The Lookout #41: Why online events increase attendees' empowerment?
September has marked the reopening of trade fairs in all 16 German states– and fairs across the country have been busy welcoming back attendees. As 20,000 visitors are expected to attend the “Americana” fair in Augsburg this week, it really begins to feel that the exhibition industry in Germany is back in person and making a bigger impact than ever.
Most eyes have been on IAA Mobility, with a refreshed concept and new location. The auto industry fair has broadened its scope to focus mobility in all forms, from bikes to public transport— and broadened its footprint. The event this week has been taking over venues and spaces across Munich, far outside the traditional fairgrounds building a truly “hybrid” footprint. I love the activities IAA has centered in the open spaces— which bring the show directly to the public around the city. One of the things that I always appreciated about Gamescom, it took over Cologne, you could feel it everywhere. Since the exhibition industry went digital, you miss that somewhat. The reception to the revamped fair shows just how important and enduring the exhibition industry continues to be.
Here in Cologne this week, there has been the Digital X Festival, taking place in a hybrid format. I wasn’t able to attend physically, but I didn’t miss out. It was one of the four different digital events I took part in without leaving home. This week alone I had the chance to take in Digital X, DMEXCO, Digital Demo Day, and the Experience Design Summit— something that would have been impossible before these were made possible in a digital way.
There’s a thrill with being able to be in multiple places at once. Dropping in and out of each event for the content I wanted to consume, was empowering, rather than overwhelming. At home in front of the screen, I was in control of the experience. It’s a good thing– because with so many commitments there would have been no way to attend otherwise.
There is more content, and more events happening than ever before. They also coincide with additional personal and professional commitments on your participant’s calendars. Everyone, but importantly for event organizers– your attendees have to be discrete with their choices and their time. But the digital option means that no one will have to miss out. You can be in more than one place at once. And that still feels like kind of a superpower. That’s why even though I celebrate the return of physical events, I’m still bullish on the value of digital.
Speaking of digital events and the exhibition industry, if you missed our “Future of Events” track at PIRATE Live last week, check out the video series here. I’ll have a full wrap-up of all sessions next time. But now, here are my top reads from the week:
- Finalists revealed for The Event Technology Awards 2021 [Event Tech Live] On Tuesday, Event Tech Live announced the finalists of their latest Technology awards. With 38 categories, this year’s awards is likely to be the most competitive ever. Winners will be revealed on Nov 3, 2021.
- RainFocus Raises $60 Million To Help Companies Build Out Event Marketing Strategies [Forbes] It’s been a little while since an eventtech has announced a plum investment raise, but clearly investors are still besotted with the event industry. RainFocus offers marketing automation for virtual, in-person and hybrid events which combine data to be funneled to other parts of a sales funnel.
- MEETYOO launches new corporate identity and extends service offering overseas [MEETYOO] Meetyoo gets a new look for its global expansion, launching a new corporate identity as they begin to branch out into the US and Singaporean markets.
- ViewStub Raises 7-Figure Investment, Proving Hybrid and Virtual Events Are Here to Stay [Business Wire] Hybrid and virtual event software company ViewStub announces their new investment, although they’re being a bit shy on the full value of the raise. ViewStub is an all-in-one eventtech platform, that offers opportunities from ticketing to streaming, to a virtual venue to host your event.
- How ReAttendance Has Reinvented The Events Business For A Post-Pandemic World [Forbes] The inside story on ReAttendance, the “iPlayer” for the event industry.
How to do it:
- Experience Design Summit [Event Manager Blog] One of the events I visited this week, The Experience Design Summit focused on “Rethinking the Attendee Journey”. They brought together a number of excellent event professionals who shared different strategies to design events that delight and really deliver. It’s available for free, on-demand and definitely worth a viewing!
- 5 Questions to Ask Before You Scope Out Your Next Virtual Event [Business to Community] So many of us have experience now with creating virtual events. But sometimes it makes sense to look critically at our production and go back to the basics. These questions encourage you to consider the fundamentals.
- Überblick: CDN & Event-Plattformen [Event Partner] Comprehensive overview of some of the top things to consider when evaluating a Content Delivery Network provider. Focuses on the different types of event streaming options and the technical needs of each.
- How to Spend Your Virtual Event Savings on Making Your Event More Dynamic [BizBash] Not all virtual events are less expensive than physical ones. But, you can be strategic in the pennies you do save to ensure your participants are engaged and fulfilled during your digital experience.
Don’t Miss it:
- How to turn online events into communities? [The Veertly Show] PIRATE.global cofounder Manuel Koelman speaks to Veertly about how you can turn your virtual event into a thriving community.
- An interview with Burning Man’s Director of Virtual Experiences [MixMag] I shared a few pieces about Burning Man’s “virtual burn” last week, but this piece delves deeper into just how groundbreaking their production is. Hear the inside scoop from their Director of Virtual Experiences on what made this year’s experience so special.
- Avatar overload: my trip through the Burning Man metaverse [Financial Times] This take from the FT is not so keen on the VR experience at this year’s Burning Man, and highlights some of the challenges of bringing VR into the digital event space.
- Mit der Eventbranche zum Impferfolg [Event Partner] The fact that the exhibition industry is back to physical events in Germany this month after so long has a lot to do with the quick thinking and organizational skills of some of the country’s top event providers. These venues and fair spaces pivoted to becoming vaccination centers, driving down the virus and becoming role models for vaccination distribution in the process.
That’s all for this week’s edition of The Lookout!
Let’s stay connected if we’re not already on Linkedin or follow the PIRATEx team on Twitter. If there’s anything you would like to read about when it comes to remote, or digital events, let me know! I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions.
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Until next Friday!