If over the past few weeks you have taken all or parts of your business online because of the coronavirus, are you thinking of keeping it that way or will some elements of your business go back to normal?
I understand that some businesses cannot do business 100% virtually but for those who can (including myself) there are many advantages:
- With no office to pay for there is a huge cost saving
- No commute which saves on travel; petrol, parking, train fares etc
- Offices can be a breeding ground for germs so working at home reduces sickness
- Reduction in insurance charges
- Fewer interruptions will lead to increased productivity
- More time spent with your family
- More flexibility
For this blog I want to talk about one of my clients who, over the past 3 months has taken all of their business offerings online.
I have been working with this client for nearly a year now helping them with their event management.
They run a membership to businesses in the South West, offering business growth support, knowledge on funding opportunities and peer to peer networking.
Up until the virus hit we were organising and running around 30 face to face events a month across 4 regions in the south west. The team were also travelling all over to attend face to face meetings.
Whilst the events were great networking opportunities they were also a huge time commitment and came at a cost.
When Covid-19 unexpectedly and somewhat unwelcomely arrived in March 2020, my client made the decision to cancel all face to face events up until September.
To ensure the continued value and service to its members there was no other option but to take the event programme online. In fact, moving to a more virtual offering has been something my client had been looking at for some time.
Before the virus hit the team spent long hours traveling to meetings. Some days were spent travelling hours up and down the M4 and M5. All those hours travelling for a one 1 hour meeting!
We would also host quarterly events for 80 members at a cost of nearly £2,500 a time – that’s £10,000 for the year!
All that money for venue hire and catering plus time spent travelling there and back when now we’re holding online events at the cost of a monthly Zoom cost of £14.95. A huge reason you might want to keep your business virtual.
Benefits of virtual meetings & events
We’ve been holding online events now for the last 3 months and they have gone exceptionally well. In all honestly, I can’t see my clients doing many face to face events at all in the future.
We’ve had many members feedback that they could never attend many of our workshops in the past as they couldn’t afford the time out of the office. Whereas now, they can log onto Zoom for just 1 hour of the day and still get the same value had the workshop been face to face.
There are many benefits to holding virtual meetings / workshops:
- No travel costs
- Other than the monthly Zoom fee there are no venue or catering costs for my client
- Saves time
- My client can put their resources into other projects
- Improved engagement
- Improved efficiency
- Less travel will have such a huge impact on the environment
Looking back on it now, since we’ve all been comfortably holding meetings from the comfort of our own homes without having to travel anywhere it seems crazy we all travelled so much! I don’t think we’ve ever had a tank of diesel last so long in our car!!
Admittedly it would be nice to have a certain element of face to face business interaction by way of networking and meetings but knowing that a lot of businesses can do their meetings and events virtually will make such a difference to the way they conduct their business in the future.
I would love to know your thoughts as a business owner whether you might consider keeping your business virtual?
If you want any help or advice on setting up virtual events using Zoom and Eventbrite, make sure you check out my blog here.
I can of course help you with all the organisation that comes with setting up an online events programme.
You can contact me here.