Part 5: The Future of Virtual Meetings
Without a definitive end date to the COVID-19 situation, the message resonating among meeting planners is “we might be going virtual for a while.”
Even longstanding events like the Ironman World Championship, which has been held in Hawaii every October for more than 40 years and was originally pushed back to February 2021 amid coronavirus concerns, have announced complete cancelations for the season, with a plan to resume in October 2021.
Events that require in-person physical presence will likely take this route, but for those that previously relied on gathering people for intellectual conversation and learning, more options abound – and more creative ways to do them continue to surface.
Let’s take a look at a few models for future virtual events, and examples of companies putting these creative solutions into practice.
The ‘New Traditional’ Virtual Events
The fallback solution has become the norm and will remain popular over the coming year. Advances in presentation capabilities and speaker formats with technology like Mmhmm, currently in beta testing, will offer audiences an experience they are now comfortable using – but with an added wow factor.
With the notion of large crowds dispersed for the immediate future, once gatherings of 50 or less can resume, the hybrid event may become a popular new choice. Small groups can meet up in various geographic locations to interact together, while interfacing with the larger conference or event virtually.
Some airlines are forecasting that business travel will never resume to its previous levels. But what happens when you need that in-person experience of a place to convey your message? Enter VR. While pricier and logistically more complex to set up, this format could become popular for things like building tours or other traditionally experiential events.
Regardless of the event type, we will all have to get more creative in how we approach large scale exhibitions like awards shows, trade shows, large trainings and town halls – and ensure we are planning for communication that is no longer one directional, but includes far more interaction to keep attentions on our monitors for longer periods of time.
If your company needs help uncovering solutions, or creatively breaking up programs through existing or custom technology tools, shoot us a note. We’re happy to talk.
This is part 5 of a 5 part series.