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Virtual Events vs Physical ‘In Person’ Events


During COVID-19 times virtual online meetings, conferences, celebrations, awards, trade shows, exhibitions and other events have been very popular with companies wanting to keep engaged and in contact with clients, customers and staff… but will these virtual events continue once the pandemic is under control?

We think “Yes!” and our delegate and attendee ‘goody bag & box’ service has been developed to reflect that, helping event organisers to make both their online and offline events ever more attractive, engaging and successful.

Based on projections, it is anticipated that virtual events will grow nearly ten-fold over the next decade from under £60 billion to over £600 billion …which is not at all surprising when you consider how many conferences, exhibitions, corporate events and seminars, promotions and fundraisers, music and art performances, sports, festivals, trade shows and product launches have had to move online in the last 12 months!

Infact having spoken to many of our clients in the conference sector it is clear that virtual communications will not only continue beyond COVID-19 but become even more popular… either for ‘stand alone’ online events or as part of an ‘in person’ events… usually referred to as a ‘hybrid’ event.

While most events are virtual-only at the moment, hybrid events are likely to be the future. Meetings, conferences, awards, trade shows and exhibitions etc that combine the in person physical and the online virtual will offer significant benefits for event organisers and for attendees too.

By bringing physical events into the digital world event organisers can reach a much larger audience that may prefer not to travel for a range of reasons including on-going concerns about COVID, work or personal commitments, budgetary restrictions, concerns about minimising carbon footprint and protecting the environment etc.

Meantime, as uncertainty persists with the on-going pandemic, the astronomical growth of virtual events will continue.


As the world adapts to holding events online the many advantages of remote, virtual video conferencing are being recognised… not least the opportunities to collaborate, network, meet, learn and interact without leaving their home or work place.

But with virtual events here to stay the picture is not completely rosey.

Perhaps inevitably, as much of their working day may comprise online video calls and meetings, many prospective virtual event participants are suffering from video conferencing fatigue… prospective delegates are increasingly underwhelmed at the prospect of attending yet another online event. The world is becoming “zoomed-out”!

One challenge for event organisers, whether planning a completely online meeting, conference, trade show or exhibition or a hybrid event, is therefore how to tackle this “virtual fatigue” and keep their audience excited, engaged and participating, wherever they may be.

Another challenge is how to ensure the maximum possible exposure for their sponsors and ‘virtual exhibitors’ who are also in a state of flux thanks to the loss of live ‘in person’ events.

Sponsors and exhibitors too are missing the opportunities to meet prospective customers in person, to raise awareness of their products and services and to make a long-lasting impression by giving them merchandise, materials and gifts etc.

Our delegate ‘goody’ bags and boxes are the answer!

For example we can include in each goody bag or box delicious personalised Chocolates & Sweets for the delegates to enjoy while they take part in the virtual event… possibly with QR codes printed on the wrappers linking the delegates to FAQs and information about the sponsors and exhibitors, or about the speakers and the event itself… or serving to provide a fun interactive competition or quiz or or interactive ‘event’ to keep delegates excited and engaged!


The best way to create a tangible connection between attendees and the event sponsors, exhibitors and the virtual event itself is by bringing the real world to the virtual experience for all those taking part.

Here at Delvaux we provide a full delegate/attendee ‘goody’ bag & box and gifting service… from concept development and production to distribution.

Our products and services are designed to create real delegate engagement and to reduce the logistics workload and hassle factor for event organisers and their sponsors and virtual exhibitors.

We can work with event organisers whatever their budget to source, collate and distribute special delegate ‘goody’ bags and boxes full of personalised chocolates and sweets, sponsor branded merchandise and information, special gifts etc.

Our range of delegate ‘goody’ bags and boxes can be sent direct to prospective or confirmed participants:

> To create interest in an event as part of the initial invitation to participate and/or the event marketing campaign;

> To engage and excite delegates during an event;

> To further inform, interest, thank and/or retain participants as part of the post-event communications.


Producing an effective online event is all about finding the right blend of platform, production and people to ensure bookings and a high level of audience attention.

With your virtual event you need to ensure your attendees are actively listening and participating so that they benefit fully… and to ensure your speakers, sponsors and ‘virtual exhibitors’ get maximum exposure.

It helps to keep in mind how people learn, generally there are 3 types of learner:

> Kinaesthetic learners = Tactile learning

> Visual learners

> Auditory Learners

For best results your “event experience” should meet the needs of all three participant types, not only your event content but also the approach and technology (platform) you use, the programme design, the opportunities for delegates to contribute and network, the tangible delegate materials sent to all the attendees etc.

And as we have discussed, sending your delegates branded merchandise and information supplied by sponsors and exhibitors, together with personalised chocolate and sweet treats, is not only a great way to improve delegate engagement and retention but also a fantastic way to add value for your sponsors and virtual exhibitors.

