Restrictions placed on physical conferences, events and work gatherings in our current environment have pushed virtual events and webinars into the spotlight, resulting in the most competitive setting for attendee eyeballs that we’ve ever seen.
Virtual events are nothing new—in fact, they’ve been increasing in popularity for a while. Running webinars is a solid strategy that organizations have embraced both internally and externally to keep employees, customers, prospects and colleagues connected throughout the industry and informed on important topics.
The pre-pandemic $101 billion trade show and exhibition industry in the U.S. has permanently changed thanks to COVID-19, along with smaller events and corporate gatherings. The good news is that unified communications and collaboration solutions are already prominently available to support any organization’s transition from in-person to online conferences: 67% of marketers have increased their investment in webinars since the start of the pandemic, with 36% increase of US brands increasing their offering of webinars between February and March of 2020 alone.1
The attendee experience
In webinars, there are two parties involved: those who are hosting and those who attend. The benefits of webinars extend to both of these parties in many ways:
Affordability: Save money by cutting down on travel costs and event registration, since most webinars are free of charge (in exchange for something as simple as an email address). Multiple participants from an organization can attend a webinar at a single time and location, and, most of the time, will have access to a recording that can be shared with colleagues.
Convenience: Webinars offer flexibility for attendees to be as involved as they would like to be and can be accessed anywhere, via multiple devices. This makes it easier for professionals to deliver and receive knowledge.
Relationship building: Through webinars, organizations can foster valuable relationships by first offering their value. Webinars allow the audience to understand why your solutions are valuable, provide credibility to your business, and give prospects and customers a reason to trust you.
Sales enablement: 53% of marketers agree that webinars are the top-of-the-funnel format that generates the most high-quality leads.2 Webinars will sell to your prospects by providing thought leadership without actually selling them anything.
Wider reach: Webinars allow businesses to communicate more globally, expanding the reach of your typical audience. This value extends beyond geographical reach, but to audience members that exist in a diverse set of industries and varying roles within an organization. For those unable to attend live, on-demand viewing offers access to content at a more suitable time.
Enhancing the brand: It’s no doubt that webinars are among the most effective digital marketing tools available to businesses today. They have the power of establishing authority for executive speakers and to an organization by providing highly engaging and insightful information to your audience.
Don’t call it a comeback
While virtual or hybrid meetings can’t replicate everything about the in-person experience, the benefits of virtual meetings clearly lead to improved access, cut expenses and more flexibility and accessibility for attendees and hosts alike.
While still unknown it’s very possible that business travel and in-person conferences will be impacted for years to come. It’s likely that we will witness their return alongside new formats, such as hybrid conferences (with both virtual and in-person attendance). This leaves webinars filling a huge void that helps people connect and interact all over the world, while simultaneously giving value back to an organization by increasing sales.
When searching for a robust and secure webinar solution, look for one that honors work-from-anywhere business environments by providing the flexibility to join from a laptop, desktop or smartphone—wherever an attendee has reliable Internet access. Our all-in-one solution, OfficeSuite HD Meeting®, allows for the seamless hosting of live events with attendee lists of different sizes and enables unified, real-time engagement with unrivaled quality, reliability and scalability for up to 10,000 attendees. Look for a solution like HD Meeting that drives audience engagement amongst internal and external attendees through chat, Q&A and live polling features. Learn more about what video conferencing and webinar capabilities can do for your organization.
- “Number of B2B brands running webinars in light of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States as of March 2020.” Statista, April 2020.
- “The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics 2021.” HubSpot, 2021.