In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world moved completely online. From seminars to concerts, nearly every event and gathering adapted to a virtual platform like Zoom, Skype, or Microsoft Teams. Virtual events fell amongst the top public relations trends, changing the way we interacted with our audiences. However, many people are wondering if virtual events will outlast the pandemic itself.
Even though it’s been nearly two years since the initial outbreak in March 2020, many events have remained online due to its beneficial factors. At BLND PR, we found that virtual events are likely to remain a key public relation trend due to its flexibility, inclusivity, and cost-effective features.
“While there will always be a place for in-person events, virtual events are not going anywhere,” said BLND President Devynne Honsa. “With virtual events, we can bring together people from all around the world instead of being limited to one location.
We believe virtual events are going to stick around, but they do have their drawbacks too. Here are some of the benefits and disadvantages of virtual events that we’ve found.
The Benefits of Virtual Events
Online events allow for people with hectic schedules to easily tune into an event from the palm of their hands. Unlike in-person events, visual events are flexible for audience members, as they can join or leave the meeting whenever they would like. Virtual events can also be recorded and viewed at any convenient time, further implying that such events are accessible for nearly every individual.
Along with flexibility, virtual events offer an inclusive platform. With events hosted online, anyone from around the world can join an event despite the location or time zone. This new format is also inclusive for those with physical, hearing, or sight disabilities — as anyone can watch from the comfort of their own home with closed captioning.
In many ways, virtual platforms are extremely cost-effective. Instead of renting a venue and catering it, most virtual platforms are free and do not require additional services. Rather than investing in the venue, public relation professionals can use the saved money to invest in speakers and gifts.
Virtual events are significantly cheaper for audience members since they do not have to spend funds for traveling. Registration fees for such events are little to none, making it affordable for most people.
The Disadvantages of Virtual Events
Although the advantages of virtual events remain promising well into 2022, in-person events offer networking, the exchange of ideas, and human interaction — all of which virtual events cannot achieve.
In-person events that are work related allow for networking, which is essential for those beginning a career. Networking allows people to meet others who can help them on their journey. Therefore, this is a driving factor as to why many people attend forums and seminars. Forums and seminars are also valuable for those who want to exchange ideas after the event.
Despite the few disadvantages, they remain amongst public relations trends due to their flexibility, inclusivity, and cost-effective features.
To learn more about the future of public relations post pandemic, click here.