As a growing number of events are being cancelled due to concerns about coronavirus, many businesses are simply switching the location of their conferences from a physical venue to a virtual platform, instead of abandoning plans altogether.

While the coronavirus outbreak has led to hundreds of trade events being cancelled or postponed, global tech giants, Google and Microsoft, were among the first to take their conferences entirely online to limit the health risks of attending a large-scale international event.

A virtual conference allows businesses to bring employees, clients and stakeholders together without requiring delegates to travel to a physical location. Re-formatting a conference into a virtual event is easier than you might expect as the speakers, discussion points, seminars and workshops are already likely to be in place. Once the right technical support is in place, changing the location from a physical venue to an online space is fairly straight forward.

Multi-camera delivery from either a single venue or multiple locations can really push the production values to achieve a high quality viewing experience for delegates. However, it is important to remember that audience attention spans are shorter for online content, which means it may be necessary to tweak the event programme slightly to better suit a virtual platform.

Re-creating the conference experience online allows delegates to participate from their laptops, smartphones or tablets without losing the opportunity to ask questions, interact with other delegates, network and take part in live discussions. Delegates can also access webinar presentations and downloadable resources at the same time.

The benefits of virtual events aren’t solely limited to reducing the health risks associated with attending a physical conference during the coronavirus outbreak. Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of a virtual conference is that delegates aren’t required to travel, which saves both money and time.

As a result, a virtual conference is more likely to attract higher attendance as the expense and time commitment of attending a bricks and mortar event are immediately eliminated. Another advantage is that a virtual conference lives on long after the event with on demand viewing available for weeks or even months afterwards. Footage can also be re-purposed in a number of different ways to be used across social media channels or internal communications.

While there is no replacement for meeting people face-to-face, virtual events can be hugely beneficial for businesses, particularly during this concerning time. If you are thinking about shifting your company conference or a corporate event from a physical location to an online platform, contact Chris Holmes, head of live streaming and virtual events, for advice.


Published on March 13, 2020 | In Events, Events and Experiential, Good Business, News, Top Tips

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