Physical VS Virtual Conference: A Quick Comparison

2020 has been a year that took off with an unprecedented pandemic making a number of transformations, including how events were conducted. The lockdown that followed, and is currently in place, however gave the world the time and opportunity to move to virtual events in place of physical ones. 

Conferences and summits are an example of one such event. While some people are skeptical about hosting online conferences, there are incredible benefits that you wouldn’t necessarily recognize at first. Thanks to the advances in technology in the past few years, a virtual conference can be organized a lot more efficiently than a physical conference.

Let’s do a quick run-through of how a virtual conference platform beats its physical counterpart. 

1) Easy Access for Speakers and Attendees 

Physical Conference
  • When organizing a physical conference, depending on your business or organization, it can be a hassle to find a venue that suits all the speakers and attendees. Traveling to a specific venue can be difficult for some of them, monetarily as well as geographically.
Virtual Conference
  • A virtual conference eliminates the need to travel and be at a physical venue to attend the event. It saves a lot of time and cost for everyone involved. It also ensures that anyone from any part of the world can be a part of the conference. Thus, a virtual conference attracts more people and is accessible to all without any geographical limitations.
  • Online conferences can also prevent jetlag and other travel-related stress. By choosing to host a virtual conference, you can keep your event live for however long the platform you have chosen allows.


2) More Value at a Lesser Cost

Physical Conference
  • Between hiring and renting venues, booking accommodation for speakers, supplying food and necessities, and paying for travel expenses, a lot of money is spent and ultimately wasted when putting a physical conference together.
Virtual Conference
  • With a virtual conference, you can cut back significantly on these costs. Given that no traveling is involved, you can engage reputed speakers for a fraction of the price as well. The convenience you get along with the cost-savings is unmatched with an online event.

Cost savings

3) Networking Done Right

Physical Conference
  • While it is assumed that physical conferences provide greater networking opportunities as in-person interactions allow conversations to flow naturally. However, how many times have you tracked down and ended up meeting with the right point of contact ‘naturally’? 
Virtual Conference
  • Virtual conferences make networking easy. The availability of chat rooms and the possibility of audio, video, and text chats allows all participants to form lasting ties in an effective way. While meeting people in person is beneficial for solidifying important business relationships, a virtual conference takes out unnecessary steps, saves time, and enables people to contact the right person using their predetermined bios in most occasions.


4) Measurability of Results

Physical Conference
  • After a physical conference comes to an end, it becomes a hassle to gather data, analyze it to improve the experience and see if the event was an overall success. The data to measure success can revolve around the number of attendees, the number of times attendees visited a booth, and/or attended a webinar. While these statistics can be taken from physical events, it can be an ordeal as it takes a long time to correctly record this physical information.
Virtual Conference
  • Switching to a virtual conference can lead to this data being more accurate and helpful as it would be readily available right after the event. What worked and what needs to be eliminated can be decided based on this data. It can be used to plan and organize groundbreaking events in the future. Not just this, organizers can choose to monitor data with real-time reports and make regulations during the event


5) Hosting Environment-Friendly Events

Physical Conference
  • Traveling for a conference has a huge impact on the environment. The CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions can be huge if both speakers and attendees for a physical conference are traveling from other cities and countries. Aviation contributes about 2% of the world’s global carbon emissions. Of course, this varies depending on where you are flying from, but a physical conference would increase this number significantly
  • Waste caused by printed materials such as brochures and marketing collateral increase the carbon footprint. In addition, plastic waste in the form of food and beverages served, also contribute to the damage caused
Virtual Conference
  • A virtual conference eliminates the need for all kinds of travel, therefore saving the planet from carbon emissions
  • Due to the lack of printed/plastic usage at a virtual conference, going online helps you organize a green, healthy event


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About the Author:

Michael Dehoyos is a content marketer, writer, and editor at Dissertation Writing Services. You can find him contributing to multiple sites and publications. Michael spends his time assisting companies with their marketing strategy concepts. 


Physical VS Virtual Conference: A Quick Comparison

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