With the COVID-19 pandemic going on longer than many of us could ever have imagined, we have seen the events industry concentrate on the need to diversify our offering. This has been mainly by the way of virtual events and meetings. The live events industry has almost come to a complete standstill, so the need for an alternative was greater than ever. For the time being, most people are taking advantage of the current situation by hosting virtual events. While we see virtual events as an excellent interim solution, we believe that the live events industry will come back stronger than ever. Here’s why…
The Bigger Picture
As the world begins to open up and we start to get a better picture of what the world will look like post COVID-19, the need for face-to-face interaction and audience engagement will become more prevalent. Of course, we are under no illusion that video conferencing platforms like Zoom and Skype Business are fantastic and have offered an invaluable solution in our time of need. However, we passionately believe that the personal interaction and unique experience garnered from attending a live event cannot be replicated virtually.
Virtual meetings have never claimed to be able to deliver anything more than a face-to-face meeting. Indeed, there are many out there sharing their views that they are more efficient and take less planning. While this may the case, you can’t avoid the fact that the overall goal of an event is to connect with people on personal level. Live events enable you to deliver a message that evokes a true experience for the attendee.
Change Can Be Good
Events need to change, there is no denying this. We’re seeing that the way we interact with each other, not only in the events industry but within society as a whole, has been changed forever. We have looked at these changes from an events industry perspective to see what positives we can take from them.
A key observation we’ve made is that the world has become more aware of each other’s personal space. People are respecting boundaries and generally being kinder to one another. We hope that this atmosphere will continue at live events and will help delegates feel more relaxed when they return. With people being more aware of their own surroundings and everybody’s health and wellbeing, we can use this to create live event environments where everyone feels safe and relaxed. Somewhere where your audience actually wants to be!
With many events venues introducing stringent hygiene practices and programmes, finding the perfect location for your first returned live event shouldn’t be an issue. This should help appease any internal stakeholder health and safety concerns, as well as those of your attendees. Combine these new programmes with your delegate’s new-found respect for personal space and you’ll have a live event everyone can enjoy safely.
When the Dust Settles
A recent survey conducted by the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) showed that only 24% “…are worried that digital events will cannibalise face-to-face events in the future.” These encouraging stat’s shows that when the dust settles, live events will reign supreme once more. But virtual events will still have a huge part to play for now.
By embracing both, we believe this will help your business grow within your industry; those who adapt are more likely to prosper. Our advice is to review your events programme and make sure it is in the best shape possible for when the undoubted, unquestionable thirst for live events returns.
For the time being, we suggest that you get the best of both worlds by hosting a Hybrid Event. A Hybrid Event or Meeting combines a ‘live’ in-person event with a ‘virtual’ online component. This allows people to attend and engage with you from anywhere in the world, without leaving the comfort of their home or office.
We know that events are all about bringing as many people together as possible, so they can hear what you have to say. By broadcasting your event live, you can reach a wider audience and generate far more engagement with your attendees. By choosing to host a Hybrid Event, you’re taking the opportunity to engage with your audience in a way that simply isn’t possible while traditional face-to-face events are currently on hold.
We understand that getting your business and your events programme back on track is at the front of your mind. We hope we’ve put your mind at ease and helped you realise live events will be back with a bang. There is no denying the personal level of interaction that a live event brings. It’s for this reason alone that we believe live events will be come back stronger than ever.
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