comprehensive guide on virtual events available today

Virtual Events; What Exactly are They and What Types Do You Get?

As with any other black swan event, the Coronavirus pandemic has been completely life-altering. Academic institutions are shutting down while entertainment, sport, and corporate events we never in our wildest dreams thought would be postponed are being canceled left, right and center. Most businesses, if not shutting down completely, are closing their brick and mortar stores temporarily. However, just because in-person interactions are currently at a standstill doesn’t mean you halt your business operations. You can keep them going by taking on a virtual storefront, and even hold your product launches and corporate meetings through virtual events. Below is a comprehensive guide on virtual events available today

What Exactly is a Virtual Event?

A virtual event is an organized, interactive meet-up that takes place on the internet or an online environment instead of a physical location. It can either be real-time or offered to your clientele and employees on demand. As futuristic as they may seem, these events have been around for over two decades. Most of us have been part of a virtual event without even realizing it. In that light, note, online events may range from the simple happy hour video call you had over Zoom with your friends to a large scale conference with a plethora of attendees.

Types of Virtual Events

Virtual events may have been around for a long time, but they are not a one size-fits-all.  They are based on the same concept, but the approach, the goals, and even the outcome is usually different. Here are the various types of online events;

Webcast

A webcast is the most popular way to hold a virtual event in Dubai. It is a one-to-many broadcast distributed over the internet. Webcasts are designed for large crowds and can be used to host events with as many as a thousand people or more. In a webcast, the host can only use videos, slides, and other forms of graphics to drive a point home. It can also be live or on-demand.  Since it excludes audience interactions, a webcast is a perfect way to hold an online event that involves a broad audience but one that doesn’t require any communication between the host and the attendees. For instance, you could use a webcast to make a corporate announcement or a product launch.

In other words, a webcast works the same way as radio or TV broadcasting only that it is done on the internet and targets a specific audience directly. With that said, webcasts are an ideal option if you’re trying to reach a bigger crowd as there are no limitations to the number of attendees. For instance, the 2018’S Coachella Festival had over 43 million and is one of the most viewed webcasts of all time.

Webinar

A webinar is a live seminar (hence the name webinar) and is a pretty popular way to hold online events. Like a webcast, it’s also broadcasted via the internet, and can only be accessed via a single URL. It’s similar to a webcast only that it targets far fewer people, and also, includes audience interactivity. In respect to that, webinars often boast interactive features such as chat boxes, whiteboarding, polls, public chat rooms, and even Q&A sessions. Also, with webinars, it’s possible to give out handouts such as PDF documents and videos. Webinars are pretty affordable, and all one needs is good internet connectivity, a video device, and a webinar platform. Since it’s a live or on-demand type of virtual meeting, a webinar is a great way to offer training to new employees or clients as they can be recorded for future use.

Virtual Conferences

A virtual conference is an organized online event that allows a group of people with similar interests to remotely access live meetings from the comfort of wherever they may be. Such a conference often revolves around a specific agenda and is complete with keynotes and even breakouts. In other words, a virtual meeting is similar to a physical or in-person conference, only that it is done in an online environment. Note, a virtual conference can be either a

  • Video conference, e.g., zoom.
  • Teleconference; via landlines or cellular devices
  • Web Conference; via the internet

Hybrid Events

If you run a conglomerate with branches all over, some of your physical storefronts may still be open. For instance, your headquarters may be open, but all other branches are temporarily closed. This means a large percentage of employees are working remotely, and the need for a meeting or an event that involves all of them may arise. When it does, a hybrid event may be the way to go.

Just as the name suggests, a hybrid event combines the traditional live in-person gathering, with a virtual online gathering. What this means is you can hold an internal in-person event and, at the same time, broadcast it to members of your organization working remotely as an interactive webinar. You can also choose to record and make it available on demand.

Podcast

An online event doesn’t necessarily have to be visual. Podcasts are typically made up of a series of pre-recorded, high-quality audio files that are released episodically for the users to download. Although audio-only, they are pretty popular as they allow those interested in downloading them on demand. A podcast is a great way to keep your employees and client base updated on what’s happening in the company, especially now when Covid-19 seems to have taken over.

Online events are the way to go not only now but also in the future. Therefore, don’t just embrace them temporarily, but implement them permanently. This is because while the novel coronavirus may cripple everything, physical events will return, and virtual events have indeed proven to be an indispensable tool. Enjoyed this article? Click through to learn more about how to generate brand awareness through virtual events from highly qualified Dubai event agency experts.


 

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