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The debate about which is better, virtual events OR in-person events has been raging for some time now! Well according to me, it is not the question of which is better, it’s the question of ROI on any kind of event executed.

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I have been in the experiential industry for almost 2 decades now. My love for in-person experiences has grown exponentially over the years. Starting from the brief and the objective, to creating something which delivers mind boggling in-person experiences is something which turns on all experiential marketing folks, I guess.

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With this pandemic hitting us hard, the world turned over to virtual events. Growing slowly from smaller events, virtual has started to go big now. The lines between web-casting/ virtual event and broadcasting have started to blur. Also, a lot of custom development on online experiences have started taking place. Clients/Agencies have started becoming bold and have started experimenting more.

The fact remains that physical events are still some distance away, but the question that begs to be answered is — What is fueling this change?

Well, it’s the fact that the ROI measurement matrix that was missing or not possible to measure earlier, has completely turned on its head with digital events. With the online experience, not only has the audience reach opened up exponentially, but also highly detailed analytics with absolute ROI measurements have become possible.

Global Reach + Analytics(RoI) have opened the eyes of marketers!

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Earlier, in the case of an in-person event, the reach was limited to a few hundred people physically available on site. This has changed with virtual events as now the marketers can reach an unlimited audience spending less (or more rationally) and can measure the impact with greater accuracy!

The availability of presenters from across the globe without any travelling/visa/diplomatic challenges etc. is turning out to be a great hook for the audience. The real-time interaction between audience and presenters is engaging the audience much more than the in-person events. The feedback is real-time, the interaction is real-time, AND the impact is real-time. If this were to be calculated in terms of capital, the cost of hosting has come down tremendously!

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Now, spending as less as a million rupees, one can reach an audience size which is unimaginable in the in-person world scenario. This factor alone my friends, has some serious and far reaching impact on the experiential world.

As more trends about digital or hybrid events emerge, the more RoI driven this will become. The in-person will become the “show window” but the real experiential/business will move towards digital experiential as the world becomes more RoI conscious!

Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash

The author, Jasmeet, has spent more than 2 decades in the experiential industry and is now a digital events specialist. His love for technology and gadgets is very well know.