The Coronavirus-triggered massive business shifts to the digital realm have led multiple businesses across various industries to leverage Virtual Events as an alternative to their on-ground events. With the Covid-19 vaccine yet to gain its full effect, there is a foreseeable increase in Virtual Events with more significant innovation to enhance their efficacy, quality, and engagement.

Large-scale HR Connect
During any crisis, the Human Resource (HR) function plays a crucial role in collaboration and coordination within the organization, ensuring adherence to company norms and motivating employees to contribute to the best of their abilities in managing the situation. With offsites, townhalls, physical meetings, training, and skill development events no longer remaining an option for large-scale employee connect, more and more internal and HR activities are migrating to the virtual platform.

Since the change in the workplace environment induced by the pandemic can impact team culture and collaborative endeavours, especially between multinational and cross-cultural teams, organizations are making a conscious effort to build greater employee inclusion and diversity. Hence, businesses introduce virtual events as more employees work remotely to encourage inter-team collaborations and team socializing.

Virtual space is where employees meet, operate, and interact daily and during the occasional organization-level employee engagement sessions steered by HR. The trend is likely to grow stronger in the coming months.

According to a report by HR Clutch, virtual events are becoming more common to boost team morale. Though roughly one-third of companies (35%) surveyed by HR Clutch were not hosting virtual social events as businesses acclimate to remote work, experts believe they are likely to host more of these virtual sessions for their employees, the report cited.

Attending Cross-functional Events
Cross-functional collaboration is essential for any organization to find innovative solutions to critical challenges across processes. Thus, organizations encourage their employees to garner and exchange cross-functional knowledge by attending key events and on-ground activities organized by other departments.

In fact, among four solutions recommended by PwC to business leaders to face the Coronavirus crisis, creating a robust and cross-function response team was one imperative. PWC recommends a core team overseen by the CEO (usually drawn from HR, legal, and comms, but every company is different) to provide the framework and strategic guidance, supported by an extended team to address the specific actions needed to get through the crisis.

With the pandemic necessitating organizations to move every event to the virtual arena, there is more scope of cross-functional mingling now than ever before. Employees can attend virtual events more quickly than in-person events, which are more time-consuming and physically demanding.

Thought Leadership marketing with High Quality Speakers
The quality of any event is a direct function of the quality of thought leaders and keynote speakers it manages to attract. Virtual events provide a broader scope for businesses to get the world’s best thought leaders, experts, and keynote speakers to address their events at much lower costs than on-ground events.

In addition, with more extensive access to thought leadership to a larger universe of marketers, businesses now have a better opportunity for leveraging thought leadership marketing for brand building across a larger community through such virtual formats. Studies have shown that thought leadership can also be a powerful marketing and sales tool. According to a 2020 joint survey by Edelman and LinkedIn, 89% of decision-makers reported that thought leadership effectively enhanced their perceptions of an organization; 59% of decision-makers used thought leadership to vet a company’s capabilities and 49% of decision-makers said thought leadership influenced their purchasing decisions.

Further, getting global thought leaders who are well renowned and widely followed infuses more acceptability and confidence among attendees about the virtual event. With growing hunger for thought leadership content that addresses unique and continuously evolving challenges flung by the pandemic across sectors, the convergence of global thought leaders and experts on virtual platforms will ensure such events only get better and more relevant over time.

Summing Up
Virtual Events have proved to be a safe, cost-effective, and time-saving alternative to on-ground events since the viral outbreak in 2020. Despite the ease in Covid-19 restrictions, Virtual Events continue to gain popularity. With significant benefits associated with the online phenomenon, the trend is most likely to become a win-win opportunity for both the organizations and the attendees, even in the post-covid world.