In recent years, virtual events have become an invaluable strategy for entrepreneurs and coaches to boost brand awareness and sell high-ticket offers.
Live workshops, masterclasses, and online summits are not only extremely low-cost to run, they can also reach audiences all over the world. Better yet, according to one survey, 77.2% of people prefer virtual events as they are so easy to attend.
Hosting a face-to-face event in a physical location is often unrealistic for small business owners due to the heavy planning and high logistical costs involved. But no matter what stage of entrepreneurship you’re in, you can start enjoying the benefits of virtual events in as little as a few days.
While the pandemic certainly accelerated the virtual and hybrid events trend, the market shows no sign of slowing. In fact, the most innovative companies are now embracing this model as a part of their strategy to bring in consistent income.
So if you are asking yourself “why do a virtual event?”, read on to discover the benefits of leveraging them to boost sales and build authority.
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What is a Virtual Event?
A virtual event is any type of gathering that happens online. Events typically offer value to the target audience, teaching information or expertize on a particular topic.
Virtual events can involve a single host or multiple speakers, and they can be a one-off or span several days. Attendees can log in to attend the event from their computer or mobile devices with just an internet connection from anywhere in the world.
There are many types of virtual events, including:
- Virtual workshops
- Virtual summits
- Virtual conferences
- Virtual exhibitions
- Virtual fairs
- Networking sessions
Varying event types generate revenue in different ways. Depending on your goals and business type, one may be more relevant than another.
For example, a virtual summit may aim to build brand awareness and authority, and make money from charging for extended or VIP access. Another model may involve offering a free masterclass or webinar in order to pitch a high-ticket coaching offer at the end.
You can run online events with just a computer with camera access and a video conferencing software or virtual event platform. Advanced platforms may offer features like audience chat, polls, break-out rooms, discussion forums, virtual expo halls, and more.
12 Benefits of Virtual Events for Your Coaching Business
Here’s why you won’t regret embracing virtual events’ numerous advantages for your business.
1. They are cost-effective to run
An in-person event typically has high upfront costs, including venue hire, catering and food expenses, travel costs, and accommodation. With limited capacity for attendees, you must prepare yourself to foot the bill, charge significant registration costs, or find event sponsors to make it financially viable.
In contrast, virtual events involve zero logistical costs, travel, or accommodation costs. The most significant cost is typically the virtual event platform. Depending on the type of event you are hosting, additional costs might include:
- Hiring speakers and moderators
- Creating resources for your audience
- Investing in recording equipment
With such low overheads, the virtual event model is low-risk and highly profitable. This makes them viable for all types of businesses and entrepreneurs.
2. You will save serious time
Hand in hand with cost savings, running events virtually involves a fraction of the time investment. Save months on time-consuming tasks from logistical organization to being on hand to resolve onsite problems.
Here are some key time-savers when running a virtual event:
- No need to liaise with physical venues, suppliers, and caterers
- Online registration instead of extended in-person greetings
- Zero travel time necessary
- No need for organizing logistical details from seating plans to accommodation
Bypassing long-winded organizational tasks can hugely reduce timelines. Not only does this save you and your event planners hours, but it also means you can adapt content to fast-evolving markets. Planning events with shorter lead times allows you to stay flexible and provide the most relevant content possible.
3. They bring in new leads
According to Markletic, 45.7% of marketers say the primary goal of hosting virtual events is to generate a pipeline. Virtual events can help you stop chasing clients with ineffective cold outreach and instead attract an influx of qualified inbound leads.
With an effective sales strategy and follow-ups, your event takes care of the conversions, turning a percentage of those leads into sales. For example, pitching your high-ticket offer at the end of a webinar.
Not only can a virtual event bring in direct sales, but it also fills up your email list with warm, high-quality leads for you to nurture over time. At the same time, your content creates trust with your audience and makes them more likely to buy from you now or down the line. It is one of the most effective ways to generate leads for your business that are likely to actually buy.
4. They are accessible and flexible
Flexible, quick, and affordable access to virtual events instantly maximizes attendance and helps you reach a wider audience.
Unlike in-person events and hybrid events, virtual ones have no limits on capacity. They typically have lower registration fees too, and attendees have the flexibility to attend from their own homes. With no travel necessary, costs are even lower, and attendees can fit the event around their busy schedules.
Removing significant obstacles helps you to be inclusive. Being able to log in from home makes events more accessible for those with disabilities, financial challenges, or obligations like childcare.
Digital events also offer the option to add things like speech-to-text captions, extending the event’s reach to those with hearing impairments. Ultimately, virtual events tend to reach more people and make a bigger impact.
Finally, virtual events offer more flexibility and choice to attendees in terms of content. In traditional conference-style events, guests may have to choose between parallel talks or workshops. Virtually, they can catch both by watching one as a replay.
5. They build trust and authority
Building an impeccable personal brand is a non-negotiable if you want to stand out in today’s competitive market. Trust and authority are some of the most important elements that lead people to buy from you. Virtual events are a powerful way to quickly build trust with your audience.
Seeing you in action helps people get to know the face behind the brand, connect with your personality, and learn whether or not you resonate with them. As you are in control of the content, you have a chance to tell your story, show your credentials in the space, and mention how you have successfully helped others.
