Many things have changed in the last 12 months, and some of those changes could stick around for the foreseeable future. While we may eventually return to holding in-person conferences, many opportunities this year have gone virtual.

You might have lots of questions about virtual conferences. Are they worth your time? Should you wait for “regular” in-person events to return? When in-person events pick up again, should you even bother with virtual conferences?

As it turns out, joining a virtual conference has some serious advantages. Here’s why you should consider joining some, both this year and in the future as well.

Virtual Conferences Are More Affordable

You might ask why the cost of admission for a virtual event is similar to what you’d pay for an in-person event. You may have decided it doesn’t make sense or fit your budget to attend the virtual options.

Virtual conferences may look expensive at first glance, but the truth is they’re often more affordable. The people running the conference still need to be paid, guests could be given speaking fees, and there’s the cost of the technology used to deliver the conference. Those costs do add up, although they’re often a little less than paying for physical space and all the trappings that go along with in-person events.

As a result, the cost of attending a virtual conference might be lower from the start. There are other savings as well. For example, you can save on travel costs. Your team members don’t need to travel to the location of the conference to attend. They don’t need to pay for transportation, such as air travel or a rental vehicle or even gas in their own cars. They also don’t need to book accommodations, and they don’t need to pay for meals or entertainment while they’re on the road.

Learning from the Comfort of Your Own Home

Easier travel and more affordability makes virtual conferences better opportunities for more people on your team.

Some people might feel they can’t travel very far from home. Maybe they have small children and would have to arrange childcare for a couple of days. Maybe they have an elderly parent they need to take care of. They might even have another part-time job or a volunteer position that they’re having trouble getting away from.

A virtual conference makes it possible for these employees to attend, without sacrificing their other commitments.

Learning from the comfort of home also has its advantages. Research shows that people learn better in environments they’re comfortable in. Since the home is also familiar, we tend to pay more attention to the new information being presented. We may even have better recall, especially if we learn and work in the same environment. Since many people are working from home right now, having them learn at home too could improve their mastery of the new information.

There’s Lots to Learn in 2021

Why else should you consider virtual conferences this year? It could be a mistake to wait for in-person events to return.

There’s still lots to learn in 2021, especially as the business environment keeps evolving. You may need to learn new skills right now, to help you better manage a remote team or master new technology.

If you wait for in-person events to return, you could be missing out on key knowledge and skills that could help you and your team grow the business.

It makes a lot of sense to put virtual conferences on your schedule. Help your team keep learning and growing by providing them with plenty of opportunities, even when they’re working remotely.

Thinking about learning and training as part of your employee compensation package? Get in touch with the experts to discover what else you should be offering in your total compensation plan.