I closed a previous post with a prediction that holding virtual events would be a trend likely to continue beyond the COVID crisis. While browsing the BBC News app today, I saw this article, which I think clearly supports this prediction. The article concerns Aviva’s announcement that they will be adopting home working as “standard practice” in the future. I’m personally convinced this is the first of many such announcements and the start of a trend that will snowball. If this is the case, it clearly has implications for patterns of work in general. However, it will also have a significant impact on the world of online or virtual events!
Growth in virtual events brings opportunities:
This post on Forbes, written by Jennifer Best, discusses the true significance of the COVID-inspired trend for virtual events. In the post, she considers the considerable “growth opportunities” that virtual events present, along with other issues regarding technology and audience engagement. She also discusses some of the issues that mean that virtual will continue to be an important part of the events mix.
Start me up!
Venture capitalist, Julia Morrongiello, looks, in particular, at startup events and the significant advantages that virtualisation has brought, in her article Why Virtual Events Are The Future. Here she considers opportunities for global distribution, along with access to presenters that is unimpeded by geography. She also discusses the increased flexibility and reduced cost for event attendees. However, Julia doesn’t just focus on the distinct advantages of virtual events, as she also considers some of the subtle benefits of face-to-face networking impossible in the virtual realm.
Hybrids??? I thought they were cars!
Another prediction on the future of virtual events is the emergence of hybrid events. In his article for VentureBeat, Paul Sawyers surmises that events will gradually evolve into a state whereby face-to-face and virtual elements sit side by side. This will give event organisers the best of both worlds while offering audiences choice in how they want to attend.
It’s very clear that, regardless of how virtual events evolve, they’re destined to remain mainstream. Organisations of all types will benefit as technology improves and audience engagement becomes easier. It’s also clear, however, that the expertise necessary for hosting successful online events will become increasingly in demand!
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