Date published 28th October 2020

In 2020, the events industry has had to redesign how they do business. For as long as we can remember, networking at traditional face-to-face events has been key to professional success something which may present some challenges in a virtual space.

To ensure the events industry’s continued popularity, they’ve had to move traditional face-to-face events online. This has forced organisations to be either innovative or to face a decline in attendees and therefore business.

In London, the British Museum moved their exhibitions online, we’ve seen crowd-less festivals broadcast on TV, and bars hosting virtual cocktail evenings through social media, to name a few examples.

For those already working in the events industry, and for anyone looking to join, it’s important to recognise these newly adopted methods and their positive impact on the industry as a whole. Some of these include:

  1. Cost-saving: Without the need to rent a venue and hire services such as catering, the expense of running an event is reduced massively. Attendees aren’t spending money on transportation either so it’s a win-win situation.
  2. Global audience: People can attend concerts, go to museums and join workshops from anywhere in the world with a click of a button.
  3. Measurability: The technology used to deliver online events allow organisers to measure success in real-time. This technology allows for continuous improvement both during and after an event.
  4. Flexibility: Organisers can customise each event to their needs as well as their audiences’ needs, increasing personalisation and making the user’s experience more enjoyable. Examples of this include making it interactive, adding the option of subtitles, adding multiple language options etc.
  5. Time-saving: The journey to get to an event, and the time it takes to navigate through a venue, can be enough to put some people off attending events altogether. With events now moving online and from the comfort of our own homes, it can be more incentivizing for people to attend.

Whilst there are now many platforms to enable the move to online events, they can still come with their own set of challenges. . With proper planning and organisation, these challenges can be avoided by taking several points into consideration:

  1. Anticipate the obstacles: it’s important to schedule in a testing session to ensure the speakers have experience in using the platform before the live session.
  2. Have a facilitator: Managing interactions between the speakers and attendees can be challenging with overlaps of communication which may cause delays or confusion. Having a facilitator will ensure the session runs smoothly and on schedule.
  3. Take notes: Each event should have a note-taker whose responsibility is to track questions, comments and how the event ran to debrief with the team. This will help in understanding the audience, the delivery methods and will help improve future events.

As we move into 2021, event organisers face the challenge of identifying the event model that would suit their business and go forward with it efficiently. It’s best to remember that every kind of event model has its pros and cons, whether it’s an in-person or remote experience. The good news here is that the events industry has had the majority of 2020 to trial and error different delivery methods, learn what works best and how to execute it.

As an evolving industry, it’s a great time broaden your horizons and learn about the intricacies of events management. To find out more about our BA (Hons) Events Management course, please follow this link.