It has been a stressful and uncertain time across the globe and particularly within our industry, but as we see hope returning and the new face of business events taking shape I wanted to personally reach out to you and provide an update.
Whilst it’s been difficult navigating the challenges of running a business that relies heavily on world-wide physical meetings, the entire Expert Events team have kept busy over this time and used it as an opportunity to do lots of rescheduling, responding, reengineering, rebooking, rethinking, redeveloping, renegotiating, rewriting, recreating and most importantly, reflecting.
So, what does the future of business events look like?
Although the virtual conference 2.0 model has many people scrambling at the moment, my prediction is that a hybrid version (where we have a blend of live face-to-face alongside a virtual/online component) will be a familiar model in the future. The desire to connect face-to-face has already and will become stronger than ever as a result of this year’s events. Delivering engaging and interactive solutions that go way beyond that of just a webinar will now need to be a consideration of every live event. By integrating virtual components such as live or on-demand presentations, workshops, networking events, virtual exhibitions, sponsor engagement, and ePoster sessions, we’ll be able to extend the reach of live events and ensure continuity of communication to those who participate in person as well as those who may not have otherwise had the means or resources to physically attend.
A silver lining
Over the past few weeks, the team and I have been doing lots of testing of OnAIR, the brand new virtual event platform developed by our event technology partner, EventsAIR. The platform is fully integrated with our existing software and provides us with the ability to run a full virtual conference program right now, and roll out a hybrid solution as soon as restrictions on physical gatherings ease. Initial feedback has been very positive, with a number of clients interested in booking virtual events for the second half of this year. The virtual exhibitor model will provide excellent value for money to sponsors and attendees can access more targeted information with the click of a mouse. This is an exciting new opportunity for both Expert Events and our clients, and if you’d like to see a preview of the system in action, please reach out to me at any time.
The change in pace has also allowed us to better develop our marketing resources and we now offer social media crafting and management for your organisation and event, tailored to any budget. If you haven’t already we invite you to connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter and check out our new website and keep up to date with our latest news.
Things are looking up
The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) has been working closely with the Australian Government to deliver a strategic set of principles to instil confidence in Australia’s business events sector so that COVID-19 restrictions can be safely lifted and the events industry can start to rebuild itself. With the recent announcement that New Zealand will allow events of all sizes to proceed from next week (abiding by track, tracing, health and hygiene protocols already in place) we are hopeful that a similar approach will also be adopted in Australia soon, and when it does we will be ready to go with new regulations and safety precautions in place to protect all attendees. Whilst physical gatherings may be limited to a state or national level initially, it will certainly be a positive and welcomed step on the road to recovery of our industry.
Whilst we are very grateful for the technological advancements this time has allowed our business and are really enjoying new online event platform events, we can’t wait to collaborate and create highly engaging face to face meetings and hybrid events with you all again very soon.