It has not been long since virtual events became equivalent to events in general. The infamous pandemic and modern technology became the two main catalysts for the dramatic growth of virtual events. Moreover, exceptional services, such as immersive virtual exhibit halls, interactive 3D avatars, and more, make space for virtual events even in 2023.
However, with the resurgence of in-person events in 2022 and the continued expansion of hybrid events, the event industry offers a broader range of event experiences.
This article will discuss lead generation, engagement, networking, and all possible opportunities with virtual events and their physical counterpart.
Benefits and Limitations: Virtual and In-person Events
Event solutions come with their pros and cons. Before replacing the virtual event solution with in-person events or vice versa, look at their pros and cons.
The part that elevates the attendee experience in onsite events compared to virtual ones is physical networking—however, this priceless experience results in hefty billables for event hosts. From the venue to logistics, every aspect costs organizers more than it would in the case of virtual events. Not only do the event organizers have to set up an additional budget for in-person events, but the attendees also have to bear the travel expense.
On the other hand, virtual venues save the organizers and attendees from renting and travel expenses, respectively. Especially with 3D virtual event service from vFairs, attendees enjoy an immersive and live event experience from the comfort of their homes. High-quality speakers also agree to become part of the virtual event for convenience.
We have to agree that virtual events take the lead regarding cost-effectiveness.
Like several event types, an attendee’s reason for attending an event varies. For instance, in a career fair, students can grab insights into the industry and jobs of their interest. Still, an attendee might only focus on capturing a work opportunity in a recruiting event. However, one benefit that remains universal for all event types is networking. Networking has grown into many modes; face-to-face, interface-to-interface, and more.
In today’s world, we spend most of our time on devices where interactions are formal and almost robotic. In such times, having the opportunity to chat with another person face-to-face is most remarkable.
Meeting people in person cultivates genuine networking and provides participants with a profound event experience, especially after enabling virtual networking closely into our lives during a pandemic. It is refreshing to attend more in-person events with genuine networking opportunities.
Luckily partnering with event management software providers like vFairs can help you resolve on-site event needs. vFairs offers dynamic event tech, including a ticketing and registration platform, badge printing, check-in and badge scanning, mobile event apps, on-site tech support, and many more end-to-end services.
For many reasons, in-person events are a better way to network than virtual events. Yet, communicating with people traditionally can be discomforting for some people. Handshakes, eye contact, and uninterrupted banters can be challenging if they prefer virtual networking.
Attendees in a virtual event can chat with people they want to. Especially with networking features like matchmaking, the event-organizing platform chooses the right match for you. It is fun to chat with people with similar interests or backgrounds.
Bottom line- Networking in-person is a fun experience that sometimes can be time-consuming. You can avoid handshakes with virtual networking, but you might miss a chance to make genuine connections.
Grabbing freebies is still one of my favorite post-event things. Especially in an in-person event, personalized merchandise is super engaging and fun.
Virtual events organizers have yet to spare this element as well. Virtual swags are popular among virtual events and attendees. Some hosts ship their personalized merchandise to speakers who can record their sessions while wearing them. Brands like Apple, Door Dash, and even Starbucks offer virtual gift cards as part of the virtual swag events.
Although gifts in all forms and types are a bonus in an event, in-person events set the bar high with merchandise.
Long-term ROI effects take time to measure. However, a host can reach and cater to a large audience with virtual events. Not only this, but virtual events help attendees access networking and on-demand content.
Nevertheless, with in-person events, it is easier to understand audience needs to have a strong brand association. In-person events help marketers create the right marketing strategy to put in place. This also includes coming up with lead-generation techniques and methods.
It is easier for speakers at an in-person event to connect with the audience. Speakers can easily convey their message to the audience with proper presentation customization. This eventually helps with brand messaging and event ROI.
Moreover, taking full advantage of on-site event tech can help with long-term ROI effects in an in-person event. For example, vFairs offers white-labeled mobile application services which enhance audience experience in an in-person event. The mobile application helps with easy check-in, capturing participants’ contact information through QR codes, watching session replays, finding exhibitors, and much more. All these features keep the audience excited throughout the event and help them connect better with the brands presented during the event.
A guide to in-person event hosting is a fool-proof method of increasing lead generation.
Hosting an environment-friendly event not only helps contribute to a better world but also helps with increased reach and lower cost. These benefits eventually lead to higher ROI, which makes hosting green events a win-win situation.
However, virtual events help reduce carbon footprints more quickly in this case. With virtual events, hosts and attendees do not contribute to emissions produced from traveling, food waste, and one-time-used event products.
Nevertheless, for all the reasons listed above, if you are willing to host an in-person event, you can still make it environment-friendly.
With vFairs sustainability initiative, Go Green & Global; you can reduce carbon footprints by going paperless in an in-person event. Digital marketing collateral service can help you avoid unnecessary paper usage at the event and make your in-person event much more eco-friendly.
The Future of Events: Physical or In-person Events?
Event industry trends are changing and our survey indicated this new wave as well. People are inclined toward hosting onsite events in 2023. This does not mean virtual events have withered away in demand (at least not yet) but the shift is not neglible.
While event formats may be subject to changes, one big constant is the need for solid event tech to launch and execute events more efficiently and productively. One big question event prof need to be asking is the event tech they need to power their event. The good news is that vFairs continues to innovate and match the industry needs with features to support all event modes. Host with us to find out how you can elevate your event experience and maximize revenue, with a seamless event managment platform in your corner.