Are Virtual Events a Viable Alternative? 

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to many businesses turning to Virtual Events as a viable alternative to in person events to conduct trade and do business. While this concept is not new, the need for business continuity has hastened both technology and services making virtual events more accessible a much-needed alternative to hoping for a return to normalcy. 

What are virtual events? 

Virtual events are simply events that are held online. They are as simple webinar formats hosted on Zoom to full scale replicas held on virtual platforms complete with features that mimic the typical in person mega conference.  

Circumventing COVID-19 restrictions has never been easier. The basic kick starter package is a subscription to a virtual platform, a laptop with a camera, and a stable internet connection.  

The advantages 

Virtual events are a great alternative for companies to do business. And in some instances, the “only way” as Covid 19 restrictions bear down heavily on the industry. Let’s talk about some advantages:  

1. Certainty in an uncertain space 

Covid has made planning for in person activities a major cost risk as the unpredictability of government health and safety measures forces us to review the desirability for in person events. 

However, virtual events never face such problems the internet allows us to connect virtually without fear of cancellation.  

2. Global reach 

The internet is a powerful tool, which means closed borders, significant travel costs or inconveniences can easily be avoided while you engage a global audience. But do bear in mind time zones and the varying degrees of internet stability in certain countries.  

Thanks to technology, people from anywhere are able to attend an event, more opportunities are opening up for folks who don’t otherwise get a chance at some of these exciting gatherings with top experts on so many different subjects. 

3. Excellent interactivity

Listen, ask, meet, take brochures, and discuss with your audience in real-time. Virtual event allows for a richer experience. 

Here are some activities you can tap into: 

  • Ask a question incognito or tell everyone who you are.  
  • Break out rooms for private negotiations are. 
  • Provide downloadable promo vouchers to generate conversions. 

The more advanced virtual platform allows all and offers a wide range of features that you can utilize. 

Furthermore, virtual events allow for instant, on demand access. You and your attendees can rewatch it anytime. 

4. Quality data 

Many virtual platforms now incorporate “heat maps” and provide greater insights into attendee behaviour. The ability to gauge customer interest and purchase consideration is now captured by the digital footprint of what an attendees go, asks and does in the virtual room. Customisation of a conversation strategy is now aided by such technologically advanced tools.  

5. Scalability

Most virtual platforms can now accommodate just about any desired audience size.  

There is no need for expensive hotel rooms, catering, or travel. Online audiences can be found in many places including social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other niche communities like forums. 

With virtual events, there are no location barriers so you can make them feel as though they are in the same room together. The size of the event place and the number of seats is not going to be a problem. 

6. Affordability 

Virtual events mean that you don’t have to worry about the usual costs of organizing a physical event. No travel expenses, no venue fees, no extra manpower, no catering services, and a lot less built-up cost. 

That’s the beauty of virtual events. All these savings can instead be used to make the event more interactive and allow for more participant incentives.  


While virtual events may never fully replace in person events, there are some clear benefits for businesses. Coupled with rapid advanced advances in technology and fast-improving service offerings of event providers virtual events are definitely here to stay as a viable and cost-effective alternative.  

If you’re looking to create your very own virtual event, ESG can help you plan out successful virtual experiences from planning to execution.