At the start of the pandemic, many planners didn't know where to turn to when their in-person events were postponed and later cancelled. If planners didn't cancel or postpone their events they relied on Zoom or other webinar technology. It soon became clear, however, that the event industry would need to harness more robust tools and allocate more resources to creating engaging digital conferences, trainings, trade shows, and the like.
With in-person gatherings limited or off the table for much of the year, virtual events have become the main players on the industry stage, which is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. To understand the state of virtual events and what pain points organizers are facing, Aventri partnered with BizBash to conduct a survey. We surveyed over 530 event professionals from over 30 different industries and analyzed the results in Aventri's latest whitepaper: Virtual Events: What Works, What Doesn't and What the Industry Has Learned Over the Course of a Tumultuous Year. Aventri found that planners need to focus on improving and measuring these four key virtual event goals. Download your free whitepaper here.
1. Improving Attendee Engagement
Unlike in-person events where an attendee is immersed in your event experience, virtual events compete against at home distractions for your attendee's attention. That is why it's even more important to focus on how you are engaging and interacting with your attendees. Increasing your engagement during virtual events leads to stronger more meaningful connections and relationships between your attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, and stakeholders. In a recent study, Aventri found that of those surveyed, 68% said the top priority for improving production values of their virtual events was having more extensive attendee engagement tools. By leveraging engagement tools, you will gain a competitive advantage, especially since many planners aren't taking advantage of the opportunity to forge deeper connections.
2. Streamlining the Use of Multiple Platforms
A majority of organizers have cobbled together different technologies to produce their virtual events. However, using a patchwork of solutions creates a disconnect that yields an unsatisfactory user experience. Additionally, for each product, tool, or plug-in you use, you will have multiple delivery methods for event results, which could erode your revenue if stakeholders don't feel your event delivers the value they seek. For these reasons, it's important to use a virtual event platform that encompasses all the functionality and features your organization needs to run an attractive, seamless event. Aventri's Virtual & Hybrid Event Solution allows you to plan, promote, analyze, and execute all your virtual, hybrid, and in-person events. Aventri has your virtual event covered from registration to streaming live sessions to reporting and everything in between.
3. Driving and Proving Value for Stakeholders
As events have gone and stayed virtual, now it's even more important that planners are able to deliver value to their stakeholders. Driving and proving value for sponsors and exhibitors isn't always easy - especially when potential leads can't come up to their booths to network or demo products. Creating one-on-one and small group meetings between buyers and exhibitors during your virtual event can lead to delivering quantifiable results in the form of traffic statistics, lead generation, contact information capture and more. Aventri's Digital Lead Capture functionality allows organizers to convert sales leads into qualified opportunities and collects and measures ROI.
4. Benchmarking ROI of Organizational Virtual Event Investments
Capturing and measuring ROI is not just imperative for event sponsors and exhibitors - it's crucial. The pandemic decreased and squeezed organizers' budgets - making it even more important to ensure your event is generating a positive ROI. Organizers also need to continuously demonstrate value to sponsors, in order to maximize the number of investors that continue to support their future events. To better prove and measure ROI, organizers need to invest in the best tools to streamline and enhance the attendee, sponsor, and exhibitor experience.
These past few months have put a strain on organizations, trade associations, organizers, event marketers, and the rest of the industry. This resilient industry has found new ways of delivering the in-person experience virtually. However, it has become clear that planners need expert, experience driven advice to address their growing pains with event technology. To help you be one of the rapid adopters of virtual event platforms, download Aventri & BizBash's free whitepaper that discusses and analyzes what works, what doesn't work, and what the events industry has learned over the course of a year.