What's on our minds?

Is the future Virtual?

Is the future Virtual?

Lisa Bennett

In these unprecedented times, it is inevitable we consider the future and what it means to our relationships, both business and personal.

Having been in the marketing communications industry for nearly a quarter of a century, I have seen disruption created by technology, environmental impact and now a global pandemic.

The recent crisis has of course halted face to face meetings and gatherings, with organisations turning to Virtual environments to provide content and connections usually held for their Customer Meetings, including virtual exhibitions, workshops and keynote sessions. I know Virtual and Hybrid event technology is not new, but the adoption for many companies has been slow. One reason is that fundamentally, human beings are social creatures. We need face to face interactions to build trusting relationships which are the basis for positive behaviour.

So, while we understand that the current climate leads to specific requirements, what does the future of events hold?

Does the digital world continue to dominate our social interactions, or, do we over time, go back to a world of global live events? Or is it a mix? A new style of interaction which is adopted through the realisation that we still need to meet face to face but perhaps this can be in smaller, localised groups and the content which was going to be delivered in this big global face to face showpiece becomes more streamlined, engaging and better suited to a digital environment.

It seems to me that with the advancement in technology we will indeed have the best of both worlds. A world where travel and exploration continues but is scaled to be environmentally and sociologically beneficial, face to face interaction plays a pivotal but focused part of the communication spectrum and on line environments continue to evolve as mediums for large gatherings, information sharing and community building on a global scale.

Here's to the next chapter for the event and communications industry and I am excited to be part of it!