Embracing the Shift to Online Events & Webinars

2 Jun

With more people working from home and the focus being on staying home as much as possible, many event organisers have embraced the online world to ensure that their events, conferences, and expos can still go ahead as planned.

While one would think that hosting an event online instead of at a venue, which has been the norm for many years, would present a plethora of challenges, that’s not really the case. Of course, a sudden shift to a whole new way of doing things can present teething problems, but it seems that many events have already managed to go ahead online and have done so with great success.

With telecommuting, online learning, webinars and the like gaining huge traction worldwide, security experts are warning key stakeholders and business owners that they will need to enforce a holistic data protection strategy. Security breaches can happen to any platform that hasn’t taken the proper measures to protect itself and experts stress the importance of securing sensitive data using an encrypted and automated online backup service.

Successful Online Events

Let’s take the PancakesCon 2020 event that went ahead as the “Quarantine Edition” this year. The conference was pulled together within a week and was still able to connect over 3 000 attendees and 1 000 competitors. There was a learning village, introductory talks, and multi-track live streaming.

Event organisers gathered considerable know-how from this event and the lessons learnt can benefit all businesses needing to restructure events from in-person attendance to virtual attendance. Here are just a few of the positive aspects:

  • Fewer hurdles and challenges for organisers and attendees
  • No need to spend time looking for a suitable physical venue
  • Fewer overhead expenses
  • Fewer logistics
  • Bigger turnout as attendees don’t have to travel

These benefits are particularly favourable for international events. Now, the attendee who would have possibly had to travel many hours across the globe, deal with jetlag and spend thousands on accommodation, transport, meals and more, can stay home and enjoy all the same features and benefits of the event – at minimal cost.

More Benefits of Online Events and Webinars

For corporations and entities, the benefits can be far-reaching, opening up participation to those who for one reason or another would have been unable to travel to a particular country or event. Consider the following possible benefits:

  • Colleagues who would have previously been excluded from attending the event can now be included. This makes conferences and events more inclusive for example to those who would not have been able to travel to certain events because of travel restrictions, visa complications or even a lack of funds.
  • Senior management often unable to take the time required to attend an event in another province or country due to a busy schedule, can now choose to attend specific speakers and addresses, and better manage their time.
  • Exposure of industry specifics to young talent. Webinars and remote conferences provide a less intimidating environment for young talent to learn about key trends and key ideas in industry forum discussions. Improving engagement in cybersecurity, for example, exposes young talent to a career opportunity that doesn’t look set to decrease any time soon!

Host Your Next Conference Online & See for Yourself

As South African companies adapt to a new way of doing business with the restrictions on travel and a remote workforce, the shift to virtual conferences and events represents a necessary and even advantageous solution. With the on-going development and availability of software designed specifically for remote workers and online meetings, perhaps it’s time to stop and pause for thought – do you really need to host your next event in person?

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