What is a virtual conference?

Even though you might have heard about virtual events all over the internet, not everyone is completely familiar with the concept. If you want to know more about what is a virtual conference, the best place to start would be a basic description. Simply put, a virtual conference is an organized online activity where participants can meet and discuss a common theme or topic. This usually takes place over video communication, and participants agree to be there at the same time. 

Now that you know what a virtual conference is, let’s get into why it is becoming such a trend these days. Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic really pushed the gear on it, but numerous organizations have been holding virtual events for years now. This is because physical events have their own set of challenges, while virtual ones are much more convenient to attend. They also increase accessibility and reach by far, so are now an industry norm across most fields.  

virtual conference attendees

The challenges of physical events

First of all, let’s discuss how challenging physical events can be. They involve a lot of time and effort on everyone’s part. You have to confirm your attendance and clear your schedule often months in advance. Furthermore, traveling is not a feasible option in every case, so you might be missing out on a lot of good conferences. Physical events also bring a host of other challenges.  

Planning effort

If you want to attend a physical conference, you need to check and clear your schedule accordingly. You’ll have to make sure you’ve covered or delegated all your work commitments for those days. Even if your office is sending you to the conference, you still have to make sure your main tasks do not suffer. 

Furthermore, if you have family and responsibilities at home, you need to make the appropriate care arrangements. This can be particularly tricky if you have children and are the primary caregiver. In short, just planning to attend a physical conference takes a lot of time and effort.  

High costs

After you’re done planning, you have to figure out the finances. Most workplaces pay for their employees to attend conferences, but if you’re self-employed or simply interested in one, you’ll have to shoulder the expenses yourself. 

These costs include participation fees (if there are any), travel expenses, accommodation, and food. If the conference is in another state or country, all of these expenses can be almost prohibitive. 

Large carbon footprint

With all the traveling involved, physical conferences already leave a huge carbon footprint. This is apart from all the paper and other materials used in marketing collateral, and in setting up the booths. 

This means that physical events are not really an environmentally sustainable or responsible model. The more companies know what is a virtual conference and host one, the more environmentally responsible you can be.  

Accessibility issues

Even if expense is not an issue, you might simply not be able to attend a particular conference. This is especially true in this post-pandemic world, where travel restrictions are still in place in multiple areas. 

Furthermore, you may simply not have known about this conference months before and missed the registration deadline. As physical events require a lot of planning, the hosts will probably not accommodate you. In addition, you may not even be able to find a place to stay. All of these factors mean that physical conferences can have numerous accessibility issues.

virtual conference lobby

 What is a virtual conference and why should you attend one?

A virtual conference is basically an online event where you can participate in video or audio sessions and discuss common topics of interest. While this is a simple definition, there’s a lot more to the conferences themselves. They can include everything from round-table discussions to expert panels, and even networking lounges. 

Over the years, companies like vFairs have evolved the concept well beyond simple online communication. Now, you can attend conferences where you’ll feel like you’re at the physical venue itself. Apart from that, virtual conferences are a convenient option which open up numerous opportunities. 

Information sharing

The point of any conference is an exchange of information. Virtual conferences make this exchange much simpler, as all you have to do is open your device and log in. Then, you can have access to a hoard of information you may never have known before. 

Often, virtual conference organizers record their sessions and make them available for reference later. In addition, most participating companies have resources you can download as documents to get all the information you need.  

Networking opportunities

If you attend conferences for networking purposes, virtual events will not hinder you. In fact, they can give you a lot more networking opportunities than you could ever imagine. This is because the attendees will not be limited by geographical constraints and you can talk to industry players from all over the world. 

Lower costs

One of the best parts of virtual conferences is the low costs they incur. Usually, all you have to do is sign up and log in. There are a few cases where there will be an entry fee, but that won’t be too high either. In any case, with the lack of travel and accommodation expenses, virtual events are much more affordable than physical conferences. 

virtual conference hallway

Easily accessible

If there is one feature that truly embodies what is a virtual conference, it is accessibility. From the venue to the information, everything is easy to get to. All you need is an internet connection and a device. 

There are no geographical limitations, and these events are environmentally-friendly as well. Furthermore, with work from home and online schooling policies still in place in some areas, you won’t have to worry about your responsibilities either. 

So, it is quite evident that virtual events are the future of conferences. Now that more and more industries are becoming familiar with what is a virtual conference, they will eventually become the norm. Furthermore, companies like vFairs are making the whole process much easier by introducing innovative features day by day. 


What is a virtual conference?

Shanzay Asim Haider

Shanzay Asim Haider is a content writer with over 5 years of experience. She loves to learn and writes for vFairs because of the exciting potential of the virtual and hybrid event industry. Her hobbies include reading (of course), jigsaw puzzles, and playing overly convoluted board games.


What is a virtual conference?

Shanzay Asim Haider

Shanzay Asim Haider is a content writer with over 5 years of experience. She loves to learn and writes for vFairs because of the exciting potential of the virtual and hybrid event industry. Her hobbies include reading (of course), jigsaw puzzles, and playing overly convoluted board games.
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