With the deadly pandemic keeping event venues shuttered and people multiple feet apart, it is the need of the hour to rethink events. To say that COVID-19 has driven the events industry haywire will be an understatement. A research by EventMB suggests that back in 2019, 52.6% of professionals reported having invested in event tech as compared to the last year; this year those numbers were bound to skyrocket.
A consequence of quarantine, lockdown, and isolation has resulted in an imminent shift to the adoption of digital solutions. From virtual events to hybrid solutions and offline participation, the landscape of event management has experienced drastic changes. While hardly anything will become the death knelt for in-person gatherings, the shift to hybrid and virtual event management will impact the event industry tremendously for the foreseeable future.
The post-pandemic world is itching to make its way back to normal. The event industry, however, is adapting and improvising with the emergence of virtual and hybrid solutions. To gain a competitive advantage and stay afloat during challenging times, it is vital to master the art of going virtual and creating engaging and meaningful hybrid experiences for the exhibitors and attendees alike.
Now the question becomes: Is your organization ready to tackle the challenges at hand and provide curative and immersive experiences to its customers? Based on multiple surveys within the event management industry, below are the most trending event approaches for the New Normal.
Offline and On-Site Events Will Become Exclusive
Once a raging necessity, offline events are now only held when it is of the utmost importance. Though the benefits of an in-person event shine through in terms of social interaction, there is still time before the world resumes to it without fear. With data not always translating well virtually, offline events with strict SOPs in place are being hosted as per need basis for successful event management during COVID.
Resultantly, due to their virtual counterparts becoming common, offline events will become more exclusive. Prominent tech companies shifted their usual onsite events into virtual formats. Google switched to a virtual event format for Google Cloud Next 2020, whereas Apple hosted their Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2020 and subsequent product launch events in virtual settings.
Virtual Participation – Live Streams, Webinars, and More
Relying heavily on video conferencing and work from home setups, coronavirus pushed many companies from an on-site to remote work system. This gave birth to the possibility of the pandemic altering the landscape of future business travel and meetings forever. Statistics by Freeman show that decision makers are now more involved in the marketing strategy for virtual events with 48% stating that their CEO is more involved.
Virtual participation roughly equates to your audience interacting with you online. Although virtual events are not going to upend human interaction and offline events entirely, they do offer a brand-new way to experience events. Global giants have jumped on the bandwagon and invested billions in recognizing the potential of virtual events with 7 out of 10 marketers predicting virtual events past 2020 (Event Marketer, 2020).
An event website as a promotional instrument, registration for data compilation, e-mail to drive demand and kickstart enrollments, event guide or event app to foster connections, and finally the event feedback are some of the elements for hosting a virtual event. Additionally, a virtual event platform that acts as the venue and possesses live stream tools along with participation engagement tools are the fundamental building blocks of a triumphant virtual event.
The Hybrid Future
COVID pandemic effects on event management have led businesses worldwide to resort to digital solutions for long-term event planning and a hybrid model is predominating so far. Hybrid events are an amalgamation of live and virtual events where your audience can seamlessly engage with you in-person as well as virtually.
A Markletic research shows that engagement is the key to a hybrid event according to 49% of marketers, which is supported by a technologically integrated facility for the participants, fulfills the needs of your audience, and puts your on-site and off-site audience on the same level. Trade shows, conferences, and sales kick-offs are some of the excellent examples of hybrid events.
The key characteristics of memorable hybrid events feature an engaging experience for the audience, opportunities for networking, personalized touches, and collection of a treasure trove of data for deriving meaningful insights. With over 80% of the marketers asserting that greater audience reach is the biggest upside of the virtual shift in Evolution of Events Report, these in-person events with virtual components are here to stay.
Reimagine Event Management with Visionet
Whatever the model, meaningful interactions and seamless, personalized customer experiences are paramount. All this is only possible with a powerful backend operational model and a platform that enables flexibility and scalability for getting the envisioned results.
Event Management Solution (EMS) by Visionet supports you in navigating the new reality of event management and helps you execute events by rendering a holistic, one-stop solution to all your event management needs with the help of a sophisticated suite of commodities to create a seamless journey for organizers, members, and attendees – be it offline, virtual or hybrid events.
Get in touch with our experts to explore how EMS makes physical and virtual event management a breeze from start to finish.