• Business
  • 09/11/2021
Will there still be a place in the world for virtual conferences?

COVID-19 disrupted almost every industry imaginable.

Millions of us were issued with instructions to work from the safety of our own homes, which led to offices and face to face meetings quickly moving to platforms such as Microsoft Teams or Slack, whilst events and conferences were postponed indefinitely.

But, it was far from being complete doom and gloom.

It meant that collectively, we had to adopt new technology to stay as close to 'business as usual' as possible.

Due to this, virtual conferences, seminars and other live virtual tech events emerged and, by and large, became very successful and more environmentally conscious.

In this post, we explore the future of conferences and explain why it is vital to stay up-to-date.

The Rise of Zoom, Teams and More

Many businesses rely on face to face discussions and in-person events to sell their product.

With in-person events no longer possible, there was a need to find a workaround - and fast.

With the introduction of video platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams or GoToMeeting, the number of virtual technology conferences taking place skyrocketed, with Forbes claiming virtual events increased by '1000% since the pandemic began'.

In many ways, it made a lot of sense that the IT and tech industries were in the best position to capitalise on any need for technology-based solutions to problems with physical attendance.

A recent article published by Scientific American highlights, there have been some surprising benefits associated with the online conference model.

For one, it allows organisers to attract a more global and diverse audience, as people no longer have to physically attend the conference.

The benefits extend beyond this too.

For those hosting a conference, the virtual route can lead to a reduced carbon footprint, as well as helping to save money and time that would usually be spent on planning and logistics.

Some conferencing of this kind has been so successful that you can now attend virtual conference events which discuss how to maximise virtual engagement.

Are Virtual Conferences Here To Stay?

The success of virtual conferencing does raise some interesting questions: what will the future look like as normality looms?

Are virtual conferences now the new normal?

Can we expect to see virtual conferencing continue, or are in-person events - such as the recent COP 26 - an indication that we will see a return to how things were before the pandemic?

It is worth stressing that there are still some limitations to going the virtual route with conference events.

For instance, when speaking about conferences in the COVID era, Nature.com claims people miss out on some of the opportunities associated with networking and having chance face-to-face encounters.

Some products and technology are also much easier to demonstrate in person, where you can allow people to get hands-on with your goods and explain features as they do so.

Additionally, with seminars, there can potentially be issues with engagement when using virtual methods, as distractions around the home such as kids, pets, or other work may take priority.

Nevertheless, we would expect the uptick in virtual conference events to continue.

Why should you stay informed?

The future for conferences looks bright, regardless of how those conferences happen.

Many tech and event companies have already started to see the benefits of virtual conferences, to the point where it is hard to imagine a world where they no longer exist as we look to 2022 and beyond.

At Fifosys, we strive to keep up with the latest technology trends, assessing how conferences and events evolve as the world comes to terms with COVID and mass gatherings start to become normal once more.

In the interest of safety and convenience for attendees, we continue to host our free monthly sessions virtually; all of our upcoming sessions are listed here and here.

We are also happy to work with organisations across the UK to get their IT and network infrastructure fully up-to-date and ready to cope with the demands of virtual conferences, events and staff returning to the offices.

Additionally, we can help ensure you use the right technology to make the most of these events.

The Last Word

While technology conferences and seminars have faced substantial challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on live events, virtual conferencing provided opportunities for these events to continue.

Not only this, but virtual conferencing also started to show some unique benefits of its own, to the point where it would be a surprise to see them disappear forever.

Now, as normality looks to loom - even with COVID figures on the rise as we hit winter - it remains to be seen what will become the new normal. It is, however, clear that the success stories around the virtual world will ensure more events happen this way in the future - so don't worry about having to lose those elasticated waists or pyjama pants that are hidden off-camera just yet!

At Fifosys, our priority is to keep up with modern trends and make sure our clients are well-placed to capitalise.

Get in touch with our team today to ensure your business is ready for the future.

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