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Four Awesome Reasons Why Virtual Conferences Rule

by Courtney Bosch  |  
March 26, 2013

Want to plan a large-scale event for your business, but you're a bit strapped for funds? Consider putting on a virtual conference.

Though we love live events at MarketingProfs, we also love virtual conferences. However, though everyone can understand the draw of a live event, some marketers may overlook the pull and power of a virtual conference.

So, here are four reasons why virtual conferences rule... and why you should consider having one for your business.

1. A virtual conference is much easier to set up than a live event.

When putting on a live event, you have so many costs associated with it! The venue is usually the biggest cost. And sometimes putting on a live event is as expensive as putting on a wedding. You have to secure a place, provide food and beverage, have registration fees, fees for setting up the tradeshow, and so on.

In setting up a virtual conference, though, you have less costs. You choose your platform and work with the folks at that company to get it set up. But you can forget about all the venue, food, beverage, and entertainment costs. And in spending less money for your virtual conference, you're passing on the savings to your customers. You can even provide free conferences, like we do at MarketingProfs, thanks to the low cost of putting on a virtual event.

2. A virtual conference can be accessed from anywhere.

One of the best reasons for putting on a virtual conference is its flexibility. Because of the tough economy and costs associated with travel and show attendance, more and more people are finding it difficult to get to live events.

A virtual event, however, lets people everywhere with access to a computer or digital device attend the event. They don't have to leave the comfort of their office or home. And because everything is online, attendees can even plan their days around when they'll pop into a room or check out a specific speaker.

3. A virtual conference can be seen on demand.

Not only is a virtual conference easier to access from anywhere, but a recorded virtual event can be accessed at any time (or at least for a specific amount of time). Participants may not be able to make the day of the virtual conference, but unlike at a virtual event, they can still attend the conference after it happens.

Also, because a virtual conference is already planned to be online, the recording will be much better quality than a live event forced into the online environment. (Businesses sometimes find it difficult to take a live event and put it online.)

4. Customers and would-be clients can more easily check out the different booths, sessions, and workshops than they would at an on-location event.

At a virtual conference, you can plan your attendance, just as you would at a live event, but you have the flexibility to hop in and out of rooms and see what you want. You can create your schedule around the various workshops and not have to worry about disrupting the speaker or attendees---or even appearing rude. In contrast, at a live event, all that hopping in and out of rooms can make you look like you have ants in your pants!

So, have you ever attended a virtual event? What were some of the aspects you liked about it?

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Courtney Bosch is a content manager for e-learning and events at MarketingProfs, managing content for seminars and virtual events.

LinkedIn: Courtney Bosch

Twitter: @courtneybosch

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  • by Wayne Tue Mar 26, 2013 via blog

    Hi Courtney;

    Thanks for the article! The idea of hosting a virtual conference is quite interesting and seems to be trend that I am hearing about from other professionals.

    I am wondering what types of software do you recommend for organizing these types of events? I hear that Google Hangouts are excellent but if you have other suggestions just let us know.

  • by Courtney Tue Mar 26, 2013 via blog

    Hi Wayne!

    Google Hangouts are a great tool for connecting with groups of people and hosting events, although I think there may be limitations with what you can do with a Google Hangout. All depends on the style of event. Here at MProfs our virtual events are basically like online trade shows where you can peruse vendor booths and interact with attendees and attend seminars. We use ON24 to host those events, but I know people have used Webex and other platforms as well. Many companies offer free trials or low rates...test some out and see what works best for your needs.

    Good luck! :)

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