Virtual/Hybrid Events Discussion | Scoop News | Wbactive

As the world returns to normal, we cannot deny that COVID-19 has impacted the way employees communicate, travel and attend events. With tools like Microsoft Teams and Zoom, it was possible to repeat this communication from anywhere. Even though we are on the upswing, we need to discuss the future of digital engagement and its place in society.

Before we talk about the future of digital engagement, it would be helpful to take a look at the impact it is having on specific areas of our lives.

  • communication
    • In recent years, data has been collected on which means of communication have been used most frequently in recent years. The results show that email is the most commonly used method at 26%. This is followed by video conferencing (Zoom, Google Meet, etc.) at 20%. The other methods are listed below.
      • Regular phone calls: 17%
      • Messaging platforms (Slack, Google Chat, etc.): 12%
      • Audio conferencing: 7%
      • Other (unspecified): 18%
  • Travel
    • Now let’s move on to the impact of digital engagement on travel. When frequent business travelers were asked if they would travel again, 42% said they would “never get back on the road”. That result from 2022 is quite a jump from 39% in 2021. This change in behavior is also impacting business travel as a share of overall hotel revenue, which has fallen by 9% and is expected to continue to fall. That makes sense as virtual platforms eliminate the reason people travel for business in the first place.
  • events
    • In 2020, 70% of physical events switched to hybrid or virtual due to the severity of the pandemic. However, in 2022 there has not been a full switch to physical events due to the rising popularity of virtual events. When observing future planned events.
      • 40% of the events are planned virtually
      • 35% of them are even planned as a hybrid
      • 72% of professionals plan to attend virtual events at least as often as they attended physical events before COVID-19
  • Growth of digital platforms
    • As digital engagement grows rapidly, digital platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have become the industry standard for virtual events. Here are the stats on the growth of these platforms:
      • From 2019 to 2020, Zoom’s daily meeting attendees grew 35x, and more than 45 billion minutes of webinars were hosted by 2020.
      • For Teams, annual users grew 13.5x from 2019 to 2022. In 2020 alone, Microsoft Team achieves 894% growth

While the idea of ​​virtual/hybrid engagement sounds convenient and possibly the new way of running events, this medium of communication has some downsides. The first point is that staring at a screen for a long time can lead to fatigue and frustration. Additionally, if the platform is poorly designed, it can lead to greater challenges like technology issues, poor communication, loss of productivity, etc.

To make the subject healthy, there are some other risks to consider. During a meeting, everyone is looking at everyone at once, unlike in a face-to-face meeting where eyes wander from one person to another. In addition, large faces on a screen are known to cause overstimulation in the brain for long periods of time, resulting in more difficult focusing.

Ultimately, despite the challenges of digital interaction, people prefer to attend events online. Often people combine the best of both worlds with hybrid events. This method of hosting creates separate experiences where audiences are connected through the content they evaluate. Hybrid events are very popular as attendees create their own unique experience both in person and online, creating the best experience for every audience.

To wrap up the discussion, while digital engagement is a versatile medium to get your message across, it’s not a perfect substitute for face-to-face interaction. In the years to come, however, we’ll gradually be perfecting the future of communications as we speak.

© Scoop Media


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