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It’s the start of the year and we’ve already got two new COVID-19 variants to contend with.
In 2020, virtual events took the world by storm. In 2021, the vaccine roll-out let organizers experiment with hybrid events and realize their dynamic benefits.
2022 was meant to be the year organizers truly had the freedom to choose how they hosted their events. But emerging variants have made this impossible. The current situation drives our attention to the following question: will virtual events continue to be an integral part of all events in 2022?
Let’s dive into some predictions and analyze what the future holds for the event landscape.
According to a recent survey conducted by TrustRadius, 67% of companies are planning to invest in web conferencing software in the near future. This means that the demand for local and customized virtual events will be even higher in the coming days.
It’s easy to assume that the pandemic caused this boom in virtual events. However, it only accelerated an already upcoming trend. As companies gradually moved toward online events, they learned the various benefits involved.
These virtual event organizers are observing some of the clear advantages as follows:
With the business world evolving, event planners are also adapting to creative tools for running events in a competitive landscape. Technological advancements have paced up significantly in recent times, making many conventional ways obsolete.
Physical events are still often favorable in making connections and showcasing products in a real environment, but they come with their downsides. For example, renting a venue can be costly — event hosts usually have this on the top of their budget list. In doing so, they also have to consider the space limitations of the venue, as it doesn’t allow events to exceed its physical capacity for visitors.
On the flip side, participants also have to take their travel costs into account, which makes the overall experience challenging even if everything else is perfectly designed.
In a nutshell, companies end up spending too much money and effort in setting up an event — and only reaching too few people in the process.
The phenomenon of hybrid events has gained rapid popularity. A survey of event professionals revealed that almost three-quarters (73%) of them are planning a hybrid event before the end of the year.
Even as physical events resume, online and hybrid methods will stay in place. Participants may have the opportunity to choose: either online or in-person. This will serve more flexibility and help in expanding the event’s reach. Event technology will most likely become a connecting platform between in-person and online attendees.
Today, events are seen as flag-bearers of providing value to sponsors. As the technology catches up, we may witness incredible growth in event sponsorships. As a result, the demand for virtual platforms will continue to increase, leading to greater quality-based competition among service providers. This will further shape the events industry, and bring continued innovation.
These days, people use their smartphones as their primary devices. This is because they make things more convenient. Furthermore, most companies now have their own mobile apps. So, they’ll also prefer to attend online events using the relevant phone app. vFairs allows hosts to create exclusive event apps. Then, event attendees can simply register and log in without breaking out their laptops or PCs.
Since most agile businesses have adopted remote work, it is unlikely that they will fully go back to offices even after the pandemic is over. The same applies to online events. Now, people realize the advantages of virtual platforms and may not want to shift back to old ways.
So, virtual and hybrid events are very well the future of large-scale and even small-scale events.
Those are some of our speculations but we would love to hear about your thoughts on the future of virtual events.
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