Have virtual events arrived to stay?

With the arrival of COVID-19, many activities and events have since been cancelled and transferred to the virtual plane.

Conferences have been limited to a 25% capacity and events have gone from being face-to-face to virtual.

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Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

Teaching, trade, sports, cultural plans and work meetings are just a few actions that in recent times have been forced to move to the virtual plane.

Companies and institutions have reinvented themselves through new online communication models and channels in order to ensure success in maintaining cohesion and connection with their audiences.

Communication departments and agencies have been hit especially hard by the virus regarding their working methods: press conferences, product presentations, webinars and conferences, debates, contents, and corporate events.

Eva Calle, Head of Communications and PR at Hearst Spain said: “The event industry is badly affected by the pandemic, Hearst company holds 30 events a year around the world, we have noticed a big change in the economy that has been reduced to a third of annual earnings”.

Calle added: “The events that were planned before the pandemic had to be canceled or postponed to 2021 but we have many future events that have led us to decide to do them virtually like the Elle Gourmet and Mens Health Awards that are organized annually by our company.”

“We have had good results so far but we work with many brands from different sectors that make us doubt and be afraid of not getting the same success of traditional events”.

The recent report “The Future of the ‘In-Person’ Business Economy” reveals that 27% of marketers expect attendance at in-person events not to return to pre-pandemic levels once the health crisis is over, while 19% expect attendance to return to previous levels. 

Alexandra Donald, Senior Digital Marketing Executive at Hearst UK said: “At Hearst Uk, we do not have planned any face-to-face events until the end of September 2021 however my colleagues from Hearst Italy at the international meetings have said that they will try to start with the face-to-face events at the end of April 2021”

Donald added: ” We still working with events and investing more in virtual ones such as Virtual Markets, our next virtual event will be a Christmas’s market to make people feel more connected with the traditional Christmas market at UK”

It’s likely that virtual events will continue to work well until the pandemic finishes.


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