Digital is the new normal of the post-COVID era! The pandemic that started in November 2019 has now spread across the globe, affecting every industry, making offices take the work from home alternative to keep operations afloat. Conferences, concerts, and events also took the virtual route.
The $1.5 trillion global business event industry was among the first to feel the heat as authorities banned the gathering of people to prevent the spread of the virus.
Physical events, which have been the primary platform for showcasing products, hosting annual meetings and conclaves, started getting cancelled or happened remotely. In the new normal, events are moving online for the foreseeable future.
The concept of virtual events is not new to the world. However, the technological limitations and impact of face-to-face interaction made businesses choose physical events. Fast forward to 2020, living in an era of Industrial Revolution 4.0, technologies like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things are changing the landscape of the events industry.
Most events taking place online in the post COVID times are a testimony to these advanced technologies making large-scale online events a reality. Enhancing the capability is the use of Augmented Reality, offering an immersive experience making virtual events a big hit.
It is no surprise that thousands of events and sub-events are taking place virtually, garnering a far greater audience and ROI. Salesforce’s World Tour Sydney Reimagined was one of the first major events to go virtual during this pandemic.
Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (IAS-USA), F8 Developer Conference (Facebook), Build (Microsoft) and Consensus 2020 (Coindesk) have also been some defining online events that are fast reshaping the growth story for others.
With events shifting from physical to virtual, attendee safety is ensured, which is one of the most significant advantages during these challenging times.
As social distancing and staying at home is the new norm, virtual events work as the gateway to visit and explore events.
The attendees can walk through the event virtually effortlessly and traverse a rich and detailed experience.
The animations and 3D environments created online can be more mesmerizing than the real-life.
Conducting events online have a far greater reach, which overcomes the geographical and travel constraints.
A financially lucrative proposition, going the online way, also reduces the carbon footprint significantly.
The Apple’s Developer conference that took place last month had more viewers watching the live stream than possibly fit in the San Jose McEnerny Convention Centre, where the event usually occurs.
Days after the event, the attendees continue to keep the conversation going through the event page and group on different social media platforms, expanding their network and gathering vital insights.
Attendees can communicate their thoughts in real-time during the virtual session and get answers to their queries by speakers or event hosts.
There is better access to information as organizers post valuable links during the session.
Besides, one has the flexibility to attend the session from anywhere and join as many sessions on the same day or week as there are no travel constraints. Navigate to any other commitment soon after the event is over.
Brands worldwide understand the significance and advantages of virtual events highlighting the fact that virtual events started taking shape long before COVID and will have a far more significant market even in the post COVID era.
Virtual events are paving the way for a digital-first future, where organizations capitalize on the ROI, scalability, flexibility, and networking capabilities that are unheard and unmatched by the physical realm.
The deep, immersive experience in virtual worlds is possible and impressive. With the COVID-19 vaccine still awaited, conglomerates will go online to reach their business audience and showcase their products.
Usually, the tech giants indulged in lavish events to highlight product launches. However, the response pattern is changing, and more is happening online now. Most tech giants have already embraced this new routine, and others are following suit.
Staying on top of the trends is the homegrown firm Samaaro, a powerful platform that enables brands to host virtual events, created by an award-winning tech startup, Tacnik.
Samaaro has successfully conducted thousands of virtual events during this period giving conglomerates a way to showcase their products, services and reach a far greater audience as virtual has no physical limits.
The virtual lobbies, exhibitor halls and networking spaces can help translate the offline experience online.
Skandha Gopalan, co-founder of Samaaro, says, “the current pandemic is a steep learning curve for the events industry, and I believe organizers will innovate and leverage the industry further in the online format”.
He further added that “virtual events are here to stay for a long time, because, unlike physical events, virtual events offer analytics and valuable user insights that allow brands to understand customer behaviour.”
Tacnik’s Samaaro has already helped several companies like P&G, SRF & Mindray organize huge and accolade worthy online events.
With online events a reality of this period, and the success that event-techs are exhibiting, businesses can build a sharp world online and carve a new niche for this trillion-dollar industry.
Surveys also show that 86% of the participants report a higher or equal level of engagement in online meetings.
Besides, the option of virtual attendance gives the event organisers a tactical advantage, especially in terms of audience comfort, sponsor reach and the deep analytics that virtual events generate. The physical events may become an art form and differentiation in the coming years.
The comfort, flexibility, massive outreach, and financial benefits that virtual events offer gives it a definite edge.
It is easy to break the ice or manoeuvre between sessions in an online event, giving many investors the reason to embrace the virtual meeting route–the future of events in the post COVID era.
Tacnik’s Samaaro organises virtual events and meetings for conglomerates with an intuitive virtual welcome lounge, conference halls, exhibit zones for showcasing products, information desk, unique interaction zones, and offers a range of engagement features such as in-built activity tracker & in-platform games.