Did you know the value of the international video conferencing market is projected to grow to $12.99 billion dollars by 2028? Moreover, webinar software platform, WorkCast, noted a huge 87% increase in their webinar attendance in 2020. The facts don’t lie: virtual meetings, webinars and conferencing have seen a meteoric rise in popularity, suggesting that online events are very much here to stay. Keep reading to find out exactly why…
When Covid-19 Pandemic struck, businesses up and down the country were forced to adapt to new and imaginative ways of working. Those that could do so, shifted to remote setups with the safety of their employees in mind and to continue operating with some semblance of normalcy during a very unnormal time. A few years down the line, as the UK starts to emerge from enforced home-working restrictions, many business owners have embraced the long-awaited return to office working and face-to-face meetings. Some, however, have altogether shifted their business model to do away with office locations in favour of full-time remote working, perhaps even a hybrid of the two.
Many of us associate the early months of 2020 with the ‘boom of Zoom’ and other video conferencing platforms which have now become our norm. It wasn’t long before a lot of businesses discovered the huge potential in virtual meeting platforms to transform collaborative working between colleagues as well as re-write the inefficiencies of the ‘old’ meeting culture itself. But is there merit in continuing to conduct virtual meetings and events, as opposed to in-person, beyond Covid-19? Absolutely!
Here at InSynch, our Executives, Specialists and Consultants have the pleasure of meeting with hundreds of businesses day in, and day out, to discuss a range of innovative digital marketing tactics. We conduct meetings, consultancy sessions, webinars and courses virtually and have experienced first-hand how this has boosted client satisfaction, as well as our own productivity. This isn’t to say that there’s no value in meeting face-to-face, but we do need to accept that virtual meetings are very much here for the long run.
Enhanced Productivity and Efficiency
Online meetings are pivotal in increasing efficiency in the workplace, which leads to enhanced productivity. Online meetings significantly reduce the time it would previously, pre-Pandemic, take to book meeting spaces, travel to locations, or perhaps even organise catering for attendees. With some industries requiring multiple meetings throughout the day, the logistics of working out where you need to be at what time is a faff we are thankful to now be without. Thanks to online meetings, this renewed sense of freedom means workers can benefit from enhanced efficiency in the working day, leaving them with more time and scope to focus on tasks.
Moreover, data from Microsoft on its new remote workforce revealed a phenomenon they’ve referred to as ‘the rise of the 30-minute meeting’. Their findings showed that online meetings became reduced in duration and concluded that people are preferring shorter, more efficient meetings that do away with small talk meanderings. A preference to cut to the chase in meetings is freeing up more time to address important tasks, and online meetings certainly facilitate that.
Increased Attendance and Engagement at Online Events
Since the start of the Pandemic, webinars rapidly began to overshadow workshops. Our CEO, Eddy Webb, has witnessed first-hand how 2020 dramatically accelerated the need for digitalised communication, as his in-person Digital Marketing courses shifted to online webinars practically overnight.
Fast forward two years, InSynch’s team of experts deliver online courses on a weekly basis, advising businesses on a variety of digital marketing specialisms. And it seems like we’re not the only ones who have reaped the rewards of the immense leverage these virtual events have given us! According to our webinar hosting platform, ClickMeeting, they facilitated an average of 39,393 events per week, and throughout the year, attracted a total of 22,371,940 participants. Granted, this meteoric scale of growth was born out of necessity and restrictions on in-person events, there is something to be said about why so many businesses have continued to host workshops, courses and talks online during the fallout of the pandemic and beyond.
Here are the core benefits that we’ve experienced since hosting webinars, and that solidify the need to keep running events online:
- Online events are more economical, cost-effective and accessible. Without the need to travel to the location of the event, attendees save on fuel/travel costs as well as valuable time. Being able to join the live event at just the click of a button makes online events far more accessible to the masses. Webinars are less intrusive on our day-to-day lives, and integrate much more feasibly around busy schedules.
- Webinar interfaces increase attendee engagement. Webinar platforms provide much more scope for audience interactivity, allowing delegates to leave the course feeling more satisfied overall with the information received. With live webinars, the speaker can make use of Q&A and chat functions, polls, screen sharing and audio or video streaming. With in-person events, the old-fashioned ‘waiting with your hand raised in the air’ remains reminiscent of school days and can be unfavourable, especially if attendees are wishing to take notes at the same time as listening to the talk. Moreover, screen share functionalities make demonstrations far more smooth-running and can be invaluable for recorded webinars where the demonstrator’s screen is easily visible.
- Webinars and online events accommodate for scale. Forget the organisation, planning and costs tied to hiring a venue or room, catering and finding enough chairs for all the attendees, webinars are the ideal solution for those wishing to host large audiences – without the hassle!
We can all remember the days of sitting around a large table, huddled around a laptop, squinting to see a projector screen or struggling to hear the presenter. Attendees can benefit from a more seamless experience with virtual meetings, where sound and sight do not have to be a limitation. This makes online conferences a far more collaborative space for attendees to engage in.
With the opportunity to create a virtual whiteboard, use the chat function or even virtually ‘raise your hand’ at the click of your mouse, it makes for a far more organised affair. We do understand that there can be an animated feel to video call meetings and that virtual communication feels unnatural or can lack fluidity, but on the flip side, this can make it EASIER to brainstorm effectively. Particularly in virtual meetings with lots of people present, the ability to be able to mute and only have one or two microphones active at any given time, lends much more clarity to the person speaking. Not only does this avoid interruptions and people speaking over one another, but it also leads to a balanced and collaborative conversation.
Here at InSynch, we host FREE webinars on a range of Digital Marketing topics every week, as well as virtual 121 meetings. If you’re looking to take your business to the next level, and experience the effectiveness of how we operate via online meetings, book in a free 121 consultation with one of our experts or browse our upcoming webinars today!