Virtual marketing events are everywhere given the recent virus and lockdown situation around the world.
For obvious reasons, live marketing events have “virtually” been shut down and businesses have had to scramble to replace them with a viable solution.
Enter virtual events.
What Are Virtual Marketing Events?
In the simplest terms, marketing virtual events are “live events” watched from the comfort of your computer, tablet, or cell phone.
Instead of being held at destinations around the globe, virtual events are digital in nature and can be seen from anywhere with an internet connection.
There are both pros and cons to marketing virtual events, but I believe that, while they may not replace live events, virtual events are here to stay and will only increase in popularity.
Pros and Cons of Marketing Virtual Events
There are definitely positive and negative aspects of attending virtual events versus live events.
With virtual marketing events, you lose the “handshake factor” that you get at a live event…
The ability to meet someone face-to-face, shake their hand, and have a conversation.
Networking is one of the most valuable aspects of live events, but with a little work and ingenuity, you can also make networking happen in virtual events.
You also don't get to travel to beautiful destinations and get away from everyday life when you substitute virtual events for live events.
But on the flip side, you save a lot of traveling costs when you attend a marketing event virtually and if you have a job, you won't necessarily need to ask for time off.
This is especially attractive for those building their business Part Time.
As I said, there are both pros and cons to each type of event.
3 Tips for Getting The Most Value Out of Virtual Events
While doing research to write this post, there are lots of articles written on launching your own virtual event or summit, but almost nothing on getting the most out of attending these kinds of events.
Since these are the events of the future (especially given the current health and economic crises), I want to provide you with some tips on getting the most out of virtual marketing events…
1). Focus, Focus, Focus
Within the last two months, virtual or online marketing events are popping up with increasing frequency.
It seems that every company or brand is advertising its own virtual event, from health and wellness to mindset and money to marketing and business.
The key for you, the consumer…
Is to focus.
It's so easy to sign up for a virtual event — a few clicks of the mouse — that before we know it, our calendar can be filled with events that look interesting but have nothing to do with the focus of our business and marketing efforts.
For example, I came across a cool looking Instagram virtual event that had some amazing speakers and topics.
It would definitely be a cool virtual event to attend.
But I don't focus on Instagram as a major way to get my marketing message out and I don't plan on doing so in the near future.
Regardless of how great this virtual Instagram event might be (and probably will be)…
I need to pass on it so I can focus on what I do use: Facebook marketing and networking, email marketing, and course creation.
My advice is the same I give to my coaching clients regarding any kind of event (live, virtual, webinar, masterclass)…
If you won't use this information in the next 30 days, take a pass.
It takes lots of discipline and focus, but you'll be rewarded handsomely for staying in your lane and taking actions that can move your business forward TODAY.
2). Buy The Recordings
Lots of marketers and businesses are allowing you to attend their virtual event for free, with the option to purchase the recordings.
I would take that offer 100% of the time.
Because most virtual events are several hours or days in length and it's impossible to attend every session.
And you probably don't want to.
When you buy the recordings, you get the ability to view sessions that you missed or to re-visit those you found particularly interesting.
PRO TIP: When watching the virtual event Live, resist the urge to take notes. Listen intently and absorb the session. Later, you can go back through the recording and take notes!
When you attend a live event, there are almost always speakers or sessions you want to hear again because you got distracted or the information was given quickly.
Recordings give you that ability.
I highly recommend you purchase the recordings of a virtual event if it's financially possible (most recording packages are very affordable).
3). Take Advantage of Networking Options
As marketing virtual events evolve, we will undoubtedly see options for networking and forging deeper relationships, both with speakers and fellow attendees.
For example, virtual event organizers will be able to offer breakout rooms (if they aren't already) where you can meet speakers and attendees in smaller groups to further network and get to know one another.
Think of this as an option to the “networking in the hallway” during live events.
You must take advantage of these options since networking is one of the biggest advantages of attending events.
Another option would be to reach out to other attendees in the virtual event (for example, those you see in the chat who seem interesting and someone you might like to meet).
Networking at events is essential to growing your audience and sphere of influence.
Use any means possible to network at marketing virtual events.
Virtual events are here to stay and will become an increasingly used method for learning and networking in business and marketing.
It would pay to embrace the technology and this new way of learning and growing your business.
However, choose your events wisely and don't allow their increasing availability to monopolize your time.