Event planning is brought in-house due to efficiency doubts
Digital events and meetings have allowed numerous businesses and organizations to continue operations. However, it has been demonstrated that digital events are less effective at generating the same business value as physical events. Companies have established an overall strategy for events and meetings as a solution. Bringing event management in-house to a greater degree will better accommodate the new business requirements and circumstances.
An uncertain situation for corporate events
The sudden transition from physical to digital required fast problem-solving to deliver value and create engagement through digital events. The change showed us several advantages of digitizing events, but more companies are now experiencing the downsides of only virtual participation.
Some of the benefits of digital events are lower costs for venue, travel, and catering for companies. It also provides the opportunity to reach a wider audience and allows more people to participate even if they do not have the opportunity to travel. In this way, digital events contribute to democratization and inclusion. Digital events are easy to adapt as needed and are better from an environmental perspective because participants do not have to travel long distances to participate.
Digital events are not relationship-building to the same degree as physical events. Companies need to be able to showcase their products and services live to generate new leads, build customer relationships, and close deals. It also requires more from the organizer to achieve the same form of engagement in digital events as on-site events. During the pandemic, the term “digital event fatigue” became more common. At the beginning of the pandemic, everyone logged in and participated virtually in meetings and events, but over time, virtual engagement dropped from 70% to 35-40%.
In a survey among marketers, 64% say that they are only “moderately effective” or “not effective” when it comes to conducting virtual events that provide value to the organization.
There is therefore uncertainty among companies about how they should behave around events and meetings. Companies need physical events, but the new demands from employees and new external conditions make it impossible to go back to how it was before.
Success factors for the future of corporate events
The pandemic brought with it a lot of useful lessons in event management. Some examples of successful solutions and lessons learned were:
- Troubleshooting before the event. Organizers must anticipate and address the technical difficulties that may arise at online events.
- Optimize the use of the platform. Although there are tools and platforms that both enable and beautify online events, the success of an event lies primarily in using them in a way that suits the target group.
- Encourage commitment. Event leaders need to do their best to make online events more interactive, rather than listening to slide show sessions.
- Pre-recorded events. Some event managers add production value and make it easier for more people to participate by pre-recording their events.
- Flexible event forms. Organizations need to be able to arrange and manage a wide range of events. E.g. Webinars, meet-ups, hybrid events, and digital networking.
- Data collection. The use of digital platforms makes it much easier and more accurate to measure the event’s results in real time.
- Adaptability. The advantage of data collection at digital events also makes it possible to make real-time adjustments to an event’s layout.
More organizations are moving towards a holistic approach to event management
To move forward from the uncertain situation, it is important to implement the lessons learned to be able to create new, better, and more effective events that also meet the new requirements of the participants. To do this, it is advantageous to move event management in-house for better control and fewer expenses to external actors. In-house, you can set a common strategy for creating more smaller events, in forms that suit the context. You need to create events that have clear relevance to the target group and are designed based on the company’s objectives.
We notice how the market is now starting to move towards a more comprehensive view of event management driven by business needs. There is a clear overall strategy, efficient processes, and technology as well as better internal expertise. It is a so-called multi-dimensional event and meeting strategy, where marketing departments collaborate and design a clear and comprehensive strategy that matches different events with the right goals.