If you’ve been in the business world for a while (or even if you’ve only been in it for a year), you’re likely well versed in the cultural phenomenon that is company events. They’re a great place to network, get new leads, meet existing customers, and inspire interest in your brand (read up on representing your brand at events). However, even the smallest of gatherings presents a massive undertaking for any company, requiring a great deal of time, money, and resources. Large events can easily cost your company upwards of a million dollars, and that's just to be a participant. Corporate events are likely one of the biggest spends any company will encounter, outside of big purchases and acquisitions. But what if there was a way for companies to get many of the benefits of a corporate event, with less hassle and more resources saved? Well, if that sounds enticing to you, you should look into virtual events. While they may not be a total replacement for the real thing, they are otherwise a viable, supplemental option to your regular events.
Virtual event examples anyone can pull off, at a fraction of the cost in money and human hours:
Virtual Tweet-Ups While some tweet-ups happen in person between users that had originally only met on Twitter, more and more people are hosting virtual tweet-ups to become acquainted with new people who hold similar interests, to learn and discover something new about their network, or to have their questions answered by a particular participating company. Live- tweeting a question and answer session is an engaging way to further develop interest in your brand. As an individual, they are a good way to gain more Twitter followers and further your own personal brand and following. And the best part? You can do this from anywhere with a stable internet connection or cell signal. Task 1-2 people at least to try a test tweet-up, and look at the impact it can have. Virtual Industry Events Industry events have always been a great way to discover new companies, find out more about companies you’re already interested in, and garner new leads from a worthwhile pool of contributors. Many organizations today are putting on virtual industry events that allow you to attach your collateral within the virtual environment, chat with other attendees on curated message boards, showcase your videos to the digital audience, and more - all from the comfort of your desk. You no longer have to pack a suitcase, get on a plane, and wake up at the crack of dawn to get many of the benefits of an industry event. With strategic planning and attention to detail, you can create a digital destination within your industry, all without ever renting a venue to host it. Servers cost far less than floor space. Virtual Sales Presentations The idea behind the sales presentation is nothing new, to be sure. But the venue for these presentations has begun to shift away from the physical, and now more than ever is it important to invest in a suitable virtual sales presentation system. First and foremost, this eliminates the pesky requirement of actually being somewhere across the globe in person - face to face meetings will always be important, but with the right setup you can practically be there, at a reduced cost to both parties. With video conference services and faster connection speeds, you can provide a dynamic and enticing presentation to a client ten time zones ahead, from the comfort of your home or office. There's no need to make your reps battle jet lag, travel fatigue, or simply the trouble of being away from home - save on travel fare and invest in a robust virtual conference system. So, what is your take on virtual events? Do you still get more out of meeting people in person, or do you think the convenience and time saved is worth the tradeoff? I’d love to hear what you think, so make sure to tweet @xactly and fill us in on your experience with virtual events.