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Virtual events are events in which the participants attend and experience online, rather than gathering physically. 2020 has been an eventful year. In an age of rapid technological development and seemingly miraculous medical advancements, no one could have predicted a global pandemic which cripples the world economy. Events, concerts and even the Tokyo Olympics had to be postponed and in some cases, cancelled. In many cases, tickets had already been presold and travel appointments made. It was a nightmare for event planners and travel agencies worldwide.
Virtual events have been gaining traction since last year. While they were mostly a novelty in 2019, they have become the saving grace for many event planners this year. According to Google Trends, the term "virtual events" has seen a 1000% increase in traffic this year. This is because restrictions to travel and movement have made it nigh impossible for people to gather together for an event. Virtual events can range anywhere from basic skype meetings, to effect-heavy global virtual concerts with thousands of people in attendance. Types of virtual events include webinars, virtual conferences, virtual expos, festivals and podcasts.
While some of the challenges of hosting an in-person event such as travel and venue arrangements, as well as other logistics are done away with during a virtual event, planning one is not any less demanding. A virtual event requires as much attention, if not more than an in-person event. The type of event, number of attendees are some of the criteria that need to be taken into consideration, dictating the type of platform to be used. Other factors such as lighting, audio, data bandwidth, device to use and software capabilities and limitations are also very important.
Virtual events have their own unique limitations and intensive research must be done before deciding to host one. As there doesn't seem to be any relaxation of restrictions on large gatherings any time soon, every individual and business owner must learn to host virtual events to their benefit.
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July 30, 2021
MSBM - UK
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