Authored Article by Smita Shah, Co-founder, Woot Factor Brand Architects
We humans love going out, meeting people, engaging in conversations and indulging in experiences that pique our interests. However, the rampant spread of the Corona Virus brought the lives of zillions of people across the globe to a standstill. To control the outbreak, governments worldwide put restrictions on most outdoor activities. Almost every sector that had a tryst with this black swan found itself grappling with the unprecedented situation at hand. The event industry was no stranger to these turbulent occurrences. Being a facet that revolved around curating experiences that brought thousands of people together under the same roof or on the same ground, event curators had to look for befitting alternatives to keep the show successfully going.
As an industry that is expected to reach a valuation of $ 1,135.4 by 2028, the event sector was quick to adapt to the changing external environment. The most iconic driver of this transition was the extensive use of technology. Organisers leveraged cutting-edge technological solutions to create events that could be enjoyed from the safety and comfort of one’s homes. These modern-day events noted immense use of audio-visual effects, artificial intelligence, machine learning and other disruptive tools. By capitalizing on technology, event companies offered their audience as immersive experiences as possible.
However, the charm of live events cannot be replaced. As things move towards normalcy, the return of in-person events is inevitable and much-awaited. Does this mean that the trend of online events will become too passé and obsolete? Not quite. The event industry is all set to notice the dawn of new event culture – the hybrid events. These will be a thoughtful combination of both live and virtual formats. With hybrid formats, you can further expand the experience by offering a total of what both types of events have to offer. Now let’s take a look at what is in store for you as this emergent concept takes over-
Conventional events, irrespective of their scale, often failed to reach a global audience and were restricted to the capacity of the venue. Online events, on the other hand, can be viewed by anyone residing in any part of the globe. A mix of both these formats will allow organisers to offer the best of both worlds to their audience. By conducting one single event, you can address millions of people.
With the hybrid format acquiring the centre stage, it gives brands greater flexibility to decide the scale of the event. For instance, if you plan on hosting four events per year, but your budget permits only two, you can still manage to conduct all of them. All you have to do is determine the extent of each event. Does it mean you will have to compromise on the number of attendees? Not at all. With hybrid events, you can easily adjust the scale of your operations and make smart use of technology to ensure you reach out to a large audience base in a pocket-friendly manner.
The road back may be long but the eventual return of physical event formats is inevitable. Humans are social creatures and need face-to-face experiences. The interaction, community, and connection a live event incubates can simply not be replicated elsewhere. After all, no salesperson wants to take a virtual trip. In the days to come, we may also see a new post-pandemic process for events.
Irrespective of the format, events will continue to engage people and bring them together even in 2022. Increasing the ROI and making the most of each one will be the prime focus of organisers across the board!