COVID-19 and the resulting quarantine have led to a demand increase for digital events, and the industry will never be the same. With the level of investment digital experiences, we are seeing, will live events become a thing of the past?
No. Live events aren’t going anywhere.
Not next year, not in a hundred years.
Advances and increased adoption of digital experiences won’t shake the demand for live events because the value of live events is not based on logistical or technological convenience. The value of live events is the human connection.
In a recent article on BizBash.com, Austin Johnston suggests that rather than choosing between live and digital events in the future, experiences should be designed to “Focus on analog [live] environments that inspire participants to create digital content that is shareable.”
Digital experiences are a powerful tool, but they aren’t tactile or organic. Humans, by nature, aren’t content to just listen and watch. Built into all of us is a desire to touch, to interact, and to connect. No digital experience can capture the senses in the way that a live event can.
The truth is, the strongest connections you will have with customers will always happen face to face.
This isn’t to say that digital experiences are second-class. Instead, digital and live experiences work best in cohesion. The live event captures the interest of your audience, and the digital provides them an opportunity to connect, share, and even experience FOMO.
If you aren’t harnessing both digital AND analog experiences, you’re selling your brand short. Digital experiences have their place, but when it comes to real, human engagement, they don’t measure up to a personal live engagement experiential marketing provides.
We agree with Johnston that “the fundamentals behind gathering, touching, exploring, and playing aren’t going anywhere soon—and neither is the live events industry. Stay strong and carry on.”