When the COVID-19 pandemic first set in, event organizers were faced with two choices. One, they could cancel events entirely. The other option was to continue with the event, but hold it as a digital event.
Although the world has now slowly begun to open up again, that doesn't mean digital events are out of fashion. In fact, 72% of businesses will maintain virtual events in the long term. For one, digital events are much more cost-effective: they save people the hassle of traveling and booking.
Below is a look at what every organization should know about the power of digital events.
Digital events show there is another way
In the past, organizing a conference or a seminar meant you had to check the best availability dates for the attendees. Depending on the duration of the event, organizers may have even had to pay for hotel stays, transportation, food, and more.
Accommodation, transportation, food—none of these are concerns anymore for attendees who choose to attend through Zoom or Google Meet. First, this means event organizers will save considerable time and money when planning. Second, in an era where traveling long distances is less and less attractive, offering attendees the chance to attend virtually will certainly be appreciated.
Digital events don’t just offer savings and convenience either. Going digital can increase the scope of an event, allowing people to join from pretty much anywhere in the world. Compare asking someone to hop on a flight vs. asking them to simply fire up a Zoom meeting!
Even before the pandemic, the virtual events industry was worth nearly $78 billion in 2019. It’s now expected to post a compound annual growth rate of 23.2% from 2020 to 2027.
Innovations with digital events
As digital events began to gain traction, companies and organizations found a way to use them for a good cause and even provide human contact during the height of the pandemic. Youtube provides a perfect example as they gathered notable figures and celebrities to speak and perform in their “Dear Class of 2020” livestream as a way to provide graduates with a virtual ceremony and provide a collective voice amidst the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Making use of teleconferencing applications to encourage human interaction has also worked for the United Nations Office of Disaster Risk Reduction’s Asia and the Pacific regional office as they used Zoom to hold a series webinars on disaster response and resiliency.
As more events are held digitally, event organizers are called to constantly innovate to make their events stand out from the rest. There are now different mediums present to explore and use towards providing an interactive experience for eventgoers. CJ E&M used virtual and augmented reality technology for its KCON:TACT 2020 livestream event to provide a virtual arena experience for performers and viewers.
Apple also made use of its innovative resources to hold its Worldwide Developers Conference online through the use of a dedicated Apple Developers application and website to reach its wide community of developers around the world through a full program of online keynotes and discussions.
As we still remain preoccupied with health and safety concerns in the near future, digital events will become a frequent occurrence in our everyday life. There prevalence may even make it worth hiring a digital events agency, one that understands how to make the most out of teleconferencing tools for something either 100% digital or hybrid.
Whatever the case, one thing is clear: businesses must familiarize themselves with digital events or get left behind.
-Written by Russell Ku