By JTB Communication Design
Although we are now seeing regulations on mass gatherings slowly starting to be lessened in certain countries, and small-scale physical events take place, online events are clearly still a popular choice for event planners. With the incredible rise in popularity of these events, there are several reasons why people are continuing to use them. There are definitely pros and cons to choosing an online event over a physical one.
Pros of holding an online event
1. Larger reach
The way that we market all events has changed a lot in the last few years. Now social media and email marketing are the best ways to reach your audience no matter the event. With 3.5 billion social media users worldwide, it’s easy to see why. The good thing about online events is that your intended audience is already online, all you have to do is direct them towards your event platform. Online events are easy to attend and even easier to market so you’ll be sure to get more attendees. They can also access your event from anywhere in the world, broadening your reach.
2. More flexible
Online events are more flexible both for you and for your attendees. With so many options for webinars, interactive virtual conventions and small meeting platforms, online events are suitable for a range of event purposes. Attendees are also able to join from the comfort of their own home, making travel and logistical challenges obsolete.
3. Cost and energy efficient
Online events are the eco-friendly solution for the events industry as they reduce travel and emissions and are more cost effective for you and your business. In most cases you don’t have to rent a venue or organize transport, the only thing you have to think about is quality video and sound streaming equipment.
Cons of holding an online event
1. Harder to grasp attendees’ attention
Although a lot can be said for online events, the physical interaction isn’t there to hold the attendees’ attention on quite the same level as an in-person event. We are far from converting totally to online events and still value the face-to-face connection of a real event. A survey from earlier this year, when many people were experiencing a lockdown, showed that 70% of people still prefer to attend an event in person.
2. Tech issues
Especially if you haven’t had a lot of practice with online events and meetings, tech issues can be very problematic. There is nothing more distracting than watching the host get their wires crossed.
3. Less opportunities for networking
At a physical event, you always have the opportunities to grab someone for a quick chat and exchange details while other things are going on. During an online event, there isn’t really a space for this kind of natural face-to-face mingling. The good news is that you will be able to easily collect attendee data, however, and reach out to them after the event.
If you are struggling to choose between physical and online events, a hybrid event could be the answer. Hybrid events combine aspects of both events so that some people can attend in person and others can attend online. This way you really get the best of both worlds.