It’s almost an understatement to say that 2020 was a year like no other! The events industry went through unprecedented change. We faced and overcame the most crippling of restrictions that required us to be open to new technologies, to pivot, and to adapt in order to survive.
Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes said, ‘To be prepared is half the victory.’ And since it is widely agreed that the best way to prepare for the future is to learn from the past, we decided to share some of the key insights we’ve gained over the past 12 months.
1. The Only Thing That Is Certain Is Change
If there’s anything 2020 has taught us it’s this: change is inevitable! Over the past 12 months, the ability to adapt to a changing environment has been critical to survival in the world of events.
Fortunately, we followed de Cervantes’s advice, which meant we were prepared, and when the pandemic hit, we were able to respond rapidly and come up with an innovative solution. We did so by building on EventsAir our in-person event management system and creating OnAIR, the revolutionary virtual and hybrid event solution. In this way we were able to help our customers to transform traditionally in-person events into sensational virtual events.
OnAIR has since been used by thousands of event planners across the globe to produce world-class events that have attracted, immersed and engaged more than 600,000 virtual attendees so far.
The lesson: Be prepared, where possible try to predict trends, and, above all be ready to adapt to changing times.
2. The Value of Face-To-Face Connections
The true value of events ultimately lies in the connections made—more specifically, it lies in face-to-face interactions. Over the past 12 months, we have learned that, while they will never replace in-person events, in times of crisis, virtual events can fill the gap, provided they offer opportunities for face-to-face interactions.
OnAIR provides a variety of opportunities for face-to-face interactions in the virtual setting, including video chats, networking groups, meeting hub, focus groups, video meetings with exhibitors, breakout groups within sessions, and much more.
The lesson: Never underestimate the importance of connecting face-to-face. Create events that provide opportunities to do so in a secure interactive environment—even if it is online.
3. The Amazing Upskill Required to Set Up an Immersive and Engaging Virtual Event.
It’s no secret that virtual events rely heavily on technology and running successful online events requires a considerable amount of upskilling across the business. If, like most event planners we know, you’re after a highly polished and professional event that runs seamlessly with plenty of opportunities for audience members to engage, there’s no getting round the necessity to learn new skills.
Over the past 12 months, we have been amazed by the willingness of event planners to take on the challenge and embrace the learning experience and master these new skills within a relatively short amount of time.
To fill this gap EventsAir released a range of virtual event management packages to assist event planner to get there virtual events up and running so they can focus on whats important – their customers.
The lesson: It takes teamwork and commitment to create an engaging virtual event and run it without a hitch. Upskilling, particularly in the areas of technical capabilities, and retooling in terms of AV are vital for creating and running immersive hybrid, virtual and in-person events. If you don’t have the time of resources EventsAir virtual event management packages may be the answer you are looking for.
4. Never Underestimate the Creativity of Event Planners!
We were blown away by the creativity of the early adopters paved the way for the rest of the industry. These pioneering event planners set the bar high right from the start, quickly pivoting to the virtual format, embracing the new technology, and boldly asking for even greater functionality. We were pleased to be able to respond to these requests, adding extra features to OnAIR as we went.
Thanks to the highly creative event planners, OnAIR has taken virtual events to the next level. Over the past 12 months, we have helped thousands of event planners around the globe to do amazing things with their events from staging virtual events in parks to delivering meal packs, coffee-making kits, and goodie bags to virtual event attendees for interactive online sessions.
The lesson: Virtual events don’t need to follow boring ‘webinar-style’ formats. With a little imagination, they can be highly immersive and interactive. They are accessible to a larger audience, resulting wider reach than is possible with in-person events.
5. The Immense Value of Our Customers and Their Support.
Naturally, we have always appreciated our customers and valued their support. But it’s when times get tough that you’re reminded once again of the incredible relationships you have with your loyal customers.
Without their unfailing support, we could not have developed the product that we did. Getting feedback from our customers helped us enormously to create products such as OnAIR that not only addressed, but also anticipated the needs of our target market.
The lesson: Never underestimate the value of connecting with your clients! Even if you’re not charging anything at all for your virtual event, the true value of events is not in the profits made from ticket sales, but rather it lies in the connections you make with your customers.
This year, we’ve proven time and again that virtual events can foster real connections with wider audiences than their traditional counterparts. If you’d like to learn more about how to create and manage in-person, hybrid and virtual events that engage audiences, book a free personalized demo with one of our business managers today.
EventsAir has been at the forefront of Event Technology and Innovation for over 30 years, continually pushing the boundaries of what an event management platform can do. Built by event planners for event planners, EventsAir is a secure, scalable, cloud-based solution that can manage everything from in-person, virtual to hybrid conferences, meetings and events in a single online platform – anywhere, anytime and on any device. In use in over 50 countries by multi-national corporations, professional conference organizers, government departments and tertiary education institutions, EventsAir is also used in global congresses such as G20, APEC, CHOGM and ASEAN, as well as sporting events like The Olympic Games, World Rugby, Commonwealth Games and Pan Am Games. EventsAir is trusted by event professionals around the globe. For further information, visit www.eventsair.com