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COVID-19 may boost virtual feed industry events

With the new coronavirus (COVID-19) remaining unchecked, professionals around the globe cancel en mass their travel engagements, at least for the first half of the year.

Virtual Meeting
Kamaga |

When professionals cannot or do not want to attend live events, they can be tempted by less expensive virtual options.

With the new coronavirus (COVID-19) remaining unchecked, at least at the time of writing this blog, and with even the experts being unsure how this new virus will react with rising temperatures, professionals around the globe cancel en mass their travel engagements, at least for the first half of the year. I know of some that have canceled all such traveling for the whole year. I did the same, but the coronavirus is an excuse to focus on another project.

The first victim of this reaction is events like conferences and expositions. If fact, governments in many countries already prohibit or restrict such events, so one can only expect this trend to continue. Not to mention that airlines, some of which are predicted to go bust anyway, may be unwilling to refund tickets for canceled events. All in all, it is a mess, and in my opinion an overreaction to the tune of better be safe than sorry.

If I were to make a prediction, I would dare say that virtual events will become very important, even during 2020. I have already been contacted by several colleagues from my network asking me about virtual events. And it is not just webinars or seminars or courses that interest such professionals. Even virtual expositions are of immense interest because we must be kept updated on new industry developments.

As the digital press did not replace but rather supplemented the printed press, the same way – I believe – virtual events will supplement live events. The latter remain invaluable because human interaction remains the best way of forming a network and promoting business. But, for those unable or unwilling to travel far away, a less expensive digital-virtual event can be of much value. To this, may I add that any such virtual event should be made available only live – that is, not being offered as a recording for later viewing. In my experience, such an option tends to make individuals ignore the live stream event, and then forget all about the recorded one. I am guilty of such behavior.

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