Keeping Up With Event Industry Trends
Studies show that 97% of event professionals are positive that virtual events will dominate the year 2021 and while the connection and experience that real-life events offered is clearly being missed by event specialists and planners, they are quick to see the various benefits a hybrid model of event management will offer.
1) The coming together of real-life and virtual events:
A hybrid model of event management is one where the benefits of both real-life and virtual events are merged to offer enhanced experiences and create opportunities that can influence the growth of the industry significantly. By using state of the art technology, the innovative and talented pool of human resources that are driven with knowledge and understanding of the industry, the hybrid model of event management is being envisioned with great potential for the future of the industry.
2) The introduction of micro-events:
A segment of a hybrid event management model, micro-events offer a variety of benefits to both the event planner as well as the attendee. Apart from the safety reasons that micro-events offer, it also allows for a more intimate event experience. With a small crowd in attendance, the interaction can be made more personal allowing for networking and better flexibility in terms of attendees choosing to attend say a two day event as part virtual and part real-life. Opening up a wide range of possibilities, micro-events is what will be the preferred choice of events for various occasions.
3) Better quality event production:
A virtual event opens up a whole new set of challenges that need to be addressed at the very initial stage in order to ensure that the event takes off without a glitch. No longer being able to first hand coordinate, monitor and alter an event set-up, the quality of broadcasting, the technology being used, the software, virtual event platform and various other technological aspects need to be sorted out in order to successfully pull off a virtual event. Attendees will be expecting a lot out of each hybrid event experience and care must be taken to deliver as per the same.
4) Safety as an influencing factor:
The main reason for the ideation of virtual events came as a result of the strict and careful safety measures that were put into effect given the onset of the pandemic. Social distancing, sanitization, the wearing of masks and lack of physical contact are terms and conditions that will continue to influence the working of the industry for a while at least. In the interim, every effort must be made to ensure the safety of every individual who will play a role in the event. Smaller on-ground events need to have in place a strict safety protocol that must be followed at all times, micro-events and virtual events are other ways in which to reduce the risk of any transmission of disease while at the same time offering the same event experience to those in attendance.
5) Revisit, revise, relearn and rebuild:
While the hybrid model of event management is an exciting prospect, in order to make the most of its various benefits, a lot of time, effort and some money need to be spent in order to first understand its workings. An entirely new concept, its execution will require a new set of skills and a significant amount of knowledge in order to enjoy the success of a hybrid event. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is the importance of future-proof careers. Event planners need to consider their standing in the new era of hybrid event models and work on building their presence and understanding of the new concept.
Looking back at the once known – normal way of conducting events, the focus on sustainability and long term implications on the environment were hardly considered. Virtual events will look at drastically reducing the carbon footprint that on-ground events would give rise to by limiting the energy spent on travel, excess food, overcrowding etc.
While the industry looks to be changing for the better, the year 2021 will also be one of trial and error, a great deal of experimentation and an abundance of learning. As we set out to begin a new era in the world of events, may the success of our endeavours encourage positive change while that of our failures a means to learn and grow for the better.