Irrespective of COVID-19, we are convinced that hybrid events will have a significant impact on the future development of the event industry, as they enable parallel live participation on-site and online from anywhere in the world. At the same time, such formats, just like digital events, require completely new concepts and methodologies, both in terms of content and technology. Simply taking a “live” event and producing it online is not enough and will not take advantage of the online communication potential. Our clients are increasingly coming to this conclusion as well and inquiring about our hybrid expertise, be it as event technicians or concept designers, or when simply looking for new solutions and possibilities.
One aspect helps us a lot with regards to hybrid events and makes us confident for the future: We are not starting from scratch; we have built up our experience and competencies in the digital, virtual and hybrid area for years. We developed flexible concept platforms for digital, virtual and hybrid events since 2010 and that expertise is now really coming into play.
And at the same time, with the 2018 restructuring of our agency into an agile agency, we gained a lot of experience in remote and cross-location working and have strengthened the ability to work independently from anywhere. All our staff around the world have been suitably setup for working remotely for years, as the majority of our work takes place in event locations. Therefore WFH was not a challenge for any of us.
In a way, the pandemic has been a catalyst for digitalization developments in the communications sector that would have come in the near future anyway, but probably a little slower and less intense.
Another confidence booster is the fact that the event industry has come up with strong hygiene concepts to make live events possible again and with success: the first events are already taking place in China and Europe – albeit often on a smaller scale than before. Instead of one event for 3,500 participants, we are now breaking it down into 25 regional events. We have recently trained hygiene specialists for events at each of our locations worldwide, which allows us to develop safe and legal hygiene concepts in-house together with the local authorities on site.
The pandemic has undoubtedly shaken up VOK DAMS as a company but we are also confident about the future of the live events industry. Events will continue to be social, personal and live. Provides the essential drive in marketing and conveying and anchoring messages. Even with social distancing and hygiene rules in place, face-to-face communication remains fundamentally important and effective. We all are social animals to the core and therefore always find a way to – safely – connect and interact.