National Small Business Week Presents First-Ever Virtual Conference
SBA and SCORE Go Virtual
The U.S. Small Business Administration has just announced that they will be hosting the first-ever National Small Business Week Virtual Conference. This conference will be hosted in partnership with SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors.
According to a press release provided by the SBA, the conference will include educational webinars, mentoring sessions, and business resources. Visa, Chase for Business, Constant Contact, Google, and Square will co-sponsor the event and host webinars. Registration for the webinars is free but registration is mandatory.
The official conference will kick off later this month in Washington DC and will run from April 29th – May 5th. The virtual conference will run from May 1st – May 3rd. Notably, Convince and Convert founder Jay Baer will be conducting a webinar for the event on May 3rd called ‘Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers.’ Jay’s webinar will be sponsored by Chase for Business.
Other webinars include, Constant Contact’s “Get New and Repeat Business on Autopilot with Email Marketing,” Square’s “Grow Your Business in 2018,” and Google’s “Sharing Your Story Through Video.”
A schedule of live events will be sent to registrants via email. You can register for the event here.
Virtual Events Grow in Popularity
Due to their convenience and lower cost, virtual conferences are surging in popularity. According to Market Research Media,
“The virtual event market will grow from $14 Bln in 2018 to $18 Bln in 2023, with growth rate of 5%, reflecting maturity and commoditization of the virtual event marketplace.”
Like traditional events, virtual conferences have their pros and cons. Choosing to attend virtual conferences is wildly convenient. You can experience the same insights, tips, and tricks at a fraction of the rate without the hassle and expense of traveling. Additionally, for sponsors and staff, the logistics of setting up and planning an in-person event are daunting.
Networking, however, is a vital part of the conference experience and by choosing to go virtual, attendees miss out on building in-person connections with peers, mentors, and industry experts.
The statistics presented by Market Research Media show that virtual events are here to stay. Due to an increased interest in virtual experiences, the way we attend and interact with in-person events may change as well.
It’s possible that conferences may start implementing more virtual reality experiences and exhibitions for guests. The market opportunities for these types of experiences are wide and the stats prove that virtual events are on the rise. The content conference, like content itself, is constantly evolving and we may see a new era of conference experiences emerge sooner rather than later.
Would you rather attend a virtual conference or a traditional conference? Share your thoughts in the comments below.