Over the last 18 months most of us have attended a virtual meeting. Whether it was just a Zoom or Team catch up with colleagues and clients, or a fully virtual conference and exhibition using one of the many platforms. This huge demand has driven a period of huge improvement in events technology.
Using Virtual Tech at Your In-Person Event
Now that we can meet face to face again in larger numbers there is no reason to forget this great technology. Virtual technology can be used to enhance in person events and increase the number of delegates that can attend:
- No longer do you have to limit numbers to the capacity of the venue. Choose a venue that really fits your brand, if you have to limit in person delegates it doesn’t matter because you can have limitless virtual attendees.
- Travel restrictions may remain in place for some countries for a while, but these delegates can still attend virtually.
- Restriction rules can change at the last minute and if you have already built a virtual element into you event it is easy to pivot.
- Having a virtual element prolongs the life span of your content. Delegates can rewatch or catch-up different elements of your events virtually.
- It makes your events more attractive to clients with a limited budget. They can attend just one day of a 2-day event and watch the other day virtually. Companies can send one delegate to the live event and others to the virtual.
I have already written on how virtual platforms can help you make your event more sustainable. People don’t have to travel they can join virtually. You can even link venues in each country with the technology. Read our article here.
With our event partners TR Global Events, HotelRes recently worked on a series of events that seamlessly utilised a virtual events platform that we managed. It was a famous competition with several different rounds: Miss England. But it could just as easily have been a series of training courses or seminars.
The “in person” event took place at the end of August. There were 300 guests at the Grand Final at a venue in the Midlands, however there were a further 400 who watched the whole evening on the virtual platform. The rounds that took place in June, July and early August were all ran as virtual only events. They all consisted of a mixture of pre-recorded content and live judging and interviews.
Using the virtual platform, we were able to create a “Miss England Club” people who bought tickets were able to vote for their favourite contestant, watch bonus content and interviews, enter competitions, and get special offers from sponsors/exhibitors, as well as watching all the rounds.
- We sold different types of tickets to the virtual platform: A premium ticket that gave the delegate access to all the rounds and additional bonus content; we then sold tickets just to the individual virtual rounds and the Grand final only.
- In person delegates at the Grand Final could also buy enhanced tickets that includes the virtual platform, meaning they could also watch all the preliminary rounds and re watch the grand final and the bonus virtual interviews that were streamed on the night.
- All the contestant and event sponsors had exhibition stands that were live from when the platform opened in May. Each exhibitor had access to their own stand and could add or change the content over the 3 months the event was live.
- We were able to sell additional sponsorship slots at the beginning and end of each of the round streams.
Create a Virtual Club for Your Delegates
This blueprint can be used effectively for many types of events. If you normally record your events or have a stage then it doesn’t need to cost you much more, but it can give you content that can be watched from anywhere and at any time. Your virtual event can be live for a year or more. You can easily create a “Virtual Club”; that allows delegates access to all or just some of the content. You can upload documents, bonus material and have additional sponsors.
If your events generate income then you can sell tickets for the live event, virtual event, and post event. For a series of events, you can have delegates join you live or virtually, they can pick and choose what suites them best.