How Virtual Events are Changing Remote Work

Virtual events have entered a golden age, as companies move to virtual solutions covering business needs for safety and convenience. The benefits of hosting virtual events mean that they will continue to be valid and popular options. Both internal and external business needs can be met through hosting virtual events, and Your Event Marketplace can help. By browsing our directory, you can find the right event to draw your team closer together. 

The Trend Toward Remote Employment

The trend towards remote employment is not new but has exploded since the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most offices have at least some, if not all, of their employees working at home. The benefits to this model are clear—not only is it safer now, but more geographical diversity in the workforce allows companies to find the best match for a particular team, wherever they might be. Companies can save on office space and facility overhead while continuing to produce quality work.

This is to say that remote employment will continue to rise in the future, even as the world turns to a post-pandemic environment. This presents a challenge to companies as they work to maintain employee engagement and a corporate culture that encourages focus and productivity. The importance of business events in retention and recognition should not be abandoned in the age of the virtual employee.

Why Are Virtual Events Important?

Studies have shown that employee engagement and satisfaction are key to office productivity and a company’s bottom line. Disengagement is a pervasive issue in the modern workplace. When working from home, these issues intensify. In a remote situation, companies must work virtually to reproduce the camaraderie of a positive corporate culture.

When all employees are physically present in the office, networking occurs naturally, in the break room or at the water cooler. Instant messaging software used in the remote workplace encourage communication and coordination, but chance encounters with coworkers beyond immediate teammates are far less common. When most communication happens through text, it takes special effort to build rapport and team cohesion. Virtual team-building exercises and shared experiences can work to encourage cooperation and team interaction.

All work and no play can cripple a company from within by reducing employee engagement and satisfaction. Happy hours, birthday celebrations, product launches, and other events help perpetuate a feeling of connection and belonging within a team. Consider team-building events that include entertainment, games, or music to allow attendees to relax and bond. Virtual events preserve employees’ sense of value and investment in a changing world.

Are Virtual Events Effective?

Virtual events are important to modern companies, for both internal and external audiences. Internally, these events draw physically distant teams together, create spaces for a diverse workforce to communicate, and create value for employees. By utilizing virtual events, companies can lower travel and venue costs while increasing reach.

In addition, lowered barriers to attendance and increased audience capabilities mean that you can reach a unity of message that is difficult to achieve through smaller live events. For companies working to maintain corporate culture and employee engagement, providing one source of information and planning can reduce confusion and misinformation.

Breakout rooms, chat functionality, and Q&A capabilities can directly encourage personal interaction, allowing employee communication both within and across teams. This cross-pollination can benefit the whole company, reducing the silo mentality that can cripple creativity and product development.

In our directory, virtual service providers can claim their listings to increase visibility and show how their services can benefit and create an effective experience for event attendees. Our listings are designed to create an easy way to see all of the options available to suit the individual needs of a specific event.

Potential Pitfalls

Virtual events are not live events. While they can serve the same purposes and advance the same agendas, they are different experiences and will have different measures of success. Both styles of events have their pros and cons; by utilizing virtual, live, and hybrid events, a company can achieve a wide array of goals. In particular, virtual events can face a unique set of challenges, which can be overcome with careful and appropriate planning.

Without a physical presence, it can be difficult to keep attendee attention, as remote work lends itself to multitasking. In order to maintain audience engagement, it is important to vary presentation styles, create space for attention breaks, and include opportunities for attendee interaction through chat or other feedback methods. In addition, feel free to include rewards for synchronous attendance, such as virtual meet and greets or coffee chats.

As previously noted, personal interaction is limited in a virtual environment, both during and following a virtual event. This can be overcome by purposefully building opportunities and spaces for audience networking and allowing the exchange of contact information. Encouraging contact with speakers, sponsors, and other attendees throughout the event, seeking real-time feedback, and virtual informational booths can increase engagement, allowing hosts, attendees, and any vendors or sponsors to readily gain information and leads in order to follow up once the event closes.

One issue common between live and virtual events is the potential for technological failure. When choosing a virtual event platform, consider scalability and stability needs. Platform providers should offer any necessary training, as well as technical support before, during, and after the event. By training all presenters and staff thoroughly on the technology being used, user error during the event can be minimized.

Wrapping Up

The importance of virtual business events cannot be understated, both during and after the pandemic. These events offer an opportunity to disseminate information, encourage interpersonal relationships, and develop a corporate culture within a large, physically distant audience. By creating space for communication, companies can obtain valuable information and offer necessary opportunities for employee engagement in the workplace.

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