As summer approaches, companies in the global food industry—predicted to reach a value of US$ 4.2 Trillion by 2024—are considering ways to host their annual festivals without breaching coronavirus-related social distancing measures. The solution? Virtual food events.
Virtual food festivals are stealing the spotlight as a prime example of innovative victory over coronavirus-related hardships. Even during the most difficult moments, restaurant owners are coming to learn that they can still target their audience with ghost kitchen and online ordering services.
A trend that is gaining immense popularity around the world, food Software as a Service (SaaS) POS Systems, A.K.A. "restaurant SaaS", are making it easier than ever before to continuously engage with people amid COVID-19. With software of this kind, a 'physical' location-based event can be replicated in the form of a virtual event.
Numerous activities can be covered with the ghost kitchen trend, including broadcasting, live streaming, and audio/video conferencing. Restaurant SaaS enables business owners to easily host a ghost kitchen event, trade show, product launch, job fair, or even a global conference from anywhere with an Internet connection.
How Virtual Food Festivals are Changing the Event Landscape
Virtual food festivals are transforming the event landscape thanks to the reduced expense. After all, overhead costs—including stall setup fees, venue costs, travel/accommodation/food expenses and staff payments—are not required for an online ordering festival.
Not only do virtual food festivals present an opportunity to save money but also, to attract good leads, save time and make a good first impression. Additionally, these types of online events are convenient and effective. Traditional events need not be replaced completely when SaaS software is utilized. Rather, this type of technology can be relied on to enhance existing operations.
Praised for delivering a higher return on investment (ROI), the ghost kitchen trend guarantees better exhibitor/sponsor value. When event organizers have analytics at their fingertips, it's possible to showcase company efforts, visions, products, and/or services to a wider audience.
Virtual Food Festivals are Creating Opportunities for Attendees
It's highly likely that, particularly amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, virtual events will register improved participation figures; as opposed to in-person events. Aside from facilitating better networking through providing attendees with on-demand videos/other material, virtual food festivals also save attendees on travel costs.
Statistics from Bizzabo show that 80% of companies used "attendee engagement and satisfaction" as a KPI to measure a virtual event's success, thus proving the importance of ensuring a good attendee experience. Moreover, since 90% of virtual event organizers use surveys to analyze attendee satisfaction, virtual events prove useful for gathering attendee feedback.
Examples of Great Success with Virtual Events
When lockdown orders were imposed in China's Hubei province in January 2020, global businesses immediately took precautionary measures to safeguard the health and safety of both customers and employees.
Remote working and brick-and-mortar business closures triggered a rise in virtual events. Consequently, numerous online events have already been executed successfully. Social media platforms like Facebook have even invited business pages to charge a fee for joining their online events.
UberEats Your Local Food Fest is one such example. In June of last year, the food delivery company launched the first-ever virtual food event, which granted Aussies the chance to discover local restaurants for discounted prices.
The SBC Digital Summit also took place last year. Stretching over five days, the interactive online event for the betting and gaming industry attracted over 10,000 attendees. Attendees were able to access a conference agenda, presentation schedule, floor plan and FAQ PDF.
Another fine example of a successful online festival was Tomorrowland. After being canceled in 2020 due to coronavirus restrictions, organizers of the world-renowned electronic music festival decided to go virtual. In excess of 400,000+ attendees raved in front of 6x8x8-metre green screens that were erected in Boom, São Paulo, Sydney, and Los Angeles.
If you want to excel at hosting an engaging event that will have your guests returning for more, pay careful thought to the event type. Some of the most common online events include virtual festivals, workshops, job fairs, fundraisers, networking affairs, team-building activities, and shopping.
Remember to choose a suitable time zone that will serve you well for audience engagement. Don't forget to set clear goals at the beginning and organize a post event follow up. It's also worth preparing for troubleshooting issues by securing an alternative platform as a backup option.