Centuries have witnessed that every challenge brings with it a hidden opportunity. The responsibility of identifying, exploring and utilising that opportunity lies with us humans. The biggest issue faced by mankind in the past two years is the outbreak of the CoronaVirus. The spread-out has not only been a serious health hazard but has also significantly altered varied aspects of our lives. From work-from-home, masks, sanitisers to social distancing, humanity has adopted a new set of norms to ensure survival. Both businesses and the personal lives of people have undergone innumerable transformations.
However, in the years when COVID-19 had not become mayhem, all events were conducted live. The audience was thrilled by the fact that they had to visit a specific venue to attend a concert, show or function. Plans were made, and the event industry harped on creating an environment that reverberates with togetherness. In the pre-corona period, people would travel across cities to conduct and attend seminars, training sessions, lectures or meetings. The emphasis was on the “in-person” nature of these activities.
The pandemic and the resultant lockdown have forced people within the safety of their homes. The central and state governments introduced several restrictions on public gatherings and conduction of events. For several months, when the cases were quadrupling in no time, such functions were put on a halt. Did that mark the end of the event culture? Not at all. The event industry was fast in adopting the new normal.
This sector continued to strive and thrive because of the timely inclusion of numerous disruptive technologies. All the live events were turned online. The use of solutions like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, the Internet of Things and Big Data played a critical role in bridging the gap created by the temporary discontinuation of live events. By adding an array of features under the gambit of online events, these technologies have improved the event sector as a whole.
For instance, a company holds an offline Annual General Meet (AGM), due to which many of its international stakeholders fail to attend the event. In such cases, they had to rely on the clips and reports that they received later. However, with the online streaming of such meets, all relevant members can be a part of the AGM without waiting for the processed information to reach them later. Even brands benefit from this, as now one event can help them communicate with an audience base spread across the globe.
Another barrier that online events have successfully overcome is that of time. Attendees no longer have to be physically present at a set time and place to enjoy an event. Instead, they can easily record it and watch it at their convenience. Further, while watching the recorded version, one can even fast forward, rewind, pause and re-watch depending on their mood.
Online events do not require an extravagant setup or extensive resource commitment. In most scenarios, a single outlay, which is backed by cutting-edge technology, is all that is needed to put together a blockbuster event. The overhead costs are low for both the clients as well as the organising companies. Further, it even cuts down the wastages and reduces resource consumption.
With the restrictions being relaxed, the world is gradually going back to its old ways. The governments are beginning to allow offline events, although currently, most states have put limits on the number of attendees. Does this mean that the new-age online version of hosting will vanish? Well, e-events are here to stay. Even the audience is loving and enjoying the ease of attending the concerts of their favourite artists from the comfort of their living room.
It is safe to say that both organizers and attendees are happily accepting the online streaming culture and are no longer reluctant towards it. An innovative mix of both online and offline formats will be leading and shaping the trends of the event industry in the days to come. This combination of the two styles has indeed opened the doors for immense possibilities.
By AmitRelan, Co-Producer, Woot Factor Events