The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way individuals and businesses interact with one another — including events. You can’t deny that the world will witness different types of virtual events pop up from now on, from small family gatherings to massive corporate occasions. According to the 2021 Global Meetings and Events Forecast by American Express, the number of attendees at large, in-person events is predicted to decrease: -3.7% at conferences and trade shows, and -3.2% at incentives and customer events.
Given this data, event planners should watch out for trends in virtual events. With today’s fast internet speeds and technological advancements, the world is ready for online assemblies. Let’s delve deeper into this movement and see what the industry has in store for attendees.
Types of Virtual Events
Virtual events are online versions of in-person gatherings. Without the physical limitations of typical assemblies, these occasions offer many benefits. You can find samples of such events below.
- Webinars: Many businesses now use webinars to boost leads, conversions, and sales. These events offer presentation-style conversations with question and answer portions, maximizing engagement between companies and consumers.
- Online team meetings: One of the most notable advantages of such events is that team members from different states or countries can connect digitally. During the pandemic, Zoom and other such software saw a drastic increase in usage.
- Virtual networking events: COVID-19 couldn’t stop trailblazers from strengthening business connections. Today, you can choose from an extensive range of virtual networking events to participate in for elevating your career or business.
- Online conferences: Lockdowns drastically increased the demand for these events. Organizers enjoy massive audiences, global speakers, and minimal expenses through such occasions.
- Online trade shows: Online or virtual trade shows showcase goods and services from different industries. Event planners can now use the latest event technologies to run 3D affairs.
- Digital concerts: It may be hard to imagine it, but even musical concerts have gone digital. There have been initiatives to hype such gatherings.
- Virtual job fairs: Top organizations decided to go online instead of canceling their events. By using ideal tools, companies can still meet many potential employees.
9 Virtual Event Trends to Watch
In business, the key to success is addressing consumers’ ever-changing needs. McKinsey & Company recently reported that the pandemic propelled technological advancements forward by a whopping seven years. Industries developed solutions to address demand shifts at a much faster pace than experts anticipated.
For the event industry, event planners found themselves drumming up virtual gatherings of varying sizes and styles. Below are some of the virtual trends you can see today.
A Rise in Hybrid Events
A jaw-dropping 97% of event experts believe consumers will witness a rise in hybrid events — gatherings that offer both in-person and virtual components. Reliable event planners can transform all types of virtual events into successful hybrid ones.
While many attendees and organizers long for in-person interactions, you can’t deny the benefits that hybrid events offer participants. These are some of the advantages of hosting such gatherings:
- Attendees who have safety and travel concerns can still join a hybrid event.
- Businesses can save substantial amounts on travel expenses by running such assemblies.
- Event planners can organize massive events even with physical restrictions implemented by event venues.
During these times, event organizers have a heightened focus on safety in both the physical and virtual sense. With health and online security threats scaring potential participants away, it’s natural for companies to offer safety solutions.
Attendees can expect COVID-19 prevention protocols like rapid testing and pre-entry screenings for the physical gatherings in hybrid events. They can finish these safety precautions in as little as ten minutes.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, cybercrime attempts drastically increased by 300%. Event participants can expect a heightened cybersecurity effort during virtual gatherings when sharing personal information and payment details. Companies will double their efforts in protecting the attendees from any virtual attack.
Now that event participants have established new routines, you will see more interactive activities in virtual events. Event organizers will start thinking outside the box and will begin offering unique concepts designed to blow audiences away.
For example, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) started gaining traction in virtual events.
AR allows participants to experience computer-generated attractions, like the groundbreaking Pokémon Go app. It piques interest and results in better engagement between event attendees and brands.
On the other hand, VR lets guests experience a 3D world. Today, you can find this technology gracing virtual conferences, expos, and social gatherings.
Similar to AR, projection mapping is a technique designed to turn objects into display-worthy visuals. Advanced software can transform two or three-dimensional images into a realistic environment.
Projection mapping enhances content for virtual events, which leads to better engagement. This growing trend enhances personalization and storytelling efforts by trailblazing brands.
One practical example of projection mapping is creating holograms of keynote speakers from any part of the world. Using this technology, you can cater to participants from various venues simultaneously.
International companies will love live translation, one of the growing trends in the industry today. With live translation, businesses can apply several native languages to boost international interest. You can advise participants to use headphones or other earpieces to enjoy this transformative technology.
Here are some benefits of live translation for virtual events:
- Enhance localization efforts: Many developed countries like the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden are not English-speaking countries. If you want to attract international clients, live translation technologies can do wonders for your business.
