Over the last few weeks, the world seems to have come to a standstill. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak many of us are holed up at home and a number of events that took an extraordinary amount of time and effort to put together were postponed or canceled. As we’re all practicing social distancing, networking and connecting with like-minded people is harder than before. We can’t go to happy hour or engineer serendipity. However, a number of event managers have decided to help us stay connected and meet new people by moving their events online.
Virtual events are quite different from in-person events, but if you’re an event manager, going virtual presents an opportunity to bring more people together and transcend the boundaries of geography. While real-life human connection is important to effective networking, we’re quite optimistic about the power of online events to connect like-minded folks. If you are considering moving your event online, here are some of the advantages going virtual offers:
Expand your audience. Hosting an online event means that you’re no longer constrained by the limitations of geography and anyone, anywhere can attend. Your content can reach people outside of your local community, expanding your audience to include people who might not be able to attend otherwise. This way you can grow your community by engaging people from different locations and exponentially grow your audience.
Increase speaker diversity. No geographic constraints means that you can book great speakers who would typically need to travel in order to participate in one of your events. Maybe it’s challenging to find successful female or minority founders in your location? Or you’d like to share a viewpoint that’s more popular in another geography? A virtual event would allow you to invite interesting people from all over the world to share their perspectives with your audience, helping people learn directly from someone who is not a part of the local network.
Build a larger community. One of the best parts of hosting a networking event is that it brings interesting people together. Given that a virtual event would naturally expand your audience to multiple geographies, it would make it easier to build a community that connects people across different cities, countries and even continents. By bringing people who wouldn’t meet otherwise together, your events would spark more connections and impact more lives, one conversation at a time.