Last year, virtual events were only a replacement for in-person events, but now they are used for developing global communities with a much higher engagement rate at a lower cost. In this Expert Insight Interview, Jonathan Kazarian discusses how we can optimize the virtual experience to work to our benefit. Jonathan Kazarian is a founder and CEO of Accelevents, a company that helps event organizers to provide real experience in a virtual world.
The interview discusses:
- How to increase user experience
- User benefits
- Possibility of a hybrid model in the future
- User Engagement
The earlier platforms were not taking advantage of modern technology in terms of affordability and user experience. When creating the virtual events, the first thing is to set up your goals. What are you trying to accomplish with the event, and how can you do it? Bringing everything and everyone to the same place is crucial so that the focus can be on the user experience. In this case, users are both attendees and exhibitors of a virtual event. Thus, the virtual event needs to provide exhibitors the opportunity to collect leads, create interactions with attendees, and have the right audience.
For attendees, having the virtual event available to stream and being browser-based make it user-friendlier right away. For exhibitors, virtual events offer all the things they had in-person, plus collecting much more data because virtual events provide more insights and easy tracking. The exhibitor can also gather much more leads, information about existing customers, interact with potential customers, and deepen partner relationships while being at home. Also, the return on investment on virtual events is much higher for both exhibitors and event organizers.
There are so many reasons why people would prefer virtual events in the future. Some people do not feel comfortable attending events in person. Some companies want to save on travel costs. And some people do not see the trade of anymore in being physically present at a conference. While it is still impossible to eliminate the in-person events, with a decrease in attendance over time, it will be harder to justify the costs of both hosting and sponsoring them. Besides, in-person conferences need innovation regarding the event structure, format, and value they create. Thus, most likely, a hybrid model will come into play.
Besides focusing on user experience, all best performing companies focus on developing a community around their products and brands. Building community means bringing together people who share the same ideas. Virtual events allow people to interact and build networks globally, more often, and at a lower cost.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.