Life after lockdown: The rise of virtual events post Covid-19 era
How has Covid-19 impacted the way in which businesses have transitioned to the virtual world?
‘Pivot!’ No, not the rather hilarious reference to Ross on Friends, but how Matt Scheckner, chief executive of Advertising Week describes the way his team is transitioning their company online.
This includes their third annual Japan and Asia-Pacific conference that was recently held as online, and how many other companies are shifting their business.
Virtual events are inarguably on the rise, and 2020 has seen the biggest growth in opportunities for the events industry yet.
It could be that events may go back to normal at some point in the future. However, as the evolution of remote workers has taken its course in the age of Covid-19, it seems most companies are evolving to permanently keep it this way.
Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter announced that his employees can continue to work from home ‘forever’.
Could it be that perhaps virtual events may become the norm, and face to face conferences and events will cease to exist?
Ifran Ahmed, showed these graphs in his article ‘Virtual events and the Future of Business Gatherings in the Post-Covid19 Era”, showing the catastrophic $1.5 trillion loss within the events industry due to cancelled events.
In the UK, £58 billion was lost in the events industry, seeing events cancelled or rescheduled since Covid-19.
Taking into the account costs of travel to events, as well as tickets to attend a conference and the cost of tools to present the conference, holding an event online is guaranteed to be more cost and time efficient.
Ahmed, states that by 2021 “web conferencing will account for 80% of all internet traffic”.
By converting events online, it allows companies and event planners to open up their scope to a wider audience and new attendees, who maybe could not have attended before for one reason or another.
This will in turn raise the monetising capacity with sponsorships, and also allow attendees to attend the event in a way that is most comfortable for them.
Shifting Business Models
Keeping your business running amidst this stressful turmoil of a year is undoubtedly challenging, but rapidly shifting your business online has been proven to ensure its survival.This entails creativity, as well as major technical and financial challenges. But if executed well, transitioning to a virtual business has proven to cushion the blow of major financial losses during the pandemic. This was done by ‘Haven’s Kitchen’, a New York face-to-face based business. They took
fast action and re-imagined their business, now holding online cooking classes capped at 20 students allowing rich and detailed lessons.
One major Social platform that has cleverly utilised their tool ‘Live,’ is Instagram. Celebrities such as Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez have hosted Q&A’s and virtual collaborations on the platform.Human’s desire to share daily experiences through real life conversations, and as we are not designed to be separated from other people, more than a billion users have transitioned to ‘Going Live’ when in isolation this year.
DJ Derrick, ‘D-Nice’ hosted ‘Club Quarantine’, producing a one man party, live at home for his fans. This easy source of entertainment helped many people feeling alone during the pandemic, struggling with their mental health.
Instagram have also recently launched an amazing Instagram Live chat series partnered with Netflix, “Wanna talk about it”.This weekly series focuses on taking care of yourself and your mental health during this global pandemic. This great marketing strategy not only attracts new potential Instagram users, but Netflix fans will also join the Instagram community, as this launch stars actors in netflix original movies such as Noah Centino and Joey King.
Not to mention that live streaming has skyrocketed up to 70% since April 2020 after the announcement of Lockdown.
It seems virtual events are in fact not a passing fad, but here to stay.
Their cost friendly quality, as well as technology advancements means that ultimately this will be a major event planning strategy for the future. It will most definitely provide larger opportunities for companies within the events industry.
Will the virtual world become the new reality?
If you’re interested in the world of social media, or how mental health has been impacted by Instagram and the pandemic, then check out our other blogs similar to this!
Keep your eyes peeled for other upcoming blogs centred around these topics too.
Leave a comment on what you think to the events industry possibly moving completely virtual. Would you rather it be online or face to face?