The pandemic reformed the Events Industry. Decades of transformation shrunk to the span of two years. In-person events took an overnight shift and dived into the virtual world. The event reached the ‘new normal’ stage when gearing back to normalcy. Those remarkable changes are here to stay. According to Statista, the event tickets segment reached US$ 7.1Bn in 2022, and there is an estimated increase of 14.4% in 2023. Hence, it is expected that 2022 will be the year of the event industry.
Let us see in detail how the event industry is today, some noticeable predictions, and the steps event planners take to bring people to in-person events.
New routines emerging in in-person events
Changes in in-person events after the pandemic
After the pandemic, virtual events started to go back to their traditional physical state but with a rapid, unexpected transformation that shook the whole event industry. Introducing us to the “new normal,” event organizers and attendees wanted to embrace the technological advantages of virtual events and merge them seamlessly with in-person events for a double-effective event experience. Such events go hand-in-hand with physical events, and they can be:
According to Statista, nearly 5000 people attended larger events and exhibitions in 2019. But it was reduced drastically after the COVID-19 outbreak, and now people are fond of exclusive events. Micro events, physical, virtual, or combined, accommodates on a smaller scale. These events may serve for diversified purposes with limited but targeted audiences such as business conferences, VIP meetings, networking events, or even solely for an attendee type like unvaccinated people, attendees with accessibility needs, or geographically proximate audiences.
Hybrid events combine in-person live with virtual events. Hybrid events integrate the virtual components with the live event. There are several advantages of going hybrid, from large-scale events to accommodating audiences despite geographical constraints and much more. They make your in-person event capable of providing an immersive virtual experience for effective and engaging content. These events give an opportunity to draw in a diverse audience eliminating physical, language, and any accessibility barriers, and they can be live-streamed or re-streamed whenever or wherever desired.
How are in-person events held today?
According to Forbes, In-person events have a warm welcome in 2022 with a 27% increase in pre-bookings from January to March. Although they are back in use, the pandemic made some safety measures unavoidable.
- Protocols to follow from staff to guests. For example, Monitoring and minimizing exposure among staff by establishing ground rules like separate dining, individual breaks, working behind a sneeze guard, etc. And mandatory protocols for guests and visitors like verifying vaccination, masking, and social distancing.
- Pack food and beverages instead of a buffet.
- Conduct in-person events outdoors or in a spacious environment.
- Attention retention strategies.
- CDC compliant set-up for events.
Challenges to bringing audiences to in-person events
There are some challenges faced while planning an event. Some noteworthy points to draw in more audience to an in-person event are as follows:
COVID compliant events
As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), Covid compliant events have a handful of guidelines to follow. They include contactless registration, digital payment, verification for vaccination, PCR testing in special cases, temperature checking, canned drinks and boxed meals, separate and small networking sessions, mandatory masks, and 6 feet distance. This made in-person events expensive; thus, they tend to be held small scale.
Virtual events incorporate different techniques and technologies to promote, reach, impact and entertainment. And to compensate for such effortful attendee engagement, in-person events are expected to provide an entirely improvised audience experience.
Virtual experience can be brought into the physical events to maintain the same zeal as visual events hyped up. For example, the best parts of virtual events like all-inclusive event management apps and platforms, customization, gamification, live sessions, break-out rooms, live streaming, virtual booths, social media and networking integrations, etc., can be incorporated.
Meeting audience expectations
The audience acquired a taste of several options and varieties from virtual events. From attending any international event from home to breaking down any physical, language, accessibility barriers, and much more, online events serve some benefits to the audience. Hence, to make an in-person event equally beneficial, event organizers should blend the virtual components with live events.
Be prepared for the worst
It is wise to be prepared for the worst, especially when another coronavirus outbreak is uncertain. Besides, follow the precautions as per the CDC and WHO guidelines, and make prior arrangements in case of emergency. Stocking sanitizers, masks, spacious areas, or spare rooms for emergency lockdown or quarantine is advisable.
Hiring a live language translator and an ASL interpreter can help your in-person event break language barriers. In some cases, a sign language interpreter can also boost the accessibility of your event. Adding a digital board for captions in the live event is also a great way to make your content more accessible.
New event trends and technologies
Technology has a near-future role in the event industry, and it reshaped the way content is delivered or perceived. Let it be an international entertaining event or a local internal meeting, event technology makes the event experience easy, impactful, and sometimes out-of-the-world.
Technology helps increase attendee’s engagement, track and monitor specified metrics quickly, and help improve the overall ROI of the event companies. According to Socialtables, studies show that event technology increases planner’s productivity by 27% and event attendance by 20% while decreasing costs up to 30%.
Event planners need to create an immersive, informative, complex yet simple, and engaging event all at once. And there are some of the on-trend event technology that is used by the event industry. Let’s discuss a few.
Contactless registration and check-in/check-out, QR code, digital payment, and other touchless technology are exceptionally useful in post-pandemic in-person events.
Hybrid live events
Live event technology combines virtual components with face-to-face meetings where people enjoy an in-person company with all virtual advantages. Such events are easier to be live-streamed, adding live accessibility features like live translations, etc.
Simulive is a recorded live event, and this pre-recorded session can be put live at any given time as needed.
Virtual booths, metaverse, gamification, 3D cubes, and much more event technology engage the audience and create an immersive virtual environment.
EventTech is the largest learning lab on event technology. They present EventTech 411 that roundups effective event technology periodically. They suggest a range of tools like wearable smart badges, aerial devices, social sharing, registration, guest tracking, mobile audience engagement, etc. These tools help monitor and track the event- metrics, staffing, sessions, guest arrivals, social distancing, attendee engagement, etc. It also lets you make real-time changes quite quickly.
Event management application
All-inclusive mobile application provides a platform to organize, promote, host, survey, and follow up with the event while personalizing the event experience for the attendees with gamification, avatars, 3D booths, etc.
Non Fungible Tokens let people own digital assets and souvenirs. At events, they are ticketing, gift bags or digital souvenirs, etc.
CaptioningStar helps event organizers with their accessibility needs. We provide live translators, ASL interpretations, subtitles, language interpretations, and live captions to your event. Post-production services like closed captions, video editing, transcripts, voiceover, live streaming in OTT, and VOD platforms are also available. Reach us for impeccable services.