Battling The Second Covid Wave, How Event Industry Is Taking On The Challenge
While the pandemic has made the industry press pause on live events, it hasn’t stopped its drive to find a way to carry on.
The world of events and experiential industry has drastically changed due to the disruption caused by Covid-19.
Sustaining with little or no income has proved to be a massive challenge for event agencies since the start of the pandemic and it has only worsened with lockdowns and night curfews being imposed leading to pushing of all on-ground activations to the later part of the year. Now the second covid wave has made the situation even worse.
While the pandemic has made the industry press pause on live events, it hasn’t stopped its drive to find a way to carry on. Here is what event professionals have to say about the resurgence of Covid-19 and their plans to battle the second wave:
Pramod Gaikwad, CEO & Partner, ICE Global
Just when things were looking better and there was a possibility of moving back to normalcy, the onslaught of the second wave has changed the outlook for the event & experiential industry.
It has already been a year since the first lockdown and it is difficult for event companies to sustain with little or no income.
Brands need to stay in communication with their customers, dealers, suppliers and employees. Some of us have adapted to the virtual platforms to provide workable solutions to brands and projects. Although virtual events offer lesser touch-points, they are here to stay because of cost efficacies and larger reach.
We at Ice Global have restructured & reskilled our organization and are future-ready. Going forward, events will be hybrid. We have built all kinds of capability to meet the requirements of our clients for virtual and on-ground events.
Vidya Alva, Executive Vice President & Business Head, Percept ICE
The second wave of Covid across India is unprecedented, and its impact will be damaging on the Experiential business. With the roll out of the vaccines, we were really looking forward to getting back on the ground, but that seems a long way off now.
Fortunately Percept ICE was very quick to evolve into the Digital, Virtual and Hybrid event space with the launch of Percept digitICE last year. Clients had no choice but to move into the Virtual space given the lockdown, and our Digital events business leapfrogged in 2020-21. So far we have successfully managed hundreds of innovative Virtual events for a wide range of Clients, and we intend to strengthen this business portfolio until the pandemic subsides.
We are planning to introduce many more bespoke solutions for our clients in the virtual domain, while capitalizing on our strength in designing customized holistic Content options. We are also heavily investing in high-end Digital Technology Tools which will offer out-of-the-box Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR) Events to scale up the end product and attain the desired impact / result for our clients.
Deepak Pawar, Managing Director - Midas Next Media, Director - Streamy Tech & National Sec - EEMA
It is needless to say that like all other sectors, there was a dip in activities in the events and experiential industry since March'20 with a downfall in activities bringing on-ground events to a complete halt causing repercussions across various aspects within the industry. When the situation was starting to get in control to a little more than a fractions extent with the industry's hopes opening up, the advent of the 2nd wave toppled hopes & aspirations of our Industry's professionals, once again delaying the recovery process.
At this point in time, the only way to overcome these challenges or atleast survive amidst all of this is to adapt & innovate. We should be like a chameleon that takes color of any surface they are on. Research new ways of serving your TG, Brands & Clients and one can easily float safely until they reach the shore.
Having said the above, my team and I have a plan in place and the plan is successfully rolling, yielding some great gains and insights during the current scenario. We've taken on-ground events to the virtual space offering Brands & our Clients a platform to connect with their Audience through different mediums. We've executed 350+ virtual events for the Pharma, FMCG, Education, BFSI & Government sectors etc. From mere Webinars to Meeting/Platform Integration to Award Ceremonies to Conference to Live Immersive Sets - we've done it all.
Karan Singh, Chief Operating Officer, Percept Live
The resurgence of COVID-19 will make a huge dent in the Experiential and Live Music Festivals business. Millions of livelihoods in both the Events and allied industries will get impacted adversely.
Going virtual in 2020 was probably the safest and best strategy for Percept Live as it kept our business going and also created brand new revenue streams that remained unaffected by the social distancing rules. Transitioning to Digital rapidly proved to be a very viable option for us, and will continue to help us drive revenues in the year ahead.
In 2021-22 we plan to keep incorporating and upgrading our range of Digital Platforms, Virtual Reality (VR), Digital Interactivity, Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR) offerings to present new and memorable Digital Entertainment Events to our fans even while monetizing efficiently on these digital ventures.
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. While Hybrid events will become more prevalent post Covid-19, technological innovations such as AI, AR, MR, Facial Recognition and Holograms powered by 5G will become vital to make digital brand experiences more immersive, impactful and memorable.
Till the pandemic subsides we will continue to use digital platforms for content and amplification. I personally believe that Experiential Marketing, Live Events and Festivals will rebound in a big way once we vaccinate 60% of our population to attain a certain threshold of herd immunity. The entire Events industry is eagerly waiting to reunite with their stakeholders on-ground again.
Shilpa Ramesh Ramani, Co-founder, One Page Spotlight
The second Covid-19 wave certainly is having an impact but I believe it is also motivating each one of us to think out of the box and explore new and innovative ways to use the virtual mediums available and also Create new opportunities in the virtual sphere. As going ahead this will be the new normal.
By being innovative, creative and at the same time create opportunities to provide unique experiences to users / viewers where the overall and personalised experiences will define the new road map of the event and entertainment industry.
At One Page Spotlight, we have been developing features catering to audiences both in the free and premium segment . During the last 12 month we have curated and presented as many as 9 events which were content and engagement based programmes where we saw active participation of users. Customised events branding and social media promotion feature across multiple platforms is also available at One Page Spotlight.
Further, we do have dedicated features for workshops, masterclass, mentoring, and we are also open for performances by storytellers, stand-up comedians, and poets with open mic sessions. One Page Spotlight envisions to provide a single stop to the creative community of the world.
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