With much of the world unable to gather in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing communities together through online experiences has become a priority.
Your association’s conference, networking session, trade show, or career fair doesn’t have to be in-person to be a resounding success. In fact, many membership organizations are finding that virtual events are expanding their reach because they readily extend to attendees anywhere in the world. Online events of all types are resulting in some unanticipated benefits for associations and members alike.
Read on as we share some of the many positive outcomes that can be gained by moving to a virtual conference platform.
Your members can enjoy plenty of advantages:
- Ease of attendance. Forget about expensive travel arrangements and the stress that comes with work piling up when members have to venture out of town for your annual conference. Virtual events allow users to interact with companies and peers from the comfort of their home or other convenient location through chat or video conferencing. Most platforms are compatible to access through a desktop computer, laptop, mobile device, or tablet. Typically condensed to be single-day events, users can join when they’re available and quickly make the valuable connections they’re seeking.
- Low stress interactions. Virtual events make it easier and more relaxing for attendees to peruse booths and interact with sales reps. In fact, studies suggest that people are 30% more likely to speak to a person in a virtual booth compared to a physical one. Whether that’s because people enjoy the anonymity or fear the high-pressure sales tactics that sometimes arise in face to face situations, online events reduce the stress factor.
- Superior flexibility. Most virtual conferences are run with the intention that attendees will come back multiple times. Maybe there were too many great sessions playing at the same time, or they want to get collateral to share with their bosses. Whatever the need, virtual event attendees can generally revisit the experience as needed, offering flexibility and increasing the event’s value for the attendee.
- More efficient networking. Virtual events make it easier to for your members to make connections. They’re faster-paced than in-person events because attendees don’t have to move from session to session or booth to booth. And since everything is online, they can easily record important information, like people’s names or titles, right on their tablet or computer.
Your membership organization stands to benefit too:
- Save significant staff time. Due to the ease of platform use and virtual location, online events require minimal setup time. There’s no need to print and mail invitations, sell physical tickets, or spend time looking for the perfect venue.
- Reduce your overall cost of execution. Live events tend to be much more expensive to host than their online counterparts. Think about all of the costs associated with feeding throngs of people, printing promotional materials, and hiring staff. Virtual events can be orchestrated and promoted online by just a few staff members, and refreshments aren’t necessary. In addition, sought-after speakers may very well agree to speak at your virtual conference for just a fraction of the price they charge for appearing at live events.
- Access to valuable data. Virtual events, by their very nature, are built for data mining. That’s because attendees leave plenty of information regarding their journey through the event, such as the type of content they’re viewing, which sales reps they’re talking with, and what resources they’re downloading. That makes it easier for your organization to nurture leads better and more accurately than ever before.
- Expand your reach. There are times when people are unable to attend in-person events due to the timing, budget constraints, or location. Virtual events remove these barriers because they can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
Virtual events represent a practical addition to any association’s event lineup, especially as we grapple with the COVID-19 health crisis. Done right, they offer a safer, less expensive and more inclusive experience for everyone.
Are you ready to take your events virtual? IBC’s experienced software solutions team can help! Please contact our helpful professionals to get started.
About Intuitive Business Concepts (IBC): Since 2001, IBC’s cutting-edge products, unparalleled responsiveness, and award-winning technology services have helped associations, non-profits and unions increase their operational and financial performance. Focused exclusively on and dedicated to delivering the most effective iMIS Engagement Management solutions, IBC is uniquely adept at identifying and applying the integration techniques that save membership organizations time and money. For more information about IBC, please visit the website at www.ibconcepts.com or call 443.603.0215.