Every time something new hits the market, the pain of making the transition from the old to the new is palpable. In a similar fashion, the event industry has had to move from the traditional way of conducting events to virtual and hybrid ways.
As is the case with most industries, new innovation always goes through its phases: starting from early adopters to growth to finally saturation. The so-called ‘virtualization’ of events that started probably even before the pandemic has finally found its rhythm for growth and expansion.
Virtual event companies are growing by the day and the business that they deal with might touch nearly $505 billion between 2021 and 2028. This figure could be arrived at if the market grows at a combined annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.7%, a very good number by any means.
The birth of the end-to-end virtual event platform
When it first had to be done, virtual event planning was not on the top of any company’s list. However, today they don’t just serve as an alternative to in-person events, rather they have become a catalyst for businesses’ expansion and growth beyond geographical boundaries.
Virtual events enable businesses to touch new markets while maintaining strong engagement with their existing markets. Moreover, they can be organized at a fraction of the cost of in-person events. These advantages have spawned a wave of new virtual event platforms that offer everything from subscriptions to their services to bespoke event planning and management. This explains the massive prediction of $500 billion that we spoke of earlier.
Newfound tracking and analytics mechanisms
For the first time, marketers and event organizers can track attendee data and derive actional insights from it. This is a huge step-up for businesses to bring more smart and targeted marketing to their customers.
At events online, businesses can measure the engagement of the audiences by identifying when they responded more, which booths they interacted with, what type of questions they asked, and so on. This development has encouraged more event platforms to upgrade their analytics dashboards, sometimes even by partnering with specialist organizations.
The new place for networking
The whole purpose of in-person events has been to create networking avenues for their attendees. What’s interesting is that with virtual events networking can be even better, thanks to smart technology. Platforms like Almond Virtex, Hopin, Eventcube, Airmeet, Hubilo are quickly developing to include topic-specific chat rooms, crawl attendee profiles and match like-minded individuals, generate ice-breakers to get conversations started, and so on. This is yet another emerging trend shaping the future of event technology.
Virtual events are quickly becoming repositories of marketing collateral. With so much information being exchanged in such a creative and interactive manner, businesses are employing the best video editors and content creators to curate this content and upload it to their websites to be made available to attendees later. Doing so also enables them to reach out to those who could not or did not attend the event – yet another effective way to tap new markets.
Moreover, virtual events are much cheaper and faster to organize and the saved costs and time can be used to better marketing efforts. At the end of the day, marketing is about getting creative and there is no better opportunity than hosting a virtual event.