Virtual Vs In-person Events

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Picture of Sarah Corcoran

Sarah Corcoran

The way we meet has changed since 2019. Virtual events were solely in the domain of the computer-literate and tech-savvy pre-pandemic but today people across the world are connecting virtually with the click of a mouse. But which is truly better, in-person or virtual events? We believe there is nothing like the excitement and opportunity that comes from an in-person event, especially in one of the premier conference and events venues in Dublin. DCU specialise in event planning with a focus on sustainability and can accommodate meetings from 5 to 1200 attendees. Here are some pros & cons of virtual vs in-person events in Dublin.


There’s no argument that virtual events are better for networking. Walking around a venue, chatting with people you wouldn’t usually get the opportunity to and making real-life connections is priceless and something that cannot be matched by virtual events. There’s nothing like being surrounded by people who share your passions and interests as well as connecting with new people. Business deals are more likely to close face to face rather than via the internet too as potential clients can gauge your trustworthiness and passion for themselves. Networking is a key element to the experience at any event. Attendees can connect with business prospects, potential employers and fellow enthusiasts forging lasting relationships.

Social Cues

There are many benefits to seeing someone’s face and body language via face-to-face interaction. You can pick up on subtle cues you may not even be aware of. The lack of non-verbal communication in online events can be a major obstacle for some people. virtual events make it difficult for individuals who may have trouble reading cues such as sarcasm, humour, or anger in someone’s facial expression or tone of voice. Face-to-face meetings level the playing field when it comes to reading social cues, a form of accessibility that is largely underestimated.

Better Focus

Have you ever taken an online class or sat through an online lecture? How often did you look at your phone throughout it? Online learning and conferences are great for accessibility and save time on the commute but the engagement is notoriously lower. Keeping attendees’ attention during virtual events can be difficult. On average it takes just 23 minutes for people to lose focus and concentration at an online meeting. The internet provides unlimited entertainment which can lead to a shorter attention span when expecting an attendee to stare at a screen. At virtual events, you can redirect attention from the screen to the stage and fewer attendees are likely to look at their phones.

The Wow Factor

One of the things that makes in-person events stand head and shoulders above virtual events is the element of surprise. The mystery and thrill of not knowing what is next is what makes in-person events so intriguing. Surprises might be an unexpected speaker, a complimentary gift, or a fantastic caterer providing snacks at the event. Surprises add to the experience of the event, something that the attendee will remember more than any facts and figures you might tell them. Engaging with people’s emotions strengthens the bond and builds a sense of brand loyalty between customer and company. A great in-person event helps to spread positive word of mouth about your business or company drawing a bigger audience to the next one.

Meet in DCU

DCU is one of Ireland’s most prestigious universities and our campus in the leafy suburb of Glasnevin is the perfect place to host any meeting or conference in Dublin. Our meeting rooms and conference venues can accommodate anything from 5 to 1200 attendees in various room sizes and types, ideal to customise the space to your unique needs. All events are overseen by a designated event manager who will assist you on your conference journey from initial concept to successful completion. We have a range of catering and dining options available both in our meeting spaces and on campus as well as accommodation and car parking. 
Contact our experienced and dedicated events team in DCU to learn more about our flexible conference and event space in Dublin. We cater to all types of events and can customise our space to suit your needs.

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