2020 was a tough year for planning physical events, and a lot of event planners needed to shift to a digital solution quickly. We all collectively had to change the way we work with remote working becoming the norm and the development of a new workplace culture which will probably live on even after the current crisis.
As a company, we witnessed an increase in 78% in remote webinars for 2020 compared to 2019 which proves the point that digital events were used more by companies around Australia. This means that 2021 can be the year to quick start your digital event program as well.
The best way to start with this kind of program is to use the best of both physical and digital events to guarantee success.
With today’s technology, it is easy to live stream a physical event from a studio and provide key sessions on-demand for the audience to enjoy at a later point in time. Adding virtual elements to your physical event can have benefits for your audience but also for your brand’s future event program.
We have listed the main reasons why you should consider using hybrid physical events in your marketing strategy in 2021:
Physical events are very time consuming and expensive and require a lot of planning experience. With all the money and resources, you have to plan to make it happen, physical events are in their nature risky. This is especially true in the current crisis we are facing.
With the shift in behaviour we had to undergo at the beginning of the COVID situation, the perception of non-physical events has changed. People are more ready than ever to attend webinars, digital product presentation and much more.
A lot of individuals are also getting nervous at attending big gatherings because of the potential health risks behind. Even travelling by public transport can be difficult for some attendees when participating to a physical event.
Planning to offer a digital alternative to your physical event is not only wise but will ultimately lower your risk when faced to restrictions, lockdowns and costs. A digital event provides access for those groups that might be unwilling or unable to attend in person.
When planned properly and communicated through the right channels, virtual events can enable you to reach much more audiences because attendees are not limited to the geographical location linked to your physical event venue. Interstate and overseas attendees can attend much more easily.
With mainstream on-demand platforms like HBO, Netflix, Foxtel, anyone can choose what they want to watch and at what time of the day or week. This trend also influences business events since 2 in 3 digital event attendees view events at a time that suits them. Offering flexibility to your audience also increases their readiness to take action after the event.
At Webcasts.com.au, we’ve seen online audiences eclipse the traditional audience for physical events by as much as 400%. This means that your ROI on event can be higher using virtual events.
The usage of video has been booming for quite some time now, but 2021 will see a major boom in video content. YouTube is becoming king to deliver the right video content to the right audience.
By using this trend, your business can benefit from higher average viewing times and higher registration rates. By filming, pre-recording or hosting video content you will have an amazing piece of content to re-use.
People do not necessarily want the live effect during a webinar. We saw a drop in 10 points from 2019 to 2020 in percentage of webinars streamed live. On-demand and hybrid webinars are becoming more and more popular out there.
As we saw in an earlier point, switching to digital and hybrid events can grow your audience. This means more revenue in the long run.
Most audiences will pay for valuable, insightful, expert content — particularly if it addresses urgent industry issues or contributes to continuing professional development accreditation points.
With valuable content, you can start dedicated online content subscription programs and start earning with your content.
By using digital events in your marketing mix, you will have access to new sponsor opportunities in front of your growing audience. The way an online event can work makes it easier to brand individual sessions, Q&A’s but also the entire webinar. Online events can give you a lot of ways to create sponsorships that benefit both attendees and your commercial partners.
Since brands and businesses are also moving online even faster, you will have unique opportunities to have online-only sponsors during your event.
The main strength of digital versus physical is the way you can measure the success of your event. This means there is more accountability and more learning perspectives for your event team.
Online events are great to capture feedback on the spot while the attendees are already using their devices. This is more efficient than asking a physical event attendee to fill out a paper form, pull out a mobile device or respond to a post-event email.
Since registration pages, videos and individual sessions can be analysed thoroughly, you will get better learnings out of your event: who is the favourite speaker, what are the preferred topics, what format work better and what is my overall engagement.
There’s no doubt virtual elements can generate some great benefits for your brands broader event program.
Turn your activations into a hybrid event program and you’ll reap the benefits of extending your amazing content across all the channels your audiences use.
Webcasts.com.au manages virtual and hybrid events for customers across Australia in the fiels of Government, Associations and much more. Contact one of our consultants on 1800 733 416 to help run your next hybrid or digital event.