In 2020, the in-person event industry was brought to a halt by COVID-19. Live events, face-to-face networking, and the buzz of an exhibition were quickly erased from schedules around the globe.
At CTC, Michelle Manire immediately pivoted the team to online events, guiding clients through the shifting virtual events landscape and supporting their transition.
Though live events are starting to return, the impact of COVID-19 has left its mark on the events industry, with many changes here to stay. Here are a few trends we expect to see with the return of live events.
Hybrid is Here to Stay
Hybrid events blend elements of live events with virtual aspects to bring attendees the best of both worlds. These types of events are expected to retain their place in the industry long after the pandemic has ended, with event organizers continuing to refine key details.
The past year and a half has seen a dramatic acceleration in the development of events software, making hybrid content more accessible than ever to both event organizers and attendees. The ability to host a global event greatly expands the reach of content and information, increases ticket sales, and drives up event popularity.
For example, an event that includes a Q&A session with in-person delegates and utilizes events software to enable hundreds more individuals to attend from their own homes or offices gives organizers the ability to tap into a much wider audience, making hybrid events vital for organizations trying to recoup profits lost due to COVID-19.
Event organizers are introducing more flexible ticketing options to accommodate any future uncertainty and changing circumstances.
Small COVID-19 outbreaks, attendees needing to isolate, illness, and restrictions on event numbers are necessitating that organizers retain the option to postpone, reschedule, or move events to virtual platforms to reduce the need for refunds.
Flexible ticketing also gives attendees the ability to choose between live or virtual attendance based upon their location and preference.
This trend in the event industry will be the way forward for organizers who wish to retain attendees, give delegates peace of mind, and ensure events operate smoothly despite shifting restrictions and unexpected challenges.
Hosting Global Events
The global pandemic, despite quarantine and social distancing, brought individuals together virtually. Event organizers were able to break geographical barriers and reach wider audiences.
By taking advantage of virtual event hosting software, hosts exponentially increased attendee numbers without increasing costs of flights and accommodation.
Today, even with the return of live events, organizers are still using event broadcasting software to continue the growth and reach of events post-COVID.
Though governments are continuing to ease restrictions, many event organizers are choosing to continue holding smaller micro events. An event created for 20 people, for example, will often turn out to be much more enriching and engaging for both speakers and guests than larger events.
Smaller events have the ability to gather a more exclusive crowd that can get to know the speakers more closely and ask detailed questions.