2020 required event pros to reimagine how experiences are created, both in concept and execution. Many embraced the world of virtual events as an alternative to live, and some held off with the hope that the coming year would bring back ‘business as usual’ sooner than later.
For Sequence, having the opportunity to work with such an amazing mix of clients gives us a glimpse into a wide range of strategies and tactics, and provides us with a unique vantage point. So, as we head into the new year we wanted to share three predictions for events in 2021.
1.Virtual Continues to be Vital. We are all hopeful to see steps towards live events later this year. The challenge though, particularly for larger events, is that they require more extensive planning timelines and financial commitments. Companies and organizations not only need progress on vaccinations, but also the budget and time to create an in-person experience once it’s considered widely safe to do so. While nothing would make us happier than being on-site for some live events in Q4, virtual will likely continue to reign supreme for the majority of 2021 being the more sure thing.
2. Raising the Bar for Virtual Event Success. We are embarking on year two of creating and producing native online experiences. Greater experience, a focus on creativity and know-how will translate to higher-quality events, as well as higher expectations for success and engagement. The coming year will also bring with it new virtual event trends and points of emphasis, one of which we believe is an embracing of authenticity. So, look for a renewed interest in real-time events as opposed to pre-records (which both have their pros and cons). Also, we think many clients and brands will put a greater value on the intimacy of someone’s home or office location vs. a virtual branded background.
3. Redefining Hybrid. A hybrid event is typically defined as a live experience with a virtual integration, and we see this dual approach being the future of events into 2022 and beyond. But the live experience doesn’t necessarily need to be a traditional in-person event, and that may be a creative trend for the coming year as companies navigate through COVID limitations while trying to make a meaningful impact. We expect to see more exploration of what hybrid can be in an attempt to integrate the benefits of in-person experiences with the continued necessity of a mostly remote audience.
With virtual at the forefront, live still out of reach, and hybrid poised to emerge, 2021 promises to be an interesting year in events. Regardless of the format, we’re excited to push the envelope and continue to create events with essential connections. We hope to have a chance to collaborate with you in the coming year!