We all loved joining onsite events. There can be no substitute to hopping on a plane with a colleague and heading to a new destination, then meeting partners for a great dinner and staying in a gorgeous hotel. If you travel only two or three times a year, you probably love that part of your job. Although if you are an event professional and attending events every week, then you were probably always tired and drained and didn’t even know which destination you had arrived in.
In 2020 everything changed, and events went virtual. At the start, the industry panicked as it wondered how it would all work. Chance interactions would disappear, people’s attention spans would be shorter, and the sense of togetherness would be lost. Of course, some organizers realized too late that picking the best event platform was even more important for virtual events than it had been before.
There are certainly some downsides to virtual events, but we have also discovered there are many positives too. The biggest advantage is that many more people can attend, sometimes ten times as many. Events can also be longer, perhaps two weeks rather than just two days, with attendees joining for only one hour per day. A global company can allow all its employees to see their CEO’s keynote live rather than restrict it to only those onsite. All the content is automatically recorded (and in the case of Canapii transcribed too) so can be magnified later on social media and elsewhere. Meetings can still take place, via video and nobody wastes time travelling. The environmental benefit has been enormous, as planes sit grounded. Event organizers have been quickly learning the skills of the TV studio, with green screens, lighting, autocue and direction at a premium.
At Canapii we believe the near future will be about hybrid events, where some engage with an onsite presence, while others dip in and out virtually. An event venue of the future will have ‘Zoom’ meeting rooms so three people can meet onsite, and others easily join virtually. Good events are inspirational with the keynotes creating the ideas to inspire attendees to create business plans that night in the bar. We think you won’t be surprised that Canapii is already designed to bring the best of onsite and virtual events together under one roof, and that we expect hybrid events will be the future for us all.