Virtual events are already an important part of our lives as a result of the pandemics. However, the virtual format has been in our lives for a long time now, but never before so intense as nowadays. In this article we will reflect on the right balance between virtual and face to face experiences that we require in event management industry.
And we will start this reflection with an interesting comparison between virtual events and virtual sex.
Virtual sex is probably a good option in pandemics time, as you avoid direct contact and possible exposure to any illness, you have access to people and locations in different parts of the world and you can mostly access it at any time usually there are no strings attached.
Also, most of the times, you probably manage to reach your main aim as well without having to leave your home and the time management is probably easier.
This is very similar to virtual events as they share most of the attributes above.
So, in a quick look, it seems like both formats are valid for a first phase.
Of course, you can repeat this phase as much as needed, but we all know there comes a time when several things may happen:
- You need more interaction
- The technology turns from a useful tool into a barrier
- Start to feel the need of real contact
- Miss going out of your home, travelling or just moving from point A to point B in order to meet your partners
- Don’t try that much anymore
- Get tired of the screen and lose interest
- Miss the butterflies in the stomach
- You miss preparing for the event
And when this happens, we feel the need to get back to basics and return to the face to face experiences.
Does that mean that we quite virtual experiences forever? No, we just start looking for the right balance between the two formats and give each option the right place and time in our life.
Does that mean virtual experiences are not enough? No, they just need to play the correct role and attend the correct needs. In terms of event management this has been a great progress for the industry and an incredible complement and alternative for face to face events. We just need to remember not to overdo it as we can ruin certain experiences.
Can we replace face to face events with virtual events? It depends on the type of events. Some of them are totally replaceable, some are irreplaceable and some can be adapted.
In the future of the events industry, finding the right format and balance in order to plan attractive and profitable events will probably be one of the main challenges and the key to success.
It also looks like the industry has already started to work on finding that balance between virtual and face to face events and soon we may be able to settle into a more stable relationship with the virtual and face to face events.