The event and experiential industry has changed irrevocably. Even if COVID-19 were to disappear tomorrow, the reality of how vulnerable we are as a society will remain ingrained in us for years to come.
It doesn’t mean there won’t be events; it just means that the way in which people convene will be different.
But why can’t they be —
The bottom line is that people will gather.
At TBX, we are deliberately shifting from buttonhole monikers like “virtual events”, “hybrid events”, and “social distance events” to the concept of event socialization(TM), a term we have coined. Because events go far beyond educating, imparting information, and introducing products and services – at their core, they are about people socializing around similar interests and objectives – learning from and growing with each other. Tough to do when you can’t convene in person.
There is an enormous constituency of brands and companies having to figure this all out. Virtual technology solutions are coming out of the woodwork, avatars abound, and prices are ridiculously high on many of the platforms (which rankles us because it’s just taking advantage of a bad situation).
We view virtual solutions as simply another venue. As event experts, it is our job and responsibility to choose the type of experience our clients want to deliver and find the best venue for it. If you don’t start with a live event mindset, you can’t possibly be successful – no matter how robust the technology.
What we’re finding is that in choosing a virtual event partner, many companies are letting technology dictate the solution vs. viewing the experience from the Zoom-fatigued attendee’s perspective. Attendees need to be able to engage; to be heard; to be involved; to exchange thoughts and ideas; to feel connected to their industry and their peers in a strange and uncomfortable milieu.
So, that’s where our focus is — designing experiences that facilitate socialization
regardless of the ultimate output – live or digital. And our clients are loving us for it.