This past year has created incredible challenges for the event industry. In 2020, thousands of events worldwide were canceled, leading to significant revenue losses across all aspects within the business, particularly within event management firms.
“Of all the event sectors, event management companies remain the hardest hit, with 29% reporting losses of between 61% and 80% and 19% reporting losses of between 41% to 60%. Thirty-eight percent of service suppliers and production both report losses between 81% and 90%.
However, even with catastrophic losses, the event industry remained tenacious. And in the wake of in-person, onsite event cancellations grew a new breed of concepts that seemed resilient to the devastating effects of the pandemic. And we move into 2021, the trifecta of micro-events, virtual events, and hybrid events will be here to stay.
Let’s examine this impactful trio to learn more about their unique features and why they are essential to your clients and the industry at large.
The name says it all; micro-events are small, scaled-back versions of parties where the capacity of bodies is generally between five and fifty guests. However, while these events are diminutive in size, they can still deliver a massive impact.
“Micro events have historically been things that take place online — webinars, Twitter, chats, live video broadcasts, and things like that. They provide a way to engage a target audience with minimal set up required.”
That said, as we move slowly move out of isolation post-pandemic, micro-events have gone from online to on-site as the only way to gather bodies together, in consideration of small social gatherings.
Micro events have a unique ability to create communities and are great for those starting in the industry to build their audience and brand. They can be easier on your budget, which is a significant concern as the event world recuperates from lost revenue.
For example, “according to The Knot, the national average cost of a wedding is a staggering $33,391. The average cost per guest has reached an all-time high of $268.” Consider how much one can reduce costs by merely reducing their guest list to a maximum of fifty guests.
As we move forward with heightened awareness regarding health and safety, micro-events can offer peace of mind when it comes to hygiene. It is easier to control social distancing with a smaller group, and an event host could easily ensure that all guests use PPE items provided.
Whether online or off, micro-events offer a cozier and more exclusive experience, making it easier for your attendees to connect. This is one event trend that we will see more of in 2021.
Check out this Event Planning Toronto company for ideas!
The year 2020 will be known in the event industry as the year of virtual events. Platforms such as Zoom rose to the top as a viable tactic to host events within an online sphere. “It was in 2020…that Zoom really took off. With people confined to their homes, apps that allowed us to stay in touch became central to our day-to-day lives.”
The ease of these apps that were traditionally used for business meetings allowed practically anyone the ability to produce and host events, safely from their home. And this was a game-changer that we will see more of in 2021.
In the face of the pandemic, event technology has accelerated, becoming more sophisticated to meet the demand for more virtual content. And event attendees are responding positively to this new shift. “After months of working from home and social distancing, many people are hesitant to jump into crowds of any size. One survey found that 66% of people won’t attend an in-person event without a COVID-19 vaccine in place.”
Virtual events are not without their snags. Unreliable internet connections can create a disruptive experience, and not every theme or event concept is a good fit for a virtual form. For example, weddings and tradeshows don’t translate well virtually, and even stage entertainers find performing from their homes to be an underwhelming experience.
“What may be harder to replicate is that electric vibe of being with other people in that moment. The audience can make or break a gig…in terms of what the relationship between them, the artist, and the music is like.”
Still, virtual events offer a safe, less expensive, and relatively simple alternative to live events-at least until venues are ready to open at their regular capacity. And even with isolation restrictions slowly lifting across the globe, many people are remaining cautious. For now and throughout 2021, virtual events will continue to shine through a laptop screen near you.
You may be asking yourself; what is a hybrid event? Furthermore, why will this be an essential event concept in 2021?
“A hybrid event combines elements of a physical and virtual event delivered into a unified experience…The different models include full virtual, targeted virtual, blended, physical, and Content365.”
Blended and physical hybrid events are great solutions to post-pandemic progressions. The composite hybrid designs allows guests to attend, using the same content for both in-person and online participation. Blended events are well-suited to situations where social distancing or capacity limitations are required.
Physical hybrid events are more of an in-person design that permits an immersive experience that includes touchless technology. This model is perfect for addressing issues of hygiene and transferrable viruses.
A report found in the July 2020 edition Virtual Event Tech Guide noted the 62% of event planners said that the hybrid events would be the way of the future. And even as venues slowly begin to open up, a virtual component offers many benefits to both attendees and producers. Hybrid models are more inclusive to those who prefer not to attend events in person, particularly during a time of travel restrictions. In addition, by including a virtual element into an on-site design, your guests can experience cutting-edge event technology for an exciting and memorable experience.
The New Triple Threat
Event professionals have accepted the fact that the COVID pandemic has forever changed the industry. But innovation, creativity, and perseverance have led to alternative event designs that offer sustainable and safer solutions.
Micro-events, virtual events, and hybrid models will lead the future of events into 2021 and beyond. Get ready to embrace this trifecta as we move into the new normal within the industry.
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1. Fullard, Martin. “22% of event businesses have lost all revenue, government urged to confirm restart date.” Conference News. June 10. 2020, https://www.conference-news.co.uk/coronavirus-updates-business-news/22-event-businesses-have-lost-all-revenue-government-urged
2. Gonzalez, Ever. “The Power Of Micro-Events.” Medium. November 2. 2019, https://medium.com/@_EverGonzalez/the-power-of-micro-events-8f725e4bf3bd
3. Seaver, Maggie. “This Is How Much a Wedding Costs on Average, According to Real Data.” The Knot. https://www.theknot.com/content/average-wedding-cost
4. Iqbal, Mansoor. “Zoom Revenue and Usage Statistics.” Business of Apps. July 2020, https://www.businessofapps.com/data/zoom-statistics/
5. Morgan, Blake. “Will We Have In-Person Events and Conferences in 2021?” Forbes. August 6. 2020, https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2020/08/06/will-we-have-in-person-events-and-conferences-in-2021/#c6dda977f3a1
6. McCaleb, J Murphy. “Coronavirus: For Performers in Lockdown, Online Is The New Live.” The Conversation. March 20, 2020. https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-for-performers-in-lockdown-online-is-becoming-the-new-live-133961
7. Pryor, Heather. “Virtual/Hybrid Event Models to Consider for 2021.” Rain Focus. https://blog.rainfocus.com/blog/virtual-hybrid-event-models-to-consider-for-2021/
8. Solaris, Julie. “The Future of Events Is Definitely Hybrid: What Will They Look Like? Event Manager Blog. July 6. 2020, https://www.eventmanagerblog.com/future-is-hybrid-events