This Startup Enables Human Connections at Virtual Events

Live events are all about connection. We all know that. Back before the pandemic, brands and publishers were increasingly investing in live events as a way to build their profiles and generate revenue. Sixty-five percent of business-to-business marketers in the professional services industry were hosting conferences by the end of 2019, and 87% believed in-person events were a “critical component” to their company’s success. 

Then the pandemic hit. In an instant, live events all but disappeared.

Conferences, seminars, festivals, and leadership courses were postponed, cancelled, or moved to online-only in 2020. Even the Sundance Film Festival was transformed into an almost entirely remote event. Although the virtual events industry grew at a steady clip throughout the year, brands struggled to reproduce what was traditionally one of the most important features of live, in-person events: human connections.

Networking and building connections with other industry leaders was one of the primary reasons why people attended live events before the pandemic. In a world where virtual events have become the norm, brands, publishers, and B2B companies are struggling to reproduce the human connections that people crave in an digital-first environment.

A new startup called Welcome is working on a solution. 

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Why It Still Pays to Host Virtual Events in 2021

In 2020, virtual events became a necessity. COVID-19 resulted in lockdowns, closures, and strict social distancing requirements, quickly halting all in-person events. Event organizers had to adapt quickly to reimagine their events in a safe virtual space.

Fortunately, virtual platforms have allowed events to continue despite lockdowns. In 2021, people who are growing weary of lockdowns and social distancing need virtual events more than ever before. These events offer attendees an opportunity to connect, learn, and unwind, helping to build connections even when they’re still socially distancing.

Even as COVID-19 restrictions ease, virtual events will continue to be important. In the last year alone, the benefits of virtual events have become clear, and organizers have quickly learned how to run virtual events. While in-person events will be welcomed when conditions allow, virtual events are sure to stick around for these key reasons.

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How to host a virtual event: 10 expert tips

Experts share their best advice for organising a successful event online.

In the last few weeks many cancelled events, from concerts to conferences, have been replaced by virtual ones. And in the process, many are realising that moving events online isn’t just about damage control; it actually brings benefits of its own. 

“For a start, the reach can be much greater,” notes Olga de Giovanni, global PR and communications manager at marketing and media consultancy Ebiquity. “Our initial webinars, for example, attracted five to 10 times as many participants as we’d typically get, and we reached an international audience too.”

Vinda Souza, VP of global communications at Bullhorn, is also enthused by the possibilities of virtual events. “The fact there’s virtually no barrier to attendance, other than internet access, means there’s capacity to invite way more people,” she says. “Those who couldn’t otherwise afford to travel, be away from their computer, leave overnight and be away from their family, or have mobility concerns, can now attend.”

So how do you make your event a success? In this article, we gather the best advice from both veterans and those who’ve recently joined the party.

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