Advantages of digital events over live events
Live events as we used to know them no longer take place since 2020 – but what are the advantages of digital events?
At first it was a big change for the entire event industry – especially concept agencies like the team nice :-).
So far very few agencies had experience with online events and were geared towards developing their concepts with special live elements.
But after more than 10 months it is certain now: the digital events are really popular. All tools that have been developed in the last few months to make an online event lively and interactive are experiencing enormous growth.
The only question is – is it all just hype or a long-term change in event design?
We asked ourselves what the future of the event industry will look like and what to expect after the pandemic has flattened out. Do we even want to go back to live events or do the online events simply offer the greater advantages?
Nobody can say when live events may take place again in their known form and orientation or when people will like to take part in a live event carefree again. Because after months of warnings and restrictions and after the never-ending media fire on current distribution figures, this is a factor that should not be neglected!
Hygiene and how we have to deal with it …
What we do know is that hygiene awareness has increased in all of us. This is surprising considering the fact that certain hygiene requirements can be expected when meeting other people anyways. Even without a dangerous virus, this topic should never be ignored!
The word of the hour is now “hygiene concept” in order to bring some bureaucracy back into planning security. And these hygiene concepts will be with us for a long time to come and will become an integral part of events.
By the way – we have already described what you have to pay attention to with such a concept in a blog: https://www.team-nice.de/en/hygiene-concept-this-is-how-it-works/
Back to the initial question: What are the advantages of digital events – which in our opinion should lead to an interesting discussion.
Some believe that in a year everyone will be back on the road with live events, others are firmly committed to the online topic. In their opinion, the development can no longer be reversed and most people prefer to take advantage of an online appointment than to go from A to B to attend a lecture or a trade fair.
Maybe that’s true. But it may also be that there are certain events for which you can’t find an online solution. Especially since Europe is still not as advanced as the USA. Where some interactive techniques from the gaming sector are used for events that have not yet found fans among marketing departments in companies in Germany due to their special user interface.
You are currently experiencing a boom in online workshops and online meetings, which are rarely so exciting that you follow the topic undisturbed. It’s also so easy to turn off your camera and check your emails on your smartphone or be on social media 😉
We have already written something about digital event concepts and ideas in previous blogs. So it is definitely interactive and exciting, whereby you should always keep in mind that “the spice lies in the shortness”. No lecture longer than 40 minutes online.
With all the pros and cons: everything is subjective. In the end, everyone has to decide for themselves which gadgets of digital events they want to use or whether it should be a live event after all. But there are some points where you can clearly distinguish between online and live.
Clearly a point for the digital events! The Internet enables unlimited capacity worldwide. No matter when, no matter where, no matter how many – online there is an infinite amount of connectivity that you could never realize live.
Digital platforms make it easier to get in touch with other participants and the speakers. The inhibition threshold to speak up is much lower. There are many options to speak, such as the chat function or 1 on 1 networking. Since the person you want to contact is notified immediately, you can easily and directly establish a conversation. At live events you rarely have such close contact with the keynotes. So it actually offers an advantage to contact persons online and thus create a more intensive exchange. On the other hand, the online meeting remains non-binding and often impersonal. The obligatory business card helps if you want to network well. The screen is on a different level and doesn’t offer the same familiarity or sense of community. Tie!
Clear advantages of digital events: there are no travel, accommodation or food costs for the organizers and participants. In addition, there is no need to book a location, which often takes up most of the budget. For hybrid events you sometimes need an external location, as your own rooms are not technically equipped. But a lot developing is taking place and in the near future a digital event can be recorded in all business premises without any problems.
One of our most important goods. Nobody has it, everyone needs it. Ideally, the day should have 30 hours or more so that everything can be done and there is still enough time for private life. Work-life balance has probably never been more important than in times of home office.
For this reason in particular, digital events fit perfectly into our everyday lives. No arrival and departure, no babysitter organization, no shifting of appointments. Even if it doesn’t fit so well, a webinar can easily run on the side. If you just think about how many live events you attended in 2019 compared to the online events you attended in 2020 – you can say that the events you witnessed have doubled, if not tripled. So we can gain knowledge in less time, which makes the virtual world the winner on this point too. The only question that arises is: does this flood of knowledge make sense?
Return on investment is essential for a successful event. On the one hand, we can use it to determine how much the participants liked the event and, on the other hand, it helps to implement optimizations for upcoming events. Great: with digital events you get feedback during the event. There are various tools for this, which have a lively and interactive character. So we’re not talking about a “survey” but rather a module that creates ratings. With these tools you have everything written down and can use the comments for your evaluation. At live events we often experience that the participants have to fill out a feedback form afterwards, which means more time and effort for the guests and the organizers. So 6:1 for digital events.
In the last months we all learned more about the digital opportunities. What was new and exciting at the beginning is now well known. Nevertheless, there are always new formats, new apps and new platforms that inspire us. The digital possibilities are so diverse that it never gets boring. Creative impulses are provided through modern forms of cooperation, so that completely new impulses can arise. Point for the colorful and diverse online world.
Difficult to say who is ahead here. The basic requirement for a digital event is obviously the technology. Without a good technology service provider, it can quickly become a disruptive factor. You have to be able to rely 100% on your partner and trust him / her blindly. This is essential and unfortunately all too often the organizers ignore it. Professional technology has its price and it pays off! Back to the opposite pole, the live event. Since a long time it is clear that good technology should be considered as the basis for a successful event. The good thing about live events: you have a few more options to intervene if the technology does not work 100%. Improvisation is only possible “live”. That’s why the point goes to the live events.
The attention and creativity often cannot develop in the way that it can in an inspiring place. Plus, there are plenty of distractions at home or in the office that can get you out of a webinar quickly. If the digital event is not designed to be 100% exciting, the mobile phone tends to come in between. Live it is something different – the inhibition threshold to look at the cell phone is much greater during a real presentation. Point for live events!
Environmental protection is also becoming an increasingly important issue in the event industry. When you think of the garbage that is produced at a trade fair, questioning certain necessities becomes an obligation … That is why the industry has to change and become more sustainable! Online events are a first step to achieve this goal. Resources and emissions are saved, which makes a significant contribution to environmental protection. However, garbage data is also an environmental problem. So it’s not all gold that glitters. The last point still goes to the online events.
Online events won 7 categories, whereas the live events unfortunately only managed to collect 3 points. The question still arises: why do so many people want the live events back? The answer: emotions!
We love encounters so much because they connect people. Intense memories are created and because they help us to escape everyday life for that one moment. Even if the technical possibilities are diverse and a solid infrastructure exists, online events can never achieve what live events can. The digital experience may be convincing on paper, but there is a lot more to a great event than a checklist and facts.
So our hearts leap for joy when we can finally hold your live events again and can accompany you from the organization to the implementation!
Of course, we have also dealt with a number of hybrid and digital topics over the past year and implemented a lot of them.
Experience has shown us that these techniques are not a 100% replacement, but a very useful addition. “Hybrid” in particular will certainly keep its place in the company’s communication plans.
By the way … more about all of our experiences and event ideas can be found on facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Xing or our website.
Because as long as we can only connect virtually, we look forward to meeting you on each of these platforms!
And later on for a coffee or tea in our friendly agency rooms in Essen Kettwig.