6 Myths and Misconceptions About Virtual Events & Why They’re Better Off Ignored

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Virtual events are still relatively new to many people. Because of this, there are lots of myths and misconceptions that probably affect how you think about them. These virtual events myths can make it seem like taking your event online just isn’t worth it. The truth is, a virtual event or hybrid event can be incredibly successful, if you approach it in the right way. It’s just a matter of debunking common online events myths to get at the truth.

Myth 1: People Don’t Want to Attend Online Events

Live events have been a mainstay of many industries for decades. And even though virtual events have been possible for a long time, they didn’t hit their stride until 2020, when physical events were forced to take a break due to COVID-19.

It’s not surprising that this is a highly popular virtual event myth. After all, if people wanted to attend online events, they would have already been popular, right?

Not necessarily.

The fact is, most people and companies tend to stick with what they know works. Many big events were slowly starting to add virtual features, and effectively becoming hybrid events. But virtual events were a mostly untried market.

But look what happened when circumstances forced events to pivot to being fully online. Many of this year’s events have reported higher attendance figures than ever—because it’s easier and less expensive to attend an online event. People who previously avoided live events because they were too far away or unaffordable are now enjoying virtual events in record numbers.

Myth 2: Planning a Virtual Event Is More Work

It’s true that planning a virtual event involves work. And some of it is work that isn’t needed for an in-person event. But the reverse is true as well: There’s work you do for an in-person event that won’t be needed at a virtual one. For instance, at a physical event you’ll need to hire a venue, vendors, and labor, and arrange accommodation and transport partners. None of that is needed at a virtual event because people won’t be heading to a live venue.

It’s more accurate to say that the amount of work needed is similar, just focused in different areas with an online event. For instance, instead of hiring a venue and service providers, you’ll be working with an online platform to host the event. Opting for an all-in-one immersive virtual events platform and an event planning company will make that work simpler.

two women and a man stand talking in a circle

Myth 3: Virtual Events Are Too Complicated

For some people, the idea of putting an entire event online makes it too complicated because they feel everything becomes about the tech—and if that goes wrong, your event is a bust.

But again, running a virtual event versus a physical one only means you’re shifting the focus. Virtual events aren’t more complicated; they’re just different. When you host a physical event, you don’t handle everything yourself—you have a team of people with expertise in various areas. With a virtual event, you do exactly the same thing, except now your team are tech experts as well. As long as you have the right people on board and put in the preparation work, you can handle any problems that may arise.

Keep Event Tech Running Smoothly

Myth 4: It’s Impossible for Attendees to Engage Meaningfully at Virtual Events

At big live events, where the largest companies compete to outdo one another with impressive exhibits, it’s easy to see when attendees are engaged. But at online events, you can’t physically see what your attendees are doing. Are they watching the presentation or just keeping one eye on it while they multitask? Beyond tracking clicks and engagement, it can be hard to tell, and that makes some event organizers wary about virtual events.

While it can be a little more challenging to encourage engagement at online events, it’s not impossible. In some ways, it can be even more rewarding for attendees. In fact, there are many ways to engage attendees, including:

  • Q&A sessions
  • Polls or quizzes
  • Designated chat channels
  • Gamification

Boost Engagement @ Virtual Events

While it’s hard to quantify engagement at an in-person event, at an online one, the ability to track clicks and views actually makes it much easier. Tracking attendee activity can provide highly valuable data that’s useful for planning future events and marketing campaigns.

ProGlobalEvents Virtual Events Demo

Myth 5: Online Events Can’t Be Monetized

If you’ve been used to operating in the live event industry—whether it’s attending them or running them—it can be difficult to see how virtual events might be monetized. But again, the online environment is perfect for this purpose. Online advertising is so ubiquitous and so lucrative, its existence is essentially what makes the internet possible.

The keys to monetizing a virtual event are being creative and thorough. There are lots of online spaces where advertising can be displayed. And that means you have plenty to offer exhibitors and sponsors who might be interested in your event. Some options include:

  • Preferred advertisement placement for sponsors on the event website, in your event app, and on the event platform
  • Online banner ads and splash screens
  • Advertising messages on registration screens
  • Mentions in event-related email blasts
  • Sponsorship messaging between sessions
  • Advertising in the virtual lobby or virtual event space
  • Virtual exhibits for sponsors as well as exhibitors
  • Networking spaces with sponsored advertising
  • Sponsored prizes and giveaways
  • Sponsored speakers and presenters

Get a Virtual Event Sponsor

Myth 6: Virtual Events Don’t Have Staying Power

Virtual has seen a huge surge in 2020 and 2021 due to the need for social distancing and other safety measures. But will they stick around? One view is that virtual events won’t remain popular in the long term because they can’t compete with the unique spectacle that in-person events provide.

