The ‘Virtual’ Future of Industrial Events

In a world that is constantly changing, it is to our advantage to learn how to adapt and enjoy something better.

– Kenneth H. Blanchard

Covid-19 has had a profound impact on numerous industries around the world, with the tradeshow and events industry being one of the hardest hit. For those in the industrial sector, these important annual events provide the chance to interact with other industry professionals, analyse national and international trends and developments in various fields, discover new and exciting innovations on show, as well as build and strengthen relationships.

While many of the restrictions and concerns for live in-person events seem set to stay for the foreseeable future, the shift to virtual events has seen a dramatic increase. With advancements in technology and the mass adoption of connecting through video socially and for work, the internet and event platforms have opened new doors to what’s possible with virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

Until now, holding any large event online has always taken a backseat to the real thing. But 2020 has proved just how responsive and adaptable the virtual landscape can be and that it’s here to stay. The virtual events space offers companies, organisers, and attendees several appealing advantages over face-to-face events.

Virtual events have a global reach, allowing planners to engage with more people no matter where they live. They have lower operating and marketing costs, allowing companies with smaller budgets to successfully host online events. The digital nature of the events also allows companies to integrate their brand strategy in new and exciting ways.

Planning and managing virtual events is simpler and more time-efficient, with no staff to manage, logistics and accommodation to arrange, or food and beverage to monitor. Planners can focus on delivering a positive and smooth experience for everyone.

As with any event, it’s what happens after that is most important. Virtual events allow exhibitors to get more feedback using various digital tools, allowing them to make the most of follow-up contact. It also allows planners access to new metrics, so they can collect more accurate information about engagement and activity, helping them plan better events for the future.

For attendees, it cuts out costly travel expenses and delivers more value with on-demand video content, VR, and other new experiences.

With many countries now rolling out vaccine plans, it might not be long before we can safely attend live events again. But with so many advantages being offered by virtual events a mixture of the two known as a hybrid event will most likely become the norm. Allowing for the benefits of face-to-face networking sessions while still offering inclusivity to a wider audience. Advances in technology and AI will further strengthen the possibilities of bringing future virtual events and experiences into our homes.

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