Virtual events have become an increasingly popular way to connect with others, network and attend events, conferences and workshops. They offer a level of convenience and flexibility that traditional in-person events simply cannot match. With virtual events, attendees no longer have to worry about traveling to a specific location or taking time off work to attend. They can participate from the comfort of their own home or office, without having to worry about the costs and logistics of traveling.
Gender-Equality and Better Balance for Families
Virtual events also offer the opportunity for a more equal representation of women and researchers in developing countries (or with low incomes) in the conference attendees. When events are virtual, the barriers to attending are lower, meaning that more people from underrepresented groups can participate. This can help to create a more diverse and inclusive community, which benefits everyone involved. Additionally, virtual events allow attendees to better balance work and family responsibilities, as they can participate from anywhere and at any time.
Introverts: Virtual Conferences as a Solution
For introverts, virtual events can be a godsend. They offer the opportunity to participate and engage with others, without having to physically attend an event. This can reduce stress and anxiety, and help introverts to feel more comfortable and confident in the conference setting. Furthermore, virtual events allow introverts to participate on their own terms, choosing when and how they want to engage with others (breaking rooms, Q&A, chats, ...).
Wider Audience and Global Reach
Virtual events also have the potential to reach a much wider audience than traditional in-person events (usually 2 to 3 times more researchers). With the ability to participate from anywhere in the world, virtual events can bring together attendees from diverse backgrounds, cultures and locations. This provides attendees with the opportunity to network and learn from a wider range of individuals and organizations, and to gain insights and perspectives that would be difficult to find at traditional in-person events.
Eco-Friendly and Good for the Moral of Participants
Finally, virtual events are a more eco-friendly option, as they do not require attendees to travel long distances, reducing their carbon footprint. This can have a positive impact on the moral of participants, who may feel good knowing that their participation in the event is making a positive impact on the environment. Additionally, the reduced costs and logistics associated with virtual events can free up more resources for organizations to invest in other important initiatives, such as sustainability and environmental conservation.
Virtual events offer a multitude of benefits for attendees, including increased convenience and flexibility, a more equal representation of women and researchers in different countries, a solution for introverts, a wider audience and global reach, and a more eco-friendly option. As technology continues to advance and the popularity of virtual events continues to grow, it is likely that we will see an even greater shift towards virtual events in the future.