Is 2020 the Year Virtual Events Take Off? – Business2Community
By Tom Wozniak, Head of Marketing – published on Business2Community on 3/30/20.
Most of us are used to attending various types of events in our personal and work lives. Meetups, conferences, trade shows, seminars, classes, mixers, etc. Just about any group gathering could fit the bill. But, with the current focus on social distancing where large group gatherings and even typical in-person social interactions are limited, many (and potentially all) of these types of events have been postponed for at least some period of time.
So how do we adapt to these limitations? For many events, it simply means they will be rescheduled for a later date, or canceled entirely. However, numerous organizers are taking this opportunity to test or simply adopt a very different approach to putting on their events. Instead of looking at shifting an event to a later date, they are looking at how digital solutions can be leveraged in the event arena through the virtual event.
Virtual event technology isn’t new, as arguably the first virtual trade show was held in 1993 (ConventionView). However, this initial foray into virtual events predated the explosion of the internet and would be barely recognizable when compared to virtual events today. In the digital marketing arena, an early attempt at the virtual trade show was called eComExpo, in 2007.
Anyone who has attended a live webinar, used a video conferencing platform, or attended an online class, has engaged in a form of virtual event. In fact, many of us rely on these platforms on a daily basis, to connect one-to-one or one-to-many with co-workers, partners, and others in our work-related activities.
While all of these virtual meeting tools are incredibly useful and have gained regular use across industries, they don’t replicate every aspect of a typical trade show or conference in the real world. For me, there have always been two key aspects of a large industry event that the virtual events can’t quite replicate.
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