The global events industry valued at USD 1 TN in 2019 and estimated to reach USD 1.6 TN by 2028 (this was predicted by global research Agency – Allied Market Research before the pandemic), suddenly came to a halt by the unprecedented circumstances that the world is grappling with from the past two years. Uncertainties looming large, mega global events like the Tokyo Olympics (delayed by a year now) and the motor show(which had to be cancelled) was considered to be the harbinger or potential doom for the events industry – Entertainment, Sports, MICE, alike. But the industry’s ability to use its ingenuity to blend in digital and live experiences have demonstrated its resilience and never say die attitude. Even before Covid-19, industry leaders have advocated to re-think and reimagine challenges as possibilities and move beyond the business-as-usual approach. The pandemic just made the situation much more immediate and the world of events in the new age may not look the same again. With more people getting vaccinated, the key will be finding solutions that cater to the post pandemic world. Here are a few event ideas that are waiting to reimagine the world and take it to a different paradigm:
New kid-on-the-block and the trending buzzword in the category was the “Hybrid Event” format. The general consensus appears to be that live events with larger focus on virtual audiences as well. Hybrid events are therefore here to stay!Having said, at Hotstuff events, our mainstay for Hybrid events was not a mere transformation of format but we have looked at this format as a viable marketing tool for our clients. There was a thrust on lead generation and tracking mechanism solution built in the product offering. This in turn enabled one of our clients to generate over 25k leads and have a live attendance of 12k+ viewers.
The importance of engaging audiences is now stronger than ever. We took one step ahead and re-created actual event experience on a viewing platform so that it helps the viewers to get the feeling of live events. Additionally, we also integrated interactive elements such as Chat & comments, Live Polls, word clouds, fun photo booths, Games, etc. to give the user a great and engaging event experience. Using our softwares and encoders and our web creation skills, we enhance the viewers’ experience of a show to an extent that they get a feeling that they are actually watching the event on a live stage.
THE MICE SAFETY
As per CBRE’s August 2020 Lodging Insights and also a joint white paper by Singapore Tourism Board, PCMA & UFI, the industry has remained in flux these past few months but event planners are feeling very hopeful. It is predicted that post-pandemic, business travel would fully recover and industry spokespersons are saying that it may also be greater. Yet, conferences, events and corporate meets will have to be reimagined. Business event companies will have to rejig the way they have done businesses for long. They will need to prototype, iterate and even discard ideas that are no longer relevant. And while they are doing that safety, sanitation and social distancing would take precedence over everything else. Wiping down tables and sanitizing screens after every booth visitor or leaving more room between attendees in lines would be the norm.
Small and micro-events would make attendees feel at lesser a risk would seek predominance in all event planners’ strategy. It’s easier to stay at covid appropriate distance when the attendees are less. Lesser attendees also means decreased risk of infection-spread. Micro-weddings have already set the trendas a resultant of mid pandemic venue restriction much to the anguish of us Indians and many such traditional big fat weddings. But slowly these intimate meets of smaller gatherings are catching everyone’s fancy. Smaller gatherings also means no longer the requirement of big venues. In fact the ever-increasing density of city scapes are pushing people to move towards the lesser dense suburbs or quaint towns for better options and thereby the increase in number of location and theme-based events will take precedence.
The pandemic hasn’t removed the need for in-person events but the new world will start increasingly to look at the options that this very pandemic has thrown at it. Virtual touchpoints give participants the chance to deepen their engagement and interact directly which is important in engagement. In the New World, event companies will give wider options and preferences and that’s a very good thing.
Article is authored by Rohit Sadavarte – Business Head & Associate Partner Hotstuff Advertising & Events.