The COVID pandemic has changed the way we live and work. Many executives and employees learned to work and collaborate from home. Marketers discovered new creative ways to connect with audiences and promote sale in a 100% online environment. And they also discovered that product launches and other business meetings can be hosted as virtual events.
Keeping Business Alive with Virtual Events
Virtual events involve anything from a meeting between several participants joining by audio/video connection to a public or private event broadcast to the intended audience by live online video.
More and more business people and marketers discovered the many functionalities and benefits of tools like Skype and Zoom, together with the caveats of using them for sensitive business communication. However, as lockdown laws ease all over the world, it does not mean that we will all go back to business as usual. At least, these are the key findings of a recent survey conducted by The 614 Group, a company specialising in consultancy for modern advertising infrastructure.
Marketers Miss Direct Interactions But Can’t Give Up Virtual Events
The survey covers various aspects of teamwork and collaboration in the media and advertising industry. Respondents to the survey are professionals working for advertising, marketing, publishing and ad tech companies.
A few answers stand out and appear to set the trends for future business interactions and marketing activities. Thus:
- 20% of respondents miss in-person meetings and cultivating relationships among colleagues;
- 33% of them believe that in-person meetings will never go back to pre-pandemic levels;
- 51% of respondents believe that virtual events will become a regular thing in the marketing and business world.
The Future Belongs to Virtual Events
These findings are corroborated by a statistical data compiled by Digital Information World in an infographic. According to their data:
- Over 80% of internet traffic in 2021 will represent video and online conferences traffic;
- 86% of virtual events participants report equal or higher engagement levels compared to in-person meetings;
- Tech giants like Google are in the process of turning their well known conferences into virtual events.
What Do these Numbers Mean for Marketers?
For those marketers who are already using modern technology to connect with clients and discuss projects in video conferences, the only change will be an increased demand for a flexible approach to meetings to discuss briefs and ongoing projects.
If you still rely on in-person meetings, it is time to get to know the most popular video conferencing platforms and select the best one to fit your needs. Also, virtual events will expand beyond meetings with customers. And this is where you can find great opportunities for growth.
Attract New Clients with Original Product Launches and Event Ideas
Virtual events can also cover:
- Business conferences featuring notable keynote speakers;
- Product launches;
- Concerts and sports events;
- Live online gaming sessions.
The possibilities are unlimited in the online world, especially if you consider upgrading virtual events with interactive experiences including augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
Virtual events helped us stay in business during the weeks and months when we had to stay at home. Once the COVID crisis comes to an end and healthcare authorities are able to keep the contagion under control, it does not mean that we have to ditch this useful tool.
We will live in a new world, where social distancing and increased safety precautions will be the norm. In this context, virtual events will continue to help business people connect and negotiate deals and marketers find creative ways to promote products and cultivate customer relationships.