You must have heard that change is inevitable. Or the only constant thing is change. And nothing is indeed permanent. So one should change with time. Otherwise, one will become irrelevant. Something like this happened last year. When the pandemic broke out last year, all human activities came to a standstill, including social gatherings. And it caused a series of chain reactions that led to the cancellation of events around the world. So it raised an essential question for event organisers, what’s next?
The answer was virtual events. And we saw various types of events going digital. Thus, making the virtual event the change needed in times of uncertainty.
Virtual events – digitising the event industry
Virtual events are those events that cater to digital or online audiences. One can attend these events from anywhere. You don’t have to travel to any location since the event is digital. This character makes virtual events much more convenient for both attendee and organiser. Also, it means you can host an event in times like these. Which is exactly what people did last year.
Virtual events rely on technology. And in this case, it’s a virtual event platform or virtual event software. The aim here is to deliver an experience that can fulfil the need of a physical event. That is why many virtual event platforms or software use 3-D and captivating interface.
And it seems to be working pretty well because we are witnessing different types of virtual events every day. One can also credit the versatility of virtual event technology. To give you some hints, here are some popular categories of the virtual event.
Popular virtual event categories
- Virtual conferences
- Virtual product launches
- Virtual trade show
- Virtual exhibitions
- Virtual career/job fairs
- Virtual fairs
- Virtual AGMs
- Virtual award shows
- Virtual town hall
And so on. It translates that you can host any event on virtual event platforms. Now that you know about the categories of the virtual event. Let’s see how virtual events are changing with time.
New trends in virtual events
Duration of online sessions
People have been attending online sessions for almost a year. And now they are bored from online sessions. But if you are planning to host an online session at your event, you should make some necessary changes. First, keep the duration of online sessions short. And if the session is going for a long time then, provide a break in between. It will give some time to attendees to relax. And they will be able to focus and comprehend the session.
More breakout rooms
Breakout rooms allow the attendees to switch easily between the various online sessions. Also, the attendees can rest here while there is a break in an online session. Also, breakout rooms are necessary for those events where there are multiple online sessions. So one should have breakout rooms in the event. And that is why in future, we will see more breakout rooms in the virtual events.
Use of AI-based tools
Many virtual event platforms are using Artificial Intelligence (AI) based tools nowadays. Some popular AI tools are AI Matchmaking, Chatbots, Facial recognition and voice recognition, to name a few. However, we are going to see more similar AI tools in future virtual events.
Not only these tools make our work easy but also fast. And we can increase our efficiency with the help of these tools. Also, they will make our life much more comfortable.
With the help of virtual events, people overcome geographical barriers. As a result, event organisers were able to host a truly global event. And people got access to various international events, which otherwise they wouldn’t be attending.
However, there is still one significant challenge in front of event organisers and event platform developers. And that is the barrier of the language. And it still holds people back from attending many digital events. So in future events, we may feature/tool for real-time translation.
These days smart speakers are getting popular. They enable a user to give the command for a task without touching anything. And many people enjoy using this technology. Virtual platform developers who are already facing a challenge to innovate constantly to make the virtual event exciting. So it is just a matter of time before we see the feature of voice-based research or commands. Also, it will allow disabled people to attend virtual events. Hence, making the technology more inclusive.
Face ID unlock
Using a face to unlock the device is quite common, especially unlocking a smartphone. And this technology is getting popular with each passing day. So there are high chances that virtual event platform developers may incorporate this technology in their platform. And soon, we will be able to use our face as an ID for logging in to the event. Also, it will make the login process fast. And will reduce our dependence on passwords.
Alongside face ID, we may see a voice ID feature. And it might become more popular than face ID. The reason for this is the first, not everyone is comfortable using their face as a digital key to log in. Also, for a secure or 3-D face ID to work, you need dedicated hardware. But you don’t need anything like that for a voice unlock, since almost every device has a microphone. Therefore, voice-based unlocking may become a more popular choice for many people. Also, it will benefit disabled people.
Focus on effective networking
Earlier attendees and event organiser only focussed on building new contacts as much as possible in the virtual event. But now, the attendee’s priorities are changing. They just don’t want to connect with anyone but with someone relevant to them. People want to connect with those people with whom they share a common interest. Or with those people who work in a similar industry or profession.
Now the aim is on focused networking. While some tools already exist that help you in connecting with relevant people, like AI Matchmaking. But in future events, we will witness more such tools and features.
These are some trends that will transform virtual events. And we will see more innovations that will enhance attendees’ experience at the virtual event.