Is social distancing the end of events? Have virtual events arrived finally to stay? We answer these and some other questions about the future of events in today´s post.
We are currently in the middle of May, two months since all this started, and it seems like the world is recovering as some governments start leaving people going outside. We could even say we see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Many people wonder if things have changed, if we are facing a new reality…By doing that we would be getting into another topic of debate. So, this time we we show you our opinion about the future of the events and how it has affected us.
Our experience in this crisis
To put you in context, for those of you who do not know us, Event Life is an event agency that was born in 2019 with a complete specialization in fairs and congresses. I had been working in the event industry for years: first as a hostess, then as a freelancer, and the clients I had were asking me for more services, especially those related to a trade shows and exhibitions.
During the past year we have been growing the team, increasing services, and creating some new ones. And since this project was born from my passion for events, we were very excited about all the events we had planned for this 2020. Suddenly the COVID-19 arrives, all the plans we had are ruined.
February arrived and the GSMA cancelled the Mobile World Congress. Even though we didn’t like it (we didn’t realize how serious the situation was), we moved on and decided to prepare for the next events in March. But the last weeks of February they started canceling one event after another. In the second of March, there was chaos everywherere, not only for Spain but in the whole planet. For us, it wasn´t something new because we could see it coming in our industry. So in that state of mind, our approach was different. We began to improve our processes, to invent new services and to cancel those that perhaps were not giving us a good result until the moment.
Is it the end of the event industry?
Our perspective back then was that this would last a couple of months so we were getting ready for events that had been postponed for June and July. But we already started to hear all kinds of news about the future of the events affected by the corona virus crisis. We received comments from industry professionals, colleagues and even people who we only know from social media like LinkedIn about the murky future of events. That face-to-face events had seen their end and that it was the new era of digital events.
For us who had just started in this sector, it was a totally devastating. We thought about it for weeks, and it affected us a lot to see the situation and to think that maybe this was not going to last one or six months but maybe even one or two years until we were back to our loved event lifes. All this taking into account that the type of events in which we are specialized are trade shows, which usually have a capacity of hundreds to thousands of people, something that cannot be contemplated at the moment we are living.
The bright future of events
BUT, in spite of all these somewhat negative comments that I have been saying to you, I have a positive one that far exceeds all the previous ones: EVENTS ARE NOT GOING TO DISAPPEAR!
Because we are now living in a time of global crisis in which health has come before any and of all our needs, the need to share moments with other people is not going to disappear, and that is the need that the events are working for. The need to share moments and share unique experiences with others.
From there, we have the basis to know with certainty that the short term future may be complicated, but in the long term it remains promising. If not even better, because all the mechanical activities we do today are and will continue to be replaced by intelligent machines and mechanisms, but the experiences and what they make us feel, NO.
If you are afraid of new technologies, the change of paradigm and the fact that the screens are taking us further and further away, let me tell you one thing: THE NEW GENERATIONS ARE STILL APPRECIATING THE FACE TO FACE CONTACT. And this is being said by a Generation Y woman, born in the 90’s, who has been surrounded by screens all her life.
Virtual events: the new trend
That we see a promising future for events does not mean we need to adapt now. It’s true that people are using screens more and more, but that’s not all.
– For reading. The ebook came out, but books haven’t disappeared.
– For work. Computers appeared, but agendas, notebooks and pens have not disappeared
– For entertainment. The cinema appeared, and now Netflix, but the theatre and live shows have not disappeared.
– To listen to music. The iPod appeared, then the phones, and now the countless music applications like iTunes and Spotify, but live concerts haven’t disappeared.
I want to show you something with all these examples: as we face to a new era, there’s always room for adaptation. Virtual events are accelerating for companies to adapt to this situation, but if there is one thing, we are clear about, it is that, for now, they are not going to replace live events.
In our case, the trade shows descend from the old markets in the center of towns and villages, where sellers and buyers connected with each other. That con never change.
To finish this post, we want to challenge you to update yourself. Whether you study or work in the field of marketing and events, make don´t get behind. Just because events continue to exist doesn’t mean they won’t change. It’s probably one of the industries that is going to change the fastest. So, find reliable sources and get informed about the issues that interest you.
The Internet doesn’t have to be your only source, but it is a never-ending source of information that can keep you up to date. Being connected to professionals is another great way to learn. In Event Life we are partnering with people leading the change of marketing and events so don´t hesitate to send us a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us directly with all your questions and concerns.
Thanks for being there. Stay safe and enjoy your #eventlife!
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