How the rise of new event formats is bringing back hope to the industry?

The event industry has to do away with older formats that deal with large gatherings and adapt to virtual and hybrid events say experts.


Covid-19 has changed the event industry forever. Given the churn that the  industry is going through, there is little doubt that the  way events will be held from now on may also change forever.

Experts say that covid-19 has forced the industry to look at newer formats of organising events. These formats would be developed keeping in mind various challenges posed by the pandemic. 

Technology is already being deployed by event agencies to adjust to the changed market climate. A mix of digital and physical events might become mainstream as we look at the road to recovery.

The event industry has to do away with older formats that deal with large gatherings and adapt to virtual and hybrid events and curate immersive experiences that resonate with the audiences.

So will we witness the rise of alternative event formats when the markets open up? To get to the depth of this idea, we spoke to some event industry leaders and here is what they had to say.

Roshan Abbas, MD, Geometry Encompass

Today we are doing all kinds of events-- fully pre-recorded, partially live and part recorded, and fully live digital experiences.

The big advantage we are seeing is that there is no limit of time, distance or number of attendees. Therefore depending on the clients need any of these formats is used. Post the pandemic we believe there will be an 80:20 ratio of physical to digital events. Most live events will build a secondary audience online.

 At Geometry Encompass we are suggesting unique environments, interactive experiences, and creating bespoke platforms along with curated talent to build the most engaging and shareable experiences for brands like HP, Zee, True North & P&G.

A healthy share of experimentation is also possible as platforms keep adding new features for creators to play with. We are using this to conduct engaging theatrical experiences, workshops and festivals as well.

Vijay Arora, Director, Touchwood Group


I truly believe, different times come with different opportunities. It’s on us how to cash on these opportunities.  We’re concentrating on IPs that are directly or indirectly related to events and allied services. With time and resources in hand we’ve invested ourselves in research and creative thinking.

At Touchwood Group, we understand that virtual events are the need of the hour, and mostly everybody would be opting for these in the near future, till things become better. The idea is to bring something new and unique to the table every time we go live with a virtual event.

Understanding the client’s needs and requirements, brainstorming ways to bring the idea to life and executing it; the entire process should look like a smooth sail.  In these tough times more resourceful and affective measures need to be taken to provide digital solutions for almost everything. 

Piyush Gupta, President, Kestone

The industry has just started its journey in the virtual universe and from what can be interpreted now, the possibilities are limitless. Virtual events are just a part of this universe and this will shape not only the business and marketing landscape, but will also touch the social and personal aspects as well. The industry is not far from the day when virtual universities will produce the future geniuses, or when users will experience a whole new retail experience from the comfort of their homes.

Those organisations which are propelled by this spirit of imagination and possibilities, and armed with virtual platforms that are futuristic, will soon be looking forward to that day when they will be able to touch every life in this country and beyond.

Aniket Sharma, Co-founder and Head- Strategic Planning, 121XP

The silver lining of the pandemic for event industry is that it has now wiped the slate clean for everyone to reboot. What is available in the first world is now also available and being developed in the emerging world or what was available for the bigger players is now also available for the emerging players as well. It's a level playing ground now from a virtual point of view and one that will redefine to stay relevant and make it count to come out victorious when all this is over will be ready to restart.

Most event agencies have very swiftly pivoted to virtual event experiences. Since the social distancing norms and fears make  public held events almost impossible, the virtual formats are taking over. Agencies have very quickly upgraded themselves with virtual technologies in bringing the brand experiences alive. The brands themselves have pivoted to virtual launches for their idea pipelines. Not just do the brands have adjusted to this new normal the savings compared to the physical event is making it economical and scalable in the current times.

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