Virtues of Virtual and In-Person Events

Learn more about virtual event production at Streaming Media East 2022.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Andy Howard: There's different levels of virtual events. So for example, there's what we're doing here, where it's largely multiple presenters that are doing a video event that's going out to a large number of users, with Q & A and chat. There's also sort of the next level of event where it's really like a virtual trade show where you have exhibit booths that people can go to. You've got networking opportunities, you've got prizes, it's kind of a multi-part solution that goes on maybe for multiple days. From my perspective, I work mostly with corporate clients. So for sure, the ability to stream live events webcasts to internal audiences has been a home run for a lot of organizations throughout the pandemic, especially early on, because there was really no other way to communicate with your audiences, because people were so interested in what was happening.

The audience sizes went way up compared to what they were pre-pandemic, I used to tell clients to expect 10% of your users, even for a CEO broadcast, maybe 20% at a very high bar to be participating. And the numbers during the pandemic were more like 50, 60, 70% because you had really no excuse not to be there. You're sitting in your home office and you're not at a client's site and you're not out. So that's been hugely important for me personally, as a consultant, the virtual events have been great in order to keep top of mind with potential customers and things like that. But personally, I miss the in-person interaction and the networking opportunities and all the things that happen outside of the main conference in terms of after-parties and things like that. So I'm looking forward to getting back into those in 2022.

Mindi Sue Sternblitz-Rubenstein: I agree with what Andy said, because the in-person events, the excitement, the energy, it's not just the session content, but everything that happens at an in-person event is, is really valuable. With virtual events, I feel like there's a new set of goals that you're working towards. Obviously, you reach a larger audience, you can change things matter of seconds. So if somebody wakes up and they're sick, you can have someone else fill in for them very quickly. That is a lot harder for an in-person event. So with virtual, I feel like it's a lot of educational. Anybody can turn on the stream and maybe do other things, finish their regular workload, check their email, but you're missing some of the engagement that you would get at an in-person event. So I feel like there's different sets of goals. Virtual events are definitely successful you in people for a shorter amount of time and they don't have to travel and they're still getting the content.

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