First, the pandemic hit the world, which led to the lockdown. All this was enough to make our world upside down. And people everywhere struggle to continue their work while keeping up with rapidly changing time. Among all this, the corporates had to shift to new practices and abandon their years’ old work culture.
Corporates usually conduct lots of activities to grow their businesses. And among them is hosting an event. There can be several reasons to organise an event. For instance, a brand can host an event to showcase its new product. While someone else might host an event to raise funds or others to expand their contacts and so on.
To give you an idea, here is a list of events that organisations host around the year.
- Product launches
- Trade Shows
- Award Shows
- Career/job fair
- AGM (Annual General Meetings)
- Town Hall
And so on. The list is long. But each of these events has its own importance. However, last year, when the pandemic struck, all the activities came to a halt. And it meant no physical event could be organized. So all the operations that depended on these events couldn’t be conducted. This was a significant challenge for organisations around the world. But soon, organisations found the solution to this challenge in the form of digital or online events. This solution was not new. In fact, it existed for quite a long time. But what exactly are digital events? Let’s find out.
Digitization of Corporate events
Digital or online events are those events that are targeted at digital audiences. These events are held in the digital or online world. So both the event organizer and the attendee don’t have to travel anywhere. One can say that these events are the digital versions of the physical or conventional events. Making these events much more convenient than their physical counterparts. And a much better choice, especially during uncertain times like these.
Digital events can be divided into two vast categories of events. Any digital event which is entirely digital or virtual would fall under the category of virtual events. Whereas any event, which is organised physically but also hosts a virtual audience alongside a live audience, will be called a Hybrid event.
Since it is easy to host a digital event, we all witnessed a wave of virtual events. To begin with, we saw virtual conferences, virtual trade shows and virtual exhibitions happening all over the year. But things haven’t settled down. And in future, we will see various different practices in hosting corporate events. But what are these practices? Let’s have a look.
Practices that will be common in future corporate events
1. A new approach towards events
Before the pandemic, corporate events were used to target a broader audience. And these events used to have long schedules, which were coupled with long presentations and multiple keynote sessions. But now, we are going to see a significant shift from this approach.
Future corporate events will be more focused, compact and flexible. One can expect to see smaller events. Also, these events will target a particular audience rather than a general one. Apart from this, we can expect more relaxed event schedules. And talking about the content, we will see fewer presentations. While more dynamic methods to deliver more engaging content. All this will be done by keeping the limitations of the virtual audience in mind.
2. Bio-bubble and secured travelling plans
When the physical events return, we can expect some level of precautions for travelling. For instance, last year, we saw the practice of Bio-bubble travelling. It was basically a secure corridor limited among those nations with a low number of infection cases. This was done to let people travel who were needed to travel for only crucial reasons. Since the situation is different from place to place, we can see the continuation of similar practices. And if the organisations plan a physical event, they will consider the existing travel practices. Also, they might host a handful of live audiences, and the rest will be connected virtually. Or they might stick to virtual events till things get clear.
3. Innovative use of technology
Since the pandemic, people are attending virtual events. And over this period, event organisers are trying to make these events more engaging. So that the attendees have an enhanced experience. And we can expect these practices to continue. In future digital events, we can expect a user-friendly way to deliver the content. For instance, compact and interactive online sessions and more breakout rooms. Also, we will see content that is more comprehensive instead of just long spreadsheets or presentations. Apart from this, we will see more options for audience interaction in digital events.
4. Health will be the new priority
The pandemic affected people not only physically but also mentally and emotionally. And since people were working from home, they had a hard time adapting to these new settings. It affected them in many ways. One of them was mental impact. And the organisations are focussing more on the mental health of their employees. That is why they are actively looking for ways to help their employees in recovering mentally. In future events, mental health or health, in general, will be a prime focus. So we can expect online or offline sessions and other activities dedicated to people’s health and wellbeing.
5. Faster digitisation of corporate events
The way corporations shifted to digital or online events is quite impressive and challenging at the same time. And we can see this trend will continue in future. After the pandemic ends, we will see more investment in digital events. And increment in the number of online events. The reasons for this are several. First, digital events are more cost-efficient while being fast and easy to organise. Secondly, and most importantly, digital events are less affected by external factors like weather, natural calamity or a pandemic. Thus, giving more control to the event organiser.
6. More and more Hybrid events
People have been at home for a long time. And now they are desperate to return to the physical world. They are missing outdoor activities, this includes events. But we won’t see plain physical events. Instead, we will see Hybrid events. The event organisers understand the value of a virtual audience, so they will retain this audience. For this, they favour Hybrid events over conventional events. As a result, we will see a massive demand for Hybrid events. And this will be valid for corporate events also.
These are some of the patterns that we will see in future corporate events.