You can greatly enhance any sponsorship and/or virtual exhibition opportunities for prospective sponsors and exhibitors by including in your packages the option to have a sponsor’s tangible, physical materials sent to all the event participants at their home or work place.

Please give us a call to discuss how we can help you excite delegates, sponsors and exhibitors alike, ask for Natalie or Richard: +44 (0) 1932 550500.

Please also view our full range of branded Chocolates & Confectionery at:

(Natalie’s Blog, 11 January 2021)


1) Which Platform Should You Choose?

If you are an event organiser struggling with how to move an event online the first step is to consider which approach will best suit the type of meeting you want to hold, for example:

> Web Meeting

The most common type of collaborative video meeting with all or some of the participants contributing via 2-way video and audio… common platforms include Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet etc.

> Webinar/Webcast

A more didactic ‘broadcast’ type of online event streamed live or pre-recorded during which the audience can see the speaker(s) but the speaker(s) cannot see the audience… common platforms include Zoom, GotoWebinar, Vimeo, YouTube, ClickMeeting, Demio, Webex.

> Event Hub/Platform

A more complex type of virtual event requiring a management tool that combines different technologies in one platform or multiple platforms to create webcasting and/or web meeting opportunities, virtual sponsor areas and delegate breakout rooms, 2-way networking meetings etc.

These events often include pre- & post- meeting engagement and may incorporate ticketing and online payments, delegate and sponsor profiles, ‘on demand’ videos etc… common platforms include EventMobi, Bizzabo, ON24, vFairs, Hopin, BigMarker, Cvent etc.

2) What Content Should You Offer?

Engaging content includes eye-catching visuals, well-rehearsed speakers, absorbing presentations and interactive sessions to inform and inspire.

For larger online events a broader and more diverse range of keynote presentations, workshops, networking opportunities, virtual sponsor and exhibitor booths, activities and entertainment can considerably enhance the delegate experience.

Also essential is a well-trained team of hosts, facilitators and moderators who are experienced in the chosen technology used to deliver the event.

3) What Goes In A Delegate ‘Goody Box’?

By sending delegates a ‘goody box’ event organisers ensure a tactile, physical element guaranteed to make delegates feel they are part of the event. These ‘events in a box’ can include:

> Props for a workshop;

> Branded merchandise such as T-shirts (the delegates can wear on camera), quality Teas and Coffees, Mugs, Pens, Pads, Smartphone Chargers, USB sticks etc etc;

> Individually wrapped chocolates and sweets branded with the event and/or sponsor logo and messaging.

Delvaux can source and/or collate any of the above as part of our delegate ‘goody bag’ service and send boxes either individually directly to delegates or in bulk for subsequent distribution.

We have over 35 year experience producing and supplying personalised Chocolates & Sweets to 1000s of business and associations… the perfect accompaniment for any virtual event, party or conference.

Our individually wrapped Chocolates & Sweets can be printed with:

> The logo and/or messaging of the event organiser and/or sponsors and exhibitors;

> QR codes linked to event and/or sponsor and exhibitor webpages (possibly providing further information and competitions or displaying messages of encouragement etc);

> Social media, website and contact details;

> Special messages, offers etc.

There is no better way to surprise and delight!

Please give us a call to discuss how we can help you excite delegates, sponsors and exhibitors alike, ask for Natalie or Richard: +44 (0) 1932 550500.

Meet… Natalie Atkinson (Managing Director, Delvaux Ltd)

Natalie is the Managing Director of Delvaux Ltd, a family-owned business originally founded in 1985 by her mother Monique as a division of Rombouts Coffee. Natalie leads the ‘delicious marketing ideas’ team at Delvaux, experts in helping Delvaux’s clients to use personalisation and gifting as ‘edible advertising’.

Since Delvaux’s early days supplying petit fours to Restaurants and Hotels and supplying retailers such as the House of Fraser, Conran and Harvey Nichols with luxury chocolates, glace fruits, nougats and nuts, Delvaux has developed into a thriving independent business supplying personalised chocolates (Neapolitans and Petit Chocs) and confectionery in individual wrappers printed with messaging, logo, special offers and promotions etc.

Delvaux has been in business for over 35 years supplying 1000s of businesses, associations, charities, institutions and individuals with millions of personalised Neapolitan and Petit chocolates over that time. More recently Delvaux has expanded under Natalie’s direction with the addition of Mints, Fruit Sweets, Salted Caramel Fudge, Jelly Beans and Jelly Sweets and Chocolate Coffee Beans to the product range.

[If you have any questions please call us on UK freephone 0800 371 428 or International telephone +44 (0) 1932 571180, alternatively please email us at]

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