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Jun 17, 2021·9 min reading

Online event for business: what it is and why you need it

online event for business: what it is and why you need it

Due to the pandemic, our life has abruptly ceased to be the same: now, in order to study, work, communicate with loved ones and make new acquaintances, it is not necessary to go outside - any meeting, including business, can be held remotely. Or not all? How appropriate is it to bet on an online event for business in the case of your project? Let's figure it out together.

What is an online business event

These are broadcasts, webinars, online lectures in real time - everything that helps to convey valuable information to your target audience and make useful connections for future projects.

Why carry out?

An online event has the same goals as offline events:

  • present a new product to partners;
  • organize business training;
  • gather students for a seminar or lecture;
  • hold a concert
  • organize a master class;
  • hold a corporate party;
  • sum up the year;
  • congratulate employees;
  • and even host a sporting event.

Formats

Online event for business: what it is and why you need it ➤ 2

1x1

You are running a marathon with highly qualified specialists in your industry. Speakers keep in touch with the audience via chat. As a leader, you attract a well-known professional in your field.

Talk show

You create a platform for a lively live discussion. The broadcast script maintains the degree of emotions at the right level. Broadcast control remains with the moderator or speaker.

Digital Week

You pre-record material for several broadcasts. To hold an event in this format, you invite several speakers and one media presenter. All series are united by one theme. A separate landing page is created for each episode, where the program of a particular broadcast is announced, where viewers can also leave their questions on the topic. The final issue is in the format of a talk show.

Round table

An online event trend in which speakers from different countries connect to the broadcast and discuss the chosen topic. Viewers see the speakers on the same screen.

Big Event

This format is designed for a longer time - up to 3 days. Sessions on different topics can be held in parallel. The organizers use lectures in TED format and exhibitions in 3D. Ideal for presenting your own product.

Online team building

It will help to improve mutual understanding of employees working remotely.

Pros and cons of online events

Online event for business: what it is and why you need it ➤ 3

Flaws:

  • Lack of live communication

Communication at an online conference is hampered by the fact that participants have to conduct a discussion within a common chat for all participants, where, as a rule, only your nickname can be seen. Not everyone is able to simultaneously monitor what the speakers are saying and what is being said in messages from strangers. As a result, knowledge and impressions remain much less than from traditional events.

  • Underdeveloped networking

The accumulation of new connections within the industry moves the business forward. It is much easier to communicate and get acquainted at an offline event: all the participant needs is to approach the specialist of interest and start a conversation. So far, such an online networking experience is hard to imagine, but in the future, technology must meet this challenge.

  • Lack of a sense of scale

No matter how many people come to your broadcast, the viewer counter means little to the average participant in an online event. It's one thing to watch TED Conference recordings, but it's another to take part in this annual event, which brings together more than 1000 participants. The ability to personally observe a large number of all like-minded people that are next to you is what this format lacks.

Advantages:

  • Ease of interaction.

Oddly enough, it is easier for people to express their opinion in a general chat, since a participant in an online event is almost anonymous: other participants can only recognize him by his first and last name. Such “semi-anonymity” encourages a more frank and lively discussion.

  • Unlimited geography

An online event for business is not tied to a point on the map: speakers can get in touch from anywhere where there is a stable Internet connection. Participants can watch your broadcast not only from different cities, but also from different countries.

  • Organization cost

The cost of renting a room, meals and accommodation for speakers, logistics, lighting and video will cost you a pretty penny as an organizer, and this is only a small part of them. When holding business events online, you need to take care of the technical side of the broadcast, marketing and attracting speakers - with a larger audience. Sounds tempting!

  • Ease of attracting participants

By participating in the online event, viewers find a few hours of free time and get comfortable with a cup of tea. Participants set aside a whole day for an offline event and arrive at the appointed time at the appointed place. But keeping an audience remotely is much more difficult.

Online event for business: on which platform to hold?

Online event for business: what it is and why you need it ➤ 4

YouTube Live Stream

Streaming cost: free

Time limit: no

Number of participants: unlimited

Suitable for companies of all sizes, from solo streamers to large teams who want to broadcast to a wide audience. There are many opportunities for monetizing the stream: leaving paid comments in the chat, connecting donation services and integrating advertising into the broadcast. The most important rule when hosting an online business event on this platform is not to infringe copyrights. Your broadcast may be blocked due to a popular speaker ringtone or due to the use of a video review of your product from a well-known blogger. Anti-plagiarism check is performed automatically by the Client ID system. However, robots can make mistakes too. The stream of the American company ViacomCBS was blocked, despite the existence of copyright.

vk live

Streaming cost: free

Time limit: 1 hour

Number of participants: unlimited

VK Live is suitable for those who want to broadcast to their audience on this social network and increase their reach through organic views. The broadcast is conducted both in the VK Live application and on your VK page. Broadcast duration is limited to 1 hour.

