Digital engagement platforms are the future of hybrid and virtual events. After COVID-19, the way that employees communicate, travel, and attend events was forever changed in more ways than one.
The shift to digital engagement began with communication, as email and video conferencing skyrocketed in popularity. Phone calls, messaging platforms, and audio conferencing also saw heavy traffic as people were searching for ways to make up for the lack of physical interaction. The business travel industry also took a hit during the pandemic. The percentage of frequent business travelers who said they will “never return to the road” continues to rise to this day. In addition, business travel’s share of hotel room revenue is expected to continue to drop.
Events are the big sector of work that have been forever changed by the pandemic. In 2020, 70% of physical events were switched to hybrid or virtual. The crazy part? In 2022, 40% of events are still planned to be virtual, and 35% are planned to be hybrid. This is largely in part due to the fact that audiences have made the great migration to digital platforms like Zoom and Microsoft teams.
Online interaction, although fatiguing and a work in progress, continues to rise in popularity in the wake of COVID-19. Studies show that people actually prefer attending events virtually. In fact, of people who attend 10 or more events per year, 46% attended online events compared to a mere 13% attending physical events. Businesses need these virtual meeting spaces, as they save money, time, and increase productivity amongst employees. Using these tools now available to them, businesses can make a more exciting and engaging event. The use of games and even the metaverse are just some of the several tactics utilized by organizations to improve the overall experience of attendees.
Online interaction and virtual events are the future of business. Event organizers can reach new audiences like never before, unlocking a potential that had not yet been tapped into before the pandemic.