Live events conducted in person will never go out of style. But as the world continues to struggle with coronavirus, virtual events will remain critically important for 2021. Do not underestimate their value. Virtual events could be the key to expanding your book of business in the coming year.
The most important thing to remember is that a virtual event requires the same planning, consideration, and due diligence as any in-person event. Putting more effort into your next virtual event will yield better results than leaving things to chance. Effort equals success when combined with the fundamental principles of staging productive virtual events.
Adding Value to Your Clients
Virtual events offer the underlying prospect of adding value to your clients. As a broker, your clients are looking for better benefits packages for their employees. They want detailed pricing and feature information. They expect clear-cut explanations of all the details. They need answers to their questions. A virtual event can provide all of that, and more.
There are four types of virtual events for business settings. Each one can add value in many different ways:
- Webinars – A typical webinar is an information packed event normally held live and recorded in real time. Recording allows attendees who cannot be there at the designated time to still take in the event later. The value of the webinar is its ability to reach countless numbers of viewers regardless of individual location.
- Meetings – A virtual meeting might be just as informative as a webinar, but it is typically less formal. It is also limited to a fewer number of participants and is always conducted live. Virtual meetings are ideal for Q&A sessions with clients.
- Conferences – Virtual conferences are online versions of in-person conferences. They generally feature a number of speakers or presenters and can include breakout sessions, keynotes, etc. The value here is in variety.
- Hybrid Events – Hybrid events mix-and-match the best aspects of the previous three event types. Brokers are not likely to use hybrid events all that often, as their value is limited for the kind of information that they are looking to get into client hands.
Regardless of the type of event being conducted, the key is to do things in such a way so as to keep participants engaged. Any value a virtual event could add to clients is lost if participants are not engaged throughout.
Customizing Virtual Events
A virtual event's value proposition can be enhanced through customization. Simply put, certain types of virtual events can be tailored specifically to the needs of participants. Virtualization allows brokers the opportunity to zero-in on more specific topics for smaller groups, in a setting that is more open to questions, answers, and conversations.
Presenters can pre-record certain parts of the event and then interact live with participants as those portions are played. They can share their screens. If software allows, presenters can utilize whiteboards to encourage more active participation. In a virtual setting, there are plenty of opportunities to do things you couldn't do during an in-person event.
We might not prefer the virtual world that coronavirus has thrust upon us. We might all prefer in-person events instead. But circumstances dictate otherwise. Rather than fighting it, why not seek to fully utilize the value virtual events offer?
Do not underestimate what virtual events can do for your business in 2021. Make this year the year you master the virtual event. Your business will be better off for it, and you will have another tool for interacting with clients long after the coronavirus crisis is over.