Virtual Events - Luxury or necessity?

Virtual Events - Luxury or necessity?

The pandemic has brought a lot of changes in the habits of the people and in this process, technology has been the only friend that has eased out a few things. One such thing that technology has contributed to is the rise of virtual events. Although nothing can replace face to face interaction, in times like this it becomes important to adapt the change.

While we see social media and our e-mail box flooded with invitations to online webinars and seminars, classes it raises a question in our minds-- Are virtual events the new normal? The COVID 19 outbreak has forced several industries to shut down including the corporate offices, schools, colleges, and other services. The industries worldwide are resorting to facilitating their day to day businesses through video conferencing tools by conducting numerous virtual events.

Now, with the need for social distancing increasing day by day, the scope of attending physcial meetings has completely disappeared. This has, in fact, caused the major damage to the event organizers and planners who are trying to sail their boat in this time of difficulty. Currently, they are faced with two challenges- The first being mitigating the losses that have incurred to them and will incur in the future due to corporate events and ceremonies being canceled. Secondly, retaining their business and organizing business events while maintaining social distancing. This dilemma is being solved by integrating cutting edge technology solutions resorting to AR/VR solutions to facilitate virtual events for their various stakeholders.

The demand for the companies giving these technology solutions are rising constantly. And the solutions that are being offered by them are :

Webinars/ Virtual Conferences
Over the past few weeks, corporate offices and businesses have drastically increased the use of virtual events platform to carry out day to day activities. Cloud-hosted broadcasting and live streaming services have facilitated in setting up a virtual event like a physical one. This has not only solved the problem of social distancing but has made the world a smaller place to work into by eliminating geographical boundaries and bring people even closer to work within real-time. This is also a cost-effective solution because a major chunk of costs in organizing these events has been cut down.

Hybrid Events
Even with the increasing use of AR/VR solutions for virtual events, physical events can’t be completely ignored and the business leaders will have to integrate both the physical components with virtual components to give a more holistic solution to the problem. This can be achieved by inviting a large number of to an event that is happening at a physical location. Such events will increase the demand for virtual event hosting platforms. These hybrid events can either internal or external. Internal hybrid events include company-wide events, training, department meetings, etc. while external hybrid events are those that are conducted outside of the organization like user conferences or industry conferences.

Path Ahead
While some of the organizations had already adopted the technology and embraced the change, others are waking due to the pandemic. As technology is changing every aspect of the business, the physical meeting has also been changed to virtual events. Although a complete virtual solution is not possible and difficult for companies to adopt all of a sudden, they can try implementing a hybrid model to make the best out of the pandemic. And when the pandemic is over, the companies who have adopted the virtual solution will emerge as a leader. The business can till then meet the buyers and sellers and conduct their affairs smoothly due to the technology advancement.

Reference:
https://www.cvent.com/en/blog/events/virtual-events
https://www.financialexpress.com/brandwagon/how-the-future-of-the-event-industry-relies-on-innovative-virtual-and-hybrid-event-models/1939536/

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