Why the Event Industry Can’t Avoid the Digital Revolution Following the Pandemic

March 16, 2022

John D’Adamo

John D’Adamo is head of U.S. sales at VenuIQBased in Florida, he boasts more than 10 years of experience within the events industry and has built long-standing relationships with some of the world’s most respected brands. His appointment and goal of establishing VenuIQ’s American entity mark a pivotal moment in the company’s development.

According to the Harvard Business Review, 86% of business leaders surveyed claimed that artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming “mainstream technology” in their company, a leap that has largely been pushed by the pandemic as industries and consumers have been forced to adapt and change how they live and work.  

The event industry is not immune to this change. Although some organizers had already been taking advantage of similar technologies for years prior to the pandemic, those that have been slower to adapt can no longer afford to ignore the digital revolution that has occurred as a result of the pandemic, or they risk being left behind. Here’s why. 

Increased Event Visibility

Throughout the pandemic, we saw a dramatic increase in the uptake of digital events platforms across many industries, as organizers looked to provide rich and engaging events despite their activations being delivered remotely. This digital revolution transformed event visibility, quite literally overnight, opening the floor to audiences across the globe. 

Where talks, conferences and exhibitions were once best viewed in-person by those who could afford to travel and physically attend, they are now available to hundreds if not thousands more interested parties. 

This is good news for both organizers and attendees. Organizers can sell tickets to a global audience and advertise to a wider range of potential attendees, and those looking for an event to attend no longer need to consider logistics such as travel and accommodation.  

In failing to capitalize on the digital revolution, organizers would not only be limiting their event reach, but would also be missing out on ticket sales and profitability by continuing to run events that have limited capacity, no virtual alternative and fewer benefitting from the networking and guest speaking opportunities.

A Safer Event Environment

Advancements in digital technology have also provided a safer event environment, something that remains hugely important as we continue to navigate the ongoing pandemic and the emergence of new variants.  

Specifically, virtual events, social distancing and smaller capacities have created gaps in the event experience that event technology providers have been trying to bridge. 

The relationship between speaker and attendee, the delegate network and the togetherness of the events community all initially suffered at the beginning of the pandemic, but the rapid increase in the uptake of event technologies has provided a much-needed platform to stay connected, despite the many hurdles of COVID-19. 

Thanks to these advanced technologies, the event industry has been able to operate effectively throughout the pandemic with little to no disruptions or difficulty. If organizers were to go back to their “old ways” and cease capitalizing on the digital revolution post-pandemic, the events space would be opened up to the ongoing uncertainty around COVID-19 and the potential for more event cancellations or postponements.

Broader Networking Opportunities

The pandemic and the emergence of hybrid and virtual event technology has presented organizers with the opportunity to innovate and broaden their events and networking opportunities. Borders have been removed and travel times eliminated, with the virtual element of events allowing speakers to engage with audiences from across the globe.  

The pandemic has pushed this technology into the limelight as not just a “nice to have” but rather an essential for event organizations. Not only does it allow audiences to connect with speakers from anywhere in the world, but it also lifts the limitations of physical attendance, giving audiences the freedom to find events that are relevant to them and their businesses, regardless of their location, and increasing the quality and breadth of the networking opportunities on offer. 

In an environment where many events may suffer from speakers and attendees forced to self-isolate or miss events due to illness or travel limitations, offering a virtual element is crucial in ensuring the event can go ahead with as much attendee engagement as possible and a huge virtual network of leaders and businesses that would not necessarily be afforded the chance to meet if the event was in-person only. 

A Safety Net for Delegates

The acceleration of digitalization in the events industry has created vast improvements to the wider events landscape. Events are more accessible and safer, and this has led to a significant reduction in cancellations compared to if events were held strictly in person. 

This “digital safety net” now surrounding events as seen with virtual conferences, interactive online Q&As and live on-screen sign language translators, to name a few, has been key in ensuring events are still profitable and has meant events are now harder to miss and easier to access.

Staying Ahead of the Curve

The digital revolution has afforded the events industry a way to stay in the conversation without sacrificing content, attendee numbers or engagement rates. 

While a hybrid event offering may be the future as the need for fully virtual activations subsides, a reliance on strictly in-person activations is set to be a thing of the past with 71% of event organizers planning virtual or hybrid and 0% planning for face-to-face-only events, according to a VenuIQ poll.

Organizers who turn their backs on advancing technology now are likely to suffer from all the prior issues associated with solely in-person events, while others will continue to develop and innovate to stay one step ahead.

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Partner Voices
Dallas already boasts 35,000 hotel rooms, award-winning global cuisine, and a walkable downtown. But we are just getting started. Visit Dallas is thrilled to announce that the city of Dallas is doubling down with a massive new convention center and entertainment district. Featuring 800,000 square feet of exhibit area, 260,000 square feet of meeting rooms, and 170,000 square feet of ballroom. The center will connect business travelers with dining and shopping options in the popular Cedars District means more places to get down to business, and even more ways to unwind. “Dallas is already a great meetings and conventions destination, with the accessibility of two major airports, affordable labor, and an outstanding hotel product,” said D. Bradley Kent, Visit Dallas senior vice president and chief sales officer. “The new center and Convention Center District will enhance Dallas’ competitive position and are exactly what our customers’ need and have been asking for." What’s New – AT&T Discovery District Located in the heart of Downtown Dallas, this new district on the AT&T corporate campus is tailor-made for groups of all sizes. It boasts a multi-sensory experience, including outdoor event space, the AT&T Theater, and multiple dining outlets including JAXON Beer Garden and The Exchange, a bustling food hall. Hotels Coming Soon Names like the JW Marriott (Downtown), lnterContinental Dallas (Uptown), and Hotel Swexan (Uptown) are adding luxury amenities and bountiful event spaces. The projects will debut in 2023 and beyond. JW Marriott This new, 15-story, 283-room hotel will open in the heart of the city’s downtown Arts District this year. The property features a 25,000-square-foot grand ballroom, as well as a spa, restaurant, lobby bar, fitness center, and a rooftop pool deck and bar. InterContinental Dallas  Located in Cityplace Tower in Uptown, InterContinental Dallas will feature sweeping panoramic views of the Dallas skyline. Guests will enjoy spacious, high-end rooms and amenities, including more than 21,000 square feet of event space.   Hotel Swexan Hotel Swexan, a new, 22-story luxury property, is rising in Uptown’s Harwood District and will make its mark on the Dallas skyline. Opening this year, it is a sculptural building with cantilevered upper floors, as well as a 75-foot rooftop infinity-edge swimming pool and a hidden underground lounge.