Yes – is the very short answer!
The world of events, seminars, conferences, workshops etc ground to a halt with the first Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020. However, the need for events, especially those of a business-to-business or professional/personal development nature did not disappear, in fact, as people and businesses desperately searched for advice regarding how they could operate in the strange new world, the pent up demand for advice and coaching was huge.
Necessity is the mother of invention and as 2020 progressed, more and more of us became proficient or at least developed an ability to muddle through, in the world of Zoom, Teams and online events. Webinars, previously viewed as a poor relation of ‘real-life’ seminars and conferences, quickly found their place in the virtual sunshine.
Fast forward to now, 14 or so months down the line and we are thankfully seeing lockdown ease, hopefully for good, and the world open up. Live events are also beginning to take tentative steps back into our diaries and calendars. But, I believe the last year and a bit have shown that there are huge advantages to utilising ‘online’ for seminars, conferences and the like. I see particular advantages in the rural sector, where geographical distance can be a barrier to physical attendance at events. The ability to live-stream events on the internet, whilst simultaneously recording to create content that can be viewed anytime, anywhere has opened up events to audiences scattered over vast distances. The audience for AgriScot online in November 2020 was from every far-flung corner of Scotland and many far-flung corners of the globe too.
Some live events in the near future will undoubtedly benefit from a pent up demand from people eager to get their ‘bums-on-seats’ in a physical sense. Also, we are undoubtedly seeing some ‘online fatigue’ as the appeal of sitting in front of a screen wanes. However, I would say that from here on in, for an event to reach its true potential in terms of audience appeal and interaction, online cannot be ignored and in fact, hybrid events will become the new normal.
Whichever route your next event is likely to take, Scene & Herd are well placed to help. We can point you in the direction of online hosting platforms, hook you up with skilled professionals from event organisers to film crew or even help you take a step back to consider alternatives – eg could a podcast be a better way to communicate your message? Whichever route you chose, it goes without saying that PR & Marketing will be essential in order to attract an audience, and it goes without saying that we are here to help!