- Appeal to local audiences: In the US, 22% of people don’t speak English at home. By using live translation, you can attract more clients by providing content in their native tongue.
- Secure future registrations: When audiences start talking about how global your organization thinks, you will attract more participants for future events. You can boost your popularity by addressing language barriers.
On average, mobile phone owners have 80 apps on their phones. Today, apps are gaining popularity in the event industry.
More and more B2B companies have started using event apps like Pathable, Guidebook, and Attendify for their virtual gathering requirements. B2C organizations have also discovered how to use such apps to boost engagement and communication during virtual events.
The most notable advantage of using such apps is that you can personalize delegates’ experiences. For example, you can develop games, pick ideal sponsors, and track attendee demands. Doing so will help you achieve record-breaking engagement levels.
Just as artificial intelligence (AI) is taking the digital world by storm, it’s also making a mark in the virtual event industry. Today, companies use AI to enhance personalization efforts.
Through this technology, businesses can collect attendee information in real-time. It helps companies track consumer activities, preferences, and behaviors, which they can use to personalize content.
AI capabilities have revolutionized the events industry. Imagine this scenario: you’re planning a Labor Day-themed event and you already know the kind of content, activities, and ads that will appeal to your audiences. With such information at your fingertips, you can develop a life-changing gathering that will boost sales and social shares.
One-Stop Event Shops
Nowadays, brands look for partners offering all-in-one event solutions, from physical to hybrid and virtual event producers. Companies want to work with event professionals who provide them with customized solutions that address different event needs. Below are some benefits of one-stop event shops:
- Maximum convenience: You only have to coordinate with one company for the manpower, technology, and content needed for your event. Finding the ideal partner can help you develop exciting events to help you achieve your business goals.
- Cost efficiency: All-around event companies usually have affordable packages for an extensive range of services. Booking services individually may cost you a lot. You can save substantial amounts on package deals.
- Seamless integration: If you hire a one-stop event company, you will have a higher chance of integrating physical and online components smoothly. With a reliable event company, you will find it much easier to track each moving part of your event.
Virtual Event Content as King
A whopping 80% of consumers are likely to support brands that offer personalized experiences. If you want to create memorable events for your clients, you should develop valuable content for virtual events.
To achieve this feat, you should understand your audience and design a message that resonates with them. Additionally, you should present knowledge in a way that excites, informs, and inspires them into action.
Below are some virtual event content types and trends to help you plan your next gathering.
Virtual Event Content Types
Let’s look at some virtual event content types, which you can present via group live stream, recorded content, or downloadable content.
- Thought leadership: This content type addresses essential industry questions, therefore attracting executives and decision-makers. It includes updates on innovation, education, visibility, and credibility. Additionally, keep in mind to take a stand on these issues.
- Technical presentations: Such content types focus on analyzing challenges and solutions relevant to your industry. For example, you can discuss process improvements in solving a problem. These presentations are ideal for people in operations.
- Expert interviews: If you choose this content type, find out which topics will resonate with your target market. Afterwards, you can interview subject experts who will provide your audience with valuable information.
- Panel discussions: This content type is ideal for those who have a physical location to produce content in. It’s best to use a live streaming method for panel discussions so the experts can interact with your virtual audience.
- Visual performances: Virtual events don’t need to be boring! You can hire artists to perform in them. However, it’s essential to provide high-quality streaming for performances.
Virtual Event Content Trends
As you settle into the new normal, you will likely experience more and more virtual events. In all these gatherings, content is king! Below are some of the virtual event content trends creators observe.
- Creating content before, during, and after the event: You don’t just develop content for the event itself. It’s essential to create content to boost attendance, interaction, and brand authority.
- Encouraging content sharing: This technique strategically distributes information across relevant digital platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.
- Writing an attendee guide: Attendees may have varying comfort levels when using technology in events. Your event participants might benefit from a manual explaining how to attend sessions, what to expect with each speaker, and recommended apps for the event.
How AMP Event Group Can Help
AMP Event group is a one-stop event shop that has helped businesses elevate their physical, virtual, and hybrid events for the past 17 years. Whatever you need — from planning to event sound and lighting production — we have it all under one roof!
Our experts at AMP Event Group have the systems knowledge and expertise to turn any virtual event into the talk of the town. We can help you plan and manage webinars, virtual networking events, and online conferences to achieve your goals. Check out this page to learn more about how we produced over 3,000 events for more than 600 satisfied clients.
For more tips on virtual events, contact the pros at AMP Event Group today.