December 30, 2020
29 Predictions for Virtual Event Trends in 2021
One of the biggest business trends of 2020 was virtual events. The goal of these digital experiences is the same as in-person events — to connect with your audience, whether they’re prospects, customers, or employees.
While we were just learning how to host a virtual event at the beginning of the pandemic, today many companies have successfully figured out how to bring that “in-person feel” to virtual events.
The longer people were stuck at home, the more they craved unique experiences. As a result, we saw both B2B and B2C companies incorporate fun, interactive, and family-friendly activities such as cocktail demonstrations, magic shows, and even ugly sweater-making kits.
Are virtual events here to stay? Or will in-person events take over once indoor gatherings are safe again?
We asked our community of marketers, salespeople, and executives to share their top predictions for trends in virtual events and creative experiences in 2021. Here’s what they had to say:
29 Predictions for Virtual Event Trends in 2021
Virtual Event Trend Prediction #3
Virtual Event Trend Prediction #4
“Virtual events explode but paradoxically become even less effective as ‘virtual event fatigue’ kicks in and the low net and ROI and experiential value of virtual events becomes evident. This will force a re-think of what virtual events need to deliver on, and will likely evolve into a new breed of hybrid events or truly innovative new ways to engage people who are broadly distributed.”
Virtual Event Trend Prediction #13
Virtual Event Trend Prediction #14
“Virtual conferences will start mimicking in-person events. We’re finding ways to replace the personal interactions with virtual experiences, coffees, and happy hours. Scaling these 1:1 interactions virtually will impact your bottom line.”
Virtual Event Trend Prediction #15
“As marketers, we are going to have to get a lot more creative with virtual events and need to go beyond ‘death by PowerPoint.’ I’m thinking we’ll need to embrace bite-sized ‘snackable’ content, ways to facilitate online networking and unique experiences for our audience — such as hiring an entertainer, online games, etc. In parallel, it will become harder and harder to stand out as virtual events become ‘business as usual.’”
Virtual Event Trend Prediction #16
“Virtual events may go the same way as the webinar. There will be those who are able to execute them well and there will be organizations that rely on them because it is what everyone else is doing… The companies in 2021 that will truly be successful will be the ones who reinvent the wheel. Businesses will need to take risks to connect with their audience in a more meaningful way — think: what’s in it for THEM, not what’s in it for me… The businesses who can do this better will be the businesses that come out on top.”
Virtual Event Trend Prediction #17
“It is my hope that we will finally find a way to distinguish between a webinar and a true virtual event. More creative delivery methods will be discovered, shared, and repeated, along with ways to create interactive environments for the knowledge sharing and networking aspects of in-person that we love and miss.”
Virtual Event Trend Prediction #19
Virtual Event Trend Prediction #20
“This is a high-growth space, we have had a lot of success using virtual events for our user conferences in EU and NA as well as a global Champions of Change event — all having record attendance. Virtual events are here to stay and will compete with in-person events when they return. Creativity around the user experience for event planners will be the differentiator.”
Virtual Event Trend Prediction #22
“Because larger shows like RSA will be completely virtual, I see the opportunity to create an augmented virtual experience in larger show booths, including pre-show incentives, virtual swag store, and interactive games/displays.”
Virtual Event Trend Prediction #25
“Virtual events and creative experiences will continue to be online, and we will see an explosion of technologies aimed at supporting this. Marketers and sellers alike will demand that these tools have pristine analytics on how their buyers are engaging with virtual events. Marketers, in particular, will be upping the ante on interactive creative experiences — think chocolate and chef tastings, MasterClass-like series, gamified events and more!”
Virtual Event Trend Prediction #26
“Similar to Zoom fatigue, people will tire of virtual events in 2021. People will come to the realization that they never watch the webinars they planned to watch on ‘Netflix and Chill’ mode and stop registering. For those who do register, attendance will fall off a cliff because we are too busy and something always comes up that is more important than a vendor event. Finally, those who do attend virtual events, will have low dwell times — because who has the attention span to sit in front of a computer for an 8 hour virtual event?”
Thanks for checking out these predictions for virtual event trends in 2021! Want to learn how you can start sending to shape the virtual event trends of 2021? Schedule time with one of our sending experts here or check out some of our customer success stories below.