With the world becoming more and more digital over the past few years due to the covid-19 pandemic, it can be easy for us to forget what events were like pre-pandemic. We used to expect to have to travel for events, sit in a room full of like-minded people (or maybe not so like-minded) and be able to talk freely about any topic that comes to mind.
Being in an online event, it can feel difficult to get your ideas heard. However, it can also provide you with the opportunity to remain anonymous if you feel like it, for example, asking questions in a discussion box is a lot less daunting than standing up in front of a crowd full of people with a microphone shoved under your nose!
Here’s what our recent podcast guest, Riley Soley (Marketing and Media Executive and EDI officer at ESports Insiders) had to say about the advantages and disadvantages of online events:
“There’s no limit to who you can have a digital event, but there are more restrictions when it comes to marketing and selling that because it’s almost like who’s going to pay to sit in front of their laptop and watch something?
It’s harder to market that kind of event. But like I said, if anything, the content that we could cover in the digital events was more diverse because we were able to get more diverse speakers from anywhere. So it’s kind of like there are benefits and there’s not because, you know, it’s a completely different way of organising and marketing an event.”
Marketing an online event is a much harder task, people don’t see the same amount of value in an online event as the experience is missing – the human connection aspect is a lot less valued. Be that as it may, online events allow for a whole host of people to be present that would otherwise have been excluded from the event due to geographical location, expense and availability.
Riley commented on the value of in-person events over digital:
“With E-Sports, it’s really important to get people under the same roof because you get these people together and you can create some magic, not only with like networking, which is it’s that’s the key to our events really is providing a place and an environment where people can network, where people can talk about what it is they’re doing in the industry and build like valuable partnerships.
So that in that sense makes it really important to get these people together, have a bit of fun, have a few drinks, listen to some panels like talk, talk about like topics that, you know, are really interesting in e-sports at the moment.”
With these points in mind, let’s explore the differences between marketing an online versus a face-to-face event.
With a face-to-face event, you have the added attraction of activities, food and drink that the attendees can experience whilst at your event. However, there is a need for extra sponsorship when it comes to putting on and marketing a face-to-face event as you require a venue, food, drink, people to run the events on the day, and the list goes on. Equally though, you can advertise the event as being an experience and a fun day out for all people in your industry, increasing the value of the event.
To conclude, both online and face-to-face events can be extremely valuable and provide an amazing opportunity to promote your business and encourage connections in your industry. Each has their individual drawbacks and benefits, the most important thing is deciding which fits your industry better and what kind of event you want to provide for your consumers.