Instagram

Streaming cost: free

Time limit: 1 hour

Number of participants: unlimited

Instagram has been developing the live broadcast function since 2017 and during this time it has acquired interesting features: you can go live together with another user, apply masks, receive messages from users right during the broadcast. You can save the broadcast in stories, and it will be available to subscribers 24 hours after the broadcast, or add a post to IGTV.

Facebook

Streaming cost: free

Time limit: 8 hours from computer, 4 hours from phone

Number of participants: unlimited

You can broadcast both on your own behalf and from the page of your event. Just like on Instagram, you can go live with a guest. The platform provides opportunities for promoting and monetizing online events for businesses: you can make access to the broadcast paid, promote it in Ads Manager or directly on the event page.

A privacy policy is an integral part of a successful company, and streaming on social media can put your data at risk. In 2017, Antonio Brown, host of the Pittsburgh Steelers, launched a locker room stream immediately after the end of the game to share his emotions after the victory with the fans. Within a few hours, more than 900,000 people watched the video. But along with the joyful exclamations, the broadcast included a minute speech by the team coach, who spoke unflatteringly about the opposing team. Similar conversations take place in all dressing rooms, but they should not leak out to the outside world.

Phasecast, Boomstream

Streaming cost:

Facecast: depends on the tariff - from 0 to 9,990 rubles. / broadcast

Boomstream: no subscriptions, calculated on the service website

Time limit:

facecast: no

boomstream: no

Number of participants:

Facecast: 5 Viewers (Free) to 10,000 Viewers (Premium)

Boomstream: 1 to 1000 members

Services for private online events. The viewer pays for a ticket and watches the broadcast either on the platform itself or on the site where the player code is embedded. As online event trends, platforms are suitable for sensitive content.

Zoom

Streaming cost: from 0 to $29 /month

Time limit: free plan - 40 minutes

Number of participants: free plan - up to 100 people

One of the most popular online meeting platforms since the beginning of the pandemic. Zoom is used for business, educational and personal purposes. You can record the broadcast, create separate rooms, share the screen and, in addition, change the background.

Popularity played a cruel joke with Zoom: online conferences held on this platform began to be attacked by trolls, who had already managed to get their name - zoom-bombing . Online hooligans take advantage of flaws in system security, infiltrate conferences and spam with obscene words and pictures.

webinar.ru

Streaming cost: from 0 rub. up to 9,596 rubles. / month (as of May 2021)

Time limit: free plan - no

Number of participants: free plan - up to 5 people

One of the oldest webinar platforms in Russia. The service is available on iOS and Android. Up to 5 users can participate in the free version, but there is no time limit.

iMind

Streaming cost: $0 to $14.99 /month

Time limit: free plan - meetings up to 4 hours

Number of participants: up to 100 people

Russian platform for business conferences in HD quality.

To use the service, it is not necessary to install software: the user can watch the broadcast from the browser of any device by simply clicking on the link. Broadcast recording is available on all tariffs, including free. The advantage of the platform is that several participants can share their screens at the same time .

The "waiting room" feature keeps unwanted guests out of your online event, and AES-256 encryption, which is used by the US government, will protect your data.

Try iMind for free

Online event for business: how much does it cost?

The price of an online event depends on many factors:

  • What is the format of the event (open public or closed corporate)?
  • How long will it take?
  • How many participants?
  • How many parallel sites will be involved?

On average, the cost of hosting an online event per participant ranges from $500 to $1,500, according to a study by Markletic . They estimated that it would take 2 to 4 weeks to plan a small online event. The numbers are based on responses to their surveys of over 1,500 marketers.

Outcome

You can hold an online corporate event, a presentation of a new product, or a concert. The list is far from complete, it all depends on your imagination and finances.

Keeping the audience remotely is not possible for everyone and making new acquaintances through the screen is much more difficult than live. But holding an event online is cheaper and easier to attract participants from different cities and countries. Accessibility from anywhere is one of the main trends of online events.

Social networks (Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, VK) are great for increasing the reach of your broadcasts.

If you want to make a private event and charge for access to it - your choice is Facecast, Boomstream.

In Zoom, you can hold events where you need to not only broadcast, but also interact with the audience.

If the main trend of your online event is simplicity and security, then choose iMind. Your viewers can join the online event from any browser and without passwords, uninvited guests will not interfere with your meeting.

Hosting an online event costs between $500 and $1,500 per attendee. Preparation of a small event will take from 2 to 4 weeks.

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