The ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 has put actual events to a complete standstill, which is why organizations are congregating to the virtual event platforms to address and deliver content to the audience. With several trade shows and conferences being cancelled and postponed because of concerns surrounding the novel coronavirus outbreak, marketing teams across companies have geared up to reallocate funds associated to such shows and events. In the realm of this pandemic, the lockdown on in-person events has resulted in an upsurge of virtual events being launched. A virtual event or an online event is a collaborative gathering that ensues on the web. The key advantage of virtual events is that a remote attendee can participate in it from any corner of the world, given that the person has access to the internet.
Amidst this COVID-19 pandemic, companies can pivot to a virtual event, so as to guarantee quarantine alongside their investments and revenue. Instead of outright terminating an event that wears down connections with the company’s network, shifting to a virtual event conveys the message that the firm is committed to its onlookers. Furthermore, presenting what is promised, even though conditions have imposed a changeover in the event format, informs the audience that the company is solution focused as well as committed to deliver. Companies such as Oracle, Demandbase Inc., Adobe, Outreach.IO, and Inverta have chosen to host virtual events to fill in the content and engagement gap from real life events, which had been canceled or postponed. For instance, Oracle is hosting an autonomous database virtual workshop on 15th April 2020, where the applicants can watch live demos, interact with product experts, and take part in self-guided labs from their remote locations. Adobe has decided to cancel the live event in Las Vegas and make Summit/Imagine 2020 a virtual event this year.
Virtual events or online events are expected to witness a growth in their demand over the coming period, mainly due to the lockdowns imposed globally. The virtual event platforms do not have space limitations allowing the companies to increase their online audience and relish more content for their marketing inventory. Additionally, the key factors that are fueling the virtual events market growth are surge in the number of business events and growing need to enhance competitive responsiveness. Globalization has led to a rise in information coverage that drives the virtual events industry growth. The growing eminence of social networking sites and online media have boosted the idea of virtual events and similar virtual meetings on video conferencing, web conferencing, collaboration tools, breakout sessions, and online communication.
Unified Communications & Collaboration (UC&C) and video conferencing are the more prevalent application segment of the virtual events market. Software as a service (SaaS) based models and Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS)- based models are gaining prominence in the industry, especially from the Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs), which in turn constitute a large number of the overall businesses worldwide and determine the virtual events’ progress. Companies are shifting to virtual events for necessary news releases, digital magazine launch, or summits as they allow a faster exchange of instantaneous information and data with a cost-effective commute. For instance, Demandbase Inc. opted for a virtual event to deliver the keynote address of the year 2020 to their audiences.
The virtual platforms are being widely used across several sectors including education, finance & banking, healthcare, hospitality, among others. Currently the technology is being embraced globally by businesses to host events pertaining to a product launch that is required to reach masses, or there is a significant sponsor revenue losses or the draw of a difficult-to-book speaker yet to uphold the original date and deliver a replica of the experience. Companies are continually striving to expand their global footprint, which thereby intensifies the need and demand for a communication platform without physical boundaries that reaches mass population. The convergence of data plays a crucial role in improving business opportunities, consequently generating an augmented demand for international communication services for data sharing. Virtual events such as online meetings, video conferencing, video calls, instant messaging, and online chats allow information sharing in real-time and moreover, enables firms to reduce their communication expenses substantially.
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Marketers are exploring the potential of organizing virtual events, due the covid19 pandemic. Virtual exhibition platforms are getting more visitors on their online digital trade shows and sales portals. The success of scheduled virtual events in the coming months, which we will be tracking, would provide more clarity on their popularity and effectiveness. The report will account for Covid-19 as a key market contributor.