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The future of virtual events: They are here to stay

Updated: Oct 21


Stadium full of spectators watching the stage.

Did you know that the virtual events industry is expected to exceed $400 billion by 2027? The latest data from Grand View Research shows exactly that. Virtual events became increasingly popular due to lockdowns during the pandemic. Now, as things slowly start going back to normal, many wonder what the future of virtual events will be.


Can we really expect this billion dollar industry to keep growing, even when people are craving physical interactions? Yes, we can. Virtual events offer more reach, more accessibility, and less limitations than in-person events. Furthermore, the different types of virtual events can give you invaluable results and they have the potential to generate more revenue for businesses than with physical events. These benefits mean that online events are here to stay!


Will virtual events continue after the pandemic?


How can we be sure that virtual events will continue to exist even after Covid-19 restrictions loosen? Consider the following. An online event can be attended from anywhere in the world, minus the cost of a plane ticket. With no geographical barriers, event hosts can have a more extensive reach than with in-person events, says an Eventbrite blog.


Since there are no travel or schedule limitations, attendees can enjoy the program from the comfort of their own homes, without incurring any additional expenses. This accessibility is not possible with physical events. Even if guests are unable to attend, they can easily watch a recording after.


What are the different types of virtual events?


Virtual events have expanded in the past year to include webinars, virtual conferences, hybrid events, and virtual networking events. Webinars are highly interactive and usually business-related web seminars. They are a great way to showcase your brand or to even train new employees through workshops or fun and engaging video presentations. Nobody likes to read 20-page training docs!


Virtual conferences are also highly engaging and held completely online. With a virtual conference, you can invite keynote speakers, plan different sessions, and encourage communication among attendees. There are many ways to customize your event and increase engagement.


What if, though, you want to offer physical interactions among attendees and still include online components to your event? Then hybrid events are the way to go. Hybrid events can give you the highest reach of participants, since it gives your guests the option to attend in-person or remotely. Many in the online events industry are turning to hybrid events, as organizers strive to achieve human connection, while retaining the audience reach that virtual events grant them.


Lastly, virtual networking events are another tool that has proven successful in building and maintaining professional connections. This is more important than ever if you’re interested in generating leads or getting fresh perspectives from other professionals in your industry.


Monetization potential of virtual events


Apart from their extensive reach and a host of options to choose from, virtual events are also popular because of their monetization potential. From selling tickets to providing sponsorship opportunities, there are many ways to make money off of virtual events. Data collected by Event Manager Blog showed that 15.6% of event organizers were making money off of selling tickets.


Giving early bird access, group packages, or VIP passes are just a few ways to get creative. The same study showed that 29.7% of organizers were earning major revenue from sponsorships. Kaching! Online exhibits or banners can show off your sponsors and earn you some welcome profits. Selling your products or content is another great way to make money off of your virtual events. Seriously! Why pass up an opportunity to make some money, and create a memorable experience while doing so?


Conclusion


There’s no denying it at this point. The virtual events industry is most definitely here to stay. With higher potential for reach, more options to choose from, and more monetization capacity than in-person events, there’s no reason not to be utilizing them.


Less barriers and less logistic costs means a broader audience reach for hosts, something unlikely with physical events. Different types of virtual events, such as webinars, networking events, or hybrid events means that organizations can meet all their objectives.


Furthermore, this booming industry guarantees future prospects for organizers, once they can get creative with ticket sales or take advantage of sponsors. Virtual events were already a promising industry, whose growth was only accelerated thanks to the pandemic. People have now seen their benefits and have decided to cling to them. What about you? Are you planning to make the most out of your next virtual event?


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