New doors of possibilities for the event and experiential marketing industry: Piyush Gupta, President, Kestone
Hybrid events will be an integral part of the new normal in the events and experiential industry writes Piyush Gupta.
Since the onset of the Covid crisis, the journey for the event and experiential industry has been like a roller coaster ride. The initial days were really tough as the stringent lockdown and distancing rules forced companies to cancel their events and engagements. This not only proved to be detrimental to the industry as a whole, but also slowed down major marketing efforts of almost all the big & small brands & businesses. But thankfully we live in a world where technology is a great leveller. Especially in India, digital transformation has been gaining momentum for quite sometime and this has led the industry to re-establish its hold firmly with innovative solutions and cost-effective digital imperatives. The concept of virtual events and engagements is a big step in that direction. A lot of players in the event and experiential industry were quick on their toes to launch their own virtual platforms and strategize programs which are as good as their physical counterparts. As the concept of virtual marketing got popular and brands got a taste of its effectiveness, it has now become mainstream and an integral part of the new normal.
As a result of this development, the event and experiential marketing industry has not only carved a niche for itself but opened new doors of possibilities for various business verticals. A brand-new concept of ‘virtual universe’ is becoming popular as a lot of businesses are now keen to develop their products and solutions base on virtual platforms. From education to healthcare, almost every industry is trying to cash on this ‘virtual quotient’ and this is definitely a positive news for the events and experiential marketing industry.
The journey for the events and experiential marketing industry looks even more promising with the rising demand for hybrid events. Though it is just the start, in the coming days hybrid events will be a key element of virtual event engagement. As things become more relaxed in the coming days, brands will explore engagements strategies which are not totally physical in nature, but will some elements of it. This is mainly due to the lessons learnt by the event industry that while virtual events certainly have their advantages, live events will always be a key part of any event program.
There are situations like the current one where a virtual event is the only option. But there are scenarios where an in-person event will be the most effective way of generating leads and engaging with the audience. Hybrid events, or events that combine both in-person and virtual experiences, will be an integral part of the new normal in the events and experiential industry.
This becomes more relevant with the recent announcement by the Union Home Ministry to allow social, cultural, religious gatherings which will be commencing from 21 Sep with a ceiling of 100 people under unlock 4.0. It is definitely a big relief for the events and experiential marketing industry. For the economy to run and continue with its growth momentum, we will have to accept and adapt to the new normal, which for this industry would mean adopting alternate ways for our customers that address their apprehensions under the gradual unlocking that no way compromises on the quality, experientialism and business aspect of the event.
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