Virtual Events: Their Rise and What This Means for 2021
As we all witnessed, virtual events took the meetings world by storm in 2020.
But what does this mean for 2021? Will we continue to see virtual events grow as people have become increasingly comfortable working and interacting through their screens? Will we see a shift back to in-person events as soon as it is deemed safe, and therefore witness virtual events fade away as quickly as they gained traction in 2020?
The answer is more complicated than a simple yes or no. What we will most likely see is virtual remaining strong in the first half of the year – with a focus on making them more polished and engaging – followed by a shift toward hybrid events as meetings are planned well into the future and vaccinations are more widely available.
So how does this impact experts in the events industry? Will they have to learn a completely new set of skills in order to successfully manage and execute virtual and hybrid events? Senior Vice President of LAI Live and LAI Video, Helena Lehman, recently spoke with Insider Intelligence about the talent necessary to succeed in a virtual environment, and how event organizers need to continue to be jacks-of-all-trades, but adapt and refine their current toolbox for this new world. “Some of the skills are transferrable, with some creativity,” said Helena. “You still need a team that supports high-profile speakers, but now your team needs to be able to train them for a virtual event. You will still need project management, but now your team needs to understand web development and video, too.”
Another component to enhance virtual events is developing ample opportunities for engagement, interaction, and networking through the screen. To make sure you keep your attendees’ attention, meeting organizers need to be creative and develop multiple experiences and ways for folks to participate. If you open the doors for engagement, Helena also explained that attendees will follow – momentum will grow and they will start unprompted conversations, seek solutions, and create community with one another when given the tools to do so.
Luckily, the event experts at LAI Live have spent the last year learning and mastering the techniques of virtual events and are fully ready to help you execute your next virtual, hybrid, or in-person meeting in 2021.
To view a full report on The Rise of Virtual Business Events by Insider Intelligence, click here.
Ready to Plan Your Virtual or Hybrid Event?
Our team of virtual event producers are here to help you plan your next event. Still not convinced that your in-person event needs to go completely virtual in 2021? We can help you explore hybrid options for this year!
Contact us today to start exploring the potential of your meeting and for more tips and best practices for delivering a successful virtual or hybrid experience!