Virtual events were a huge trend throughout 2020 and 2021, with massive improvements in technology and creativity to create bigger and better events. The virtual events industry is expected to grow ten-fold over the coming decade – from $78B to $774B. So, it shows no signs of slowing down. Convenience, alongside helpful digital advancements, allow for an experience that has its own benefits, comforts, and added value rather than just being a replacement for in-person. Here, we discuss a few trends that will dominate the virtual events industry in 2022.
Out of this World Visuals
No matter what type of event, capturing your audience’s attention is the main priority. Event organizers and marketers will need to take into account the rising expectations for the experience. It’s important to keep your audience expecting your event to be visually appealing, exciting, and engaging.
This can mean creating high-quality videos, with on-demand content, promo videos, recaps, or trailers. People are more likely to give you their time if the content is eye-catching and appealing. Furthermore, a webinar doesn’t have to be just a webcam and a table – you can utilize greenscreen production to create beautiful 3D virtual stages and backgrounds. You can also transport your audience into another world with your events, by holding your virtual event in space, underwater or in a tropical rainforest. Let your imagination run wild, as almost anything is possible when you go virtual!
What if you can get a virtual or hybrid event experience that is custom-made for each attendee? That’s where machine learning comes into play, and this technology is beginning to shift and transform the way attendees experience an event. Now, event organizers and marketers can use machine learning and artificial intelligence that can adapt to any changes in your audience’s wants and needs.
Just like how e-commerce stores can recommend a shirt that you might be interested in based on your browsing history, machine learning for events can do the same by recommending to your attendees content they might enjoy. This function is particularly useful for virtual exhibitions, by utilizing sponsor and exhibitor matchmaking and peer-to-peer connections. By just asking your attendees to answer a few questions and completing their personal profiles, you can connect event attendees to like-minded individuals, and recommend them to relevant exhibitors of their interest. They can also be recommended for event sessions and topics which they might find helpful. This will help also exhibitors connect with a better target audience and generate more high-quality leads.
When it comes to events, engagement is king, and machine learning is a great optimization tool to help maximize your audience engagement. Not only does it help to build your attendee’s agenda, increase audience retention, and allow for more engagement touchpoints, but it makes your attendee’s life easier. Basically, it means you get a real-time update on your customers, and avoid being left behind.
The metaverse isn’t just for online gaming, but it’s a whole new universe at our fingertips. A simple online conference or Zoom meeting is slowly becoming a passing fad, and it might be hard to keep your attendees engaged. However, what if you have a literal virtual world where you can engage with peers, friends and even celebrities virtually?
For instance, businesses could conduct a virtual town hall where all their employees based in different cities or countries can come together on one platform to engage with each other. The metaverse can also help to boost your event’s longevity. Besides mimicking your physical event in the virtual realm by including booths, halls, lounges and breakout spaces, visitors could also have access to content on demand. In the virtual space, it is easier to keep your content evergreen, where visitors can access speeches and presentations from their own time and space. Q&A forums could stay open even after the event is over. This will also help to combat event fatigue and social anxiety.
The metaverse also gives an opportunity for influencers and celebrities to boost engagement with their fans. Basically, celebrities can literally work from home and still get fans excited. For example, a fan has paid $450,000 to “own” the plot of “land” next to rapper Snoop Dogg’s mansion in the metaverse, bringing celebrities––and opportunity––into our virtual neighbourhoods. Virtual reality has opened up a whole new world of possibilities, with many event organizers and marketers now in the race to be a part of the metaverse.
Embrace the future of events by going virtual
Your audiences are always expecting bigger and better things, along with genuine connection and interaction. If you’re able to offer them their very own community space which is accessible, engaging and fun, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the pack in 2022.
The good news is, that the immense development in digital tools makes actions quantifiable by collecting and analyzing valuable data from your audiences. By utilizing the correct tools, you can carry out the necessary refinement and improvements, creating truly engaging events that will keep your audience captivated.
The reality of the event industry is that virtual is the future, and all sectors will have to adapt to keep up with demand. By keeping these trends in mind, brands can ensure they’re hosting informative events people want to attend rather than dread.