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Which Event Technology Delivers The Best ROI?

ROI DialToday, I was asked to pick ONE event technology that offers the best ROI for events.

The questioner didn’t want to hear –“well there are several choices depending on your needs – blah, blah, blah.” He wanted one answer. He wanted it on the spot.

For me, this was gut-check time. So – I blurted out: Virtual meetings and hybrid events.

I made a good choice. Though, I imagine some of you are thinking that I must be riding the crazy-train to loony land.

So, here’s the deal. I will share the reasoning for my choice below. Then, I need you to push back. Pick an event technology that you think offers a better ROI and make your case.

GE Telepresence Center

Why I Chose Virtual Meetings & Hybrid Events

This event format is building communities and including more people in events than ever before and doing it for less.

Save Money

Cisco recently reported that they cut their event expenses by 90% by hosting a virtual meeting. It makes sense – when you host a virtual event you avoid travel, venue and F&B charges, etc.  GE is using massive 60 person Telepresence centers to avoid long distance travel and save money. One executive traveling to Asia for a meeting can cost more than $30,000 and more than 6000 pounds of carbon emissions.

Include More People

Another powerful benefit is using the hybrid format as a compliment to a face-to-face event to include more people. Here are two examples:

Drive Virtual Attendees to Face-to-Face

Equally important, I think using virtual as a compliment to face-to-face is good for your event. Imagine using virtual activities to drive people to your face-to-face event. 34% of the Cisco virtual attendees reported that they would like to attend a face-to-face event in the future.

A Word of Caution!

Virtual events are not right for all meetings. Forbes recently published a report on “Business Meetings: The Case for Face-to-Face Meetings.” In that report they interviewed 750 business executives that agreed that Virtual Events are best for “Presenting Data” and “Information Dissemination.” In all other cases, the executives agreed that Face-to-Face meetings were the best solution.

Bottom Line

Virtual & hybrid events offer event planners another way to connect to a larger community, drive attendees to your face-to-face events, save money and reduce carbon emissions.   Sounds like a great ROI to me?

Ok – the floor is yours – Make your case.

Written by

Samuel J. Smith is the Managing Director of Interactive Meeting Technology, LLC. He wakes up every morning to save the world from stuffing attendees in chairs for hours on end at events. Oh, and he has small children who usually want some breakfast.