Virtual events startups have high hopes for after the pandemic – TechCrunch
Few people thought of virtual events before the pandemic, but this format responded to a unique and important need for businesses and organizations, large and small, during the pandemic. But how much will virtual events be worth as more of the world tries to come back to life before COVID-19?
To find out, we met with executives and investors in the sector to learn more about the major trends they are observing, in the continuation of this survey that we carried out in March 2020.
Some use cases have been proven, they say. Today, you can find many small niche events available throughout the year that may have been buried in the back of a larger in-person conference before 2020. For organizations, internal virtual events can also be essential. to help connect and promote engagement for tele-first teams.
However, some respondents acknowledged that low-quality virtual events are becoming more common, and everyone agreed that there was a lot more work to be done.
Xiaoyin Qu, Founder and CEO of Run The World
With the pandemic hopefully soon to become more manageable, do you think a return to in-person events is inevitable?
Certain types of events will come back in person. Obviously, something to do with a President’s Club – the company rewards you with a party in Hawaii – that sort of thing won’t go virtual. I think events more focused on increasing reach will continue to move towards virtual.
“Hybrid is just another buzzword that online and offline event formats will coexist. Of course they will.
We are also seeing that many events are getting smaller and smaller, more and more specialized. Before the pandemic, if we watch a general pediatric conference, for example, a participant may only be interested in two of the 200 topics on offer. But now we’ve seen that there is an increase in many niche events that focus on very specific topics, which helps streamline these events for attendees.
I think such events are always going to happen virtually just because they are easier to organize and people can have more in-depth conversations. Internal virtual events for employees are another category that is growing in popularity as companies have moved further away. So many internal events like corporate happy hour – events that help employees engage better – we think it’s always going to happen virtually. So there are a number of use cases that we believe will continue to be virtual and are probably better virtual.
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What trends do you think will emerge once face-to-face events are possible again?
Another important trend that we are seeing is that many organizers have started to organize events more frequently. They used to do big conferences in the past, but now they’re either pivoting or rethinking their strategy. They realize that hosting maybe 10 events a year is better than hosting one big event every year. A traditional conference usually lasts several days, with maybe 200 different topics and 100 different speakers. Now, a lot of people are thinking of spreading it throughout the year.