The world is spinning and it doesn't appear to be slowing anytime soon. As each industry is buzzing to find its unique new (COVID) default setting, we are learning that our biggest value is likely in responding creatively in the face of uncertainty.
Of all the industries that have been turned upside down - the event industry (trade shows, meetings, conventions, fundraising, social events) is near the top of the list and estimated to be valued at $325 billion annually (in the US alone). With an average (pre-COVID) estimated two million events each year, event strategists and convention planners have been busy responding - usually in one of three ways:
2. Re-Engineering a Hybrid Physically Distanced Event Experience
3. Converting to a Virtual Event Model
Social events (whose goal is to help people to have fun) are proving harder to convert to a virtual event. Probably because when you take the "event" out of the "event" you can be left with, well - it can a little like nonalcoholic beer or decaffeinated coffee. It's good, you know..but, do you really need it?
On the other side of events, you find the business of events (trade shows, conventions, fundraising events, meetings) where you have the largest organizations and companies in the world dedicating large portions of their marketing and advertising budgets to produce event marketing concepts, trade shows, meetings, conventions, and other consumer engagement strategies. And with each budgeted event, there was a planned return on investment (ROI) which is now lost or at risk - which has left companies challenged to innovate new ways of engaging stakeholders.