On the other hand, many event organizers are putting considerable effort into building the event teams and infrastructure they need to host virtual events. Why would they want to let all that go? It makes much more sense to continue getting value from that work by making future events a hybrid of live and virtual. There are many benefits to taking an event online, and it’s possible that virtual—or hybrid events—was always the future of the industry; COVID-19 pushed it to happen sooner than it might have otherwise.

Virtual Events Are Here to Stay

The most common virtual events myths all seem to suggest that online events are inferior because they’re different from live events. There’s no question that virtual events are very different from their in-person counterparts, but the things that make virtual events different are what give them their potential. The convenience for attendees, the monetization opportunities for sponsors, not to mention the valuable data-collection opportunities, all mean that virtual events are much more than a temporary fix—they’re part of the next step for the event industry as a whole.

Ivan Fujihara

Chief Financial Officer

Ivan brings 25+ years in senior level management experience from a variety of technology industries.  His background includes accounting management, analytics and audit management for technology companies.  He has worked with companies such as THX, Ltd, Recruitology , Double Click, Creative Labs and more.  Ivan has also served on the board of Lincoln Families, a non-profit that supports East Bay children with the objective of disrupting the cycle of trauma and poverty.

Matt Rulis

Vice President of Sales

Matt is a marketing professional and has been managing marketing strategies, campaigns and environments for a diverse client base for over 15 years. From a service perspective, Matt and his team of Account Executives focus on fostering relationships to uphold a greater than 99% customer satisfaction rating year-over-year. Additionally, with extensive experience on the client-side of the industry, he understands that alignment between expectation and budget is paramount to a successful project. As a result, ProGlobalEvents' clients can expect a competitive advantage paired with top quality products and services. Matt is an avid fly-fisherman, enjoys most outdoor activities and is a true college football fanatic.

Tom Foley

VP of Operations

Heading the fabrication side of ProGlobalEvents is exhibit and event industry veteran, Tom Foley. For over 35 years he has been responsible for building amazing exhibits and environments for clients. Tom started out in the production area and has broad experience in project and operations management. He currently oversees production, warehouse, graphics and project management departments. Tom studied machine tool technology and welding before entering the industry. As a true "builder" he also enjoys restoring and modifying classic American cars.

Dick Wheeler


Dick serves as President of ProGlobalEvents and President of ProExhibits and is a board member of CEMA (Corporate Event Marketing Association). At ProExhibits he has been nationally recognized as an innovator and driving force in the fast-growing trade show exhibit and event industry. Under his leadership in 1997, the firm received INC magazine’s INC 500 award as one of America’s fastest-growing companies. His informative articles on developments and innovations in the trade show exhibit and event industry have appeared in national trade publications. Dick has a B.S. degree from Wittemore School of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire and has completed the Entrepreneurial Executive Leadership Program sponsored by MIT, YEO and INC. He is actively involved in Vistage, an interactive group of over 20,000 CEO’s and presidents worldwide and is a member of CEMA and EDPA.

Jack Connolly

Creative Director

As an experiential creative director, Jack prefers to draw outside the lines. He tells stories with original content and impactful design to ignite meaningful conversation.


Jack brings 20 years of event industry knowledge to ProGlobalEvents. He specializes in building live & virtual platforms for audiences to connect, engage and immerse themselves in the power of a shared experience. His skills range from ideation and concept development to defining an attendee journey through storytelling and design.

Jack understands the creative process is not linear, but a collaborative process between agency and client. He manages teams of designers and technology developers to pioneer impactful brand experiences. His diverse skillset and leadership ensure for award-winning results and memorable impressions.


In 2019, BizBash named Jack one of the top event designers in North America. SXSW awarded his work the “People’s Choice in Innovation” in 2021.

Jody Tatro

Chief Executive Officer

In addition to being CEO of ProGlobalEvents, Jody is also the CEO of ProExhibits. With Jody at the helm, the company has been recognized repeatedly as one of the Top 50 Women Owned Businesses in Silicon Valley. She has set the outstanding client service standards for which the firm’s account management team is noted. Jody is a recipient of the YWCA’s Tribute to Women Award, the Junior League Community Volunteer Award and is listed in Who’s Who of Women in Business. Following her graduation from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Jody held various sales positions in several technology companies.

Paul Miller

Chief Marketing Officer

Having served in a number of executive roles for companies in Silicon Valley for over 25 years, Paul has a client-side perspective of the corporate events industry. He has a broad set of experiences working for startups as well as global firms such as Applied Materials. At ProGlobalEvents, Paul helps the company to reach clients through traditional and digital marketing programs. With an extensive background in the High Tech sector, he’s also involved with technology strategy both internally and for clients. Paul is a graduate of the Harvard Business School, the Stanford Engineering Design School and Claremont McKenna College. In his spare time he is a also a principal member of the non-profit Gratitude Network which mentors award winning social entrepreneurs.