Are Virtual Meetings Long-Term?
This guest blog post is by Sergio Fabbrini from Eventure Productions Inc.
Over the past few months, we’ve had many conversations with clients and competitors about the future of events. In March, when the coronavirus began to spread in the U.S and cancellations increased, industry experts were questioning how our industry could still provide a service. They anticipated that this might be the new normal. We faced the question all companies in our industry faced, is now the time to invest in a virtual meeting infrastructure? Our intuition lead by experience, shaped this question greatly.
Going against the grain we took a stand in opposition to invest in virtual meetings as if this would be the new normal. We value the many companies and industry partners that are already in that space and their unique position to serve our clients temporarily.
Our stance proved fruitful as we began to see the industry place their confidence in the benefits of in-person events. Many of our clients opted to cancel and reschedule their events for 2021. Even more convincing were statements like those of Live Nation CEO and President, Michael Rapino, “Over 90% of fans have opted to keep their tickets for postponed shows, rather than take refunds.” This news encouraged us to progress with our plan and prepare ourselves internally for events to return.
Outside of events that include accreditation most know that many attendees go to events for the exclusive purpose of networking, and that is not as affective through a virtual platform. There is an unparalleled value of in-person connections and social networking due to the basic human need for social interaction. Social needs are the essential building blocks for business relationships and valuable connections to flourish. Events not only meet these needs but add value to the advantageous business.
Pandemic regulations have changed our present world and with those changes influenced our future. Some may look forward to attending events while others find them daunting. Insecurities of safety will be with us for an uncertain time making planning with realistic expectations and being resourceful key. The solution is to integrate streaming technologies for those who don’t feel comfortable attending and be ready for events to come back as we once knew them.
In time, we believe attendance to events will return to full capacity because of the irreplaceable nature of the in-person interaction. Regardless of age, few people enjoy sitting on a Zoom call for hours on end and only those few would choose a virtual happy hour over a chance to buy drinks at a bar to network. People are craving the interactions that can only be found in the face-to-face networking events can provide.