Remote Events

Oma Doris having a digital event of her own

2020 was one hell for a year of economy, and certain areas of it have suffered more than others. Events, for one, have been canceled entirely. Social Distancing and events are not particularly combinable, so naturally, large event halls are to remain empty for the foreseeable future.

While the possibility disappeared, the need to socialize and interact grew stronger than ever. Especially in the business world that is so severely dependant on connecting, interacting — finding new customers and partners, and maintaining the relationships with those you already acquired.

After a few month’s time, the business world started adjusting. The solution was clear: events were to be digitalized.

Remote events were a concept that had existed previously, but they were never quite as refined. Events would be streamed or recorded to be uploaded later on. The biggest issue that needed to adapt was interaction: digital buildings to click through, browsing your way through all the different stands, looking for something that catches your eye. If you click on it and take a closer look, a chat window will pop-up offering you a direct line of communication to interact and chat — and maybe even organize a zoom call?

Bigger chats, personal direct messages, and conference video calls offered themselves to connect people and businesses alike.

For now, this is our reality because it’s a necessity. But for how long is the need for digital events going to stay? Eventually (fingers crossed) we will return to normalcy and have the ability to start up bigger events again. What is going to happen to these adjustments then?

Let’s look into the future for a moment and theorize about what it may hold. Even when we can return to events… should we? I think we can all agree that there are clear benefits to remote events over classic ones, aside from aiding in social distancing?

Our digital stand at Ideenfutter 2020

1. Finances

A clear benefit of remote and digital events are the finances saved for the visitors. Obviously staying at home, or in your usual office, is bound to be miles cheaper than traveling across the state, country, or world, paying for flights, hotels, meals, and more. On the side of whoever is hosting the event, there is also massive savings — it’s certainly easier to host a website than renting halls, organizing food and drinks, and planning security.

2. Interpretation

Interpretation is a lot easier when it’s digital. With international events, you’ll often run into the conversation of “English…? German…?” — just poking around until you know what language to adjust yourself to. Potentially looking for your coworker that speaks the language — that entire process is simplified. Presentations and speeches are typically pre-planned and can be interpreted in advance, to then be played in different languages to different visitors, adjusting to their preference.

3. Management

It’s easier to micromanage something digital. It would take a few minutes to double-check everything if it’s all in the same area. The website can be prepared weeks in advance, and there is certainly less to keep track of when everything is compactly put into a few links compared to a multitude of giant halls.

4. Accessibility

This is a big one — hosting a digital event is always going to be more accessible, which goes hand in hand with the finances saved. Physical and financial accessibility opens the doors to conversations you may have never had otherwise.

5. Simplicity

The comfort is definitely worth mentioning; Let’s be real, you are going to be much more comfortable sipping on your tea while browsing through the stands and looking for the next fascinating conversation, than you would be wearing your fitted suit or your high heels, after a 45-minute drive (these things are always in the middle of nowhere) with no food that you are not allergic (or “allergic”) to.

Surely remote events are not the perfect solution for every event, and it’s certainly not the one and only way to go. But these benefits should not be ignored once the circumstances change — accessibility especially should be offered to more than events previously have. With our world becoming more and more inclusive, it’s only right for the business world to keep up and this would be an excellent way to.

Eventually, we hope to reach a place of a hybrid of these, an event that is available either online or classically, offering those that present, and those that visit the choice. To digitalize events beyond just streaming or filming them by offering proper interaction between visitors and exhibitors just might open doors that otherwise would remain shut.

Who knows, maybe one day every event will offer a way to attend and participate digitally. We are excited to see where this goes. Are you?

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