A few short months ago, I wrote about the ways in which technology would fundamentally alter the ways in which we orchestrate and attend events. Little did I (or anyone) realise just how quickly the survival of our industry would come to rely on elements like mobile technology, virtual meeting spaces, and live streams. As the events industry adapts to a world in the throes of a global pandemic, industry players have developed innovative ways to create and participate in meetings, conferences, and events. And as network infrastructure and computing power increase, these innovative uses of technology are set to become de rigueur in the B2B events space.
As the world navigates the economic and social impacts of COVID-19, the industry will be shaped by the following three trends in particular:
- Hybrid events will become the norm. From extending the reach of your event to decreasing spend on venues, catering, and travel, the online sphere will become central to the events space. Whether live streams, mobile apps, or online gamification, every single event will include some form of online component to enhance the guest experience.
- Virtual reality (VR) and 3D experiences will grow in popularity and sophistication. Future physical events will increasingly incorporate augmented and virtual reality elements to engage and enthrall attendees. Bulky headsets will be replaced with sleek, comfortable glasses for in-person experiences, and those attending events via their desktops will be able to enjoy an experience akin to Sim City – enabling them to attend events and concerts, shop at exhibitions, network with other attendees, and more – thanks to VR and 3D technology.
- Mobile apps and concierge bots will furnish guests with a highly-personalised event experience. From devising event schedules and facilitating networking opportunities, to tailoring event content to the individual’s preferences and requirements, mobile technology that incorporates the use of artificial intelligence (AI) or concierge bots will enable event organisers to effortlessly provide an event experience that’s unique to every single attendee.
As we grapple with a future full of uncertainty, one thing’s for sure: the event and conferencing space will be ripe with opportunity for innovation, and those that adapt to our ‘new normal’ will be the ones who thrive.