Not much more needs to be said about how 2021 will differ from other years. What is worth delving into, however, is the repercussions of this difference. With lockdowns, social distancing measures and the threat of future outbreaks, in-person events can be safely placed on the back burner. Even if in-person events continue to be hosted, convincing people to attend them is a whole different conversation in itself.
As such, the virtual events industry was accelerated and has slowly seeped into our working lives. With businesses now pivoting to hosting online events, do you know the variety of events that can be hosted? Here’s a list of some virtual events we are likely to see more of in 2021.
An amalgamation of “web” and “seminar”, webinars are online based presentations or workshops that are often business-driven. Using an online software such as Delegate PLAY, webinar sessions can be very versatile. It can be used as a medium to demonstrate a product to clients, build relationships with attendees or simply share ideas with an audience. This flexibility has made webinars the breakout star in terms of post-COVID-19 virtual events.
Not too far behind – in terms of popularity – are virtual conferences. Unlike webinars, conferences are not so much focused on passing information onto an audience. Conferences are where attendees come together to discuss themes of common interest. In the case of virtual conferences, it is important that the online platform have engagement tools such as live chats. This would allow for a higher level of interaction during the event.
This term need not simply apply to online lessons by educational institutions. Online learning isn’t too different from webinars. It is still a presentation of sorts, from speaker to audience. A good software would allow for attendee engagement by having features such as an online chat system. Online learning also need not necessarily be live, it can be made to downloadable content for later use as well. This would be useful in the setting of creating training sessions during these WFH times.
Another example of virtual events having a surge in popularity are career fairs. Travel restrictions and work-from-home settings are possible reasons for this surge. While COVID-19 has had an impact on recruitment, businesses do still need to hire nonetheless. In a virtual setting, job seekers are able to meet hiring managers of organisations and interact. Real time chat rooms, lobbies and networking lounges assist the hiring managers’ in their search for the right applicant.
On top of events linked to our business lives, leisure events are forced to come online too. That would mean concerts and music festivals are likely to be experienced through a screen in 2021. Let’s not forget that these events are carried out in an enclosed space where attendees are squeezed in like sardines. Social distancing doesn’t work in such a setting and it may be a couple of years till we have our full capacity in-person concerts back.
Virtual exhibitions are a great example of how bringing an event online has its merits. In this case, we are referring to a consumer exhibition — a marketplace where sellers can display and sell their products or services to buyers. Sellers would welcome the opportunity to widen their audience and going virtual would definitely do that. Businesses will have the opportunity to enhance profits through engaging with exhibition attendees. By aligning an online platform to the marketing-driven nature of exhibitions, it creates an environment which excites both business and consumers.
For a hybrid event to be effective, there needs to be elements of both in-person and virtual events. An advantage of hybrid events is that it provides attendees with a level of autonomy when it comes to their choice of attendance. Should attendees be in the same geographical space as the in-person component of a hybrid event, they can be there in-person. They can also choose to attend the event virtually should they wish to do so. There’s a high chance that the MICE industry and events in general will skew towards hosting hybrid events in 2021 and beyond.
Delegate PLAY – An immersive virtual platform putting all uncertainty to an end
While the Singapore events industry recovers and prepares itself for the new normal, it is the perfect time to look at best-in-class digital technologies to address client needs and preferences. To this effect, the recently launched Delegate PLAY is a game changer, enabling vendors to seamlessly host events and build connections. Delegate PLAY is a fully immersive virtual environment which allows users to host online conferences and exhibitions under one integrated platform. Event organisers, sponsors and attendees are therefore able to sync up and network in an online virtual environment, transforming a traditionally offline experience into an online format. To read more about it, click here.
Delegate PLAY helps optimize your events ROI by offering innovative features like custom virtual fairgrounds, real-time audience participation and engagement tracking, accessing events on the go from any device, and unlimited content without any geographical restrictions.
Planning your virtual event on Delegate PLAY? We would love to help make your virtual event a smashing success. For more information or a demo of Delegate PLAY, feel free to contact us via the form below. We promise to get in touch with you in a jiffy.