If you watch Snap Partners Summit or Apple WWDC conferences you will start to see and understand the way that leading corporate events could change forever after Covid-19. Of course, these two examples are not relevant for many corporate events but some ideas, examples, and initiatives are certainly important for almost every corporate event organizer.
On the negative side, there is no way to replace the human experience and connection that usually happens during these events and I already wrote and presented about this in the past but today I want to focus on the positive topics and exciting opportunities that virtual events like Apple WWDC could create for their specific communities.
First, let’s talk about expanding and augmenting the impact on your digital community. Tim Cook mentioned that WWDC this year will reach 23 million developers around the world for free from Apple HQ home in Cupertino to your home creating the “more inclusive than ever WWDC ever organized”. In parallel, Apple will organize more than one hundred engineer sessions for a whole week. We are learning that virtual events will continue to augment your audience and also that you can segment that audience is smaller groups and facilitate knowledge exchange, get direct feedback, and facilitate networking like never before. I doubt that many corporations will be able to produce a show like WWDC based on Apple’s unique resources but we will see fantastic opportunities for corporate event organizers to leverage lessons learned from this year from events like WWDC and customize experiences for their specific communities.
Event technology is ready to facilitate these amazing experiences and many great companies and entrepreneurs will continue to build great and scalable tech solutions faster than ever. And now corporate customers are ready to experiment and take bold decisions on the way that they will engage with their respective communities in live events in the future. Many of these lessons are also going to be examples to be followed by horizontal conferences, trade shows, and even festivals or sports events that are rethinking the way to engage virtual experiences with hybrid events in the future.
Is this the future of corporate events? Just virtual and no face to face connection? I would think that corporate events will continue to have a strong face to face component after Covid-19 and these virtual experiences will probably be part of a new, bigger, and hopefully more inclusive community that will be able to join these events with a different experience. Event organizers will need to understand the way to merge those experiences and communities (virtual, hybrid, and pure face to face) in a way that the whole experience is consistent and easy to engage.
And yes, we will learn a lot from these experiences. And we will create bigger and better live events for all stakeholders.
The future of corporate events, after seeing WWDC approach and other great examples during the last three months, could and should be bigger, better, and more productive than ever in the future. And yes, technology will be a huge part of this. And that’s exciting news, at least for me.