I can't tell you how good it is to be writing another one of these retrospective blogs on attending an in-person event, and it couldn’t be more fitting for this post to be about 2021’s Event Tech Live.
Having a wander around the event space, talking to exhibitors and listening in on a few talks, I felt this piece would be more appropriate as a breakdown of the attitudes and feelings towards where the events industry is heading.
Hybrid events are here to stay
I think we can all agree that whilst virtual events were a great way for the events industry to stay accessible during the pandemic, they couldn’t outright replace in-person events. However, with the slow return of in-person exhibitions, hybrid events have cemented themselves as an integral part of our industry moving forward.
For success in the very near future, live events will need to evolve their attitude towards virtual spaces. For a lot of hybrid events right now, the virtual aspect still feels too much like an afterthought with very little originality and creativity. The events that will leave a lasting impact in 2022-23 are going to be the ones that offer unique experiences for both in-person and virtual attendees.
The events space in 2022 will see much larger turnouts than ever before, both due to the lack of live events over the past year and easier access through virtual experiences. With more people accessing your event virtually, it is paramount that you give the same level of attention to both online and offline touchpoints.
Sustainability is key
Another unpredictable revelation that came about from our year of solitude was just how carbon-conscious the general public would become. Unfortunately, it took the pandemic and lockdown for a lot of us to realise the impact we were having on the environment. Why force employees to needlessly travel when home working has been so successful? This became a major consideration for companies contemplating a return to office spaces.
This attitude has spread across all aspects of people's professional lives, travel is now looked at as a last resort when solutions like Microsoft’s Teams and virtual events have allowed us to continue to connect with people regardless of physical location.
Events like every industry need to look at ramping up initiatives to reduce attendees and exhibitors carbon footprint. Glastonbury Festival has been a huge proponent of sustainability and offers a car-sharing service through companies like GoCarShare. Maybe offering options like this for attendees will encourage visitors as they can travel knowing they’re doing their part to reduce carbon emissions.
Events will become more local
This point will be a natural evolution of the events industry based on the topics discussed above. The need for travel to big-ticket global events is now somewhat reduced given the multitude of options to attend or participate virtually. This leaves space for networking to be done on a much more granular level, having people and businesses meet on a smaller scale.
This will mean that a rise in self-managed events will come about, encouraging companies to create a space for local businesses and people to come and meet. Events will need to operate on a much more personal level so catering to these super-specific audiences will be key in the future.
Check out our blogs on self-managed events trends and guides to help keep you on top of how to get the best out of events for 2022-23.
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