What is a Virtual Event?
Webinars, virtual conferences, teleconferences, teleseminars, podcasts, virtual meetings and streaming video are all forms of virtual events that have gained in popularity over recent years. I’d hazard a guess you’ve attended at least 1 virtual event in the last 18 months. While we hear a lot about large scale, big business virtual events, there are many cost effective virtual event services available for the small business owner and entrepreneur looking to host their own virtual event for small groups, or to an audience of 100 people or less.
Virtual Event Definition:
A virtual event is a gathering of people sharing a common virtual environment on the web, rather than meeting in a physical location. Virtual events are highly interactive, looking and feeling a lot like their physical counterparts.
Virtual Events – Good Options for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses?
Virtual events give entrepreneurs and small businesses the opportunity to promote, market, share information, educate and train a number of participants at one time. By training one to many, instead of one on one the trainer, coach, consultant, writer or speaker make the most efficient use of their time. Both the host and attendees save the time, expense and general inconveniences of traveling to a live seminar.
What are the Different Types of Virtual Events?
The word “webinar” is derived from the word “seminar,” a webinar is essentially a web based seminar. Instead of leaving their homes, or place of business to attend a seminar, attendees can simply login to the webinar on their computer, or mobile device and enjoy an audio and visual presentation.
Teleseminars, also referred to as “teleconferences,” are accessed via phone, by entering a specific phone number and digital password. In addition to accessing the teleseminar via landline or mobile device, some teleseminar services provide online access.
The word “podcast” is derived from a combination of the words “broadcast” and “podcast”. A podcast is an audio, or video file, originally formatted to be played on an iPod. Some podcasts are similar to TV or radio shows, free and paid podcasts are downloadable from the internet.
Virtual meetings are useful for entrepreneurs and small business owners who would like to engage clients outside their geographical location. By using a service such as Skype together with a desktop computer, laptop or mobile device with webcam, an entrepreneur can “meet” with their prospective client over the internet.
Live Streaming and Streaming Video
Streaming video and/or audio are transmitted across the internet for audience members to enjoy on their computer or mobile device, as a continuous stream of data; there is no need to download and save a file to listen and view. Live streaming is played in real time, hosts have the option of prerecording video and delivering it as live streaming video. Google’s Hangouts on Air is an example of live streaming video.
I hope this information is useful to you, in Part 2 I’ll be talking about how entrepreneurs and small businesses can host their own virtual event. I’ll use the example of a life coach, business consultant, author and speaker to show the business growth potential of hosting a virtual event. In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your experiences with virtual events as either a host, or an attendee. How does a virtual event compare to a live event in your experience?