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COVID-19: How Event Industry Is Taking On The Challenge

On-ground events are an excellent channel for brands to create effective conversations and connections with their prospects and gather relevant participant information leading to improved marketing communications.

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The COVID-19 has had an impact on almost all aspects of life. The last 18 months has completely turned the events industry on its head. Among the countless difficulties, COVID-19 has brought upon business, hosting live events was one of the biggest challenges. Because of the concern of spreading the virus, venues closed and many large gatherings were cancelled shuttering well-laid plans, jobs, and businesses to keep people safe and healthy, On one hand, where people lost lives, on the other hand, it also impacted their professional careers, where some businesses even had to shut shops. 

There was a mass exodus of talented event professionals who evaluated the moment and sought out completely new careers. However, it is during such testing times that extraordinary solutions are also discovered. Many stuck around, pivoting to virtual events and shifting their businesses online while betting that the industry would, in fact, bounce back soon. The year kept the spotlight on business continuity in a big way, with technology proving to be the key driver for businesses and people to stay connected and ‘working’.  

It won't be wrong to say that the events industry was one of the worst affected, with no events or physical shows happening. People cancelled weddings and other important occasions of their life to keep away from contracting the virus. It was heartbreaking for event professionals and entrepreneurs to see how the industry and the sector associated with it incurred heavy losses, where most of the events were cancelled, whereas others were postponed. However, it is rightly said, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” 

Similarly, the event sector made space for numerous innovative ideas to stay afloat during these testing times as the shake up actually forced many of us to innovate and reevaluate our "normal" ways of doing business and rethink and reinvent the experiences we create for our clients.  This new normal has evolved and fetched opportunities for planners as the events are now not limited by the size of the venue but can expand their audience by including virtual attendees, as well as those who prefer to attend in person. 

The pandemic has been shaping many industries, and it has also been making significant changes to the events world. While the events industry is adapting to the pandemic era through virtual events, people are missing the fun of attending an event live. Virtual experiences that reached the heights of popularity amid isolation from the COVID-19 pandemic are now being shunned for the bright lights of in-person gatherings. We had to adapt to virtual because we had no choice. Humans are social creatures and we need face-to-face experiences. 

Virtual events are not enough for businesses to drive audience engagement. On-ground events are an excellent channel for brands to create effective conversations and connections with their prospects and gather relevant participant information leading to improved marketing communications. There will always be virtual and hybrid events - but in-person events will always reign supreme over virtual.  

Thankfully, now things seem to be far better while we are still, probably not out of the woods completely. But at that time, it was almost a matter of survival. We now hope that every week, every month will be better than the previous. The biggest opportunity now is that we lived through the worst. It is essential to now know how event management companies can succeed during these trying times adopting a hybrid model. Event managers need to make these events engaging for people, giving a personalized touch, and also opportunities for networking, where audiences can even gain meaningful insights and information.  

Even before COVID-19 put in an appearance, thought leaders advocated the need to rethink old paradigms, calling to move beyond a business-as-usual approach and instead reimagine challenges as new possibilities. While businesses across the globe have started getting back at its peak, the companies with out of the box experience are more likely to thrive. Also, companies will have to unlock the value of technology and innovation to transform their businesses. With the ongoing pandemic, adopting and adapting to the new normal was not a choice but a given. 

There’s this saying that every challenge comes with an opportunity for the ones who have a positive mindset. And rightly so. Patience, perseverance and proactiveness have been our major takeaways from the last 18 months. In the post-COVID-19 era, only those will succeed who are able to make their audience feel safe.  The entire events industry is now hoping for a better tomorrow, reuniting with their stakeholders on-ground once again with renewed energies to create magical experiences. 

The author is Sharad Chaudhary, Founder, Dreamz Production House.


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