2020 is a year of change with major roller coaster rides for every business, organisation, or entity. The unforeseen advent of the coronavirus global pandemic has hit almost every nation around the globe. No nation is left untouched with the impact of hazardous coronavirus. The disease is communicable and resulted in an increase in the percentage of death rates. To prevent the nation from the wrath of coronavirus, restrictions have been enforced on travelling and public gatherings. To ensure the health safety of the people, lockdowns have been imposed in various regions.
However, it resulted in dipping down many businesses around the world. No sector is left untouched with the smack of COVID-19. The event industry is one such major entity that has been sorely impacted by the occurrence of the global health crisis.
Businesses and organisations around the world are taken aback by the sudden emergence of COVID-19. Events that were scheduled up for the upcoming months and year either got postponed or got cancelled completely. Organisations are only left with the option to move their events online and leverage video conferencing solutions to connect remotely.
Today, hosting virtual meetings and virtual AGMs has become an integral part of every industry. Right from carrying out recurring day to day virtual meetings, virtual live conferences, events, etc. virtual events platform serves all. Nowadays, the internet is flooded with a variety of virtual event platforms that offer engaging and interactive virtual event services. It answers all, how the event format has been changed completely in 2020 from on-ground events to virtual ones.
Virtual events enable one to connect and network seamlessly from their remote location at their own comfort. Virtual event platforms facilitate free-flowing conversations by enabling networking opportunities. Virtual events allow attendees to interact in real-time via live audio/video/text chats to other attendees, speakers, exhibitors, etc. As lockdown restrictions got uplifted and people started moving out, hybrid events came into play.
With the emergence of COVID-19, the event format has been completely changed. Virtual events and hybrid events became immensely popular and the first choice of marketers and event planners. Event organisers around the world are tapping into the most powerful tool to keep going. In this post, we will discuss how COVID-19 has impacted the event industry and changed it completely. Here we have discussed the past, present, and future of the event industry. Let’s get started!
Event Industry: Before COVID-19
Before the outbreak of unforecasted COVID-19, events were organised on-ground or at a physical location. Attendees from afar travel to event locations to attend an event. The excitement of attending events in-person prevails in the hearts of the attendees. Handshakes and hugs are the part of greeting other attendees at an event. Face-to-face interactions held during the event build trust and relationship with the brand. Whether it’s product launching, conference, or an exhibition, attendees gather at an on-site venue for an event. They interact with other attendees and speakers of the event in-person. Some big organisations were hosting virtual meetings even before the advent of COVID-19 to connect with global delegates and employees.
Event Industry: During COVID-19
With the sudden upsurge of COVID-19 in 2020, the event industry is one such entity that has been majorly affected. But, it is one of the fastest entities that came up with the solution and leveraged online event technology. Restrictions have been imposed on mass gathering and travelling due to the global pandemic. Physical events and meetings scheduled up for the upcoming months got postponed or cancelled completely. Here virtual meetings and events came into play. Events, meetings, and conferences that were planned up for the year have been shifted online on a virtual events platform. A comprehensive virtual event platform enables attendees to access the event from wherever they are. You must be aware of physical events and have been a part of one, but you must be thinking what are virtual events?
What are Virtual Events?
A virtual event is an online event that is organised on a virtual event platform and holds a gathering of people over the internet. It enables attendees to connect and network with other attendees, hosts, speakers, etc remotely from the comfort of their own space. The platform enables attendees to interact in real-time via live audio, video, and text chats
Hosting virtual meetings, virtual AGMs, virtual live conferences, and so on has become an integral part of the industry. Apart from it, industries are opting for webinar services to connect with remote attendees and keep going. The number of virtual exhibitions and virtual trade shows has been spiked up suddenly in the past few months. A comprehensive virtual event platform that offers engaging and interactive tools and features enables you to host virtual meetings, virtual conferences, virtual AGMs, virtual job fairs, virtual exhibitions, virtual trade shows, or any other type of internal or external events. Organisations that have never planned to move their events online are today leveraging virtual event technology.
Advantages of Virtual Events
Event organisers have noted in the past few months that virtual events come with many merits. The perks served by virtual events are far beyond the reach of in-person events. It overcomes various barriers such as geographical constraints and space limitations faced during in-person events along with other perks. Here is a list of advantages of hosting a virtual event, have a look:
- Wider reach
- Increased attendance and participation
- Maximised engagements
- Save a lot on assets
- A detailed analytics report or valuable event data
- Better exposure
- Comfort and convenience
- Improved Rate of Interest (ROI)
- Reduced carbon footprint
- Performance metrics
- Host Limitless attendees
- No more geographical constraints
Virtual events have many advantages to offer, but event organisers have realised face-to-face interactions will always be an integral part. Here a different event format came into play known as hybrid events. As lockdown restrictions started uplifting hybrid events came into play.
What are Hybrid Events?
A hybrid event is a mix of physical and virtual events. It is organised at a physical on-site location paired with a virtual component. It offers the flexibility to attendees to attend the event either in-person or virtually from remote locations. Attendees who live at a distance can access the event virtually at their convenience from anywhere. Whereas attendees who wish to attend an event in-person can visit the venue.
The hybrid virtual event platform offers interactive and engaging features to keep attendees engaged. You can simply organise live polls, surveys, Q&A, games, etc with hybrid virtual event platforms. It helps in delivering immersive event experiences to virtual attendees and facilitates them to have free-flowing conversations in real-time. Same as virtual events, the perks offered by hybrid events are far beyond the reach of traditional events. Hybrid events offer the same set of advantages as virtual events along with the enabled flexibility.
Event Industry: How will the event industry look like after COVID-19?
The impact of the global pandemic has still not vanished completely. Public gatherings are one of the reasons for the spread of a hazardous disease. People will remain skeptical about attending physical events soon in the coming times. The recovery time is still not predicted and the vaccinations are not out yet. Recently, a surge in virtual and hybrid events has been witnessed. Organisations around the world leverage virtual hybrid events to keep the business going in the time of the global health crisis. There is no doubt that virtual and hybrid events are here to stay and the future of the event industry.
If you have not yet tapped into the most powerful tool to host your events, it’s time to get started!