Here we are, halfway through 2021, with a new proposed date of ‘normal’ life returning in sight. June 21st passed us by without much change in the Covid-19 restrictions, meaning that the concept of us going back to face-to-face events is still well and truly up in the air. But how much are we actually missing face to face? Have we reached a point where the convenience of logging onto an online workshop from either home or the office has subsided the hustle and bustle of catching the red-eye to make it into the city for a 9am start? How do we see events looking in the future?
In early 2020, we experienced our first lockdown – the world was thrown into chaos and the events industry was sent spinning. I feel that if I’d asked you back then; ‘do you miss face to face events?’, the answer would have been a resounding yes. Zoom fatigue set in quickly, and the human experience we were so accustomed to had been snatched away before our very eyes. However, as humans, we adjust, and we adjust quickly.
Businesses were forced to put their events online, Verve included. And it was a chance for us to take a step back and ask how we could try and incorporate as much of a face-to-face experience as possible. This included things such as breakout rooms on Zoom to mirror networking in real life, physical packs sent out in the post to keep that workshop-style feel and encouraging all delegates to keep cameras and mics on, as if they were in the room with us. We’re finding that the number of people attending our virtual events has tripled compared to those attending the face-to-face ones. We have clients all over the UK, and having the sessions so accessible has worked massively in our favour, and the favour of our delegates. No expenses, no pricey venues, no fancy lunches – just top-quality learning and development!
Of course, it doesn’t all come down to learning and development events in finance. There are plenty of awards and conferences that usually take place each year, all with a large number of attendees. Are these the ones that we are likely to see go back to in the flesh? We’ve attended a number of virtual awards and although they’re presented smoothly, without any technical hitches, surely you can’t beat the atmosphere of a busy auditorium with a copious amount of wine on the table…
Personally, I think the small online events are here to stay. I think the ease of being anywhere in the world and having the option of logging on and gaining some top CPD is something that people will not be willing to give up easily. The bigger events, such as conferences and awards are much more likely to go back face to face, and truth be told, I can’t wait!
Check out our upcoming events here.