Step 2 of the roadmap has been announced and 12th April 2021 is fast upon us. It’s been a difficult year for most and we’re all searching for that hint of past normality. The excitement of sitting with friends in an establishment that isn’t our own kitchen walls, or a frosty garden is almost too much to bear.
But what does this fundamental date of reopening actually mean for events?
Now we’ve all been forced to become tech whizzes in our own homes and the world’s gone virtual is there any looking back? There’s an argument to say we don’t need to, let’s keep the virtual wheel turning – after all, virtual events are arguably faster, easier and further-reaching. But are these features for the better or will we come to miss the IRL (“in real life”) experience of an ‘old school’* event before too long?
With Covid-19 here to stay there is definitely a new reality to face for face-to-face events – vaccine passports, negative testing, social distancing – these are the ‘new norm’ procedures to be adhered to if they are to ever have a chance again. Flexibility and adaptivity will be key, following the rules and restrictions over the coming months (and in reality…years). But now we’ve been forced into a solely virtual event world why don’t we just stick to that?
In a nutshell, because we’re human.
We crave social interaction, touch, facial engagement, real-life communication and emotional connections. At physical events, an audience stays better engaged because it’s a first-hand experience, with all the senses being activated. Therefore, the storytelling narrative is stronger, so it truly connects with people. But with the benefits that virtual offers the future of events has undoubtedly now evolved.
Welcome to the stage Hybrid Events. A new-generation multi-discipline event format, or put simply, where the virtual world meets real-life. For formula lovers it’s live element + content + virtual component = increased interactivity, reach and engagement. This powerful partnership creates memorable, engaging and unique experiences by bringing the benefits of both platforms together. It’s an evolved event trend that’s proving effective and is now sitting firmly at the marketing table. At Jackanory we call it ‘Virtual-Storytelling’ and we can work with that…for now.
*an actual physical event