As live events have resurfaced, it’s created both an exciting return to socialization but also some new reluctance. Companies and employees have adopted new ways of working, and virtual events posed an upside to budget concerns, sustainable business practices and efficient ways of gathering. One thing is for sure, virtual events will remain a high priority in 2023.
Media West works with its clients and partners to provide important event trends and solutions for successful event production, planning and management. Here are some top virtual event trends we see in 2023:
Beyond a "One-Off"
A large event such as a sales meeting that takes place once per year is still a viable and important type of event that marks a milestone in the year. However, we should start to look at these types of events as more than a “one-off.” Expect use of smaller, more targeted mini events as offshoots of a main showcase. These will be more prevalent in planning a comprehensive event that can add more value with one-to-one interaction, catered messaging and unique call-to-action.
Newer Virtual Platforms
In the past, virtual events have done a decent job of connecting with people. Breakout rooms, while helpful, are not unlocking the full potential for human connection. We anticipate virtual capabilities to change in 2023 with improved platforms like vFairs that have made networking not only effortless and effective but also immersive. For example, vFairs offers fluid work spaces, virtual lounges, virtual exhibit halls, chat functions and gamification technology to motivate attendees and bring people together.
New Metric for Success
We work with clients whose goals vary from lead generation and networking to brand building and company engagement strategies. Whatever the case, looking at a new metric - Return on Emotion (ROE) - will be increasingly important for companies to focus on. Prioritize your event attendees. It’s their event. Our job is to host it and/or produce it as event planners and production specialists. When you place emphasis on the outcome of emotion, you’ll do your job of creating memorable and shareable experiences that will have a long-lasting effect.
"When you place emphasis on the outcome of emotion, you’ll do your job of creating memorable and shareable experiences that will have a long-lasting effect."
Content Beyond the Stage
Events are big investments. Some take weeks, months, and even years to plan. It will be critical for event professionals to work together to understand the desired impact and create content opportunities long past the event is over. Some call this “content confetti” - a great descriptor to remind us all that our job is to extend and amplify our client’s message. For event production specialists like Media West, we look to curate, record and produce content that can be used beyond the stage and in other formats such as blog posts, audio clips, YouTube videos, and highlight reels, etc. When creative is used along with data capture (such as polls, networking, post recap data, etc.), this will keep the conversation and momentum going.
New & Emerging Technologies
We’ve been anxiously awaiting technologies like 3D, AR, and VR to open up more possibilities in event production. We expect to see more engaging product introductions, demos, immersive virtual tours, and a whole host of exciting interactive and experiential elements woven throughout corporate events. Event planners and production crews must align strategies to integrate new technology to stay ahead of the game. This will play a huge factor in audience engagement and response for virtual events.
Needless to say, virtual events are a vital component to the current marketing mix. Our main focus at Media West is guiding our clients through goal-setting with technology at the forefront to meet audience needs. Hoping for an outcome is not enough. Putting audience emotions first will set you up for success.