Any emerging industry is shaped by the people taking the leap to lead and while the virtual event industry is no exception, it is a unique landscape for professionals. In this article, we take a look into how event managers can equip themselves with the tools they need to keep up to date in today's digital event landscape.
Demand in products usually grows linearly, so the industry has time to adjust and accommodate the needs of consumers, however when demand grows suddenly (for example if there's a sudden worldwide pandemic) leaders in the industry do their best to quickly meet new and changing demands.
In 2020, virtual events leapt to front and centre of the events industry by becoming the only way to host events. Now, over a year later, virtual events continue to be in demand, but managers still have a lot of catching up to do to meet the need for virtual events.
As Cathy Eramaa, Head of Customer Success at Tame, shares, “In today’s digital event landscape, event managers are expected, and required, to be more tech savvy and keep up to date with all the new features provided by different virtual event platforms, which are developing very quickly."
"Knowing what the opportunities are in the virtual and hybrid event world helps event managers set their own clear expectations for their event, making the whole planning process, and choosing the correct platform, a lot easier."
Cathy Eramaa, Head of Customer Success at Tame
It should come as no surprise that even after companies have the ability to host in-person events, many (64.3%) will choose to employ an online digital strategy to maintain their virtual audience. This means event managers will continue to be in-demand, but with a different set of skills that cater to virtual and online markets.
In research by EVENT, 82.5% of respondents said that they believe hybrid events require event planners to design separate, dedicated experiences for in-person and virtual audiences. While event planners may already have mastered the art of juggling in-person or virtual events, now they must juggle both together.
So, what can the event managers and organisers of today do to keep up to date with the fast paced industry and ensure they stay at the forefront of trends and developments in the world of events?
1. Online content and blogs
Something unique to the events industry is the abundance of information shared across the community. These resources cover a wide range of topics, from the basics of how to throw your best virtual event, to the little details like what networking activities to include in your event and the types of equipment you need for a hybrid event.
Some of our favourites include
This blog highlights the creative ways virtual and hybrid events are being integrated across the market, from big brands building influence, to large event shows happening virtually 24/7. This blog is a notable place to get inspiration from leaders in the field. With daily content, you are sure to find the latest updates and any changes occurring within the industry.
This blog offers a mix of articles and in depth reports. They do reviews on management software, opinion exploratory pieces about new technology (hello smart glasses) and so much more. In particular, their reports offer valuable statistics and data driven insights into the events market, making them a well rounded resource for all managers.
This site keeps the events market news fun and exciting. With moving imagery, and unique article topics, Because Creative Experiences offers a huge catalogue of articles and insight across the virtual market.
It may seem hard to keep up with all these content streams at once. We understand, the internet often feels overloaded with information, but there are solutions to help you manage this. Be sure to sign up for a virtual newsletter that brings you the latest headline straight to your inbox so you don’t have to keep checking in, or follow blogs and their authors on social media to see the latest articles and content. Not only that, but often social channels share extra snippets of content, so be sure to give them a follow.
2. Get connected with industry experts
Social media sites offer a great way to interact with the current dialogue happening in the event manager world. Following and connecting with colleagues on the likes of LinkedIn means you keep up to date with what individuals are doing - giving you an overview of the market from a personal perspective.
It also gives you the opportunity to join smaller groups where you can get and offer support to other event managers. Groups like ‘Virtual Event Management Network’ on LinkedIn connect virtual event managers across the world and create conversations that are easy to participate in. This group builds community within the industry by offering a place to “exchange virtual event insights, strategies, pitfalls and successes, industry buzz, as well as relationship building.”
Joining groups like this is an important way to stay at the front of the industry and get help from the people who understand your pain points and appreciate the successes you have along the way.
Event manager influencers are also a noteworthy way to stay in the loop. They offer a quick digestible way to learn more about what’s happening now in the event industry. People like Tahira Endean (@TahiraCreates) are a stellar resource for up to date event tech news and online seminars that lead the conversation about virtual and hybrid events. Plus, she gives unique insight and opinions on industry conferences.
Another influential industry player is Will Curran (@ItsWillCurran) who is the founder of hello endless, an event production company, and host of the event tech podcast, Event Tech Podcast. In other words he is an expert when it comes to event planning. Like most people in the event world, he now tweets a lot about virtual and hybrid events.
He talks about everything from the importance of looking good on camera, how to integrate movement into your event and the basics like discussing which type of hybrid event models are right for you. With three ways to follow him and keep well in the know (via his twitter, his podcast or his blog) he's a quality way to keep up with what's happening in the virtual events industry.
While reading about the industry and following virtual event management news is important, it's also vital you get to see these changes for yourself. So...
3. Participate and get involved
Put simply, attend virtual and hybrid events. This one may seem pretty simple, but it’s the best way to see how the industry is shaping and such direct experience is the best way to learn about changes, what works, what doesn’t and get a feel for how people engage and respond.
The influencers and blogs we’ve mentioned are regularly offering free events and you should take advantage of it! Getting hands-on experience with events held by industry leaders gives you the type of deep insight that you can't get just by reading about virtual events. There are lots of events offered by leading experts, business and influencers in the field. It’s a golden opportunity to see what’s going on and stay in the know from those in the same boat as you.
Plus, once you're there it's a wonderful opportunity to network with other people in the business and create support groups for future collaborations. Going to a virtual or hybrid event about virtual and hybrid events is possibly the most valuable way to gain insight. We don't have to tell you all the benefits of virtual and hybrid events, we just need to get you out there and so you can meet your community and grow the industry together.
Here at Tame, our platform is ready and waiting to help you create amazing virtual and hybrid events. We’d love to grow with you, so get in touch with one of the team and book your free personalised demo.
- Event Manager Blog: State of the Event Industry Survey Results 2021 - Third Quarter
- Event Manager Blog
- Because Creative Experiences
- Virtual Event Manager LinkedIn
- Tahira Creates Twitter
- Will Curran Twitter
- Hello Endless
- Event Tech Cast
- Hello Endless: Stepping Up The Game Here's Why You Need To Look Better On Camera