Unlike traditional sales strategies, many virtual events follow a value-first model. This means you provide up-front value before a customer invests in your offer. The more high-quality, actionable value you provide, the more trust and authority you will build.
However, it is important to position your offer in a way that leads on as a logical next step from the event. Your audience should be left feeling your services will help them achieve their goals.
6. You can reach worldwide audiences
In-person events have the barrier of being in one single physical event location. This limits your potential for profit as well as the impact you can have on the world.
Although globally recognized events — think Tony Robbins — may attract attendees from different locations worldwide, most events limit themselves to local guests. Take your event worldwide by hosting it virtually.
You’ll see an increase in signups due to lower stakes and commitment. Tony Robbins and other event organizers have recently embraced the virtual event model to maximize reach and impact.
With virtual technology, a diverse audience can log in from all over the world, and some virtual event platforms even offer translated subtitles in different languages. You must be mindful of different time zones when planning your event for global audiences. However, easy recording allows you to offer replays to those who can’t join live.
7. It’s easy to measure results
A fantastic benefit of virtual events is the fact that results are super easy to measure. Manually recording attendee information on event day can be stressful, inaccurate, and limited. Instead, use your hosting platform and other tools to automatically collect data and track key metrics.
Important virtual event KPIs include:
- Time spent in break-out rooms
- Downloads of resources and content
Better data will be invaluable for understanding your event’s success and what areas can be improved. Advanced analytics may include studying in-depth attendee data, including whether they are new or returning guests.
You may monitor elements like landing page traffic and conversions using Google Analytics. You could even measure social media mentions to gauge attendee enjoyment of the event.
8. They are repeatable and scalable
One of the best things about a virtual event? Once you’ve created a profitable model, you can rinse and repeat as many times as you like. Anytime you need a cash injection, you can run another event. You can even re-use or adapt the event communications so you will never put in as much work as the first time, such as:
- Social media posts
- Text notifications
- Event schedules
Using the valuable data gathered from each event, you can improve and streamline the process as you go. Many coaches and entrepreneurs are now building virtual events into their sales strategy, running them several times a year to generate revenue.
Remember to collect feedback from attendees after the event with polls or open-ended surveys. That way, you can continue to fine-tune the event process, offering more value each time.
Unlike traditional in-person events with limited room capacities, online events are highly scalable. As you grow, you can easily update your tech stack to accommodate more people and provide a more seamless attendee experience.
9. They are sustainable
As well as the myriad of other benefits of virtual events, they are also highly environmentally friendly. With no associated travel, the virtual model reduces emissions from flights, cars, and other transportation.
In contrast to resource-heavy in-person events, virtual events also use a tiny fraction of the energy and resources of physical ones. Virtual events typically digitize elements to eliminate waste. In traditional events, many resources are single-use and simply thrown out after an event, including:
Businesses must consider global goals to reduce carbon emissions and create more sustainable business practices. Virtual events offer a responsible and future-proof way to host events.
Public opinion is also continuously evolving, with customers preferring brands that align with their values. Therefore, reducing energy consumption and choosing sustainable practices is also a strategic business decision.
10. You can pre-record content
There are multiple options for offering content when running an online, virtual event. While you can run the entire event live, you could also reduce pressure by pre-recording sessions and then setting them up to play at certain times.
Having a mix of recorded and live content can help you minimize on-the-day stress when there are multiple things to monitor and do. Having ready-to-go content is also a great backup that you can deploy should there be any hitches with speakers or technology glitches.
Live content can help you increase engagement and respond to attendees in real-time. But, being able to record content offers flexibility and security, and allows you to go at your own pace.
11. They help you create marketing content
Virtual events are perfect for helping you create evergreen content marketing materials. Convert recorded event content into a paid masterclass or free lead magnet. Or add content to a free library of downloadable content on your website. Event marketers can also save money and time by using snippets from previous events in marketing efforts for the next event.
You can use content topics and clips to create social media content, a blog post, and prompt email ideas. Why not use attendee questions and comments to inspire new content topics for future events?
12. You can creatively engage your audience
Today’s advanced technology serves up a whole host of creative engagement opportunities to captivate audiences in a virtual environment. Interactive features like chat and poll options can encourage attendance and involvement during a live event.
One-on-one virtual meetings, interactive sessions, and breakout rooms can all spark meaningful conversations amongst attendees to maximize their learnings. Creating networking opportunities and inviting diverse perspectives can encourage people to actively engage with the content and feel more personally involved.
If you have sponsors financing your event, some software even offers virtual booths for guests to visit. With the right virtual event platform, sponsors can monitor and track attendance and results instantly.
Should I Get Started with Virtual Events
If you are a business owner, entrepreneur, or coach, events in a virtual setting are an affordable way to rapidly grow your authority, generate leads, and increase revenue.
In a world where personal brands are king, events create an accelerated container in which you can connect with your audience on a personal level and show your expertize. An online event helps you expand your audience and impact people worldwide without the stress of traditional event planning.
Running a successful virtual event still comes with challenges. You must create content that resonates with your audience, choose the right hosting platform, and aptly plan your strategy.
Get expert guidance on how to hit the key elements to make your virtual summit or other event a huge success, and begin enjoying the benefits of virtual events for yourself. Scale your business, attract hot leads, and sell your high-ticket offers.