How Digital Events Compare to the Live Events

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Teresa Lee

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say every trade show, festivals, and expositions has been either canceled or postponed. Some say nothing could ever beat the experience of attending a live event. However, given the circumstances, it only makes sense that more and more companies are starting to invest and rely on digital tools and platforms to enhance the real experience that people are missing out on.

Here are some of the major key differences I’ve gathered for a virtual event versus a live event.

1) Cost

If you were to attend a virtual event, you would be saving from what you would typically spend at a conference. you are also saving yourself from spending loads of money in a span of just a few days to a single week. These external costs can include:

  • Conference fee
  • Flying: airfare, Uber to/from airport or airport parking fees
  • Driving: mileage/gas, tolls, and hotel parking fees
  • Lodging
  • Meals & Entertainment

2) Time Pressure

While live events may require you to book hotels and stays months in advance, you could attend virtual events in the comfort of your home. It also means you can easily register just a few hours prior to the virtual event.

3) Networking

Networking face-to-face certainly delivers more of that opportunity to meet someone in a closer setting. On the other hand, networking interface-to-interface can provide a much more comfortable and laid-back environment for those nervous attendees on-site. Looking someone in the eyes and saying hello just cannot simply weigh the same way in virtual events and you will miss that personal touch that is often the key driver of business partnerships. New ways of getting personal during virtual events are required.

4) Turn Out Rate

As easy it is to register for an event virtually, it is also just as easy for a registrant to decide not to show up last minute. Reason being, there is nothing for the registrant to lose because there were no commitments. Even when an attendee shows up for the virtual event, it is very likely that the attendee is not fully immersed within a virtual conference. A virtual event can just possibbly be another tab opened on the laptop and people can always be multitasking while listening to the speaker in the background.

5) Availability

As for a live event, it may discourage a lot of people to attend because of time differences and unavailability. However, in a digital world, it is much more convenient to schedule and attend some of these sessions. For instance, if someone was unable to watch the session live, he or she can always simply request to watch on-demand and watch the sessions in their time of preference. Being able to run through the entire show digitally, the attendee swill know that they’ve seen everything and can go back to revisit whenever they want.

Of course, all of these factors weigh in for each individual differently, so some may prefer live or virtual events more.