Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, the world as we know it has changed massively. We’re now seeing more companies shift to digital solutions and virtual work setups. In addition, corporate events for internal teams and B2C summits and functions are now switching to virtual arrangements as well, whether in a fully remote or hybrid setup.
It seems more and more that, as we see the end of the pandemic, virtual events will still be a part of our events' experiences. It provides all sorts of benefits, such as the ease of bringing people from different locations into one space and lesser costs of execution, among many others.
So why are we going to see more events shift to virtual or hybrid setups and how can organizations continue engaging their members and teams through them?
The Rise of Virtual and Hybrid Events
The global events market share is predicted to rise to 40% in 2022. Accordingly, companies and organizations should start looking towards adopting virtual events, such as training webinars, virtual kickoff parties, company town halls, and other small to large functions in a virtual setting.
To do that, you need to know the differences between preparing a virtual versus a face-to-face event. Some factors include knowing how to find the best event management software for you, how you’re going to host the event properly, and how to market the event.
Trends in Events Management
Becoming well adapted to the new normal of events entails understanding tech trends in events planning. Doing so better equips organizations to effectively run functions and activities in virtual settings. So what trends should companies be aware of and how do we embrace them? Here are a few of the most industry-shaking ones you should know.
Employing virtual and hybrid events specialists
Truth be told, your internal team doesn’t have to run the event themselves. If you have a limited internal marketing team, they’re probably not always the best people to execute internal events. 38% of marketers run into technical problems when hosting a virtual event, which leads to stress and burnout. And that’s not including the planning and preparations phase.
You should engage someone in event management services that specializes in virtual events. If you’re in the events management space, this sector is growing rapidly in demand, and you’ll do well to start understanding the technical aspects of running webinars, product launches, team buildings, and other corporate functions via Zoom, Google Hangouts, and a variety of other tools.
Familiarize yourself with producing these live televised events and how to build engagement in them to make the event a success.
Virtual project management
Virtual events start with virtual events planning. And just as the events themselves run on virtual platforms, planning for them can happen remotely too. The key is selecting a good virtual event management software to manage “Big Rocks,” deliverables, programs, suppliers, budgets, and so on.
Since events are usually labor-intensive, you might also want to consider a payroll software to pay production assistants and event suppliers. In principle, running project management online can look very much like offline project management. Of course, you don’t have to do everything online. It would also be nice to have face-to-face meetings every so often, but you can now do them less given how much structure project management tools can bring to event preparation.
Metaverse and augmented reality
In terms of the event proper itself, Zoom and live stream tools still trump the space. But there has also been a growing trend in using Metaverse tools and augmented reality to make events more engaging. For instance, people have started using tools like Gather, which gives participants an avatar much as they would have in a video game. With that avatar, they can roam around a virtual space and connect with participants, much like you would at a networking event.
During the corporate event planning stages of these augmented or virtual reality events, consider the tool you plan to use and how you intend to use it. The function must always beat form. Include a technical run and a section to put all factors involved in running this kind of system on your corporate event management software.
A rise in online promotion usage
For both internal and external events, event promotions play a significant role. Getting the event to run smoothly is one-half of the equation. The other half is filling up the virtual “seats” with warm bodies. In terms of marketing these events, people have been using social media for a while now, especially with functions that are open to the public.
For internal events, having a good communication channel for your company is a great place to start. Of course, you can run email blast reminders and campaigns. On top of that, you can use an internal chat tool like Slack or Facebook Workplace to announce internal events. Use a virtual event page with Facebook Events or Eventbrite to get people to RSVP to the event so they’ll get a reminder on the day.
Event Planning in the Future
Many event planning tools and techniques are evolving with time. And if we want to run events that people will still attend in the 21st century and beyond, we need to have a virtual mindset moving forward. This is the future of events.