Now that physical and in-person events are making a comeback, one might wonder if it is the beginning of the end of virtual events. However, the world isn’t ready yet. In-person events might not be able to return to what they used to be. However, on the bright side, this opens up a whole new territory where event planners and marketers can make the best possible use of event technology and virtual event ideas to still attain their goals.
So, let’s take a look at what 2022 and beyond have in store for the virtual event world.
Emerging trends shaping the future of event technology
1. Check-ins are going contactless
In a future that does not involve queues at events, attendees can perform a series of actions on the event website before they arrive at the event. Depending on these actions, attendees can either be granted or declined access to the event.
However, if a queue is inevitable, then virtual queues can ensure that not too many people assemble in one place.
2. Temperature guns too are going contactless
Yes, these guns are already contactless. However, things are leveling up now. State-of-the-art temperature check devices have the capability to record temperatures using infra-red technology, approve or deny access, have hand sanitizers and PPE kits handy, and even serve as an event guide.
3. ID verification is easier now than ever
For in-person events, certain requirements like being vaccinated or obtaining a negative COVID test are mandatory. But event planners can have a daunting task at hand if they are to implement these requirements.
New technology enables virtual event platforms such as Virtex to partner with health-tech companies and screen attendees for vaccination and negative test results.
4. Robot technology is finding its way
Hybrid event planners are now receiving smart event assistants. Be it AI-powered chatbots for the virtual audience or robots are in-person events, these AI-powered machines are making life much easier for event managers. They help attendees check in, find information, bathrooms, meal times, and even deliver food!
5. In-person and virtual attendees are networking now
Hybrid events are more than just livecast streaming of the in-person event. Event technology is evolving to include new networking opportunities between in-person and virtual attendees. While this may seem odd at first, it is working! Developments like a mobile app for the event or networking rooms for the attendees are turning this kind of networking into a reality. Some event technology is sophisticated enough to enable remote attendees to control streaming robots thereby letting them choose which section of the venue or the event they want to watch.
6. Smaller events are becoming more popular
The in-person element of hybrid events is becoming smaller and more intimate now. As such, this just might be one of the biggest virtual event trends for 2022. Physical events will be capped and largely open to senior management and other VIPs. On the other hand, the virtual element will continue to focus on reach while ensuring that the audience remains engaged.
7. Content also is becoming contactless
Physical events no longer need to waste paper to print event-related and other branding/marketing content on brochures, booklets, and so on. All the content can be made available online which can be accessed by scanning a QR code. This will also provide equal amounts of information to both physical and virtual attendees and since it will be stored on the cloud, it will always be available.
Whether the world goes back to normalcy any time soon or not, these developments will dominate the event space for some time.