Current trends in the events industry
While remote and hybrid workplaces have become a more permanent part of our lives, the event industry has also transitioned — adopting the virtual and finding unparalleled value in this shift. So much so that the global virtual events market size is expected to be valued at $504.76 billion by 2028.
With the penetration of advanced technology and growing competitiveness in the market, event professionals have started to experiment with new trends, creating a niche for themselves by including hybrid and entirely virtual events in their portfolio. With innovation at its core, these events are designed to be interactive, dynamic, and engaging from start to end.
What's new? Past meets future
Digitisation and tech advancement in the event space has existed long before the pandemic. Virtual events in the form of simple webinars to more complex conferences were being conducted online across the globe. However, what's new is that more dynamic tools and platforms are now accessible to the event management community.
In addition, newer platforms are curated to offer maximum visibility to event sponsors, organisers, panellists, and even attendees who wish to network within and outside their community.
This exposure, especially on an international scale, is only accessible virtually unless participants are active travellers who invest time in networking.
To ensure the safety of the workforce and retain employees, many companies adopted a hybrid framework during the pandemic. However, after evaluating its efficiency over the last two years, most organisations have decided to continue on the path. While the model inspired productivity in many, keeping the workforce engaged for extended periods was a challenge without frequent interactions.
The inclination towards virtual meetings and events increased in 2020, as virtual tools enabled people to work, network, and socialise from the comfort of their homes without incurring any additional cost.
Furthermore, these platforms allowed businesses to discuss professional obligations and at the same time organise virtual meetups, celebrations and even share sensitive business data with high-security regulations/protocols.
The rise of social webinars
Networking and building connections with the right people is the core objective of attending events. While this purpose was believed only to be fulfilled during physical meetings, the advent of social webinars has revolutionised this thought process.
Advanced platforms allow 1:1 interaction between attendees, hosts, and speakers at their convenience, without letting the online aspect hinder communication. Furthermore, unlike conventionally popular webinars, social webinars aren't simply broadcast in nature. Instead, they allow two-way communication between interested parties that helps every entity that participates in the event.
Augmented and virtual reality
AR and VR have grown massively in the events industry. These features make the event more engaging for attendees and grasp interest for longer durations. In addition, attractions like AR motivate attendees to participate in ongoing conversations, thus enhancing the consumer experience.
Virtual reality, on the other hand, is a complete game-changer. Allowing participants to enter a 3D virtual model of the event is a big attraction point and something they look forward to.
Meet you halfway: hybrid events
Virtual reality is here to stay. Hybrid events are a combination of guests attending in-person and participating virtually, allowing people to participate in the event according to convenience. Gatherings from casual friends meet to weddings to date nights to corporate townhalls and trade fairs are being conducted in a hybrid fashion.
Adding to the success and revenue, the trend gains momentum as it is affordable, scalable, provides multiple safety features, and allows us to connect from different parts of the world simultaneously.
Sustainability is the answer
With the rise in awareness towards environment conservation, sustainable event planning has caught the eyeballs of the industry in recent years. While this trend is still very limited to the millennials, the concept has seen the support of many.
From reusable cutlery to eco-friendly swag and sustainable event venues, event organisers do everything they can to ensure their events are environment friendly. Commonly referred to as green events, the notion has seen initiatives focusing on creating communities that save the environment and sharing social responsibility of organising events as their key roles.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)