Over the last year, technological innovators and creative producers helped to rapidly transform the events industry. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the world of events was forced to evolve from in-person programs to online experiences. The goals remained the same: meaningful engagement, interactive networking, compelling creative, and lasting memories. But how we achieved those goals changed seemingly overnight.
2020 was a year of tenacity, ingenuity, and lessons learned. Now, nearly a year into our ‘new normal’, we are once again looking to the future to try and answer one fundamental question:
What will events look like going forward?
To shed some light on that quandary, we surveyed hundreds of leading event professionals from around the world. In this blog, we’ll share their top 5 insights and predictions for the future of the event industry.Are Virtual Events As Engaging As In-Person Events?
Over 45% of respondents believe Virtual Events, when done right, can be as engaging as a live experience.
What Are The Most Important Elements for Virtual / Hybrid Events?
Unsurprisingly, The quality of the video and audio streams was deemed most important by survey respondents at over 90%, while sponsorship solutions was considered least important element.What Interactivity Features Are Critical to Successful Virtual / Hybrid Events?
The most important interactivity feature, according to the event professionals surveyed, is Moderated Q&A, with a resounding 100%. Moderated Q&A allows audience members both in-person and at-home to submit written questions that will be addressed live by speakers and panelists.How Is Your Organization Budgeting For Virtual / Hybrid Events?
When it comes to building budgets for Virtual and Hybrid experiences, 36.4% of those surveyed stated that they are budgeting less for Virtual / Hybrid Events than live events. While budgeting more, or the same as In-person events, was tied at 27.3%.
At Stagedge, we have found the most successful virtual and hybrid events are the ones that reallocate food, travel, and lodging budgets to bolster their virtual production and virtual venue development.Are Virtual / Hybrid Events Here to Stay?
Hybrid Events are the clear winner here with over 54% of respondents believing they are the future of event programming. As a combination of both in-person and at-home programming, Hybrid experiences preserve the energy of a live event, while minimizing travel and health risks for the wider audience.
Event professionals are problem solvers by nature. The past year has proven that no matter the challenge, they will always find a way to bring people together to communicate powerful ideas.
The majority of event leaders who contributed to this survey predict that we’ll see Hybrid events become the dominant form of programming for the foreseeable future - so long as the interactivity is rich and the production quality is high.
The future of the events industry is being shaped as we speak. Whether these experiences are virtual, hybrid, or entirely live - one thing is for sure: event professionals will continue to make the most out of every opportunity.