How COVID-19 has redefined celebratory spirits in India: Mudit Jaju
With the unlock phases of the lockdown, the industry has started coming back on track but it will never be like before writes Mudit Jaju, Co-Founder, CherishX.
The ongoing pandemic has hit the physical events and been unkind for every industry. Organizing a physical event whether – an office party or a wedding seems a far-fetched dream now. People are depending upon virtual events platforms to connect with their guests or target audience. Event and wedding planners are leveraging on virtual ideas to create an engagement similar to an in-person meeting experience.
In the present scenario of social distancing, technology has become the key driver in reshaping the world. It has become a new normal to bring people together and connecting with them virtually. Despite the challenges in organizing important events, the COVID-19 pandemic has become a medium to transform events and wedding industries. Even before the pandemic, mainstream industries like finance, retail, logistics, and education were gradually adopting digital models. However, the Indian event and wedding industry has always been away from virtual experiences due to the lack of intimacy that physical events present.
The immediate lockdown and capping the number of visitors attending an event made the wedding and events industry witness the worst sag. With the unlock phases of the lockdown, the industry has started coming back on track but it will never be like before. From a big-fat wedding affair to make it a close ceremony with family and friends, the Indian wedding industry is also undergoing a huge transformation phase. Besides the wedding industry, business event or party planners are focusing on uplifting the industry with innovative ways to make it more sustainable.
Digital adoption during COVID-19
To sail during the lockdown and COVID-19 situation, companies and individuals are heavily investing in the adoption of digital infrastructure. The number of Coronavirus cases is continuing to grow and it is going to take another six to twelve months to become normal. This is going to have a huge impact on the event planning industry. Thus, to make the industry COVID proof, the planners are finding innovative ways to take virtual celebrations to the next level.
Adhering to travel restrictions to contain the spread of the infection, people are also avoiding traveling. In such a scenario, sharing digital experiences has become a perfect gift for far living friends and family members. This works as one of the most effective and safe methods as people do not have to visit markets to find a suitable gift. Digital surprises such as LIVE music night on a video call, personal radio show, wish from a celebrity, and many others alike are becoming innovative options for virtual gifting.
Furthermore, COVID-19 has also transformed the way of sending invites. Many event planners and production houses are creating innovative e-invites that work best in the present era. This has become one of the most effective ways in the wedding industry as personally inviting people by visiting their places was a traditional norm and its was difficult to keep up with the trend during travel restrictions.
Video streaming and conferencing
Celebrations without family and friends are incomplete. The COVID-19 pandemic has made everyone realize the importance of social distancing and celebrating virtually has become a widely accepted trend. Many multi-conferencing platforms are connecting people virtually amidst the pandemic. Even in the era of social distancing, technology has proved to be exceptionally social during birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and other celebrations.
Technology has played a major role even in big celebrations. For instance, recently on the Soorasamharam Day, a ritual celebrated in the temples of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The devotees were not allowed to visit the temple considering the surge in coronavirus cases. However, they could watch the live streaming of the rituals online.
The pandemic is going to stay for long. However, virtual celebrations are working as immunity boosters for the industry. The planners are betting on enhancing virtual experiences that are much more expressive than regular gifting. With technological disruptions in the sector, virtual celebrations are predicted to stay even after the pandemic subdues.
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