While the pandemic leaves the future of physical events and conferences at stake, the PR industry remains consistent to find alternatives to build bridges between firms, audiences and all stakeholders. Here’s what by Richard Etchison has to say about this.
Soon after the end of 2020 events ended and the pandemic hit the world, events world dominoes toppled in a quick series of cancellations and postponements, with no foreseen comeback soon, mostly moving dates to the fall, and event producers hustled to pivot to virtual conferences, which forced innovation throughout the entire live events industry. It is our duty as players in the field of PR to work on the transformed conference ecosystem, for PR and marketing 2021 calendars.
Virtual is more “real” than ever
Necessity demanded innovation in 2020, and so passed a year of Zoom meetings, virtual happy hours, and family Facetime calls, however, most would agree that there is no substitute for in-real-life (IRL) experiences.
Many raced to transform their annual conferences to virtual experiences. Businesses astonishingly created ways for attendees to interact and network in real time virtually, and for exhibitors to have virtual booths, and for sponsors to enjoy robust ROI in virtual environments. Some businesses are
sticking to their virtual events calendar in 2021, offering experiences that are interactive, approximating the IRL experience more than ever before.
The future is hybrid
In-person conferences will almost inevitably include online, on-demand, and other virtual elements; bettering the overall attendee and sponsor experiences, improving personalization, and new opportunities to engage attendees. The world before Covid-19 scarcely dipped toes into virtual events, while today a physical event invitation would sound like a funeral, and so the crisis that brought forward new communication possibilities to our finger tips has risen the bar for online conferences and events for good. In 2021 and beyond, even after the word ‘Covid-19’ is long gone, the world of events will never be the same, specially that the virtual world has proven equal, if not more, efficiency rates; the future of tech conferences in particular is certainly hybrid, combining the magic of face-to-face interaction with the technological efficiency, data collection, and broad reach of virtual meetings.
But no matter how event marketers decide to handle their meetings, tech conferences will be better in the coming months and years, as they benefit from a crisis that forced us to rethink the everyday.
Written by: Mayar Mosaad