As Covid 19 rumbles on and the live event industry grinds to a standstill, much of the recent discussion within the industry has centered around the need for diversification, in particular, by way of virtual events and meetings.
It’s hard to comprehend that the worldwide lockdown and subsequent shutting down of the global events industry is going to permanently change the landscape of live events and meetings. No doubt there will always be a need for virtual events but can they ever really replace the buzz, creativity and sheer vibrancy of a live event?
Once the dust has settled and the post Covid 19 landscape starts to become clearer, the need for audience engagement and face to face interaction will be more prevalent than ever.
Live video conferencing platforms like Zoom are fantastic and offer an invaluable service, not only at times of lockdown, but also during periods of normality and stability. Similarly, being able to connect and hold meetings remotely is something that will continue to grow in importance, as technologies advance and people become more convinced about their effectiveness in conducting business.
It’s hard to comprehend the worldwide lockdown and subsequent shutting down of the global events industry.
And there’s no doubting that an online meeting can be efficient. Take the collaboration between UCL and the Mercedes Formula 1 team who together successfully developed a new breathing aid to help patients suffering with Covid 19, in an unfathomably quick time. A project which took just 100 hours – largely consisting of online meetings – from initial meeting to production of the first device. Something which no doubt would have taken weeks if not months in the pre Covid 19 world.
However the virtual meeting space can never sufficiently replicate the experiences garnered from attending a live event and to be fair, nor does it claim to do so. We love interacting with people and live events provide an unrivaled platform for networking with potential clients and discovering new technologies.
The buzz of a busy exhibition and the thrill of discovering and trying out a new technology live is not something we can achieve on a laptop at home or in our office. Being physically present in a meeting space with people, sharing ideas, trends, networking and socialising is integral to the continued growth of one of the most important industries on the globe.
We love interacting with people and live events provide an unrivaled platform for networking with potential clients and discovering new technologies.
Do live events need to change? Yes almost certainly and the way we interact with each other, not just in the event industry but in society as a whole, will likely be changed forever as a result of Covid 19. But not necessarily in a negative way.
Being more aware of people’s personal space, respecting boundaries and generally being kinder to one another can be no bad thing. In the coming months, we will all undoubtedly be more aware of our own surroundings and everybody’s health and personal wellbeing, which can only act as an advantage to us all as as we move forward.
Meetings, learning, seeing, experiencing are all crucial in the growth of this industry and our understanding of new technologies and ways to do business. Virtual meetings have a huge part to play in this, but so do live events, and when the dust has settled on the Covid 19 health crisis, there will no doubt be an unquenchable thirst for live events.
Quite simply, people like being around other people. The vast majority of us long for that personal interaction. And the events industry will be there to satisfy that longing, delivering more vibrant, diverse and exciting events than ever before.