you can provide branded console, keynotes presentations, breakout sessions, videos, links to giveaways, downloadable resources (slides, eBooks, PDF, blog posts…) to stimulate in different ways your audience.
In order to increase the engagement rate it’s fundamental to personalize each attendee’s experience making it really immersive through interactive tools such as CTa’s, Q&A sessions, games, contests, polls, surveys and chat rooms to encourage networking and focus on the human aspect.
Digital experience delivers actionable and useful data for optimizing your performance. During physical events the maximum you can get it’s a person's name and email address, but in the digital world marketers collect a wide range of meaningful information that help them to achieve a deeper knowledge of the audience and insights to maximize the impact of these events.
In conclusion, we must be aware these new opportunities should not be considered as a short-term tactic to face a period of crisis, but next years they will become a prosperous strategy for the future! And remember the message of Mark Bornstein, ON24 Marketing VP : “There is a digital solution for each physical event”, you only have to be creative and find the best one for your company!