Are Live Events Still Alive?

04 Apr 2022

If there’s one thing that businesses can take away from the upheaval and unpredictability of the last two years, it’s that flexibility is key. It’s true that few could have predicted the sudden requirement for a nationwide lockdown, much less fully anticipate the widespread impact businesses and individuals will still be experiencing. But as we know, necessity is often the mother of invention – forced to adapt, many companies made it work from home, even now choosing to maintain some of their streamlined, remote practises.

However, our ‘new normal’ sees us looking at the business world with different eyes… those behind a camera lens. We have seen the potential in this for our everyday work life, how we stay in touch with our loved ones, and our entertainment habits – but what does this mean for events? Are live events ‘virtually’ a thing of the past?

Events of all shapes and sizes took to the digital stage to keep us going when live entertainment was no longer an option. Hands up who DIDN’T participate in those online quizzes, log on for virtual games nights, stream their favourite musicians directly from their living rooms, or browse vacancies and speak to recruiters at virtual recruitment fairs? Perhaps not a ‘like for like’ experience each time, but few could deny the convenience of ‘turning up’ without leaving the house (and without the need to ditch the pyjama bottoms).

However, there can be little doubt that the hunger (and perhaps need) for an in-person, human experience has never left us. Take television for example – throughout stringent social distancing rules, the entertainment and broadcasting industry adapted and found news ways to keep filming and keep delivering their content to viewers without contravening rules or sacrificing safety. We’ve grown used to seeing our favourite programmes reworked with relatively minimal disruption, filmed from new angles, or with guests socially distanced or divided by the now-nearly-unnoticeable transparent screens. Similarly, when it comes to live entertainment, venues and visitors both have taken those necessary additional safety measures in the name of getting ‘back out there’ again; it has never stopped being a priority.

While the world continues to bounce back and regain some lost confidence, we’re sure that the trend for heading back out to live events will continue to grow, too – but as we adjust to our returning freedom, it may be a while before all our habits return to their pre-lockdown glory. It might take some time to fully emerge from the safety of behind our laptop cameras, and no doubt we will retain much of what we’ve learned about flexibility and some of the genuine benefits that can be reaped from such an approach.

So, what does this all suggest? We would predict that virtual and hybrid events (those integrating both in-person and digital elements) are likely not going anywhere for the foreseeable future – if nothing else, the huge launch of the Metaverse this year tells us VR is probably here to stay for a while – but the huge draw of live events is not to be underestimated. We all want and need those truly human experiences sometimes!

The KAT team are experienced in delivering events of all kinds and we’re here to advise with planning, management, audience generation and so much more. Get in touch to discuss your event objectives and we’ll make the right recommendations for digital, live, or hybrid events. We’re ready when you are – give us a ring on 01206 765544 to chat to the team.