COVID-19 and The Future of the Event Industry

Until the pandemic, the event industry has long been seen as providing opportunities to re-invigorate economic growth and optimize local assets. Large-scale events have played a role in leveraging long-term regional infrastructure investments, boosting tourism and trade, creating jobs, and promoting development. COVID-19 had a crippling effect on the industry, effectively shutting it down for more than two years and generating the need to develop new delivery models. In addition to the crisis’ impact in the moment, it also triggered long-term changes in event production and consumption patterns. Virtual events and hybrid models of virtual/in-person events have become the norm. And although in late 2021 many thought that COVID was behind us, spikes and variants are proving otherwise.

Event industry stakeholders are continuing to face challenges and explore options as they consider whether to revert to the pre-pandemic, in-person event model (with heightened safety precautions), go with a hybrid type, go fully virtual or cancel altogether. These are tough questions that might be more easily answered by examining the following checklist.

As a virtual event, what will your attendees lose? To answer this, it’s necessary to have clearly defined event goals and understand which technologies and formats will support your ability to achieve them. Creating a list of risks will allow you to troubleshoot and identify solutions to overcome the challenges of an online event.

In much the same fashion, ask yourself what your attendees stand to gain through a virtual event. With some creative thinking, this list can be unexpectedly long, and might include gains such as time, money, and energy that attendees can get back by attending a virtual model. These types of hidden benefits can be used as a part of a compelling marketing pitch to encourage event sales. On the flip side, as an event organizer you may realize benefits that come with lower overheads and staffing needs.

Is your event scheduled to take place close to when a public holiday is occurring? Keep in mind that people may opt to gather with family at a celebration over strangers at an event, making a good case for going the virtual route, or looking at alternate dates.

What are the logistics involved in staging a virtual event? This can be a huge determining factor in making the decision. As consumers, today’s event attendees are looking for a fulfilling experience that has been carefully curated and crafted, whether in-person or virtual in nature. Much the same as the in-person model, a virtual event needs to be uniquely designed, with strong elements of excitement, education, and entertainment, depending on its focus. Attendee engagement needs to be steered by a knowledgeable and dedicated production team. Can you deliver this via a remote model? How? And how much?

Finally, as with all consumer-driven enterprises, you need to know your audience. CX is king, and here’s where it gets personal. With the re-emergence of COVID spikes, it’s important to remember the external factors that might impact the safety of your attendees and overall participation rates – and your bottom line.

Ultimately, event staging remains a moving target as we navigate the ongoing effects of COVID-19 on society. Grappling with the enormous challenges imposed on the event industry will necessitate that companies remain agile, flexible, and intuitive. Partnering with an established BPO outsourcing company like Anexa can help you identify the activities you can successfully outsource, leaving you to the business of running your business and making the right decisions. With 20 years of experience in the outsourcing field, we manage a pool of highly trained, bilingual (Spanish and English) agents. These talented professionals bring experience and expertise to a wide range of business areas like marketing, sales, promotion, technical support, and customer service.

Want to learn more? We’re Anexa BPO – reach out today.