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« Max Out Your Event Promotion Budget | Main | Using Video to Promote Your Event »

Virtual Events versus Live Events

I recently returned from Eben Pagan’s Conversion Summit in Los Angeles.  During the summit Eben talked about a statistic that indicated most people have an average of 0.75 very close friends.  It is a little bit scary if you think about it. Thanks to the Internet humanity has never been so connected and ‘unconnected’ at the same time.  Today it’s far easier to write an email than it is to pick up the telephone or meet someone in person.  Yes there are advantages to doing things online, but there are also disadvantages.  Have you ever written an email that someone took the wrong way? You probably had to call that person up and explain what you meant over the phone or even in person.  Eben’s “close friends” statistic got me thinking about the increase use of virtual events and their role in the future.

Online Events
Admittedly, I have little experience with promoting or managing online events.  The concept of an online event is fascinating and definitely has a number of advantages over traditional live events.  Yet, one place where live events will always prevail is at the human level. There are just some experiences that you can never replicate online.

Watching the Space Shuttle Live versus Online
In “Do You Have an Awe Inspiring Event?” I talk a little about watching a space shuttle launch.  I’m a big space shuttle buff.  I probably have watched at least 40 launches live on television and seen various HD clips with surround sound. Absolutely nothing I’ve seen online or on television can compare with actually being at a live space shuttle launch.  Live events engage more parts of your brain.

Your Senses and Emotions
Live events offer something for all five senses.  There is also an emotional and tactile part that you can’t replicate with virtual events.  If you are a member of Eben’s Guru Mastermind you can access all his live training online at your convenience. But Eben’s event was made even more extraordinary by virtue of all the people you could talk to and interact with in person.  The human experience was as important as the training.  You can’t replicate the personal human interaction experience with online events. That interaction is what makes live events so great.

There are times when it is far easier and cost effect to have an event online. But online events will never be able to replace the experience of actually “being there.” If you’re headed in the direction of more online events throw in a live event every once in a while for good measure.  Meeting great people is far better in person than online.

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Comments

Mike Dulaney

Hello,

As you stated, online events will never replace the human to human experience. But what they will do is
1. allow cheaper research on leading products.
2. save on travel and related costs to attend live events.
3. Produce live and qualified leads to those who use online events.

As we all know, we are in a very difficult time in this country and people are in fear. When fear grips us humans, many times, the response is to do nothing. While live events will never be replaced by online events, they can and will augment a companies marketing mix.

Other considerations to think about are:
45% of CFO's have cut employee travel.
Online events costs a fraction of live events.
print advertising is way down across all industries.

Becoming educated on the best product for anyone can be done on the internet and statistics prove that this is happening.

Simon

Nice article..

I have put together a video about our media scape dating back to 1948 and how it's changed through a time line to 2008, amidst the rise of Social Media.

Its event marketer specific, something your readers will enjoy...

http://www.EventsListed.com/SocialTraffic

Thanks
SF

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