The study “What Millennials Want in Meetings” by Meetings Mean Business and Skift highlights the necessity for the event industry to realize what the real needs and expectations of Millennials are.
The widespread misconception that Millennials do not value face-to-face interactions is dismantled in the study, showing at the same time how and why event organizers need to integrate the latest technologies properly and use them to their full potential.
Avatar-based virtual event technologies represent the best way to create continuity between the face-to-face interaction experienced at a physical event and the use of technology. The presence of the avatar replicates online real-life dynamics typical of physical events, responding to Millennials’ need of face-to-face interactions as well as to their expectations of what they can get from the use of event technologies and intelligence.
As the numbers published by PCMA regarding the attendance to their 2014 Convening Leaders conference show, integrating Virtual Events with physical ones is an extremely effective strategy to expand your audience globally while targeting your specific audience.
The advantage given by Hybrid Events (physical + virtual) comes from the fact that they offer the opportunity to combine real-life interactions with the expectations of Millennials.
This produces significant benefits for organizers too. To use PCMA’s words, “we hope that the industry understands having a Hybrid Event will drive new traffic to your brand, and in the upcoming years, to your face-to-face events.”
All this is increasingly coupled with more personalized and better web content to increase engagement before and after the event. This is the biggest opportunity today to build brand recognition over an extended period of time through virtual event technologies.
As the research points out: “Steph Pfeilsticker, founder of Hybrid Events Authority, says there’s much more awareness about the ROI of hybrid meeting technology recently, because by integrating both live and virtual education, many meeting owners have shown they’re able to expand the reach of their message, build audience engagement and drive new business development.”
A pre-show allows people to know who at the conference could be the best fit for their business (while creating extra buzz around the event itself) saving them the annoyance of running around the crowd without any pointers. A post-show exponentially increases accessibility, allows access to materials and contacts after the physical event is over and create a unique experience for the attendees.
With avatar-based virtual event technologies, using a fully customizable avatar, attendees walk around the event in the most life-like way possible. They break away from the staleness and artificiality of interactions that inevitably occurs with other virtual platforms, recreate face-to-face communication and makes the whole experience fun.
Attendees “don’t want the transaction just to start and stop at the event,” if they decide to attend a particular event they want to know that they will see profit from the money they invest in going, which is why Virtual Events give them the feeling that they have made the right choice. Organizers and exhibitors can upload content before and after the event – gauging the reactions to it even before it begins – while informing their audience, allowing them to be adequately be prepared and making follow-up connections easier.
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