February 08, 2024

5 Reasons Why Virtual Conferences Are Better

In-person events used to be the norm, until, for 3 years, they disappeared from the face of the planet. Physical distancing made traditional conferences impossible and the “new normal” seemed to be virtual conferences. 

Born out of necessity, virtual conferences evolved beyond being a mere temporary substitution for in-person conferences, and although towards the end of 2022 we all got tired of spending time behind a screen and wanted to get back to real-life interactions, we feel that virtual conferences have a reason to exist even now that we can all attend physical conferences. 

This is why on top of our flagship event, the Data Management ThinkLab, we are still running our iconic virtual conference: The Data Management Marathon; an event that connects Data lovers all around the world. 

So here’s 5 reasons why we think virtual conferences are better:

1. Cost-effective

In-person conferences often come with hefty price tags, encompassing expenses for travel, accommodation, and registration fees. For many individuals and organisations, these costs can be prohibitive, particularly during times of economic uncertainty. 
Virtual conferences, on the other hand, offer a cost-effective alternative, eliminating the need for travel and accommodation expenses. Attendees can participate from the comfort of their homes or offices, significantly reducing overhead costs while still accessing valuable content and networking opportunities. This affordability gives access connecting with people and learning from the best experts in your field, regardless of financial constraints.


2. Truly global

This is a beautiful benefit of the digital world: distance is no longer an issue, and you can attend any virtual conference from anywhere as long as you have a screen. 
This global reach not only fosters diversity and inclusivity but also exposes participants to a broader range of perspectives and insights. By breaking down barriers of distance and accessibility, virtual conferences empower individuals to engage with a truly global community, enriching their professional experiences and expanding their horizons.


3. Build a digital network

While traditional networking often revolves around face-to-face interactions, virtual conferences offer unique opportunities to build digital networks that transcend physical boundaries. Why not expand beyond your physical boundaries and build a bigger network that enables you to share your ideas on a wider platform and learn from a much wider group of people?  Through virtual platforms, attendees can connect with like-minded professionals from diverse backgrounds, industries, and geographic locations, forging meaningful relationships and collaborations in the digital realm. Whether through virtual chat rooms, online forums, or interactive sessions, participants have the chance to exchange ideas, share experiences, and learn from one another in ways that were previously unimaginable. We can promise that this digital networking not only augments the amount of professional connections but also opens doors to new opportunities for collaboration, mentorship, and career advancement


4. Adapting to a digital world

We talk about Digital transformation and the age of AI, and although some of us might be old-school, the digitalisation of everything is happening regardless. Virtual conferences are a natural adaptation to an increasingly digital world, and it is far better to take advantage of it than to be forever skeptical. As organisations increasingly embrace remote work and digital solutions, virtual conferences provide a glimpse into the future of professional engagement. By harnessing the power of technology, these online gatherings offer immersive, interactive experiences that rival their in-person counterparts. From virtual reality simulations to live polling and interactive workshops, virtual conferences leverage innovative tools and platforms to create engaging and impactful experiences for participants. Embracing virtual conferences isn't just about adapting to the current circumstances—it's about embracing the possibilities of a digital future and harnessing technology to drive positive change.


5. Travel restrictions? No problem

What’s the first company policy to pass, when there’s a crisis of any kind? Yes, travel restrictions. ​​In a world grappling with unprecedented challenges, travel restrictions have become a common reality for individuals and organisations alike. Whether due to health concerns, budget constraints, or logistical barriers, traditional in-person events are often limited by the constraints of physical travel. Virtual conferences offer a solution to these challenges, enabling participants to engage in meaningful professional development and networking activities without leaving their homes or offices. And although virtual conferences were popularised by a massive crisis, we should all be grateful that the world of conferences along with social connections and collaborative learning didn’t stop. This flexibility not only enhances accessibility but also demonstrates the resilience and adaptability of virtual conferences in overcoming barriers to participation.


So what is better? In-person or virtual conferences? We recently wrote an article that lists 5 reasons why in-person conferences are better, and while it might be tempting to contrast the two types of conferences, the truth is that they both have a reason to exist and each can be the best option for you depending on your time, budget, goals and career. 

Moreover, the most important factor is that you are choosing quality conferences that embrace these 5 benefits, so that you can take advantage of the best of the in-person world and of the digital world. A supplier trying to approach a distant market can do so with a virtual conference, while building connections that can help in further business development efforts. A participant who loves data but that can hardly find peers in their proximity, can benefit from building a virtual network with other peers regardless of their location. 

For all of these reasons, after a 1-year hiatus and countless requests from our clients, we resumed running the Data Management Marathon, a virtual, global conference that unites all the Data lovers into One World. One People. One Data. #yougottabethere

Join our community on Linkedin

Data Management Marathon 7.0 on June 12-13, 2024, our global online event for Data Management Enthusiasts.