Some people will use the terms in-person and live events as the same term when in fact they are not interchangeable. Before the pandemic live events would simply refer to an in-person event. Post pandemic, live events are not only in-person events but also virtual and hybrid events – creating a full user experience on all levels!
A live event simply suggests content that is happening in real-time. Whether it is an in-person, virtual, or hybrid event – any event can be considered live. Live events can be more enticing to your audience and increase attendee engagements. OVATION has been curating experiential events for the last 30 years and virtual events for over 10 years. We’ve been creating these types of adaptable experiences before they were even a necessity. Below we have listed some of the key differences between in-person and live events.
IN PERSON EVENTS
- All attendees are in-person at the location of the event
- Videos and content taking place at the event are only for those in attendance
- Can be an in-person, virtual, or a hybrid event (combination of in-person and virtual)
- Videos and content taking place at the event are live-streamed and happening in real-time
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF IN-PERSON EVENTS?
Reconnecting with Clients and Partners
By hosting an in-person event, it allows you to connect face-to-face with current clients, partners, staff, and supporters of your business or cause. Developing genuine relationships at in-person events keeps the same people coming back for more again and again. Their trust in you and your brand is established by these face-to-face interactions taking place and will allow your brand to grow and your business to expand.
Building Your Brand & Finding New Business
You can also benefit from in-person events by finding new business partners and supporters by promoting the message of your business face-to-face. This gives interested attendees the opportunity to connect with you in-person and allows them to ask questions and start building rapport and see for themselves if they are interested in supporting your brand. When attendees ask questions during in-person events it can give you a better understanding of your target market and to see firsthand the wants and needs of those in search of your products and services. Building these relationships can further your business and sales in the future.
Networking is another added benefit to live events because it allows the attendees to connect with like-minded professionals. This can easily be done at in-person events where you are creating the environment to foster these types of connections. When you partner with an event company like OVATION, we can make sure that all your business and attendees’ needs are met.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF LIVE EVENTS?
Live content, no matter what form the event is taking place (virtual or in-person), you have the opportunity to gain more real-time engagement from your audience. When events are taking place in real-time it allows for multiple Q&A sessions to take place and not only increases the engagement with the audience but also adds authenticity to the topic of the event. Attendees feel as though they are being heard, an active participant in the event, and gaining more from the experience compared to content that was just pre-recorded and pre-made Q&A segments. Here at OVATION, we have been doing experiential in-person, live, and hybrid events for over 30 years and are happy to bring our expertise to the table to help you plan the best real-time engagement.
Increased Audience Attendance
Pre pandemic we would use the term “live events” and we would be referring to them as in-person – one in the same. Now, with the changing landscape of events, virtual and hybrid events can also be LIVE events – meaning they happen in “real-time”. By having a live event, you not only create a sense of urgency because attendees know the content is happening in real-time, but you have the ability to boost your audience attendance by up to 30% (especially when you add in the virtual/hybrid event options). The more people you can reach, the better opportunities you have to exceed your event goals.
Networking Tips for Live Events
Though networking at actual in-person events is one of the biggest benefits, this can also be achieved at live virtual or hybrid events too! How so? Some people get nervous speaking in public or in person, but when they are on the other side of a computer screen it is easier for some to network and drop messages in a chat box or schedule a 1 on 1 session with those in charge of the event.
- Providing a group chat during the virtual or hybrid event also increases networking abilities by providing a space where like-minded individuals can drop questions, comments, and even email addresses for further discussion and connection. This is a source that can be referred to at a later date, unlike an in-person event where the individuals would be responsible for writing down everything that they hear.
- Breakout Sessions/Rooms Digitally: This is very popular and our team of experts here at OVATION have the right tools and technology partners to execute even the most robust speaker schedules to deliver the best ROI for your attendees.
- Virtual Activities: from having a virtual house band to pre-event photo contests to virtual games like scavenger hunts are becoming more and more popular to give your attendees a fun break throughout the conference or event.
- Post Event: if an attendee list is provided, encouraging folks to take advantage and use information from the live event to reach out on LinkedIn or via email to keep the conversation going. This allows for some meaningful engagement plus extends the reach of the event’s footprint.
WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF VIRTUAL EVENTS?
Seeing that virtual events have become so popular post-pandemic; it’s important to understand the pros and cons of virtual events. Here is a list of the pros and cons that virtual events offer to help you decide what type of event is the best fit for your business.
- Attendees can enjoy your event from the comfort of their own home or office
- Larger attendance is predicted due to convenience
- A multitude of technology platforms available for good quality
- Having the ability to use captions to allow people to tune into the event even if they are unable to listen
- Can gather large amounts of data through those who tune into the event
- Attendees can get distracted in their current environment and important information can be missed
- Some people miss in-person events
- Limited after-hours networking opportunities
- Video quality could be low for a portion of the audience and could decrease interest if you don’t partner with the right events partner
- Personal connection between the event host and audience can get lost, so it is important to have quality technology features set in place
ARE IN-PERSON EVENTS BETTER THAN VIRTUAL EVENTS?
Honestly, if you search this question online, you will probably get 10 different answers. In-person events and virtual events both have their advantages and disadvantages. You really need to ask yourself where your attendees are traveling from (local or would there be extra travel expenses involved), what kind of budget you are working with and what your ultimate goals are.
What sets OVATION apart from other event companies is that we have the power to bring the in-person experience to the virtual user by providing an EXPERIENTIAL EVENT. We work with clients to create seamless events from creative to execution. You also have the ability with a strong event partner like us to create a “Hybrid” event.
WHAT OVATION CAN PROVIDE FOR HYBRID OR VIRTUAL EVENTS
- Platform Assessments and Recommendations
- Platform Build and Development
- Remote Speaker Support
- Attendee Interactivity
- Mobile App Integration
- Video On-Demand
- Analytics Reporting For Attendee Behavior Tracking
WHAT OVATION CAN PROVIDE FOR IN-PERSON AND VIRTUAL EVENTS
- Virtual and Live Event Design and Execution
- Production Scheduling and Program Show Flow Development
- Live Presentation and Remote Presenter Presentation (Live Streaming and Individuals & Panels Recording/Editing)
- Content Collection and Distribution
- Integration of Live Programming Into Virtual Event Platform and/or Streaming Solution
Here at OVATION, we would be more than happy to schedule a consultation to determine the best route for your specific needs. Not only are we adaptable, but we have 30 years of experience proving to our clients again and again that we deliver quality.