In a time where attending an event in person can be dangerous for the attendees, online events and social media events have started to become more popular for a number of reasons. Holding an online event allows people from around the world to engage with each other safely while fulfilling their needs socially. Did I mention that online events are significantly cheaper than holding an event in-person?
Holding online events and social media events isn’t just popular during a pandemic. There are lots of reasons why people appreciate online events because it allows them to attend when they otherwise could not, for example:
Those are just a few examples of situations that can prevent someone from attending an event in-person. In these scenarios, an online event or an event on social media allows them to still be able to participate in the event.
Having an online event or social media event is also cheaper than having an event in-person. No need to rent an event space, hire catering, pay for decorations, or any of the other costly components of live events. The main costs associated with an online event are the video hosting platform, if it isn’t free, the online event marketing, and the time needed to plan and structure the virtual event.
Facebook Live: (Cost - Free) Facebook Live is a free feature of the social media network for live streaming events. Facebook Live has interactive features allowing Facebook followers to participate in the live stream through chat and emojis. Facebook Live videos don’t even have to be “live” because they can also be scheduled ahead of time.
Zoom: (Cost - Free, $14.99/Month/License, $19.99/Month/License) Zoom offers free plans for 100 Participants for 40 minutes all the way up to paid plans for meetings of up to 1,000 participants and 49 screens on view at once. Both free and paid plans offer private chat, video recordings, virtual backgrounds and more.
Google Hangouts: (Cost - Free, $10/User/Month, $20/User/Month) For a limited time, Google is offering all plans of it’s video conferencing software for free. The official plan pricing begins Oct. 1st. 2020. Google’s video conferencing service can bring 250 participants on a call, live-stream for up to 100,000 viewers within a domain, and use Google Drive to record and archive meetings.
Cisco WebEx: (Cost - Free, $13.50/Month/Host, $17.95/Month/Host, $26.95/Month/Host) Cisco’s video hosting services have plans to support 100-200 participants, have options for unlimited meeting times, and offer toll-call dial-in, along with existing VoIP capabilities.
Microsoft Teams: (Cost - Free for 500,000 attendees per organisation) Using Microsoft Teams as a video hosting platform for live events works best in situations where the audience watches the video but does not participate in the call. The live events from Microsoft Teams can scale from small meeting to gathering of up to 10,000 attendees.
Many people have a perception that there are very few types of events that can successfully be conducted online but that view is changing. There are a number of in-person events that can transition into digital events or social media events with a little creativity. Here are just a few examples of in-person events that can also be conducted as an online event or social media event.
There are lots of ways to prevent any hiccups or headaches for an online event. Some people aren’t as tech-savvy as others and have a hard time getting acquainted with the process of attending a virtual event. Others can be confused about the schedule, what tool to use. Here are some tips for shifting an in-person event to an online event smoothly.
While changing an in-person event to an online event can feel overwhelming and impossible, once you start to look into the ways you could make it work, you might be surprised at how feasible an online event can be. With the right event marketing and planning, a virtual event can be just as if not even more successful than an in-person event. What kinds of events have you held online lately, and what tips would you have for others trying to do the same?