Can 3D virtual events be as successful as face-to-face events?

By: Camilo Caicedo

This question is one of the most common things asked of marketing directors as the first approach holding events on virtual platforms.

Although face-to-face conferences will continue once the situation generated by the pandemic returns to something like usual, online affairs are here to stay. They expand the possibilities of experiential marketing.

We know that a primary objective of B2B marketing is to acquire valid leads, and while face-to-face events have always been an efficient way to generate points of contact, virtual event platforms offer a more efficient means of profiling and tracking potential customers.

It is worth considering the resources and logistical efforts required in organizing a physical event, compared to virtual scenarios, where costs are significantly reduced. The outlay in exhibiting, sponsoring, or only attending a physical conference is much higher, mainly when you include accommodation expenses, air tickets, transfers, and other extras that tend to arise, too.

Online meetings platforms are much more flexible than traditional meetings, which allow companies to adapt more quickly to any unforeseen events. Beyond that, there is also the possibility of increasing the geographical scope and capacity, facilitating more successful conferences.

Companies from all sectors have seen the benefits generated by these types of online tools and have decided to integrate them to bolster business operations continuity and client contact. An illustrative example of this is the toy industry segment in the United States, who through The Toy Association,  launched a series of virtual events titled “Toy Fair Everywhere,” as an opportunity for toy manufacturers, buyers, media and other stakeholders to reconnect and refocus at this time when meetings and events in person cannot take place.

Hybrid models for the future

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced companies to traverse steep learning curves concerning the digitization of many processes, so IT and market globalization will inevitably continue to be closely associated while virtual congresses are increasingly seen as not only viable but essential. While physical interaction will remain indispensable, now is the ideal time to explore hybrid scenarios that allow your brand to deliver the best experiences, mixing the real and virtual world.

Also, if you think about it, this type of spaces was born in response to the demands of users who are used to flexibility, so if important principles for the events of the future are based on safety and comfort, the fact that both are naturally integrated into these tools means that you ought to take them into account.

To conclude by answering whether 3D events are as effective as face-to-face events, the answer – without hesitation – is yes. Events across virtual platforms or hybrid scenarios can leverage technology skillfully and strategically to redefine and create more influential consumer experiences.


Camilo Caicedo

CEO – Penta Marketing
Experiential Marketing and Omnichannel Strategy Specialist