Closeness, hugs, and laughter with our closest friends, acquaintances and colleagues are what the coronavirus pandemic has denied us lately. The COVID crisis has disrupted most daily rituals and habits—from drinking coffee with friends to discussing business solutions with ambitious intellectuals. However, it has had the biggest impact on the event industry and event organization, making many wonder if virtual gatherings have completely replaced social interaction in the natural environment.
The panel entitled “Events of the Future—Has Live Socializing Ended?”, Berislav Marszalek, creator of the most successful regional event platform Entrio.hr; and Boris Kovaček, CEO and producer of the Weekend Media Festival; agreed that live interaction is crucial for progress and development of event management, but that hybrid events, due to the current global situation, have become a standard from which one should not run away.
“Hybrid events are undoubtedly an excellent solution. An example of this is certainly this year’s Weekend Media Festival, precisely because the hybrid approach does not mean that one excludes the other, but optimally combines the best of both worlds. In addition, hybrid events cost significantly less, which means that earnings are much higher,” Kovaček explained.
The future brings new challenges to which we must adapt in the best possible way, the speakers concluded. This, of course, does not mean that things will go downhill, but that we need to pick up useful digital tools and new technologies in order to be able to realize various events with a smile on our face, the panelists pointed out.
“There is no way that socializing face-to-face has come to an end. It never has and never will, because people simply must spend time together. Events of the future will bring new experiences and new interesting formats that will connect the audience in practical ways. Thanks to online platforms, we have been provided with quality networking, making business and private acquaintances, as well as fun and relaxation from the comfort of our own home,” concluded Marszalek.