How moving events online decreases cancellations

There never needs to be another 2020 because now every event has a better alternative to cancellation: going virtual.

October 20, 2021

- 3 min read

We all know that 2020 was the year that just about everything was turned upside-down, and few industries were hit harder than the events industry. The pandemic made it unsafe for people to gather in groups, so suddenly there were events with hundreds or thousands of attendees that were canceled overnight. It was a serious blow to many organizations’ budgets, and to the morale of all the people who look forward to these events. 

Fortunately, there never needs to be another 2020 because now every event has a better alternative to cancellation: going virtual. Maybe it’s an overstatement to say that no event will ever be cancelled again because there are many reasons organizations have to pull the plug on their events, but virtual events can take care of *almost* all of those reasons. 

How can virtual events solve most problems that lead to event cancellations? 

Everyone who has ever coordinated an event knows that there are always things that go wrong, but fortunately, choosing a virtual event instead can mean that almost no disaster will prevent you from having your event. Let’s look at some of the most common reasons for cancellations and how virtual events can solve those problems. 

Pandemics and illness outbreaks 

Cancelling an event due to a pandemic or an illness outbreak was rare before the COVID-19 pandemic, but now it’s commonplace. In fact, by March of 2020, around 83 million events had been cancelled because of the pandemic. While we’ve reached a point in the pandemic when we have more protections against the virus and gathering together isn’t as risky as it once was, events still get cancelled when local surges and outbreaks happen. 

Virtual events are as pandemic-friendly as it gets. They allow everyone to attend or present at the conference from the safety of their own homes or offices, so the social distancing is built right in. You also don’t need to cancel or change your event if a key speaker or presenter is exposed to an illness and needs to quarantine because they can carry on with their presentation while quarantining. 

Travel complications

Travelling from far locations is another one of those situations in which things tend to go wrong. If you’re lucky, they’re minor inconveniences like short delays, but sometimes you could be prevented from reaching your destination at all. Many events have been cancelled because their keynote speakers, event coordinators, or other critical personnel couldn’t get to the venue. 

Virtual events eliminate these issues because there’s no need for anyone to travel. Your region could be hit by a blizzard that grounds the entire airport and it won’t disrupt your event. 

Budget issues 

It isn’t always easy to budget for an event. There are so many different expenses and moving pieces as you put it all together that unexpected costs often come up. In extreme cases, those unexpected costs could add up so much that you can’t make the final payments on your venue or other key parts of the event, and you may need to cancel it altogether. 

Virtual events, on the other hand, are usually more cost-effective. You have the expense of a streaming platform but you aren’t paying for a large venue or for food and drinks for your attendees. Virtual events are also typically less complex to plan because of the many in-person incidentals that you can skip, so you’re less likely to have serious unanticipated expenses. 

Venue problems 

No matter how secure you think your event venue may be, there’s always a chance that it could fall through. Maybe the venue overbooked the day and you’re left with the short end of the stick. Maybe an issue arises that makes the venue unusable like a burst pipe, a flood, or a fire. 

Anything can happen when you’re planning a large in-person event, but with a virtual event, there’s no need to worry about your venue falling through because there is no in-person venue. 

Low attendance 

In-person events are always costly, and this means that you need to bring in a certain number of attendees to make up for all those costs. Some organizations can’t afford to take a loss on an event, so if you don’t get enough attendees, you may need to cancel your event. 

These situations are heartbreaking, but they’re far less likely to happen with virtual events. Because a virtual event is usually less expensive, you have a lower break-even threshold. 

Why are virtual events more available now than ever before? 

Virtual events aren’t new, but they’ve been thriving since the COVID-19 pandemic, and they were picking up steam even before the pandemic started. Thanks to advances in technology, smooth video streaming makes virtual events more enjoyable and accessible than ever before. 

If you’d like to give it a try for yourself and safeguard your next event against unavoidable cancellations, try the Canapii virtual event platform and learn how it can make your virtual and hybrid events easier. 

Eleanor Martin

@eleanormartinn
Co-Founder at Canapii

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