Recent changes to event practices are enabling the exploration of a wholly unknown approach: virtual events. In light of the mysterious nature of virtual events, multiple questions have been raised regarding their relevance and usefulness. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that virtual events are an important value-generating tool, for both your organization and participants.
Virtual events create value for an organization
ENVIRONMENT STRIPPED OF CORPORATE CODES
We intrude upon people’s intimacy through a virtual framework. Most frequently, we enter directly into people’s homes. The habitual barrier that separates one’s work and family environments is thus systematically destroyed as the two merge together into one.
- Shattering corporate codes, and placing all participants on the same level.
- Interacting with higher-ups in one’s living room rather than meeting with them in their giant (occasionally intimidating!) offices while they wear suits and ties.
- Transforming a formal approach into a personal interaction, thus forging an environment of trust within an organization, in which all individuals are on an even footing.
- Increasing human sympathy capital within an organization’s corporate identity, thus bringing even the largest of corporations down to a human scale.
A virtual event can help fortify team spirit. While all participants are undergoing the exact same experience (stripped of external factors such as social circles, for example), these events can cement solidarity and even empathy within a group. The creation of unique moments through virtual events can give rise to moments of complicity between participants and, as such, consolidate team spirit within an organization.
LEAVING A TRACE
In these changing times, a virtual event allows a host organization to display all its creativity and resilience, and to leave an imprint in the minds of consumers of the originality imbued in an event. Virtual environments are playgrounds that can still be explored in 1,001 different ways! To leave an indelible trace, it is important to ensure that a virtual event also generates value for its participants…
Events generate value for participants
EXCLUSIVE ACCESS / INTERNATIONAL REACH
It is now possible to provide participants with unique and exclusive virtual experiences. Cooking pasta with a renowned Italian chef, hosting American guest lecturers whose busy schedules normally prevent them from physically participating in events, entertaining conversations with your organization’s CEO long-distance from Germany: in virtual mode, nothing is impossible, all events can be made real, no matter where one might wish to take them… and at reduced cost!
It is too easy to think that virtual events must necessarily be limited to placing participating members of the public in front of screens on Zoom-styled platforms. To the contrary, virtual events are the perfect playground for thinking “out of the computer”!
First and foremost, it is important to know that multiple professional platforms currently exist. A choice certainly needs to be made based on specific needs: will the event be held in hybrid mode (both in-person and virtual), in-studio like a “TV show”, in conference, via social networks? This choice creates aesthetic, practical, and technical value for participants. Nobody wants to watch a darkly lit virtual gala with an inaudible host!
Moreover, why impose a single-screen limit? It is possible to combine multiple platforms (applications, live conferences, podcasts, games, prerecorded videos, etc.), all while adding physical elements: bottles of wine sent through the post for after hours get-togethers, meal kits in the context of corporate events hosted by chefs, humorous promotional items, and more! Creativity is given free rein.
Having the resolve to put oneself forward among a group of strangers during an evening of networking is certainly not a given for everyone. As such, networking becomes simplified during virtual events. More reluctant participants can be present at virtual round-table discussions, with no pressure and in their own familiar environments: it’s one of the secret recipes that help reduce sources of anxiety and encourage connection!
Virtual events therefore enable a reimagining of events, transposing them onto a more human scale: opening the door to encounters with inspiring individuals around the world, with zero limits. It shatters corporate barriers, permitting work on a more intimate level to forge stronger connections with the people around us. It provides access to infinite possibilities.
Virtual events are certainly not being primed to replace in-person events, but they are very much here to stay, affirms Mirella Di Blasio, President of Lulu Événements.
Though she had already foreseen, fifteen years ago, that in-person events would be positioned as a fully-fledged communication marketing channel, Mirella is now predicting the same for virtual events: they aren’t going anywhere. Virtual events are becoming a communication tool with their own distinct and relevant objectives.