Webinars & Virtual Events - Is there a difference?
Unfortunately, Covid-19 has caused many events to be postponed or even cancelled. Large gatherings are just not possible for the time being, so new ways of working and new technology platforms have evolved to fill the void. Transitioning a physical event to a virtual one involves various challenges, none more so than understanding exactly what the purpose of your event is and what you hope to achieve as an outcome. Do you need a webinar or a virtual event? Is there a difference? Let’s explore this in greater depth.
What is a webinar?
A webinar is a simple web-based interface that allows participants to listen to a presenter via a webcam, and interact through submitting questions. They’re mainly suited to small groups, internal meetings, training sessions or workshops, and used as a marketing strategy. It’s probably easier to think of a webinar as an online seminar.
How does a webinar differ from a virtual event?
While virtual event may include webinars, there’s so much more than a single standalone session. A virtual event can easily be described as a physical event held online, Attendees have far more choice in how and when they wish to participate – engage in live chat either with the host or as part of a discussion, even meeting with global representatives with the flexibility and convenience of 24 hour event access. Webinars are more known for their marketing ability, but they’re not a virtual event in the sense of how we might visualise an event – a trade show, a career fair, a product launch, for example.
Why you should host a virtual event?
In today’s climate with physical events being impossible to host, virtual events are becoming the new normal. However, as with any new way of working, many questions arise as to whether they’re effective as they obviously lack the intimate atmosphere of a face to face event. However, hosting a virtual event does have distinct advantages. You’ll not only eliminate your own costs in sourcing a venue, customising it to your needs and quite possibly catering requirements but you’ll save your attendees travel time, parking issues and costs, even hotel expenses.From a practical perspective, holding a virtual event still enables you to communicate with your guests, and it’s quite likely you’ll attract a greater number than you could in a defined physical space.
Creating a successful virtual event
Producing any kind of virtual event involves time, effort and thought. True, it dos eliminate the need to co-ordinate some of the traditional physical elements, but you’ll probably have to spend more thought on the content of your presentations as you’ll need to engage with an online audience and keep them focused. Understand your agenda and objectives and build a clear plan as to how you’re going to set about achieving these. Virtual events enable you to showcase and highlight your brand in a most effective way. Studies show that audiences remember more from visual effects, graphics, slides, etc. Take advantage of this to promote your brand through the use of corporate imagery, logos and designs from social media channels – the aim is to promote awareness, customer attention and their loyalty. A good virtual event includes interactive functionality. This is often achieved by running multiple events via a combination of pre-recorded and live sessions, giving your audience opportunities to participate in surveys, visit online exhibition areas, network with other attendees, etc. Statistics also show that the vast majority of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience – and that means having an expert events team on hand to ensure everything runs to plan. Events by Knight’s virtual corporate event planning service cam bring the initial stages of any virtual conference, meeting, product launch or corporate meeting to life. Our dedicated team of expert event planners are able to work on your thoughts and ideas and then craft them into a fully functional programme of events. We collaborate with you to ensure your personnel are aware of roles, responsibilities and contingency measures and we’ll ensure your virtual event reaches the correct audience, engages with them and promotes your brand and organisation in the best way possible.
Need some help with your virtual event ? Not sure where to start? Get in touch with our dedicated team who will be able to chat things over with you.