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Increase in Virtual Events Due to COVID-19

Events happen daily. Humans are made to interact, bond, share ideas and celebrate milestones. The very concept of events were birthed from these social needs. COVID-19 puts a bit of a strain on socializing but as highly resilient, adaptable creatures; Virtual events became a thing. I mean they might have been around for a while but they have never had center stage as they do now. The need to be physically apart for our survival as a species while still having social gatherings such as conferences, lectures, seminars (now webinars), celebrating wins etc., have made virtual event planning come alive. And it is here to stay!

Virtual events are on the rise daily and gaining even more online presence and attention. Virtual event planners and organizations are highly sought after now on the events scene. Blogs, videos and streams showcasing tips on how to host virtual events or hybrid events ranging from some of the best virtual event planners to enlist, fun virtual event ideas, ideal hosting platforms and even virtual event best practices, are seeing major interactions these days as people are looking to get with the times and not have to cancel events. As of March 2020, the exhibition and events industry had lost 14.4 billion euros (16.5 billion USD). According to the US travel association, since the beginning of March, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in over $500 billion in cumulative losses for the U.S. travel economy.

Research carried out by Grand View Research shows that globally, the virtual events market was valued at $77.98 billion in 2019 and is now expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.2% from 2020 to 2027. Since the start of the pandemic, several online virtual and hybrid event companies such as Triple Pockets Events are seeing a remarkable growth in demand for virtual events from all ranges of their business services such as hybrid events, virtual conferences, virtual trade shows, virtual galas, virtual fair, virtual company workshops and webinars etc.

Virtual event statistics of 2020 show that Virtual events are potentially on the rise, 2020 being the year the industry saw its biggest growth spurt yet, seeing a remarkable rise in demand and opportunities. Virtual or hybrid events have seen approximately more than 52,000 events and subevents since COVID-19. Last year, virtual events were valued at close to $78 billion, and are expected to grow at 23.2 percent annually from 2020 to 2027. Live streaming alone has skyrocketed up to 70% since April 2020 after the announcement of Lockdown. The Bureau of Labor Statistics updated in September 2020 showed the projected growth for a meeting, convention, and event planner is expected to increase 9% in the USA between 2019-2029.

In the US, 53% of attendees participate in corporate and business meetings, 18% in conventions, conferences, and congresses without an exhibition floor, and 16% in trade shows or conferences with an exhibiting component. 6% participated in incentive meetings and 6% in other meetings.

Even as virtual conference and hybrid event planners experience massive attention and growth, IT technology providers are not left in the dark. The ripple effect touches them too. Research carried out by Integrate showed that when shifting to virtual events, 58% of marketers in the US and UK said they needed to rethink their events strategy to ensure success and meet goals.

As virtual events make use of online platforms, this has required owners of online platforms to go back to the drawing board and up their features as well as improve their systems. Virtual conferences now span over several days, sometimes rolling into weeks, and feature different types of online interactions (live presentations, streaming video, social media, break-out rooms, chat sessions, polls, virtual reality, etc.) to hold on to attendees’ attention.

In an IDC Virtual Events Survey, published in May 2020, virtual event attendees ranked how they would like to be engaged during a virtual event. The more interactive engagement methods, such as chatting with the speakers and participants, downloading presentations, polling and community discussions ranked the highest. It is also not surprising that these are highly digital interactions.

Why the events industry is not going anywhere.

Now in 2021, with the production of a vaccine and more effective control measures in place to halt the spread of COVID-19, it is possible that events may go back to being the "in person contact" mode again. But you would agree with me that Virtual events have made a strong impression on the events scene. It is relatively cheaper, easier and convenient to organize with immense networking opportunities and avenues. It seems most companies and outfits are evolving to keep things this way on a permanent basis. Twitter boss, Jack Dorsey, made an announcement that his employees can continue to work from home ‘forever’. With over $1.5 trillion lost in the events industry due to cancelled events, most companies and event organizers are looking to maintain their relationship with virtual events organizers. This is because even as times are uncertain, the stability and obvious reliability of hosting a virtual event or hybrid event isn't.

Need Help With Your Virtual Meeting?

Triple Pocket Events is a full-service event planning company that specializes in private and corporate events. We can handle every aspect of your event, from concept to completion. Ensuring you still meet your event goals in an online environment, answering all the common virtual meeting FAQ’s and statistics, and guiding your event strategy from start to finish. Events we plan range from conferences, holiday celebrations, milestones, board meetings and so much more. Virtual and hybrid events can range from a conference, festival, business launch, to a birthday celebration. Triple Pocket Events specializes in producing online events from the platform technology, marketing, registration, IT support, day-of coordination to post-event strategy of your online event. We produce virtual and hybrid events, including, event consultation, event planning, and management.

Stay tuned to Triple Pocket Events blogs for more articles and interesting facts concerning the event planning industry.

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