INVNT CEO, Kristina McCoobery and other industry leaders share their 2021 predictions with TSNN.
The coronavirus understandably caught the events industry flat-footed last spring. Who can predict a once-in-a-century disease? But nearly a year into the pandemic, there’s been time to experiment, learn, adapt and develop better strategies going into 2021.
Live events are going on, and will only pick up toward the second half of the year. That doesn’t mean COVID-19’s effects will disappear anytime soon. Almost all considerations that event planners, trade show organizers, exhibitors and attendees face are related to health and safety measures or economic challenges related to the pandemic.
For better or worse, this is going to be the year of hybrid. It will serve, many in the industry hope, as a bridge toward a return to what is considered normal in 2022 and the year after. Here, we look at what’s ahead on that path as the industry takes a page from Elsa and goes into the unknown.
4. Virtual won’t go on the backburner. INVNT Co-founder and CEO Kristina McCoobery is optimistic that brands will return to in-person events, albeit smaller than past levels. But of note is that 2020 opened the door to reaching larger numbers of attendees through virtual events—a fact that won’t be lost on savvy groups. “Virtual attendees mustn’t be treated as an afterthought, and their experiences need to be carefully curated in the same way they are for an in-person audience,” she said.
8. Pay per play. Staying on engagement, McCoobery and Givner said higher expectations are going to create better offerings—especially for virtual attendees—but at a price. In other words, attendees will get what they put into an event. “We’ll start to see more and more monetized interactive competitions followed by exclusive content offerings to unlock, immersive activities that allow audience members to create their own avatars and explore a space or live gig with others, and tiered payment plans, including VIP packages,” McCoobery said.
Read the other eight predictions here.