When it comes to your events portfolio, virtual and hybrid events are more important than ever before. You can use them to enhance your brand's global reach, drive new audiences, reduce your carbon footprint and maximize ROI.
To help you make the transition, we’d like to share a little teaser from the book, Transitioning to Virtual and Hybrid Events, by Notified president Ben Chodor.
The book is available to order now. This piece is a MUST-HAVE for marketers and event planners. It’s packed full of detailed tutorials, real-world case studies, illustrative examples and highly useful checklists.
Keep reading to get an exclusive excerpt from chapter one!
Transitioning to Virtual and Hybrid Events by Ben Chodor (with Gabriella Cyranski)
Chapter One Excerpt:
Addressing Common Misconceptions and Myths About Virtual Events
When I started out in the streaming business in 1998, people still had fax machines, high-speed internet at home was a luxury and didn’t exist in many locations, streaming video was not HD quality and was the size of postage stamp and then a playing card. When you started a new job you probably got a desktop as opposed to a laptop computer.
Oh, and to give you some context, the iPad was still 11 years away and the iPhone was still 9 years away.
Also, just to give more perspective, Joseph W. Lechleider, who is credited for being one of the inventors of high speed internet, was probably never thinking about sending video over the internet; 4G internet was not launched in the United States until 2010 and with 5G launching globally now, the ability of being able to receive amazing quality content anywhere in the world is now well within reach.
In the early days of the internet, online events and webinars were a small part of the events business and, quite honestly, an afterthought for event planners and conference planners.
Cutting-edge advancements in video, audio, and integrated communication technologies have made it possible to do much more online. Gone are the days when companies were forced to deal with bulky, unintuitive webinar programs that produced poor-quality video or choppy, broken audio. Webcasting technology that unites high-quality, crystal-clear audio and video, PowerPoint, live chat, and Q&A into a single streamlined interface has removed technological barriers for large and small businesses.
Now all you need is a strong internet connection and you can deliver a TV-style broadcast right from your home.
And with all these advancements, there is still a lot of resistance and uneasiness because of the misconceptions around virtual events.
Before we go any further in the book, I want to take you through all the myths you’re going to hear and tell you exactly why they are not based in fact.
Myth #1: My virtual event or hybrid event will cannibalize my physical event attendance.
Reality: I talked about this in the earlier examples, but I’d like to give you another.
A good friend of mine puts it like this: every year there are only about 70,000 total tickets to the Super Bowl. If I don’t get a ticket, does that mean I’m not going to watch? Of course not; I’ll watch but it will just be a different experience, and usually a cheaper one.
The reality doesn’t support the cannibalization myth, but instead it shows how you should be thinking about the bigger picture. If you only offer an option to attend a physical event, you’re leaving out a large segment of your prospect universe that won’t get to see any of that content or engage with any of those attendees. You’re missing an opportunity to extend your reach to a global audience that you were never in front of before.
For those determined to attend the physical event, your repeat customers, they fight each year for the travel and budget approval to see customers and partners face to face, they’re not going to give that up.
Myth #2: It can’t be monetized, and I’ll lose my sponsor and attendee revenue streams.
Reality: Any good virtual event platform will have the option for you to collect attendee registration fees. Plus, there are several customizable elements that can be monetized for exhibitors and sponsors to provide visibility, thought leadership opportunities, and custom messaging throughout the event experience. If it’s customizable, it’s monetizable.
Myth #3: It’s not interactive; people will just be watching presentations.
Reality: This couldn’t be further from the truth. A virtual environment offers participants the option to participate in live polls during a session. Based on those poll results the speaker can pivot within the presentation to put more emphasis on areas of the topic attendees said they want to hear about.
Attendees can also take advantage of live chat, video chats, and Q&A. I’ve seen chat threads get lively with people making connections, answering questions for one another, and offering their expertise on the topic.
And lastly, you’re able to pose questions directly to the speaker and get those answered in real time.
Myth #4: People won’t stay as long for a virtual session as they would for an in-person session.
Reality: It’s just as easy to walk out of a physical session or not even show up to the meeting as it is to click out of a virtual event. I would argue that there are more distractions at a physical meeting where most are in cities with great climates and an abundance of leisure activities.
When you click out of a virtual event, you’re just right back where you started from, at your desk. Plus, in a virtual environment we can measure how long people stay within a session with more accuracy than a badge swipe so we can confidently tell you which sessions are the most popular.
Myth #5: I’ll only get limited reporting.
Reality: This one is always a bit of a shock to me because within a virtual environment, like everything we do online, there is always activity data being collected.
Any virtual event platform that you choose should be able to provide you with enough data for marketing to develop a lead scoring model, for sponsors to know who visited their booths and what assets were downloaded and for your executive leadership to be confident that the exact audience they targeted actually attended.
How Can I Learn More About Transitioning to Virtual and Hybrid Events?
Order the new book! A digital version is also available.
Transitioning to Virtual and Hybrid Events explains everything an event host needs to know about going virtual, from understanding the new audience, to adapting content to the new medium, to marketing effectively, and much more.
The book provides expert advice and real-world instructions for delivering engaging hybrid, virtual and streaming events and webinars for companies of all sizes and across all industries.
This comprehensive resource provides step-by-step guidance on:
Planning, creating, and implementing a digital event.
Choosing between a stream, a webcast, or a hybrid event.
Evaluating different technological solutions.
Producing compelling virtual content for a variety of scenarios.
Effectively promoting online events.
Meeting the needs of a diverse and global audience.
Transitioning to Virtual and Hybrid Events is an indispensable instruction manual for anyone tasked with enhancing their organization’s continuity plans, enabling their employee base to work remotely, or creating any type of virtual solution to meet this urgent crisis.
Get it today!