The possibilities of the virtual universe are limitless: Piyush Gupta, President, Kestone

New normal is becoming a norm and distancing is fading away with increasing virtual proximity writes Piyush Gupta.


Barely 3 months back, brands that got clueless about the future of marketing, engagement and outreach, have now seen the light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks to this day and age of digital innovation where a new virtual world is shining bright to show that path of enlightenment to many. ‘New normal’ is becoming a norm and distancing is fading away with increasing virtual proximity.

Though this virtual world encompasses infinite possibilities, virtual event engagement is the most sought after. A virtual event platform has proved to brands how it can be as effective as a physical engagement and how cost-effectively it can make business continuity a reality. A large number of leading brands have also acknowledged the future potential these virtual platforms hold as they have got a first-hand experience of flexibility, customization and more intuitive engagement.

According to a recent survey conducted by a global event technology group, it is predicted that 93% of global event marketers will eventually shift to virtual events. It further reported that globally, 63% of organizations will permanently shift their engagement priorities to virtual platforms with customer relations, education, and retention as key goals for their virtual events. A large percentage believes that events that are hybrid in nature (a combination of physical engagement and virtual components) will gain traction by 2021.

The global virtual event market value which stood at USD 77.98 Billion in 2019, is expected to increase at a CAGR of 23.2% from 2020 to 2027. If we take into account the statistics of APAC, it will emerge as the fastest-growing regional market for event marketing, with a CAGR of 25.8% from 2020 to 2027. With this as the backdrop, it is evident that digitally stimulated campaigns on virtual platforms will be a key part of every organization’s communication mix and this will play a significant role in the growth story of those who have designed a highly scalable and futuristic module.

Virtual event is a completely new concept to most of the Indian audience. The numbers are picking up as more and more organizations are getting familiarized to this new tool. Already 1000+ organizations have been educated about virtual events. As far as evaluating ROI is concerned as compared to video conferencing, there are still some miles to cover. But the future looks really promising when the outcomes of physical vs virtual events are evaluated. It has been observed with significant clarity that virtual events will bring-in 100% more engagement quotient, 2X sales impact, 50% - 80 % cost efficiencies, extensive global reach, networking & sponsor benefits to brands. Integration with digital platforms will amplify social media outreach by 3X. Another important thing virtual event will offer is enhanced performance visibility with 100% customer behaviour tracking and technology-driven insights.

What is required is to further educate organizations on the above. Organizations who have been able to understand this aspect of the virtual platform, are starting to explore this. Businesses of all sizes across industry segments like IT, Retail, Healthcare, Automotive, Education, BFSI to name a few, are actively transitioning to virtual events.

As far as the future is concerned, it can be rightly said that the industry has just started its journey in the virtual universe and from what can be interpreted now, the possibilities are limitless. Virtual event is 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. Organization who are propelled by this spirit of imagination and possibilities, and armed with virtual platforms that is futuristic, will soon be looking forward to that day when they will be able to touch every life in this country and beyond.

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