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Virtual events are a cost-efficient way to reach your target audience. But they have their own peculiar set of challenges that you need to know about if you want them to be successful. In this blog post, we share the 8 biggest challenges virtual events face so you can avoid them!
Lack of engagement
One of the biggest challenges virtual events face is the lack of engagement from participants. This can be due to various factors, such as the impersonal nature of virtual events or the disconnection people feel from being online. A lot of participants stop engaging during the virtual event because they feel like no one is paying attention.
Whether you’re hosting a webinar or an online conference, keeping your participants engaged can be challenging. Here are some tips to help you engage more with your audience:
Tailor your language and tone to suit both new and returning audiences. This will help create a more welcoming environment for all.
Make use of interactive features, such as polls and live Q&A sessions, to encourage participants to engage with each other and the presenter.
Encourage networking by providing opportunities for participants to connect outside of the virtual event. This can be done by providing a link to an online networking platform or by hosting a social media chat during the event.
This is another challenge that virtual events face – the lack of networking opportunities. Most virtual events are attended by people who are already familiar with each other, which makes it difficult for participants to meet new people. This means virtual events are less effective for business networking compared to physical events.
One way virtual event organisers can encourage networking is by providing available tools to help people connect before and after the virtual event. You can host a social media chat or online networking platform during the virtual event, as this will provide more opportunities for participants to network with each other.
You can also try virtual meetups, which are virtual events designed for networking. Some virtual event organisers will host virtual meetups prior to the main virtual event and others will host them after it has concluded or between sessions. This can help you connect more people and also increase participation in your virtual events.
Difficulty in measuring ROI
Virtual events have a lot of benefits – they’re cost-effective, versatile and convenient. But one challenge most virtual events face is difficulty in measuring their ROI.
Because virtual events don’t have a specific location, it’s harder for organisers to measure how many attendees they actually had and whether their targeted audience attended the virtual event. Organisers can measure virtual event ROI by:
Hosting virtual events on a specific schedule and measuring the positive impact this has. For example, you can see how many participants attended each virtual event and compare these results with past events to identify trends in engagement.
Making use of tracking tools such as unique URLs and cookie tracking so you can get an idea of which participants previously visited your virtual event website or blog. You can then target these participants through email marketing or social media ads to promote future virtual events.
Organisers can also get virtual event attendees to complete a survey after the virtual event concludes, which will help you identify virtual event ROI.
A virtual event is a relatively cheaper and more convenient alternative to an in-person event. However, virtual events do require some investment – virtual event software and virtual meeting service can be costly and you’ll still need to invest time and money into preparing the event.
Furthermore, virtual events require more effort in the lead-up, so organisers need to ensure they have enough time to prepare for their event.
Event organisers should plan their virtual events as far as possible so they know how much they’re spending upfront. You can also use free or low-cost virtual event platforms such as Google Hangouts if your events don’t require advanced features such as scheduling or attendance tracking.
One of the challenges virtual event organisers face is low attendance rates. This is usually because people are hesitant to attend virtual events without knowing anyone who will be there. As a result, virtual events can feel isolating and uncomfortable for some participants.
To encourage more people to attend an event, organisers need to create a sense of community among participants. This can be done by organising social activities such as virtual meetups and live streaming sessions.
You can also promote attendance by inviting the participants to share or blog about the event on their own social media channels after it has concluded.
Lack of tech knowledge
Virtual events are virtual because they don’t require participants to meet at a certain time and location. This means that the organisers need to host virtual meetings online during the virtual event, which can be challenging for the participants who lack tech knowledge.
To address this challenge, you can provide guides or tutorials to teach virtual event participants how to use software that may be unfamiliar to them before the virtual event starts.
You can also encourage everyone attending your events to read these guides so they’re familiar with the tools they will use during the virtual meeting.
Virtual events don’t have specific locations, which means they’re harder to promote. This makes virtual event sponsorships challenging because virtual event organisers need to find sponsors that are willing to provide the attendees with exclusive content and offers even if the virtual events have limited reach.
To address this challenge, the organisers can use sponsors from previous events as a reference for future events by emailing past participants and customers.
You can also ask your sponsors what kind of promotional opportunities they would like – this will help you decide on a more suitable sponsorship package that you can offer in future events.
Event organisers can also use virtual banners to promote sponsor messages. This way, the attendees using virtual meeting software will see the banners before or after listening to a live session during the event.
Virtual events can be challenging to organise because of the need for tech sourcing. This means that event organisers need to find a reliable and experienced technology partner who can provide the necessary software and support for virtual meetings.
To find a reliable technology partner, you can ask other event organisers for recommendations or use a technology broker to help you find the best provider for your needs. You should also make sure that the technology partner you choose is familiar with your event’s specific requirements so they can provide the best possible service.
As you can see, there are a lot of challenges for virtual events. The good news is that with the right planning and execution, these hurdles can be easily overcome. If you’re hosting an event soon or have been tasked to plan one in the future, it’s important not to forget any of these key considerations so your attendees will have a great experience!