There is no doubt that post-COVID-19 the world will have changed in many ways. The way we do things in business will never be the same again for the simple reason that the COVID-19 restrictions on movement and live interaction have sparked some ingenious solutions to overcome these challenges.
Corporate bosses are now reconsidering travel, office time and meetings in general as possibly being superfluous and less cost-effective than operating virtually from home. There is something to be said; however, for key people to still meet face to face in a live conference situation, as the subtle nuances and meanings in a conversation can be missed in online interactions.
In the follow up of phase three of the lockdown we are at last free to hold smaller live conferences, with specific fairly restrictive parameters, but it is better than nothing, and many will choose this option.
Where it becomes tricky however is in the case of larger companies where a lot of people are needed to be present and when the company has a national footprint requiring delegates from all over the country to attend.
This is exactly the situation that opens up the opportunity for what one would now call a hybrid conference or event – which means you can have a few people in the room in the conference and those who cannot be there interact online.
Current live event parameters
Just to give you a little useful information in this respect, a missive from the Dept. of Tourism says “The number of persons entering a conference or meeting venue shall not number more than 50 and conference and meeting facilities shall ensure compliance with the regulations relating to a physical distancing of at least one and a half meters.”
There are of course also travel restrictions that require a lot of red tape and put travellers at risk, regardless of whatever compliances are adhered to.
So, with these strict regulations regarding limiting the number of people in the room and limited travel options, we believe this will spawn a situation where live and Virtual events will combine to create the new norm!
What can be achieved with Virtual events?
With sophisticated technology, local companies like Virtual Event offer event planners the opportunity to create not only conferences but even large scale events like expos, online!
As one article from Hubilo, one of the world’s pioneers in Virtual event technology pointed out “Now, with multiple platform/software choices, digital meetings, virtual conferences and events are the norm, and face-to-face is a chore. Meeting with people and bringing your delegates together virtually is absolutely a necessity.”
As we have mentioned in previous articles, Digital events can assist to leverage all kinds of engagement opportunities for your delegates, but this is not restricted to either online or live engagement. With the combination of giving some the live experience and others a virtual, but near-live experience, the sky is the limit.
In what ways will they merge?
Event planners with access to the Virtual Event technology can create a great live and virtual experience by executing a few of these basic principles:
- Create a grand reception area online and assist virtual guests in engaging with live delegates.
- Plan exciting live speakers and groups sessions. Have both live and virtual polls and Q&A sessions and competitions.
- Organise one on one meetings, live and virtual group sessions and break-out sessions between both live and virtual delegates.
In a nutshell, the Virtual Event platform allows for streaming of the live sessions and attendees that are not there to join in on the event. They do so by interacting on the news feed, setting one on one meetings with live and other attendees, networking in the virtual networking lounge, watching live presentations and much more.
Virtual events breathe new life into the event planning industry
There is practically nothing that cannot be achieved on the sophisticated events and Expo platforms like those offered by Hubilo’s local partner ‘Virtual Event.’ Now the option to have the best of both worlds is absolutely possible, and it has opened a whole new world for events planners, no longer tied down to restrictive numbers and travel requirements to organise and manage an event of any size or scope.
Contact us to learn more and become a new force to be reckoned with, armed with the tools that will enable you to combine live and virtual events. After all, post-pandemic, this will be the new norm! Be careful and be safe!