The Lookout: Special Holiday Edition ❄
Is it Friday already? No, don’t worry. You still got some days until 2021. I just wanted to pop in with a very special installment of the newsletter this holiday season. We’re still in the midst of the holiday break here at PIRATEx, and I hope you are enjoying some deserved time off as well. If you’re taking some time off, and looking for some good reads to get some insights about the future of online events then here come some of my top picks for the holiday break.
I also wanted to thank you for being a subscriber to the newsletter. Your feedback has been a real gift to me this year. It’s a new format, and I’ve greatly appreciated hearing from many of you since I started it. We’ll be back to our regular distribution after the holidays on January 8th.
Looking back on 2020….
What a year it’s been. As the pandemic took hold in March, revenue for our planned events was beginning to dry up. We knew we had to pivot, or perish. With some uncertainty, we made the leap to online events in less than two weeks. And the rest is history…
I wrapped up this special year for us in this video.
Some Predictions for 2021:
This year, we’ve produced over 60 online events, big and small, from meetings to giant tradeshows. We’ve learned a ton, and had the chance to develop some key predictions of where the event industry is going in the next year.
Some of the things we can expect to see:
- Events are becoming unbundled. Look forward to seeing the constituent parts of the event experience repackaged for audiences and participants in a new way. Keynotes become podcasts, and events themselves become communities. It’s a trend that’s ongoing, but expect it to catch fire in 2021.
- Hybrid in 2021 won’t be anything like Hybrid in 2020. No more hours long live streams of an in person event. Online event concepts need to be designed for the remote viewer at home.
- New players will enter the online event space. The growth of event tech over the last year has made online events more accessible, and has also upskilled an entire global audience to using these tools. We expect new events to emerge from non traditional players in the event space. As this technology becomes more ubiquitous, we expect exhibitors, sponsors and keynote speakers to utilize these technologies to go directly to their audiences, on demand.
- Investment and growth in event technology will continue. Some estimates suggest 75% of events will be online in 2024. There is no one platform that’s suitable for all types of events. Maybe one platform will emerge above all others. But in any case, the battle between the platforms is on.
That’s a taste of what’s to come in 2021. I’ll be sharing more of my predictions in the next, regular edition of the newsletter.
And finally, my top event reads to get you through the holiday break:
- 2020 – the year in virtual events…from the mediocre to the exceptional: Diginomica
- Increase in online event popularity among visitors, but desire for live still strong, says research: Exhibition World
- Virtual events are here to stay: Nieman Lab
- From Pretzels to Bits: wie sich die Start-up-Konferenz neu erfand: Xing Events
- Was Eventmanager wirklich wollen – eine Wunschliste für Tech-Anbieter: MICEstens Digital
- What Virtual Events Might Look Like Post COVID: Forbes
- Santa visits, celebrity chefs: Banks build loyalty with virtual events: American Banker
- Virtual Events: Where To Start?: TSNN
- Zoom or Bust? 3 Lessons Learned to Improve Your Virtual Events Experience: JD Supra
- For Virtual Events, the Destination Still Matters—Here’s Why: Associations Now
- Hyve blazes digital monetisation strategy trail with acquisition of Retail Meetup: Exhibition World
- One view of the future of events: niche and hybrid: Martech Today
- Virtual Event Measurement: Five Tips for Success: Event Marketer
- Attendify Releases MeetNow to Smoothen Event Experience Management: Martech Series
- Spotlight: The Present & Future of Events with Tahira Endean: Attendease
As we come to a close on our special holiday edition of the newsletter, we wanted to share something we are pretty proud of: PIRATEx has become 100% carbon neutral! We were able to offset the entirety of our carbon footprint for 2020, including all the events we’ve produced for our partners. Reducing the impact on the environment has been a big benefit of events moving online, and it’s something we are looking forward to working on more in 2021.
That’s it for this special edition. I want to wish you all a relaxed holiday season and a joyous (but safe and socially distanced) new year’s celebration. If you’re looking for a great free online event, our content specialist Natalie suggests Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2020, which will be showcasing the UK’s largest swarm drone show each night from the 29th to the 31st of December. And for EDM fans, Tomorrowland is putting on a huge virtual New Years event with tons of top artists.
Have you heard of similar happenings in Germany? Let me know!
Don’t forget, you can subscribe to our weekly newsletter to always be updated on the news from the online event world!
Seasons greetings and frohes neues Jahr!
See you in 2021!
The Lookout Newsletter: Special Holiday Edition
PIRATEx Managing Director