By Maria Schuett, head of marketing at Central Hall Westminster
It’s no secret that that events industry is changing. With the advent of event technology many venues and organisers have seen a huge increase in the demand for tech at events. This increasing demand has led to a rise in the number of virtual event experiences, helping to extend the reach and impact of an event, despite the rising decline in budget and travel. At Central Hall we recognise the importance of event tech and the role virtual experiences play in attendee engagement and interaction. Here are our top three reasons why virtual experiences add value to delegates.
Ease of convenience for attendees
The rise in popularity of hybrid events might be attributed to the increasing number of event professionals trying to cut back on travel costs and stay within budgetary confinements, as they allow audiences the opportunity to experience content in a time and place that best suits them. This makes it possible for attendees to leverage content and network with others through social media feeds, ultimately resulting in an enhanced event experience. At Central Hall we have a wide range of experience of hosting hybrid events. Having hosted many webinars, we find that retention is high and dropout rates are extremely low compared to that of events. Attendees are able to consume and interact with information in an environment that suits them without worrying about the hassle and expenses of travel.
Increases reach and exposure
Adding a virtual component to a live event can extend its reach significantly. The combination of live and virtual attendees has the potential to extend an events reach from tens to thousands of people. Live webcasts create an opportunity for organisers to connect individuals who would otherwise be difficult to reach. Central Hall played an important role in the press launch of the discovery of the Higgs Boson. During the event we connected the Great Hall and break out rooms to 25 different global event locations, allowing for live debates among multiple interest groups and locations.
We all know that the way we organise and implement events can have a huge impact on the environment, which is why an increasing number of event professionals are beginning to make a conscious effort to reduce their carbon footprint. Adding virtual components to an event, such as a webinar or podcast and sharing them online after the event not only support environmental initiatives but also allow different audiences to discover content long after the event date. Content therefore becomes more permanent and easy to refer back to.