The biggest (dis)advantages of online events
In 2020 most events were canceled or postponed. Back then, we were all wondering—what now, what’s next? But a year later, we all realized that online events proved to be a great alternative to live events during the pandemic. Moreover, we believe the hybrid model is the future of the event industry even after the battle with the virus is won.
Strictly online events can be terrific for many things but realistically, not for everything or everyone. So, what are the main advantages and disadvantages of online events? Are they better in comparison to in-person events? If not, why not? Let’s dive deeper.
The main advantages of online events
- Saving time and money: Think about this: you don’t have to travel to a venue, you do not have to book accommodations or transports. Also, online events can be more time-efficient if they are structured and planned appropriately.
- Higher and wider reach: Have you ever faced a problem where your event guest list was too long? Well, with an online event, you can achieve worldwide reach. That also means that with a proper strategy and a good marketing plan, you have the potential to reach many more attendees than with in-person events.
- Sustainability: In-person events usually produce a fair amount of waste. Also, don’t forget about pollution caused by CO2 emissions of air and car travel. So, if you are thinking about being more environmentally friendly, online events could be the answer.
- Easy access: Online events can be more practical for participants since they can join the event from the comfort of their own homes. No more taxing rides or flights to other parts of the world. Easy access can also contribute to higher participation. An additional bonus is that with Confiva, which is also mobile-friendly, participants can easily partake in your event from any device they want without downloading other apps. Easy peasy!
The main disadvantages of online events
- No face-to-face interaction: Online events can be less personal. Not to mention that connecting with others online is just not the same as doing it in person. However, at Confiva, we developed various networking tools for making the event as personal as possible.
- Technical problems: You probably know that feeling when you are at an event or a meeting, and suddenly your internet connection stops working. Right in the middle of something important! This can happen, but most issues can be avoided with a little bit of practice and knowledge. It is also the reason why it is so important to have a great team and event-based support throughout the whole event.
- Distractions: Keeping people’s attention can be challenging, especially when they are not physically present at an in-person event. Therefore, your online event needs to be engaging and attractive to keep the participant’s attention span as long as possible.
How to tackle the disadvantages of online events?
So how do you navigate through the pros and cons of online events in the best possible way? You can prepare plans to highlight the advantages and be considerate of all the disadvantages.
Focus on content, not on the budget. Content is still the main reason your potential customers buy tickets. To save time and money, you can focus strictly on content. No more expensive venues and catering bills. While the ticket price of online events is usually more affordable, there are still massive returns. Create a financial plan, find out how much backup you need from sponsors to break even, and assess the risks. You will quickly see the sense online events make.
Create a scalable event concept. When creating the concept, take into account that scalability is much easier with online events. Keep the viral effect in mind and try to direct your marketing team to think big. You do not have to worry about the venue capacity when it comes to online events.
Adopt sustainable event production. Make sure the attendees know that they are contributing in their own way. Introduce sustainability into the program of your event. Remind attendees with workshops or round tables about your environmental efforts.
Drive engagement. Battle the lack of face-to-face interactions with networking video rooms. Make small group workshops that encourage attendee participation. Enable your guests to connect through in-platform meetings.
Work with professionals. Live streams are dependent on many different things coming together, from the video production team to the webcam on your speakers’ laptop. Therefore, the production team has to be professional and test all the speakers and their equipment before the event.
Strategize. To tackle the shorter attention span of your online attendees, make the event shorter and split it into multiple days while offering access to more stages at once. Attendees can pick and choose based on their interests and later replay the ones they have missed.
The basics steps of online event planning
- Find out what will make your event stand out.
- Form a concept of the event.
- Create a financial plan.
- Re-evaluate priorities.
- Manage the financial risk.
- Create the event program and book.
- Make the program shorter.
- Find the right platform
- If you choose Confiva, this is where your worries over platform technology end.
- Our event managers help you with any production needs.
- In case you feel comfortable and would not need help, just read on.
- Set a production partner.
- Marketing & sales plans and execution.
- Prepare all materials the event needs.
- Communicate with the production teams.
- Prepare schedules for tests and coordination.
- Go live.
- Gather feedback, learn, and adapt.
- Follow up with attendees.
If you still can’t choose the event form, you have one more option: the hybrid event. The in-person and online events combined into one can join the best of both worlds. They are also the future of the event industry. Would you like to know more? Check out our article on why we believe that the future is hybrid.