Updated: Jan 20
Humans are social beings and what better place to socialize than live events. The Covid-19 crisis left live events shuttered. Mega global events like the Expo 2020 Dubai, UAE, and even the Olympics 2020, Tokyo Japan were pushed to 2021.
Devastating economic impact
A recent economic impact study revealed that the live events industry was worth $34 billion. The results from the Global Economic Significance of Business Events report states that in 2018 alone live events had a GDP impact of $1.5 trillion. The report also ranked the sector the 14th largest in the world.
Racing towards digital platforms
The Covid-19 crisis has left organizers no option but to migrate to digital platforms. The adoption and acceptance of digital platforms though have been unprecedented. Some organizers say that some events may return as virtual only. Even Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) running for 30 years saw its first virtual format. Whether this is a behavioral shift or a response to Covid-19, we’ll have to wait to find out.
Nothing can replace face to face events
Although virtual events have become the norm, it is definitely not going to replace live events at all. Preference will always be towards live events once the pandemic ends. People feel that digital experiences can never replace live human interaction. The restrictions and cancellations of live events have definitely left companies and organizers to take the digital platform more seriously. However, apart from the logistics, there is no harm in adopting a hybrid approach with both in-person and digital versions.
Even pre-pandemic there were a good amount of discussions about adopting a hybrid model for live events. However, the pandemic has made us all take big steps all at once. Applying the same strategies and structures to both in-person and live events would mean a recipe for disaster. Engagement and a personalized experience will always remain at the heart of a live event. The future of events is likely to evolve as we move further into the decade, but it is undeniably bright. There will be some trial and error but ultimately attendees will be coming back asking for more.
In conclusion - Stay cautious and optimistic
Covid-19 pandemic has changed our lives forever. However, it is safe to say that the worst for most of us is behind us. We as humanity have definitely emerged stronger, yet we have to exercise caution and stay optimistic that we will get our pre-pandemic world back. For some industries such as healthcare and education, the pandemic can be looked at as an opportunity to overhaul current systems and get ready to face the future. At the same time, we must pat ourselves on the back for the great strides made in science and vaccine technology. Our scientists and researchers are an invaluable part of society and we must continue to support them. But until you get the first jab of a vaccine produced in record time, stay safe and stay healthy.