Leading change, the tech industry continually evolves and disrupts the way audiences can engage with them, even through the COVID-19 pandemic – all achieved through putting on events as an online-only experience.
Not having a physical space to help their partner clients engage with their audiences has led tech expos like CES 2021 to utilize technology as a proposition to continue. Google, Microsoft, Cisco, Qualtrics, Apple are just a few other companies that used virtual events as part of their portfolio campaigns as of last year 2020.
Events are not cancelled, they’re evolving.
These companies have relied on their digital-led event to showcase their products, make major announcements, connect with developers and their audience, create meaningful connections with their customers, and more importantly, provide a massive value proposition. And though the execution of virtual events relies on technology, the foundation of any successful event is always in its people. The organizers, the brand ambassadors, the tech and IT managers, the digital staff, and its core audience or fans.
2020 was an eventful year, to say the least, and though COVID-19 sent shock waves to every industry possible, the upside of it is forcing companies to think differently and re-imagine how to adapt to their consumers. Tech-companies are always seeking new ways to reach clients on a broader scale, and holding events in a virtual space is just the beginning. Who can predict what this year will present? What we do know for certain is that virtual events are here to stay no matter what the external consensus might be. You can’t fight technology.
Maybe a day will come in the not-so-distant future where AI and robots will lead all things digital, but till then, the most important element of any event (virtual or not), is that it is fundamentally a human-experience. Driven by people, for the people. It’s scientifically proven that when event attendees look back at past events they’ve attended, they always remember how people made them feel. Not the glitter. Not the fancy banners. Not the expensive champagne or catering. But the experience of emotionally driven human to human interaction. Another reason why investing in the right people that are highly-trained specialists in their fields should be the backbone of every company or brand’s event.
CES 2021 proves that a virtual tech event doesn’t need to sacrifice the element of seeing new products or interacting with other people (networking) – with some creativity and an understanding of one’s user experience, tech companies can create a way to replicate this format as an online experience. (Source: BBC Technology News)
Every company knows the importance of determining and measuring KPI’s in the planning of virtual events, helping them agree with their stakeholders on factors such as sales and retention management that need to be achieved. Tech-companies understand the potential automation of gathering integrated data sets from every customer touchpoint their event provides. Some of these success metrics within digitally-led experiences are:
These metrics are usually harder to define and track within traditional physical-led events, and for tech-companies who rely on the internet for their growth, these KPIs are a no-brainer. You always want your event to have a great return on investment (ROI), not just in financial revenue, but in connecting with your audience and strengthening your relationship with them. Our customers are becoming more-savvy and expectant about what they believe brands should be or propose, how do you gather that data? And what does that data even mean?
As the tech industry utilize digital technology, the growth of virtual events will expand and its potential rewards will be clearer. From having a global reach, flexibility in execution, opportunity for engaging with your audience in a new format, virtual events will become the norm of tomorrow. This will be more prominent moving forward in 2021, and it will be exciting to see how the human experience develops in a virtual format as technologies improve. And they will.