This past year has been nothing short of trying. We’ve all had to deal with the necessary quick changes, with everything from how we get groceries to how we attend work. COVID-19 seems to have flipped just about everything on its head and that most certainly includes how we put together and attend events–particularly virtual events.
From virtual events to virtual classrooms, virtual graduations, virtual meetings, and so much more, interaction as we once knew it has changed. Where many people used to gather together physically in a united space has turned into gathering in complete isolation from one another. Events and even virtual events are entirely different than what they used to be.
Did COVID-19 Help the Events Industry?
Now, it’s important to be honest here, running a remote event is not the same as attending an in-person event. But the truth is, virtual events can be just as effective and engaging, but the path to getting there looks a little different.
The events industry has benefitted from COVID-19 in many ways. And those benefits are what we are going to focus on today.
Even before COVID-19 entered into our lives, the events industry was changing. Time became a significant factor as attendees pushed event registration to the last minute and needed more flexibility. Virtual events are able to fulfill these needs as they are convenient and mean just about anyone can attend from anywhere.
Our ability to adapt to virtual events so quickly is beneficial to the events industry as they were something that was bound to happen regardless. We now understand virtual events more than we would have without COVID-19.
Virtual Events After COVID-19
As everything shifts into a post COVID world, it’s likely we’re going to see a shift to virtual and hybrid events. This is helpful to the events industry because it will both ease the blow of a quick shift into a post COVID world, and contribute to levels of attendance, as well as event quality.
Audiences have now become conditioned to using digital tools for just about everything they do! They can sign-up for events, communicate with others before, during, and after with ease, and take in a lot more information.
As we move forward it’s likely we will see events as a long-time community investment. Social media will only work to boost social proof around events and people will become more involved as an online community is established.
Attendees will be able to engage with leaders and speakers before events which only means for greater attendance and satisfaction. Then they can continue to engage and connect with peers and speakers following the event. Their experience will be enhanced and lengthened by the addition of digital platforms.
This is not only a benefit to attendees but to organizations and their brands as well. Reach goes further and connection is longer, which works to build better trust, loyalty, and connections.
Technology and Virtual Events
There’s no denying technology is going to continue to be a big part of events, even after COVID-19. This is why it’s so important to have the proper technology in place now. It’s not going anywhere!
In fact, event technology is what rose to the challenge when events had to take on a rapid shift. It was there to help us make the transition as seamlessly as possible and has proven itself as a viable option when it comes to hosting events.
Many companies will continue to navigate the shift to virtual and hybrid events, which only means for more new features and platform options to choose from. The possibilities with virtual events are endless because of technology.
You can turn meetings into video conferences, and in-person Q&A sessions into virtual ones. In-person events can be further enhanced with things like polling features and the ability to collect answers and data in real-time.
As we move forward, integrating these technologies only means for better events both in-person and virtually. The doors are opening to all kinds of different possibilities and it’s up to us to choose which ones are going to work best to our advantage!
The Future of Virtual Events
It’s safe to say the way we’ve always done things has changed for good. But that doesn’t mean that change needs to be seen in a negative way! Our ability as a society to adapt so efficiently is something we should all be proud of on its own.
Hybrid and virtual events are also going to open to the door to plenty of new opportunities as more people attend and engage. The changes we see only continue to push us forward and help motivate us to adapt and further succeed.