There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted “normal” life. While some of the changes were fleeting and have largely returned to pre-pandemic days, other changes are likely to shape the face of our future. For example, the impact of COVID on live events has been extreme.
For a couple of years, COVID halted the live touring industry completely. Shows were canceled, tours were rescheduled, and revenue streams dropped unexpectedly. Beginning in 2021, live events slowly started being resumed, but there is no doubt things have changed. Here is what the future of live events looks like in a post-COVID world.
Virtual Live Events
The biggest challenge with live events in a post-COVID world is the risk of possible viral spread in tightly packed areas. To deal with this risk and minimize the fears of event participants, many businesses and entertainers are turning to virtual events. Live-streamed shows became extremely popular by the end of 2020. In fact, many professionals were surprised to see just how successful their virtual events were.
Many professionals probably never would have live-streamed their events had it not been for the pandemic. However, they discovered that live-streaming is an effective avenue to reach a huge audience. For example, English singer and songwriter Dua Lipa had never live-streamed a concert before. Such a thing tended to be looked down on in the industry because it was like “giving away” content for free.
When Dua Lipa was forced to live-stream her first concert in December 2020, though, it broke records. Around the world, more than 5 million people tuned in from the comfort of their own homes. Many other artists also experienced a similar phenomenon when they began live-streaming their concerts while everything was shut down. According to the Live Streaming Music project, 92% of fans and 90% of musicians concur that live-streaming will continue to be an effective way to reach audiences who may not want to go to venues in person.
For those who continue to offer live events in person, steps are now being taken to “COVID-proof” such events. This can include selling fewer tickets to allow for some degree of social distancing, ensuring proper ventilation for indoor events and holding more events outdoors to take advantage of the natural ventilation. Many live event venues also offer hand sanitizing stations so attendees can better protect themselves from viral transmission.
These steps can help enhance feelings of security and comfort in a world that’s still traumatized by the impact of COVID-19. Still, in-person live events may continue to experience lower-than-expected ticket sales if typical event attendees are too nervous about possibly getting infected to go.
To blend the best of both virtual and live events, many organizations are turning to hybrid events. This typically refers to events that are offered for both in-person and online attendance. Hybrid events give fans the opportunity to go in person if they aren’t too worried about possible COVID infection or attend online if they’d rather not risk it.
The key to successful hybrid events is making sure the digital version of the event is just as exciting and enthralling as the live version. This can be challenging, but it becomes easier when you rely on professional videographers to capture the event in vivid detail. At E3M Creative, we are confident in our ability to allow your digital event attendees to hear, see and experience your event as if they were attending in person. Our team of video production, branding and marketing experts can help you maximize your event exposure so you reach the widest possible audience.
If anyone doubts a virtual event can be as exciting and immersive as a live event, they need only see one of our exceptional event videos to change their mind. To make your hybrid events successful, don’t rely on low-tech filming options. Sure, you could film an entire event with your cell phone camera, but few people will want to watch it. Investing in professional high-tech videography services is the best way to take your virtual or hybrid events to the next level.
The Future of the Events Industry
Though things have changed for the events industry and will probably never be quite the same, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Old habits die hard and it may be weird to not see shoulder-to-shoulder spectators crammed together at a single venue, but there is an opportunity to capitalize on these changes by continuing to focus on virtual and hybrid events even as you go live in person again.
In-person events are making a comeback, but that doesn’t mean the popularity of virtual events is likely to die down. The truth is, no one knows exactly what the future holds for live events. However, you can position yourself to be successful no matter what by being prepared to offer virtual event options to your guests, along with taking steps to make attendees feel more comfortable and safe when attending live.
Keep in mind that while virtual events used to be primarily free of charge, that is changing in a post-COVID world. You can charge money for your online events so you aren’t missing out on revenue by offering them and may increase your total take.
Bring Your Live Events to Life
Live events haven’t gone away forever. In fact, they’re making a big comeback. That doesn’t mean you should stop holding virtual or hybrid events, though. You can still reach a much wider audience by making your events available in a digital format to those who don’t feel comfortable attending in person.
No matter what steps you choose to take to make your live events more appealing and safe, we encourage you to take advantage of the incredible marketing power of professional videography. We can help you create promotional videos for your event as well as capture the actual event on camera so you can make it digitally available to your audience. To get started on a project, contact us today.