Event hosting and management can be a marketing and logistics nightmare. It’s not unheard for branding events to go totally wrong, ending up as PR disasters more than anything else. Then, there are severe budgetary concerns withholding brands from conducting real events too often. No wonders, everyone wants to know more about the art of virtual events.
Webinar technology, VoIP telephony, virtual reality, collaborative screen sharing, automated emails, augmented reality – all these technologies have made virtual events a very ‘real’ idea for brands to connect with audiences in an affordable, scalable, and repeatable manner. Let’s tell you more about the advancements and future of virtual events.
A bit of a no brainer really; webinar technology has made such rapid advances that scheduling, organizing, and then repurposing webinars is super affordable, super convenient, and super scalable for brands. Once you have the content, an Internet connection, and a microphone ready, all you need is a live webinar tool to organize a value adding webinar. The tool lets you schedule, promote, conduct, and analyze webinars, apart from helping you market the event, enhance participation, and automate reminders and feedback, and a lot more.
No wonders, brands across the globe use webinars for product demonstrations, selling knowledge content, engaging with customers, delivering after sales information service, conducting focus group interviews, and what not. SAP, for instance, leverages webinars to showcase its software capabilities in helping organizations do business better.
3D printers have bridged the gap between concept and concrete product almost magically. As a result, remote interactions across teams become tremendously real, particularly when they need to collaborate on product design, prototyping, demonstrations, DIYs, etc. With 3D printers installed at remote locations, the event manager can share CAD prototype files with the participants, and let them create the necessary part, component, or product. This eliminates a major challenge in event management for campaigns that require collaboration on physical materials.
Live Streams on Social Media
Almost every major social media platform is investing heavily in enabling value added live video streaming. This is opening up massive opportunities for individuals and brands, allowing them to organize and manage virtual events at a fraction of what it would otherwise cost them! It’s as simple as scheduling a ‘live’ event, preparing the content and video production equipment (HD video recording camera enabled smartphone), and inviting social media followers to join and witness the event.
Italian women’s magazine Grazia UK did a roundtable conference on Brexit issues where Facebook users were able to connect with the experts ‘live’. It doesn’t have to be this serious though; Dunkin Donut did a holiday season themed Facebook Live video showcasing the making of a massive donut based wedding cake in a test kitchen.
A great aspect of virtual events is how traditional event formats can be made all the more enriching and enjoyable for attendees. Add in wearable technology and augmented reality, and you’ve got a miracle in the making. Take, for instance, Coca Cola did a very successful event called Santa Clause’s Sleigh Ride in VR, where participants experienced ‘being Santa’ on a rollercoaster and flying into different towns and cities. Add technology like Double Robotics’ remote controlled iPad mounted robots and it even offers participants in the VR powered event to interact with other participants experiencing the same event from another remote location.
The lines between ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ are becoming increasingly blurry. For brands across industries and geographies, this presents sensational opportunities for beating the competition and embracing the change, and organizing virtual events to reach out to millions across the globe.