PROS AND CONS OF VIRTUAL AND IN-PERSON EVENTS
LIVE AND VIRTUAL EVENTS – WHICH APPROACH IS BEST?
When planning a professional or social event, the common goal is to always bring people together for a shared purpose. Whether this purpose is to educate, inform, debate or celebrate. Types of events that can take place :
- live i.e. all attendees are present at the event
- virtual i.e. delegates attend the event online
Body language is the most important when it comes to communicating, such as people’s postures, gestures, facial expressions and eye movements. These are best translated live and in person. People also attend events in order to meet and interact with others that have similar interests.
People often choose virtual events because of resources such as time and money. These events can be deployed quickly and at a lower cost than live events. Virtual events are also great when you are trying to plan something quickly to get in front of a potential crisis. Therefore there is a faster turnaround, lower cost and broader reach.
Advantages of a virtual event
Quick and easy planning
- There is no need to rent space, worry about how to fill the room or print name badges, order lunch or coffee etc. All you need are your presenters and a well- equipped production studio that provides video conference production.
Broader reach and impact
- No one has to travel for these events and you can attract attendees from all over the globe. You are not limited to the size of the room like with an in-person event. The online registration also allows you to collect a wealth of information about your attendees. Analytics are becoming more and more important.
Attendance is easy
- You can promote the event online and attract attendees around the world. There are no worries about a rush of attendance last minute and sorting out seating etc.
- With a virtual event you will get a full video recording of your entire event which you can archive on your website or other platforms and use to re-promote your company and service offering.
Disadvantages of a virtual event
Less personal connection
- Virtual events are quick, convenient and easy but you lose the opportunity to interact with people.
- When you are at an in-person event you are 100% focused on what is happening in the room but with online there are distractions.
Not ideal for longer events
- Keeping people’s attention online for long periods of time can be challenging, virtual events should be no longer than 90 minutes. Individual presentations shouldn’t be longer than 30 minutes. 30 is the new 60 minute speaker slot!
Technology doesn’t always cooperate
- Don’t take chances and use free platforms, make sure the platform is reliable and will not fail during your virtual event as this is possible with platforms such as Facebook; their main purpose is not to host virtual events.
Pros of an in-person (F2F) event
Allows reading of body language
- It allows the listener to not only hear what the other person has to say but also observe their body language, gestures and facial expressions.
Builds trust and transparency
- This helps both parties to form trust between one another when communicating and meeting at the event and there is time to bond and network and socialise.
Disadvantages of in-person (F2F) events
Finding appropriate time
- Finding a common time for all leaders to attend can be difficult, especially with their tight itinerary that each leader/ manager has.
Cost of facilitating an event
- Attendees and the company have to spend time and money on flying to the place of the event as well as the cost of the actual event.
- There can be a lot of ‘dead’ time at F2F events with them often being a couple of days long. And we all know that time is precious and time is money these days.
So there we have it : The pros and cons for both virtual as well as in-person events and it’s great to have choices as to which format suits your objectives best.
After weighing up all the odds about the different options available, make sure to contact Solutions Group Events to discuss and debate it and to assist you in making the right decision.
Contact Stephanie@solutionsgroup.co.za to assist
Content per smallbizclub.com and 6connex.com